Interdisciplinary Minor in Catholic Studies

Director: Nancy M. Rourke, PhD

The Catholic Studies minor at Canisius College examines the doctrinal, historical, legal, spiritual and cultural traditions of Catholicism.

In addition, it includes “dialogue” with people of other faiths and the examination of intellectual disciplines that have been influenced by Catholicism, such as art, history, law, literature, politics, philosophy and the sciences. As a result, this program requires study in several departments of the college and highlights the Catholic tradition upon which the college was founded.

Any person who wishes to know more about the Catholic heritage, to further one’s personal development, or to pursue a principle-based career in public service, medicine, journalism or law would find this minor relevant. Those pursuing church-related careers or academic objectives would also want to complete this program. Future seminarians, lay ministers, and teachers interested in the Catholic educational system, those preparing for graduate work in theology or religious studies and anyone planning to pursue an administrative, marketing, accounting, or IT career in a Catholic organization such as a social work agency or health care system would benefit from this program. The program director will help the student choose appropriate courses or appoint an advisor to do so.

Each student who completes this minor will:

  1. Be knowledgeable about some facet of Catholic doctrine or piety and the relevance of a concept that originates from the Catholic philosophical or social traditions;
  2. Be able to think critically about the Catholic contribution in one area of history or culture;
  3. Become an effective scholarly researcher and writer about Catholicism and its intellectual heritage.

All courses in the Catholic Studies minor except CTH 400 are offered in traditional academic departments and usually meet the criteria established by these departments for field studies or major credit. Most courses in the minor are also part of the college’s core curricula and therefore can also be taken as a way to fulfill core requirements.

In addition, language and reading courses in Latin and Greek are strongly recommended.

Please contact Dr. Nancy Rourke (716-888-2460)  in the Department of Religious Studies and Theology for a more detailed description of the program, including course descriptions, possible course substitutions, and ways students have benefitted from this minor in recent years.

Structure of the Catholic Studies Minor

RST 231Introduction to Catholic Studies3
CTH 400Research in Catholic Studies3
Select one course in each of the following areas (but no more than two courses from any one department in these areas):12
Catholic Theology and Life
Catholic Culture: Literature, Art, Music & Science
Catholic History & Politics
Catholic Philosophy & Social Thought
Total Credits18

Courses that Fulfill Catholic Theology and Life

HON 359Spiritual Autobiography3
RST 230Catholic Belief Today3
RST 353Seven Signs of Love3
RST 390Christian Marriage3

Courses that Fulfill Catholic Culture: Literature, Art, Music and Science

ENG 233The Quest in Medieval Literature3
ENG 220Contemporary Catholic Fiction3
ENG 331Studies in Irish Literature3
FAH 213Greek and Roman Art3
FAH 224Medieval Art3
FAH 245Renaissance Art3
FAH 248Baroque Art3
FAM 216Medieval and Renaissance Music3
HON 242Cultural Constructions of Jesus3
RST 237Images of Jesus in Film and Art3
RST 314New Testament in Literature and Art3
RST 343Franciscan Reply to Science3

Courses that Fulfill Catholic History and Politics

CLS 104Roman History3
CLS 308Pagans and Christians3
HIS 106The Medieval World3
HIS 131Latin American History to 18303
HIS 226History of Ireland3
HIS 306American Religious Experience3
HON 246American Religions3
HON 316Famous Jesuits3
HON 356Pope Francis: 21st-Century Thinker3
RST 235Religion and Politics3
RST 325Early Christianity3
RST 327Modern Global Christianity3

Courses that Fulfill Catholic Philosophy & Social Thought

HON 360Topics in Modern Christianity3
PHI 267Catholic Social Thought3
PHI 302Medieval Philosophy3
RST 340Moral Issues Today3
RST 341Catholic Social Ethics: Theological Perspectives3
RST 342Theological Ethics and Environmental Justice3
RST 345Bio-Moral Problems3
RST 392Liberation Theologies3
RST 393Catholic Concept of Conscience3