The Center for Catholic Studies’ spring break trip to Rome was an absolute success. Taking the class, the Foundations of Christian Culture: Rome, while actually in the city of Rome, was nothing short of mind-blowing. The guided tours and informative lectures added a depth and understanding to places like the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Roman Forum and the Catacombs of St. Sebastian that one cannot experience from simply reading about these places in a textbook. Students learned about the emergence of Christianity in the ancient pagan world and how this religion spread like wildfire throughout the Roman Empire. They studied and read everything from the early Christians and first martyrs, up until the reign of Constantine, with the legalization of Christianity and beyond. Everyday students were given a lecture and then ventured out together into the streets of Rome for an excursion. In addition to doing the required reading, each student was asked to prepare a power point presentation on a specific topic having to do with Christianity in the ancient world. Topics ranged from pagan customs and culture to martyrdom to early Christian art. As a class, the students loved being able to learn about ancient history and the Christian faith in a place like Rome, where it first took root and where symbols of it are still seen everywhere in the present day. Gazing up at first and fourth century mosaics of Christ, seeing with their own eyes the bones of St. Peter and touching the walls of the Colosseum are experiences they will not soon forget.
Students were also given free time in the afternoons to go off on their own and roam around Roma. Trips were taken to the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, the Piazza Novona and the Spanish Steps to name a few. Students embraced the Italian culture, eating as much pizza, pasta and bruschetta as they could. They learned how to work both the metro and the bus systems and some could even order a cappuccino in Italian by the end of the week! For many of the students, this was their first time in Europe and they all agreed that Rome was a wonderful place to start. All in all, students felt that the trip was a unique dynamic learning experience and one they are sure to cherish as they move forward in their college careers. Richard Harzula, a junior, had this to say about the trip, “As a Classical Culture minor I have studied ancient Rome in-depth, but nothing compares to the hands-on and experiential learning I had while in Rome. Just getting to stand next to or within something that was centuries old, was an extremely powerful experience. I cannot wait to go back to Rome to see even more of the great ancient city, and I would highly recommend this trip to anyone.”
Foundations of Christian Culture Study Abroad course/trips have been conducted in Rome, at Oxford University and throughout Spain. These 3 credit courses, as well as others in the past to such sites as Italy, Mexico, Poland and Ireland, have been developed by the program in Catholic Studies to offer all students the opportunity to explore first-hand the interaction of Catholicism with various disciplines and cultures throughout the world. Courses are offered in the academic year, as well as in summer terms, and are cross-listed to offer wide options for credits earned. Scholarship support is offered for qualifying students. For more information, please visit the Catholic Studies website.
View additional photos of the trip here »
About the Center for Catholic Studies
Seton Hall University’s Center for Catholic Studies is dedicated to fostering a dialogue between the Catholic intellectual tradition and all areas of study and contemporary culture. To that end, it sponsors an undergraduate degree program for students, focusing on interdisciplinary studies, with opportunities for community, service, scholarship and foreign study. The Center is the home of the G.K. Chesterton Institute, the Bernard J. Lonergan Institute, and the Micah Institute for Business and Economics, and their publications. The Center offers study and research, as well as an ongoing program on faith and culture, social justice, business and the economy, for audiences world-wide.
For more information please contact: