Seton Hall University's Catholic Studies Program will be presented as a model of an integrated educational approach at an upcoming seminar sponsored by the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU). The seminar, titled "A Holistic View of Mission – Catholic Intellectual Tradition and Science in Dialogue," will take place on Friday, January 28 at 9 a.m. EST via Zoom.
During the seminar, Ines Murzaku, Ph.D., Director of Catholic Studies, and Reverend Gerald Buonopane, Ph.D., Minister to the Priest Community, will share the mission-driven and intellectual principles that underpin Seton Hall's infusion of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition into all disciplines, as well as best practices in implementing an interdisciplinary Catholic Studies program.
"Mission integration is central to innovation in Catholic Studies," Murzaku said. "Seton Hall's model of putting our Catholic mission at the center of the life of the University is leading us to an abundant harvest, reaped in purposeful education, ecumenical dialogue, sacramental experience, enriched research and teaching, and many other areas. I look forward to sharing how our model works for us and can be applied internationally at universities that are seeking a holistic approach to grounding their programs in Catholic mission and educating the whole student."
Father Buonopane described the inclusion of faith in dialogue in classrooms across the disciplines as central to the mission of a Catholic University: "In the academic setting and particularly at a Catholic institution of higher education such as Seton Hall, we are called to dialogue about the faith in the classroom and throughout the campus. Then in the classroom, the scientist – the chemist or biologist – can ‘speak' to the humanist – the philosopher or theologian. What better venue is there to bring disciplines together, like chemistry and theology, than the classroom?"
Father Buonopane identified the relationship between faith and science as his motivation for developing the course Science and Theology of Food, which will be the focus of his during the seminar. He expressed: "It is a privilege to have association with IFCU which encourages the collaborative dialogue between faith and science."
Father Colin Kay, Vice President of Mission and Ministry, noted the great value in the dialogue between Catholic Intellectual Tradition and the disciplines, stating: "the Catholic University ought to keep this dialogue engaged in every discipline. The lecture by Father Buonopane and Dr. Murzaku for the IFCU shows how mission is holistically integrated at Seton Hall University."
Nancy Enright, Ph.D., Professor of English and Director of the University Core, said: "One of the best and most exciting things about the Core and Catholic Studies is the collaboration on Core III courses. Catholic Studies offers a wide array of wonderful Core III offerings, which are deeply rooted in the CIT and completely inter-disciplinary (the essence of what a CORE III class should be). Father Buonopane's class, the Theology of Food, is a perfect (and very popular) example. Students flock to this course taught by a chemistry professor, who is also a priest, and which explores the inter-locking issues of faith and the chemistry of food. How interesting! We are so grateful to Father Buonopane and to the Catholic Studies program for what they bring to the Core."
The event is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, please visit the University Calendar listing here.
An internationally recognized innovator in the development and implementation of holistic Catholic Studies programming, Seton Hall is taking a leading role in promoting the integration of mission and the Catholic Intellectual Tradition into academic and student life offerings at Catholic universities worldwide.
In June 2021, Seton Hall joined the IFCU, the world's largest and most diverse international network of Catholic universities. This world-renowned higher education organization, created in 1924 and based in Paris, is marked by both its geographical extensiveness and its cultural richness.
Although a new member of this organization, Seton Hall is established as a productive contributor to the work of IFCU through the development of broad-based partnerships with the Catholic University of South Sudan and the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) in Mexico. Additionally, under the direction of Dr. Murzaku, Seton Hall is overseeing a new intercontinental IFCU working group focused on exploring how the Catholic Intellectual Tradition can be integrated into curriculum for all disciplines.
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