Mission and History
Mission of the Center
Founded at Seton Hall University in 1997, The Center for Catholic Studies is dedicated to fostering a dialogue between the Catholic intellectual tradition and all areas of study and contemporary culture through scholarly research and publications and ongoing programs for faculty, students, and the general public. In 2001, the Center conducted the annual faculty summer seminar, "The Core of the Core," which originated the present University Core Curriculum. The Center also developed the undergraduate degree program in Catholic Studies with its major, minor and certificate.
Focusing on the central role of the faculty, the Center is the primary sponsor of regular Faculty Development programs, including lectures, seminars and retreats. The Center also administers two national faculty development programs: Collegium: A Colloquy on Faith and Intellectual Life, and The Lilly Fellows Program. The Center has also established the Toth/Lonergan Endowed Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies which will bring outstanding contemporary thinkers to the university to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue and studies.
The Center maintains a global focus in international scholarship and is the home of G.K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture, as well as the Bernard J. Lonergan Institute. The Institutes offer opportunities for study and research as well as ongoing programs related to faith and culture. In addition, the Micah Institute for Business and Economics concentrates on communicating Catholic Social Teaching and ethics to business education at Seton Hall and the wider business community. The Center also publishes two prestigious reviews, The Chesterton Review and The Lonergan Review.
History of the Center
The Center for Catholic Studies has existed at Seton Hall University since 1997. From the beginning the Center dedicated itself to faculty development, especially faculty seminars linking the Catholic intellectual tradition with broader faculty concerns. It has also sponsored lectures on Catholic and humanistic topics and is the home of the G. K. Chesterton Institute for Faith & Culture, with its prestigious journal, The Chesterton Review, the Micah Institute for Business and Economics and the Bernard J. Lonergan Institute and its journal The Lonergan Review.
In 1998 the Center initiated a minor in Catholic Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. This minor was populated by a number of students, particularly those who participated in various foreign study course/trips sponsored by the Center – to Italy, Mexico, Poland, and Australia. The year 2003 saw the initiation of the undergraduate major in Catholic Studies. Students were able to take a second major or a minor in Catholic Studies. In 2012, the undergraduate program in Catholic Studies was moved to the Department of Catholic Studies. A number of other students take Catholic Studies courses as electives and participate in Catholic Studies programs. The study abroad programs are generally fully subscribed.
The program in Catholic Studies has been of special interest for a number of faculty because it allows them to link their specialization with broader areas of interest. Not only are Catholic Studies programs emerging in Catholic universities around the country but they are emerging in public universities as well. Seton Hall University is the only university in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area that offers an undergraduate degree program in Catholic Studies, offering a major, double major, minor or certificate program, along with a full range of co-curricular activities and community life.