Skip to Content
College of Arts and Sciences

Message from the Director

Dear Students, 

Ines MurzakuI encourage you to make the most of your time here at Seton Hall University. Do not be afraid to aim high, to see big, to reach for more. Your college experience, after all, will be what you make it to be!

If you decide to make your college experience as big and bold as it can be, I would strongly suggest that you add a double major, a minor or a certificate in Catholic Studies to your primary major. Catholic Studies is the enhancer of any other major or minor. There are many professional degrees, but all of them can be enhanced by Catholic Studies: a program that will allow you to see how the Catholic Intellectual Tradition is infused into all other disciplines.

What is a degree in Catholic Studies? It is the Catholic Intellectual Tradition infused into other disciplines or other majors. Our mission statement shows how our program invites dialogue with every discipline: “The Catholic Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary curriculum for students of any creed who are interested in deepening their knowledge of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. It combines the study of history, philosophy, diplomacy, theology, literature, art, nursing, the sciences and other disciplines.” Catholic Studies focuses on the Church’s dialogue with culture and encounter with the world.

A double-major or minor in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition will give you the tools to think from an interdisciplinary perspective. You will learn to Connect your first major to Catholic Studies; you will learn to Apply the Catholic Intellectual Tradition to your first major; and you will learn to Amplify your thinking—to think big. Catholic Studies has become a popular second major option for students in pre-med, the sciences, healthcare, communications/journalism, education, diplomacy, business, theology, English and history. 

Let’s say you are biology, pre-med, PT, PA or nursing major. You’re probably wondering: How could a Catholic Studies degree enhance my first major? How could it enhance my college experience? How could it enhance my employment opportunities? Here’s the answer: a Catholic Studies degree can do all these things by offering specialized courses tailored to your particular degree. These courses will give you the tools of the humanities to get a grasp of science. Our courses are taught by faculty with dual degrees in science and humanities or in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. The course Catholicism, Healthcare and the Human Condition, taught by Dr. Anthony Carlino, a medical doctor, will give you the tools to connect healthcare to the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, and to apply the Catholic Intellectual Tradition in healthcare. Popes and Science, taught by Fr. Paul Haffner, a physicist and theologian, will do the same—as will Creation and Science, taught by Fr. Joseph Laracy, or the highly sought after course Catholic Theology of Science, taught by Dr. Stacy Trasancos, a scholar-celebrity with a Ph.D. in chemistry, industry experience (DuPont), and an M.A. in theology.   

If your first major is business, you might be especially interested in Catholic Studies’ Spirituality of Work and Spirituality of Sports, unique course offerings which will make you think big, beyond accounting or marketing.
Have you ever thought of food and nutrition from a theological perspective? If not, Catholic Studies is here to offer Theology of Food, taught by a chemist and Catholic priest, Fr. Gerald Buonopane. 

Well, are you ready for this one? We live very near NYC, the center of fashion. What do faith and fashion have common? What does the Catholic Intellectual Tradition offer to the world of fashion? Of course, it has a lot to offer! Did you know that Dolce and Gabbana, two distinguished Italian fashion designers, found inspiration for their Fall 2013 collection in no other place than famous 12th-century Byzantine and Venetian mosaics of the Monreale Cathedral in Sicily? They connected, applied and amplified sacred art of the basilica to their new fashion line. Prof. Nancy Harding, with experience in fashion industry (Mademoiselle, Brides and Country Living magazines), will be your guide through Catholicism in fashion.

If you are a diplomacy major, Catholic Studies has tailored several courses to you, including Global Christianity, Latin American Catholicism, Christians and Muslims in Dialogue and Christians and Jews in Dialogue on the Holocaust. If you’re a communication/journalism major, courses like Catholicism and Art, Catholic Saints in the Media, Catholic Sacred Music and Holy Images in the Church will enhance your artistic taste and imagination, helping you to think in an interdisciplinary way. For the education major, we offer Modern Women of Faith, Catholic Classics of Interiority, Literature of Catholic Conversion, and Sacred Labyrinth, just to mention a few courses. 

Have you thought of Experimental Learning? Catholic Studies Study Abroad courses Foundations of Christian Culture and Italy in the Footsteps of the Saints to Italy provide the experience of a lifetime. Again, these are place-tailored courses that will provide you with an insider’s look at Italy, at places that are not in the commercial travel books. Have you ever thought of interning in a Catholic hospital in Ecuador? We have the course for you. Dr. Josephine DeVito, professor of nursing, brings students to Ecuador during Spring break to work in a hospital in Loja and earn credits.

Scholarships for Catholic Studies majors and minors are also available. The opportunity to be published in ARCADIA (our Catholic Studies Student Journal), Catholic Studies Club, Catholic Studies Honor Society, Catholic Studies Alumni Association, Catholic Studies Great Minds Initiative, and a variety of other co-curricular academic lectures and events are waiting for you, inviting you to think big and live big.

In sum, a degree in Catholic Studies, either a double major or a minor, will enhance any other degree. Almost all Catholic Studies courses count as CORE 3 courses; we offer a WEB-based and face-to-face courses. A degree in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition will make you stand out. It will help you connect, apply and amplify. Come and join us! Do not be afraid to aim high, to see big and to think big!

Dr. Ines Angeli Murzaku
Director of the Catholic Studies Program