Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Catholic Higher Education: A Culture in Crisis

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Catholic Higher Education: A Culture in Crisis

Article excerpt

CATHOLIC HIGHER EDUCATION: A CULTURE IN CRISIS by Melanie M. Morey and John J. Piderit, S.J. Oxford Univ. Press, 464pages, $35

Relying on many interviews with administrators and wide educational experience, the authors identify the current crisis: As founding religious orders withdraw after decades of secularization, a renewed willingness to emphasize Catholic identity emerges. Unfortunately, lay administrators, poorly prepared by their predecessors, are often unclear about that identity and the effective propagation of a Catholic vision capable of integrating faith, reason, and action.

Catholic Higher Education identifies four models of Catholic colleges and universities, each with a legitimate mission. The authors highlight the conditions necessary for each model to manifest Catholic identity in its core activities. They analyze principal aspects of the challenge, especially recruitment and retention of professors dedicated to a Catholic vision, the roles of philosophy and theology, resident-hall behavior, and campus ministry. …

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