Rescuing Augustine and Aquinas: How Seminar Pedagogy Can Help Save the Catholic Intellectual Tradition

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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The core of a Catholic university has always been its intellectual and faith life. Central to this core purpose is a Catholic university’s responsibility to hand on the Catholic intellectual tradition as part of its curriculum. However, as Catholic colleges and universities have increasingly had to face the vexing challenges of a declining enrollment pool, a growing secularism and careerism among its students, an increasing number of students who identify as “nones” or who are disaffiliated from the Catholic Church, a “hyper-specialization” among faculty, and an epistemology of relativism within disciplinary thought, these institutions have been swayed from this central purpose. Instead, they have been turned towards the business of providing students with technical and professional training and preparing them for economic success. This turn now leaves Catholic institutions of higher education to wrestle with the question of how to sustain a robust and distinct Catholic intellectual tradition that will prevail across the institution.