ERIC Number: EJ793927
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: N/A
Can a Catholic College Exist Today?: Challenges to Religious Identity in the Midst of Pluralism
Cesareo, Francesco C.
New England Journal of Higher Education, v22 n2 p17-18 Fall 2007
One of the most significant and important challenges facing any president of a Catholic college or university is maintaining and enhancing the religious identity and mission of the institution in the midst of the pluralism that exists on every Catholic campus in the United States. Catholic colleges and universities are at an important crossroad, a place where they have never been before. The shape of Catholic higher education is a picture that is being painted, in part by the different ways in which institutions of Catholic higher education express their Catholicity. Some express it with a progressive approach focusing on service and issues of peace and justice, others with a traditional approach focusing on reviving the Catholic intellectual tradition. Is one form of expression better than another? This is essentially a subjective question. But this expression of Catholic identity should be based in honesty. If an institution claims to be Catholic, then it should be so in more than name; its religious heritage should not be used merely as a marketing tool or to convince benefactors to part with their money. The identity of the institution should be the very lifeblood of everything that takes place there--impacting everything from curriculum to hires, programs to policies, and resource allocation to strategic decisions. The challenges currently facing Catholic higher education can be traced to the late 1960s when profound structural changes impacted the religious orientation of Catholic institutions.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Catholic Schools, Catholics, Church Related Colleges, College Presidents, Institutional Mission
New England Board of Higher Education. 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-357-9620; Fax: 617-338-1577; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nebhe.org/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States