Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Center for Catholic Higher Education

Here's some news from one of the signs of hope in the Church: the Cardinal Newman Society
Announcing The Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education
The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) today officially launched a new division, The Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education, to study Catholic colleges and universities in accordance with the guidelines of Ex corde Ecclesiae and in a manner faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. The Center provides much-needed research and analysis about the critical issues and "best practices" at the heart of the renewal of Catholic higher education. The Center publishes a quarterly Bulletin of Catholic Higher Education, produces research reports and analysis on key issues, and sponsors conferences and workshops for education leaders. The Center also has assumed responsibility for the research and writing of the second edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, which will be released next year. The first edition, published in November 2007, recommends 21 Catholic colleges and universities on the basis of their strong Catholic identity.
Areas of Study"On April 17, Pope Benedict XVI presented an exciting vision for the renewal of Catholic higher education and called on Catholic college presidents to 'ensure that the power of God's truth permeates every dimension of the institutions they serve,'" said CNS President Patrick J. Reilly."This new Center will enlist Catholic leaders and academics to take up key themes in the Holy Father's address, including the 'crisis of faith' that lies at the root of the modern 'crisis of truth,' the 'unity of knowledge' as it relates to curricula and teaching, and the proper application of academic freedom," Reilly said.
This summer The Center will publish its first research reports from noted experts on the Catholic core curriculum, "hiring for mission" and the role that Catholic colleges and universities can perform in encouraging vocations. All of The Center's publications are posted on its website,, including its first two publications about Pope Benedict's address to Catholic college presidents during his U.S. visit in April.
Staff and Fellows
The Center's Director is Joseph A. Esposito, Editor of The Newman Guide and former Director of Research at CNS. He is a former Deputy Under Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education. In addition to a lengthy government career, he has been a Catholic writer and adjunct professor of history.The Center's Deputy Director is Evangeline C. Jones, who did extensive research on The Newman Guide as Deputy Director of Research at CNS. She is a former practicing attorney."We are looking forward to being a helpful resource to Catholic colleges and universities as they tackle some of the most important issues confronting Catholic higher education today," Esposito said. "We expect the output of The Center to be prodigious as well as insightful.
"The Center also has two distinguished academics serving as its 2008 Newman Fellows, who assist the work of The Center and regularly contribute to Center publications. One is Dr. Peter A. Kwasniewski, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Wyoming Catholic College. His latest work is a translation of Thomas Aquinas' Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, which will be available this summer.The other Newman Fellow is Dr. Brennan Pursell, Associate Professor of History at DeSales University. Pursell's recent book, Benedict of Bavaria: An Intimate Portrait of the Pope and His Homeland, earned widespread acclaim during the Pope's U.S. visit.
Advisory Board
The Center's Advisory Board includes three religious members: Rev. Leonard A. Kennedy, C.S.B., Ph.D, a former President of two Canadian Catholic colleges; Rev. Joseph Koterski, S.J., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University; and Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland, S.T.D., Vice President for Catholic Identity and Mission at Mount St. Mary's University.The Advisory Board's three lay members include William H. Dempsey, President of Project Sycamore, an independent association of University of Notre Dame alumni; Dr. John P. Hittinger, Vice President of Academic Affairs at the University of St. Thomas in Houston; and Hon. Kenneth D. Whitehead, former Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education, and a widely-respected author.

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