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Course Catalog

Catholic Studies

Director: Joe Mudd 
Associate Director: Bryan Pham, S.J. 

The program offers one minor:

Minor in Catholic Studies

The Catholic Studies minor at Gonzaga University provides students with an opportunity to enrich their undergraduate experience through a focused engagement with the historical and intellectual traditions, theological and moral teachings, and cultural legacies of the Catholic Church. In addition to providing a rigorous interdisciplinary grounding in the history, ideals, and practices of Catholicism, the program invites students to take part in the ancient and ongoing conversation between the Church and the various cultures in which it is found. In seeking to understand and more fully appreciate the relationship between the eternal truths of the Catholic faith and their various expressions in history, the program faithfully and rigorously responds to Pope John Paul II's call for "a fruitful dialogue between the Gospel and culture" (Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Part I A.3:34). The Society of Jesus, in its most recent General Congregation, echoes this same desire in its commitment to serious and rigorous research and dialogue between Catholicism and the contemporary world, culture, and other religions. (General Congregation 35 Doc. 1 par.7).

Courses that fulfill the program requirements incorporate, but are not limited to, the disciplines of art history, literature, languages, history, philosophy, and theology.

Intellectual Methodology:

The Catholic Studies program identifies Catholicism as a tradition that both informs Gonzaga University's mission and inhabits the world beyond the university as a phenomenon palpably present, but often difficult to detect, in its influences on various cultures and domains of knowledge. Students will discover that Catholicism, and the world it interpenetrates, can be better understood by investigating its universal meanings and values alongside particular manifestations. We do this through a series of integrated courses that consider Catholicism as both the over-arching theme of the program's curriculum, and a central theme of each individual course. Accordingly, the Catholic Studies  minor provides students a basis in Church doctrine and offers a guide for interpreting how Catholicism has developed in the course of history and how it reveals itself in philosophy, theology, literature, science, and the visual arts. A fundamental course on Catholic Doctrine (RELI 228) provides the distinguishing parameters for core elements of the Catholic intellectual tradition such as creation, incarnation, sacramentality, the complementarity of faith and reason, sin and historical decline, and redemption and justice.


Each student in the program will be assigned an advisor who will help students reach a comprehensive understanding of the program through periodic consultation and guidance on the capstone project.

Required Courses:

The following courses are required for the minor and may also be used to fulfill courses required by the University Core or specific major requirements where applicable.

Minor in Catholic Studies: 21

CATH 499 Catholic Studies Symposium 3 credits
HIST 112 World History 3 credits
One of the following Scripture courses: 3 credits
RELI 101 The Hebrew Bible
RELI 103 The New Testament
RELI 107 Gospels: The Life & Teachings of Jesus
RELI 228 Catholicism 3 credits
One Lower Division Elective (100-200 level)  (with Catholic Studies attribute*) 3 credits
Two Upper Division Electives (300-400 level) (with Catholic Studies attribute*) 6 credits
*These courses can be searched by attribute code in ZAGWEB each semester as identified by the Director of Catholic Studies.
Lower Division
CATH 190 Directed Study
1.00- 3.00 credits
Topic to be determined by faculty.
CATH 290 Directed Study
1.00- 3.00 credits
Topic to be determined by faculty.
Upper Division
CATH 390 Directed Study
1.00- 3.00 credits
Topic to be determined by faculty.
3.00 credits
The Core Integration Seminar (CIS) engages the Year Four Question: “Imagining the possible: What is our role in the world?” by offering students a culminating seminar experience in which students integrate the principles of Jesuit education, prior components of the Core, and their disciplinary expertise. Each section of the course will focus on a problem or issue raised by the contemporary world that encourages integration, collaboration, and problem solving. The topic for each section of the course will be proposed and developed by each faculty member in a way that clearly connects to the Jesuit Mission, to multiple disciplinary perspectives, and to our students’ future role in the world.
CATH 490 Directed Study
1.00- 3.00 credits
Topic to be determined by faculty.
CATH 499 Catholic Studies Symposium
3.00 credits
A capstone course in which students will integrate their experiences in other Catholic Studies courses. Student will be responsible for writing a thesis under the direction of the instructor.
Second Language Competency

Competency in a second language (classical or modern) at the intermediate level (courses numbered 201) is required for students continuing in the study of a language. Students beginning study in a language they have not previously studied can fulfill the requirement by completing one year at the beginning level (courses numbered 101-102). Non-native speakers of English who have completed the required English core credits at Gonzaga may petition the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences for a waiver of this requirement.

Additional information on this requirement can be found at

Language Requirement Information