Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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Catholic Education Daily

 

Franciscan University Says New Liberal Arts Curriculum Strengthens Catholic Identity

The Franciscan University of Steubenville recently announced  faculty approval of a new liberal arts curriculum that will be implemented in the 2013-14 academic year, according to a news release from the university. The new curriculum is aimed towards strengthening the university’s academics and better preparing students to confront an antagonistic culture.

“Franciscan University faculty voted to adopt a new core curriculum that reflects our ongoing commitment to academic excellence and the integration of faith and reason. Based on the Western intellectual tradition, our Franciscan educational heritage, and the Catholic mission of Franciscan University, the new core purposefully exposes our students to more of the fundamental knowledge and critical authors they need to become well-educated Catholics,” said Father Terence Henry, TOR, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville. “This constitutes a major investment in Franciscan University’s mission of forming young men and women committed to the truth and capable of providing leadership in a culture that so badly needs the transforming power of that truth.”

The 45-credit core for BA majors and 42-credit core for BS majors requires all students to take Foundations of Catholicism, Christian Moral Principles, Scripture and Tradition, Foundations of Ethics, Philosophy of the Human Person, Metaphysics, Epic and Self, and Lyric and Dramatic Voices.

The University intends to hire five new faculty members to implement the core.

Dr. Daniel Kempton, vice president for Academic Affairs, said this change was implemented from a desire to grow in conformity with Catholic Church teaching. “The success of our alumni argues that the previous core had much to recommend it, but from our reading of Ex corde Ecclesiae, Pope John Paul II’s apostolic constitution on higher education, and of our own Mission Statement, we saw some ways to make a good education better,” Kempton said. “The new core takes a more rigorous approach that ensures a common grounding for all students not only in theology and philosophy as called for in Ex corde Ecclesiae, but also in literature, American founding principles, history, fine arts, natural science, and social science.”

Kempton said a major reason was also because the culture at large is so antagonistic to Catholic values. “To prepare our students better to meet the challenges of a more antagonistic culture and society, we realized we could not stay the same from year to year,” he said. “We have to continually improve.”

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