Thursday, November 26, 2015

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John Paul the Great Catholic University News

At the beginning of a new school year, professors at some of America’s most faithfully Catholic colleges take the Vatican’s Oath of Fidelity to protect against scandal and fortify the colleges’ Catholic identity. It stands in stark contrast to the infidelity and confusion emanating from some other Catholic campuses.

Some colleges—like Christendom College in Front Royal, Va., and Wyoming Catholic College in Lander, Wyo.—ask all faculty members to take the Oath. At least another 14 Catholic colleges require the Oath from their theology professors, and The Catholic University of America (CUA) requires theology professors to have the “canonical mission,” which is necessary for granting pontifical degrees.

But still, among nearly 200 Catholic colleges in the United States, 17 is a minority.  What inspires these uncommon colleges to require the Oath, and are there any real benefits?

“Theology faculty are asked to the take the Oath of Fidelity, so that they become mindful of the fact that they are witnessing, studying, teaching and handing down truth of which they are not the author,” said Dr. Mark Zia, associate professor of theology at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. “Jesus Christ forever remains the Teacher, and both professor and students are his pupils as they respectfully probe the mysteries of salvation.”
Even as students and alumni anxiously await the outcome of the University of Notre Dame’s ten-year curriculum review, amid fears that required theology courses might be reduced, representatives of faithful Catholic colleges in The Newman Guide say that it is theology that sets a Catholic college apart from its secular counterparts.

 “Since theology is the discipline that has been tasked with leading us into greater knowledge and love of God, it would be absurd to omit this most important study in a four-year curriculum at a Catholic institution,” Dr. Mark Zia, associate professor of theology at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., told The Cardinal Newman Society. “A ‘religious studies’ department is not enough; only a theology department will suffice.”

The Church’s constitution on Catholic higher education, Ex corde Ecclesiae, issued by Saint John Paul II in 1990, states that the study of theology “plays a particularly important role” at Catholic colleges and “serves all other disciplines in their search for meaning.” Ex corde Ecclesiae encourages a strong theological curriculum and even requires every Catholic college to “have a faculty, or at least a chair, of theology” in order to help ensure fidelity to Catholic teaching at the college.
If a Catholic college cannot assure that its theology professors are imparting the truths of the faith, then families should look to more faithful Catholic institutions, suggested Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Fla., in an interview with The Cardinal Newman Society.

Sound theology is the heart of Catholic higher education; it helps students direct their learning, explore the beauty of the faith and better understand their relationship with God and the Church. Therefore the Church provides the academic mandatum, an acknowledgment by the local bishop of a “professor’s commitment and responsibility to teach authentic Catholic doctrine and to refrain from putting forth as Catholic teaching anything contrary to the Church’s magisterium,” according to the U.S. bishops’ guidelines.

Referencing Ex corde Ecclesiae, the Vatican’s constitution on Catholic universities, Bishop Dewane noted that professors who have obtained the mandatum help Catholic colleges fulfill their mission. “It says that Catholicism is present and operative at such institutions. More profoundly, the individual professor evidences that desire to teach in communion, to express what the teachings of the Church are,” he said.
The University's acting emphasis seeks to train actors to serve the New Evangelization through their individual talents and professional careers in the performing arts.
"My Catholic faith sustained me as I interviewed ex-gang members, corrupt politicians, the homeless and poor farmers," Brian Olson, who founded his own art gallery and production company, stated when speaking about his new documentary project.
JP Catholic continues to become a "world-class University offering degree programs at the intersection of the Creative Arts, Business, and Theology, deeply rooted in a Catholic liberal arts foundation," according to the news release.
A recent PJ Media article compares the compromising of religious mission at many older Catholic colleges with examples of faithful Catholic colleges, observing that the latter institutions are paving the way for the future of Catholic higher education.
The trip will concentrate on developing an understanding of Christianity's impact on European culture and aims for its participants to return with a desire to "create art, build culture, and tell stories of Christ in the world."
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) last week abandoned its longstanding, unconstitutional practice of measuring how religious a college appears to be before exempting it from federal oversight, but opted instead for a new test that considers whether individual employees perform religious functions.
In the fall of 2013, John Paul the Great Catholic University formed the University’s first household. At present, according to a University news release, the program has expanded to include a total of seven households, which have led to unprecedented “growth” among the students.
Co-sponsored by the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, this year's conference is titled "The Mystery of Christ in the Church: A Study of Ephesians."
Dr. Scott Hahn recently spoke with The Cardinal Newman Society about his recommendations and advice for students considering an advanced degree in theology.
Today a coalition including The Cardinal Newman Society, leaders of Catholic schools and colleges, and the expert attorneys of the Alliance Defending Freedom told the Obama administration that its latest rule still “directly violates the religious liberty of organizations and individuals.”
John Paul the Great Catholic University recently completed its first year at its new campus location in Escondido, Calif. “It’s a miracle from God,” University President Dr. Derry Connolly told The Cardinal Newman Society in an interview about the relocation.
The University will also bestow its first Impacting Culture for Christ awards to “those who give selflessly of themselves and whose witness provides a model for Impacting Culture for Christ in our contemporary culture.”
The three minute video was posted in April to commemorate the Holy Father’s canonization, and to serve as a gift to Christian artists throughout the world.
Christendom College President Dr. Timothy O’Donnell said that the College is rejoicing “at the elevation of these two outstanding popes to sanctity.”
The Cardinal Newman Society, joined by several faithful Catholic colleges, today made a strong plea to the National Labor Relations Board, urging it to abide by the U.S. Constitution and stop interfering with religious education.
Every Tuesday, the University posts a quote from Bl. John Paul II on its Facebook page.  Beginning in April, the University will post a quote from “the man, the legend, the saint” every day as a countdown to the canonization.
The workshop is designed for those who are interested in the University’s undergraduate degree in Communications Media,with a focus in acting.
John Paul the Great Catholic University in Escondido, Calif., is partnering with Catholic Voices USA to offer media training workshops to help lay Catholics “publicly witness to their faith”.
Students from three Newman Guide-recommended colleges—The Catholic University of America, John Paul the Great University and Francisca nUniversity of Steubenville—are featured for their initiatives to aid those in need.
This year, thousands of students from Catholic colleges and universities across the United States will join the throngs of pro-life people attending the 41st annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, January 22.
John Paul the Great Catholic University is hosting an essay contest open to all high school students that runs until January 1, 2014.
Founding president Dr. Derry Connolly reflected recently on the first decade of the University, describing it as a “walk in faith and trust in God.”
John Paul the Great Catholic University recently shared an interview profile of 2011 alumna Mollie O'Hare, who is now working for Metanoia Films in Los Angeles, California.
When Pope John Paul the Great Catholic University begins classes at their new Escondido campus in the fall, it will be offering some new areas of emphasis for undergraduates - namely acting and fashion.
John Paul the Great Catholic University has purchased a retail site in downtown Escondido as part of its plans to relocate this summer.
The final hurdle was cleared last week, allowing John Paul the Great Catholic University to move from its present location to downtown Escondido, Calif.
"Despite assurances from the Administration to the contrary, this mandate would still insist that every employee at Catholic universities and colleges be enrolled in an insurance regiment that includes abortion causing drugs," said Monsignor Stuart Swetland.
John Paul the Great University film professor Nathan Scoggins and his team created an ad called ”Fashionista Daddy,” a Top 5 finalist for Doritos ‘Crash the Super Bowl’ commercial competition.
Many Catholic colleges and universities are taking part in the “Year of Faith” proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, with spiritual and academic activities aimed at strengthening faith on campus, according to a new report published by The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS).
The Cardinal Newman Society today released the 2012-2013 edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College with significant new features, as well as a new companion magazine for Catholic high school students and their parents titled My Future, My Faith.
The Cardinal Newman Society has signed and helped organize Catholic college signers for a court brief in support of lawsuits filed against the Obama administration by Belmont Abbey College and Wheaton College.
While the President of  John Paul the Great University in California wrote a strong letter protesting the HHS contraceptive mandate, a group of students of the university created a video. While this may speak to how different the generations are, it also speaks to how united students and administrators at the Catholic college are against the HHS mandate.
A student at John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego, California, currently has the most popular video in the Archdiocese of New York’s “I Confess” contest.
Received mention in the Los Angeles Times
University featured in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College
Two of the older colleges included in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College: What to Look For and Where to Find It have announced that they have record enrollment numbers for the 2007-08 academic year.

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