Catholic Studies

The Catholic Studies Program at Georgetown is an interdisciplinary area of study that seeks to engage the richness of the Catholic intellectual and cultural tradition with the various dimensions of human existence such as the arts, sciences, humanities, law, medicine, politics, business, and economics. It builds on the maxim faith seeking understanding as the core principle of all intellectual study.

Catholic Studies is more than a set of moral or ritual practices or a body of doctrine; rather, “catholic” describes the way one approaches the study of any discipline and the way one interprets the discipline, including the types of questions raised, the relation of knowledge to God, and the orientation of the knower towards the world with faith, hope, and love. The purpose of Catholic Studies at Georgetown is to engage the richness of the Catholic intellectual and cultural tradition in the human ecological, political, economic, historical, and scientific questions of the day. An interdisciplinary approach that integrates core theological principles with various academic areas is vital to the development of Catholic Studies. Courses in this area seek to explore the disclosure of divine mystery in concrete reality, expressed in human imagination and creativity. Catholic Studies, therefore, does not seek to affirm the “already” but to engage the “not yet.” This deepening of knowledge and faith is not for the sake of knowledge alone but to nurture wisdom and orient oneself in service to the world, as well as deepen one’s appreciation of the Catholic tradition in its historical, cultural, and social dimensions.

The Catholic Studies Program at Georgetown University strives to be inclusive as it welcomes students from widely divergent intellectual and religious backgrounds to study, explore, and understand the multi-leveled meaning of the Catholic cultural and intellectual tradition in history and in the contemporary world.

Students may wish to pursue a minor in Catholic Studies or take courses on an elective basis which would expand and deepen their understanding of the Catholic intellectual and cultural tradition. The Catholic Studies Program sponsors courses designed specifically to foster the interdisciplinary approach to the study of Catholic culture, as it draws widely on courses which as a whole or in substantial part deal with aspects of Catholic thought offered independently by various academic departments.

Minor in Catholic Studies

All students wishing to minor in Catholic Studies must complete the introductory course (CATH-111), one theology course (Scripture or Systematics), two Catholic Studies elective courses in their area of concentration (for example, Business, the Sciences, Healthcare, the Arts, etc.), and the year-long capstone seminar (CATH-301) for a total of six courses.

We strongly encourage minors to participate in community-based learning courses in conjunction with the Center for Social Justice. The Capstone Seminar, under the guidance of a seminar leader, serves to integrate the principles of Catholic Studies with faith, knowledge, experience, and vocation.

Please direct all questions or inquiries to the Catholic Studies Program Director, Professor Diane Apostolos-Cappadona.

For course listings for Catholic Studies, see