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Journal of Catholic Higher Education

The only international journal dedicated to contemporary Catholic higher education



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Now Available: Volume 37, Number 2

What makes us different?

Along with their secular counterparts, Catholic colleges and universities continuously strive to answer this question and demonstrate their uniqueness. But unlike public or other private institutions, Catholic higher education actively works to show how its faith-based identity animates every area of campus life. The latest issue of the Journal of Catholic Higher Education examines these specialized efforts from several perspectives, including the historical. Other topics include the student experience and interfaith conversations.


In this issue:

We've Been Here Before: A Brief History of Catholic Higher Education in America
Michael T. Rizzi
Many issues facing modern Catholic colleges and universities — such as how to differentiate their curriculum from that of secular institutions, how to incorporate a Catholic perspective into professional education, and how to maintain a Catholic identity with a diverse student body — are as old as the universities themselves. This article provides a short history of Catholic higher education in America as a reminder that many of these issues have been debated for more than two centuries. 


Catholic Higher Education as Transformation: With What Warrant? To What Ends? By What Means?
Bernard G. Prusak
Catholic colleges and universities seek to transform the students who attend them, but this aspiration prompts some difficult questions. This article argues that faculty often have to take into account students’ hearts in order to reach students’ minds, and that there is warrant then to pursue the humanistic program of transformation that Catholic colleges and universities profess. Yet questions of ends and means remain and the article considers what is distinctive to Christian humanism.


Teaching by Example: Staff Interactions at Catholic Colleges as Behavioral Models of Christian Love
Gary Umhoefer
Forming an authentic human community animated by the spirit of Christ entails teaching by both word and example. At Catholic institutions of higher education, these examples cannot be limited to classrooms and residence halls; students just as importantly learn from observing every day, spontaneous behaviors among all those employed at the institution.


Working for the Common Good through Worldview Encounters: An Application in Teaching the Reformation at Catholic Colleges
Bethany Kilcrease
General education curricula at Catholic colleges ought to function as a training ground for refining the skills students will need to navigate a pluralist world. Students must, for instance, better understand existing social, political, and religious conditions around the world if they are to have the knowledge necessary to successfully negotiate contemporary environments. Learning about diverse religious perspectives and worldviews, in particular, ushers students into what researchers call “provocative encounters” that enable students to refine their own worldviews.


‘Listen with the Ear of the Heart’: Benedictine Spirituality & the Hermeneutics of Interfaith Conversation
John P. Hopkins
Eboo Patel proposes a meaning of interfaith conversation that can help guide Catholic universities in engaging students in meaningful interactions. This article aims to show how the Benedictine value of listening can inform Patel’s meaning. Drawing from the Benedictine, Catholic tradition, the article puts forward techniques for deep, attentive listening and shows how Benedictine listening can supplement Patel’s model.


Better Together: Cultivating Interfaith Leadership on College Campuses
Emily Jendzejec
This paper argues that creating intentional interfaith communities of practice on college campuses can encourage interfaith cooperation on campus and help form students to be interfaith leaders. The author explores the interplay of identity formation and practice with regard to student interfaith leadership and also examines Interfaith Youth Core as an organization that is enabling these types of communities of practice to flourish on campuses nationwide.


Foundations in Sports Outreach: Equipping Catholic Higher Education Students to Provide a Social Contribution through a Sports Outreach Initiative
Jimmy Smith
This work discusses the effort to begin helping university students fulfill the university mission and core curriculum objectives through the Foundations of Sports Outreach course and the Sports Outreach Initiative at Gonzaga University. The program provided university students the opportunity to not only expand their academic and practitioner competencies in sports outreach, but also reflect on their growth physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually through this special experience.


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To order a subscription to JCHE, please visit our subscription page. The cost for readers at ACCU member institutions is $25 per issue or $50 for an annual subscription, plus shipping and handling; non-members pay $30 per issue or $60 for an annual subscription, plus shipping and handling. Please note that member institutions automatically receive three copies as a benefit of membership: one for the president, the board of directors, and the campus library.

Subscribers can access journal content online through the Villanova University Falvey Memorial Library. User registration is required, and you must be a subscriber (or at an ACCU member institution) to read full articles online. Non-subscribers may read abstracts, as well as the introduction to each edition.

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