During the 1850s, as he took over leadership of the Catholic University of Dublin, John Henry Newman reflected upon the nature of university education, especially at Catholic universities, in a seminal series of lectures that was eventually published as “The Idea of a University.” More than a century and a half later, the questions of identity and purpose that motivated Newman retain their full relevance. Today, Catholic universities exist in a milieu quite different from the one in which Newman wrote: a truly global marketplace of ideas; vibrantly diverse student bodies and faculty; an increasingly secular society; aggressive criticisms of the liberal arts core that has traditionally characterized Catholic education; complex new challenges to justice, stability, and peace. These and similar issues demand reflection for those of us living our vocations at Catholic universities.
The Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination invites you to join us in a yearlong conversation on “The Idea of the Catholic University in the 21st Century.” Along with numerous partners, particularly the Bellarmine Forum of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, ACTI will engage questions that face Catholic higher education and Loyola Marymount University specifically: What makes us distinctive? In what respects should Catholic colleges and universities differ (or not differ) from other institutions, whether large state-sponsored schools or non-Catholic liberal arts colleges? And how should these distinctive characteristics shape the missions, goals, research, curricula, and programs of the Catholic university in the 21st century?
This conversation will span disciplines and departments in a wide range of programming and events. We hope you will find something here to spark your curiosity and engage your experience. For details and registration information for all events, please visit the “Idea of the Catholic University in the 21st Century” website. More details, events, and programs are being added throughout the year, so check back frequently.
We hope to see you soon at one or more of the exciting events and programs planned for the coming year!