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Franciscan University of Steubenville unveils new master’s program

STEUBENVILLE — Recognizing a need for a general liberal arts education imbued with a Catholic worldview, Franciscan University of Steubenville has developed a new graduate degree in Catholic studies.

The fully online MA in Catholic Studies Program draws from across the humanities and sciences to create an integrated curriculum that deepens the student’s Catholic vision of the world.

The program aims to help students ground their professional pursuits — in law, education, business, the arts or other careers — in that Catholic vision of reality and ultimately bring them closer to Jesus Christ.

“Catholic studies is a growing field,” said Andrew Jones, professor of philosophy and interim director of the program. “There are millions of Catholics who have earned their undergraduate degree without having a Catholic education but would like to get one. This degree integrates all different fields and disciplines into one Catholic vision, to help people who want to see the world with Catholic eyes.”

With a slate of all-new courses created specifically for this program, the program will require students to complete four core courses examining Catholic culture and thought from ancient times until today. To fulfill the remaining credit requirements, students will choose from an array of electives, including courses such as philosophy of religion, natural law and natural rights, virtues and morality, and more.

Several university professors will serve as faculty for the new program, representing its multidisciplinary approach. They include Paul Symington, philosophy; Benjamin Wiker, political science; Michael Waldstein, theology; Daniel Kuebler, biology; Matthew Breuninger, psychology; John Holmes, English; and professor Linus Meldrum, fine arts.

“Our primary objective is mission,” says Jones. “We want to help people grow in their faith through growing in their intellectual ability and education.”

The program is scheduled to begin during the fall semester. Courses will be completed in eight-week sessions, with two courses per semester and six per year, including the summer. The program can be completed in as little as two years.

Jones said that while some other universities have Catholic studies programs, Franciscan’s is the only one completely online.

For information on this new program, contact Thomas Weishaar, director of online enrollment, at tweishaar@franciscan.edu or (740) 283-4410, or visit the program’s website.

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