Bachelor of Arts in Catholic Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Catholic Studies, B.A.(CATH), is a 93 credit program. Newman Theological College’s distinctive Bachelor of Arts in Catholic Studies provides an integrated immersion in the Great Books of Western Civilization and of Catholic culture. The college’s motto, faith seeking understanding, expresses how the unity of faith and reason inspires confidence in the quest for wisdom. By engaging students in the fundamental works of Western theology, philosophy, literature, history, science, and the fine arts, this Bachelor of Arts in Catholic Studies seeks to inculcate what Cardinal Newman called an integrated habit of mind, a power of “viewing many things at once as a whole, of referring them severally to their true place”.

This journey toward wisdom is accompanied by a distinctive pedagogy rooted in the classical liberal arts tradition. Memorization, recitation, lectures, the imitation of beautiful models of prose, and above all, Socratic seminars, equip students to participate in the centuries-long conversation in pursuit of the true, the good, and the beautiful. Students encounter clusters of courses ordered historically and thematically. In their first year, students experience multiple-semester sequences such as The Catholic Vision, The Way of Beauty, The Divine Word, and The Trivium Alive that provide a foundation for later study, and foster intellectual friendship among students and faculty.

In addition, students not only learn about Catholic thought and culture; they themselves produce beautiful works based upon their study of past and present masters. The wisdom of the classroom comes alive as students perform public orations, sing in a sacred music schola, write icons, debate in medieval-style disputations, and defend their own senior research paper before faculty and peers, all in the midst of a vibrant Catholic community rich with opportunities for growth in the disciplines of the spiritual life.

Newman Theological College’s rigorous Bachelor of Arts degree in Catholic Studies equips graduates to succeed in any vocation or career and serves as a gateway to future service in education, business, law, government, journalism, medicine, ministry, homemaking, and more.

Note: This program is offered pursuant to the written approval of the Minister of Advanced Education effective (August 2020) having undergone a quality assessment process and been found to meet the criteria established by the Minister. Nevertheless, prospective students are responsible for satisfying themselves that the program and the degree will be appropriate to their needs (for example, acceptable to potential employers, professional licensing bodies, or other educational institutions).

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes

Program Goal: The program will provide: Broad familiarity with the contributions of Catholicism to Western Culture

Learning Outcomes: A graduate will be able to:

  1. critically assess principal themes, persons, literary and artistic works of Western Civilization as illustrated through representative ‘Great Books’, situate them in their historical context, and set them in conversation;
  2. explain how the totality of Sacred Scripture, as interpreted with the mind of the Church, unveils the saving mission of Jesus Christ;
  3. recount and analyze instances where the Catholic Church has influenced and been influenced by key literary, philosophical, historical and artistic works within Western Civilization;

Program Goal: The program will provide: Knowledge of major Western philosophical disciplines, especially Thomism

Learning Outcomes: A graduate will be able to:

  1. independently assess the distinction between and complementary nature of the principles of faith and reason; 
  2. evaluate the various meanings of the term ‘wisdom’—speculative and practical, philosophical and theological, acquired and infused;
  3. distinguish the principal liberal arts and sciences by their proper subject matters, principles, methods, and modes of argument;
  4. critically analyze, with reference to the natural moral law, what is meant by happiness and the common good;
  5. articulate how key metaphysical, moral, and epistemological principles of St. Thomas Aquinas can be brought into creative dialogue with alternative philosophical traditions;

Program Goal: The program will provide: Skills in reading, writing and oral communication

Learning Outcomes: A graduate will be able to:

  1. comprehend and independently interpret the structure and arguments of primary texts within a variety of disciplines;
  2. write and orally present ideas in clear, persuasive, English;
  3. express one’s own views persuasively and charitably, and can ask thoughtful questions of another person who holds a contrary opinion;
  4. independently identify and analyze pattern, harmony, symmetry, and order in works of nature and art, and apply techniques illustrated in exemplary models to create original works;

Program Goal: The program will provide: Skills in logical analysis and research

Learning Outcomes: A graduate will be able to:

  1. express the difference between knowledge and opinion, and to know when a proposition is held from experience or as the result of argument from prior principle;
  2. define and correctly independently apply various research methodologies;

Program Goal: The program will provide: Opportunity for Growth in Christian discipleship

Learning Outcomes: A graduate will be able to:

  1. demonstrate the virtues of courtesy, integrity, and justice towards others while working in the context of a Christian academic community;
  2. critically assess the value of the Catholic Church’s liturgical, devotional and moral disciplines.
Admission Requirements

Alberta Students Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Catholic Studies must normally present their Alberta High School Diploma with a minimum admission average of 60% and a passing grade in each Grade 12 level subject as follows:

  • English Language Arts 30-1
  • Four subjects from Group A, B, C, or D.

Group A=Humanities
Group B= Fine Art
Group C= Sciences
Group D= Other

For Alberta applicants, admission averages are calculated using the blended grade that appears on the official Alberta Education transcript.

Other Canadian Province Students Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Catholic Studies must normally present their Provincial High School Diploma with a minimum admission average of 60% and a passing grade in each Grade 12 level subject as follows:

    English Language Arts 30-1
  • Four subjects from Group A, B, C, or D.

Group A=Humanities
Group B= Fine Art
Group C= Sciences
Group D= Other

The admission average is calculated using the best five Grade 12 subjects required for admission to the degree program (including ELA 30-1 equivalent).

Homeschooled Students Admission Requirements

NTC recognises and welcomes applicants from a homeschooled background, provided that they can show equivalency. Alberta High School Diploma Equivalency (with English Language Arts 30-1) can be shown by submission of any of the following up-to-date test scores and giving evidence of prior learning from Grades 10 through to 12:

  • SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) score of 950.
  • ACT (American College Test) score of 20.
  • CLT (Classical Learning Test) score of 58.

  • Or

    Self- Recorded Homeschool Transcript in place of an official secondary school transcript. Must show completion of at least five academic subjects at Grade 12 level, including English. A minimum admission average of 60% is required and a passing grade in each 30 level subject as follows:

    • English Language Arts
    • Four subjects from Group A, B, C, or D.

    Group A=Humanities
    Group B= Fine Art
    Group C= Sciences
    Group D= Other

    In either case, we prefer that applicants include a diploma exam result for ENGL 30-1 as an objective measure of a students’ readiness to embark on the reading and comprehensive heavy demands of a great books course; alternatively, a portfolio of high school work can be submitted to the Admissions and Evaluations Committee along with the application package materials.

    International Admission Requirements

    Applicants from the U.S.A for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Catholic Studies must normally present their Grade 12 diploma from an accredited high school or other educational institution with a 60% admission average, and course equivalents to Alberta Education Grade 12 subject requirements for this program. Equivalency can also be shown by submission of any of the following up-to-date test scores and giving evidence of prior learning from Grades 10 through to 12:

    • SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) score of 950.
    • ACT (American College Test) score of 20.
    • CLT (Classical Learning Test) score of 58.

    Applicants from Other Countries for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Catholic Studies must normally present their Grade 12 diploma from an accredited high school or other educational institution with a 60% admission average, and course equivalents to Alberta Education Grade 12 subject requirements for this program. Equivalency can also be shown by submission of any of the following up-to-date test scores and giving evidence of prior learning from Grades 10 through to 12:

    • SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) score of 950.
    • ACT (American College Test) score of 20.
    • CLT (Classical Learning Test) score of 58.

    All international transcripts must be translated into English at the applicant’s expense and by an approved third-party transcript translation organisation such as World Education Services (WES) or the International Qualifications Assessment Services (IQAS).

Procedure for Admission

Submit a completed Application Form and $55.00 non-refundable application fee (International Student Application Fee $250.00). Fall intake only for this program.

Arrange for official high school transcripts, SAT, ACT, or CLT test scores, Self- Recorded Homeschool Transcript*, and transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended to be sent directly to the Registrar’s Office from the issuing educational authority.

Letters of reference from two persons qualified to judge the applicant’s character and intellectual ability. Letters of reference should be from referees not related to students.

Autobiographical essay explaining why the applicant wants to study the liberal arts.

* Self- Recorded Homeschool Transcript Templates are available in hard copy in Student Services or online under the Apply & Enrol page of our website.

When all required documentation is received, the Admissions & Evaluations Committee will review the applicant’s file.

This program is a Designated Learning Program and eligible to receive foreign nationals on a study permit.  See International Student Admissions for DLI number.

Degree Requirements

The B.A.(CATH) is awarded upon completion of 93 credits including:

  • 48 core credits; 36 credits in philosophy including a final 3 credit senior research thesis and defence; and 9 credits of required transfer courses.
Residency

B.A. education expects regular and substantive student-faculty interaction to achieve the stipulated learning outcomes, and this interaction requires that at least one year of full-time academic study (30 credits) shall be completed at our main campus.

Glossary of Terms

Catholic Studies

“true enlargement of mind…is the power of viewing many things at once as one whole”
(St. Newman, Idea of the University)

Catholic Studies, as a multidisciplinary academic discipline inspired by the work of J.H. Newman, arose in the latter half of the 20th century as a response to a perceived lack of organizing principle within the contemporary academy, particularly within Catholic institutions. Well into the 20th century, broad exposure to scholastic philosophy as well as classical literature had provided students within Catholic Colleges and Universities with the metaphysical concepts and speculative habits that made possible a genuine dialogue between faith and reason among the various arts and sciences they encountered. With the loss of prestige of Catholic philosophy, and the reduction of theology requirements, students have increasingly found it difficult to experience the unity of knowledge that justifies an institution’s claim to be a university. Drawing upon the riches of classical and Catholic philosophy, theology, and culture, and benefitting from the broader curricular and pedagogical insights within the Great Books Movement, NTC’s Catholic Studies program aims to make manifest the compelling unity of faith and reason in our time.

Great Books

“Contact with writers of genius procures us the immediate advantage of lifting us to a higher plane…”
(A.G. Sertillanges, O.P., On The Intellectual Life)

The Great Books movement attempts to revive the curriculum and pedagogy of the classical liberal arts tradition in a contemporary setting. Great Books programs, as an organized movement of educational reform, arose in the 1920s in the United States, and later in Canada, as a response to the fragmentation and premature specialization then beginning to undermine the liberal arts curriculum. By returning students to acknowledged and foundational works of Western culture, masterpieces o f culture that stand in the company of Plato’s Republic, St. Thomas’ Summa Theologiae, Shakespeare’s King Lear, and J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor, NTC’s Bachelor in Catholic Studies likewise seeks to recover for our time the richness of this tradition of education.

Socratic Pedagogy

“The unexamined life is not worth living”
(Socrates)

The classical liberal arts tradition, whose roots lie in ancient Greece and Rome, has formed the basis of secondary and collegiate education in Europe since the Middle Ages. Among the pedagogical methods utilized for centuries by the great universities of Europe, notably at Oxford and Cambridge, is the dialectical reflection upon a set text or thesis. This method of asking questions to incite exploration, typically among a small group of scholars, and within the context of a shared search after truth, draws its original inspiration from the method of Socrates as exemplified in the Platonic dialogues, and figures prominently within NTC’s Bachelor of Arts in Catholic Studies.

General Outline

FIRST YEAR COURSES

Philosophy

(9 Credits)

PHIL 110G Historical Introduction to Philosophy I *
PHIL 111G Historical Introduction to Philosophy II *
PHIL 120 Logic and the Art of Reasoning

Foundational Theology

(18 Credits)

FND 110G Introduction to Catholic Studies I *
FND 111G Introduction to Catholic Studies II *
FND 120 Exploring the Catechism of the Catholic Church
FND 130G Way of Beauty: Sacred Fine Arts I *
FND 131G Way of Beauty: Sacred Fine Arts II *
FND 150 Writing and the Art of Rhetoric

Sacred Scriptures

(3 Credits)

SCR 100 Introduction to Sacred Scriptures and their Interpretation

SECOND & THIRD YEAR COURSES

Philosophy

(27 Credits)

PHIL 210G Ancient and Medieval Philosophy *
PHIL 220 Social & Political Thought
PHIL 240 Philosophy of Human Nature
PHIL 243 Metaphysics
PHIL 310G Modern and Contemporary Philosophy *
PHIL 330 Ethics
PHIL 350G Philosophy of Religion *
PHIL 360G St. Thomas Aquinas *
PHIL 400 Senior Research Thesis & Defence

Foundational Theology

(12 Credits)

FND 230 Christianity and World Religions
FND 240 Christianity and Literature
ANY 200 level FND Church History Elective
FND 310G Patristic Theology *

Languages

(6 Credits)

LNG 101 Fundamentals of Latin I
LNG 102 Fundamentals of Latin II

Sacred Scriptures

(3 Credits)

ANY 200 level SCR Elective

Moral Theology

(3 Credits)

MPS 222 Social Teaching of the Church

Liturgical Theology

(3 Credits)

ANY 200 level SYT Elective

Required Transfer Elective Courses

(9 Credits)

Science Course (3 Credits) -100/200 Level Taken in 3rd Year
Math Course (3 Credits) -100/200 Level Taken in 3rd Year
Social or Natural Science Course 200 Level (can be substituted with PHIL 340 Epistemology) (3 Credits)

Note: * Indicates courses coded as Great Books. These are denoted by the suffix “G” and are only open for registration to B.A. students.

Transfer Student Admission Requirements

Students may transfer in a maximum of 9 credits towards the B.A. degree from other recognized colleges and universities to meet the Science, Math, and Social or Natural Science elective requirements of the program. Credits, but not marks, are transferred. The transfer of credit is subject to the approval of the NTC Admissions and Evaluations Committee.

Course Descriptions

Foundational Theology

FND 110G Introduction to Catholic Studies I*

3 Credits
An historical introduction to Catholicism from its roots in Jewish and Greco-Roman antiquity to modern times. Catholicism’s key literary, religious, and institutional contributions to Western culture will be studied through the close reading and discussion of representative Great Books of the Catholic Tradition.


FND 111G Introduction to Catholic Studies II*

3 Credits
An historical introduction to Catholicism from its roots in Jewish and Greco-Roman antiquity to modern times. Catholicism’s key literary, religious, and institutional contributions to Western culture will be studied through the close reading and discussion of representative Great Books of the Catholic Tradition. Successful completion of FND 110G* is a prerequisite for FND 111G*.


FND 120 Exploring the Catechism of the Catholic Church

3 Credits
This course presents an introduction to Catholic belief and practice by means of a study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Students will thoroughly consider each of the Catechism’s four parts: on Faith, on Liturgy, on Life in Christ, and on Prayer. Select texts from Church fathers and doctors as well as other magisterial and conciliar documents may be drawn upon to illuminate the Catechism’s own systematic presentation.


FND 130G Way of Beauty: Sacred Fine Arts I*

3 Credits
An introduction to the theory and practice of sacred fine arts. Classroom seminars on aesthetics and art history will introduce students to the West’s rich tradition of architecture, painting and music alongside seminal reflections on beauty by such as Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, John Ruskin, Jacques Maritain, Josef Pieper, and Joseph Ratzinger. The practical element of this course will normally include participation in a sacred music choir as well as short workshops on Eastern Iconography and other sacred arts.


FND 131G Way of Beauty: Sacred Fine Arts II*

3 Credits
An introduction to the theory and practice of sacred fine arts. Classroom seminars on aesthetics and art history will introduce students to the West’s rich tradition of architecture, painting and music alongside seminal reflections on beauty by such as Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, John Ruskin, Jacques Maritain, Josef Pieper, and Joseph Ratzinger. The practical element of this course will normally include participation in a sacred music choir as well as short workshops on Eastern Iconography and other sacred arts. Successful completion of FND 130G* is a prerequisite for FND 131G*.


FND 150 Writing and the Art of Rhetoric

3 Credits
A study of the fundamentals of clear and eloquent expression. Practical exercises in English grammar and syntax will be enriched by the recitation and consideration of classical and modern examples of persuasive writing in such authors as Cicero, St. Paul, St. Augustine as well as Jane Austin, Abraham Lincoln, GK Chesterton, and Flannery O’Connor.


FND 230 Christianity and World Religions

3 Credits
Founders of religions and the meaning of religion. Christianity in relation to other religions. An introduction to Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese Religions, and Amerindian Religions. New religious movements. Interfaith dialogue, especially between Christians and Jews.


FND 240 Christianity and Literature

3 Credits
A study of some of the great works of Christian literature that have profoundly shaped thinking on human life, and particularly on philosophical and theological questions. This course looks at central themes such as sin, conversion, love, fidelity and friendship through analyzing the works of major Christian writers. Authors such as Hildegard von Bingen, Dante, Chaucer, Erasmus, Milton, Donne, Herbert, Austin, Hopkins, Chesterton, Sayers, Waugh, Eliot, Lewis, Tolkien, Goudge, Hill and others may be explored.


FND 310G Patristic Theology*

3 Credits

A historical and literary overview of Christian writers and theology from the first to the seventh century. Select fathers in the eastern and western Church, the development of Trinitarian and Christological doctrine, and the emergent western theological tradition will be considered.


Languages

LNG 101 Fundamentals of Latin I

3 Credits
Elements of grammar, basic vocabulary and practical exercises in classical and Christian Latin.


LNG 102 Fundamentals of Latin II

3 Credits
Elements of grammar, basic vocabulary and practical exercises in classical and Christian Latin. Successful completion of LNG 101 is a prerequisite for LNG 102.Elements of grammar, basic vocabulary and practical exercises in classical and Christian Latin. Successful completion of 495A is a prerequisite for 495B.


Sacred Scriptures

SCR 253 The Pentateuch and Historical Books

(Prerequisite: SCR 100)

3 Credits
This course considers the Canonical corpus of the Old Testament traditionally referred to as the Pentateuch (the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) and their cognate literature known as the Historical Books (Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah). The literature is investigated as a distinct body and in relation to the Canon of Scripture, with particular emphasis given to historical, literary (including text critical), exegetical and theological questions. The relationship between the Israelites and God—as portrayed by the biblical authors of the Pentateuch and Historical Books —is explored through the theme of covenantal love.

The seminar component of this course will invite students to engage, at a level pertinent to their program of study, with contemporary issues raised by the literature at hand.


Philosophy

PHIL 110G Historical Introduction to Philosophy I *

3 Credits
An historical introduction to philosophy from the pre-Socratics to modern times. Topics such as the nature of God, of knowledge, of human nature, of society, of friendship, and of beauty will be studied through the close reading and discussion of representative Great Books of the Western philosophical tradition.


PHIL 111G Historical Introduction to Philosophy II *

3 Credits
An historical introduction to philosophy from the pre-Socratics to modern times. Topics such as the nature of God, of knowledge, of human nature, of society, of friendship, and of beauty will be studied through the close reading and discussion of representative Great Books of the Western philosophical tradition. Successful completion of PHIL 110G* is a prerequisite for PHIL 111G*.


PHIL 120 Logic and the Art of Reasoning

3 Credits
The study of logic enables the intellect to engage in the orderly pursuit of truth. In this class, students will hone their ability to use language with precision by mastering the rules of definition, by identifying the relationship between kinds of propositions, and by becoming familiar with valid and invalid syllogistic forms. Besides studying substantial portions of Plato’s Meno, Aristotle’s Categories and Porphyry’s Isagogy, students will learn how to name and avoid the most common logical fallacies.

PHIL 210G Ancient and Medieval Philosophy *

3 Credits
(Students who take this course may not receive credit for PHIL 245 and PHIL 246)
A study of the major early Greek and Medieval philosophers that have been influential in theology. Special attention will be given to Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Anselm and Aquinas.


PHIL 220 Social & Political Thought

3 Credits
A study of the fundamental principles of political philosophy as a basis for Catholic social teaching. The course will address such questions as: Are social and political modes of organization – family, household, city, and nation – natural or merely conventional? What are the appropriate limits of human freedom? Do human beings have rights that everyone should respect? Is there a difference between moral and legal obligations? Can it ever be morally acceptable to disobey the state? These questions will be explored through a study of texts by historical and recent authors such as Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Hobbes, de Tocqueville, Rawls, MacIntyre and Finnis, but will focus upon topics of perennial concern.


PHIL 240 Philosophy of Human Nature

3 Credits
A philosophical inquiry into human nature and personhood in relation to nature and being in general. The historical development of the concept of person in philosophy and anthropology from past to present, especially in view of theological understandings.

PHIL 241 Philosophy of Nature

3 Credits
Philosophical inquiry into various aspects of nature and the universe, including issues arising from changing views of science and cosmology. The theological importance of various views of nature and God in historical and contemporary times.


PHIL 243 Metaphysics

3 Credits
A philosophical study of being in its various dimensions. Issues such as substance and attributes, transcendental, being and essence, analogy, and universals will be addressed in light of classical and contemporary approaches. Special attention will be given to the functions of metaphysics within theology.


PHIL 310G Modern and Contemporary Philosophy *

3 Credits
(Students who take this course may not receive credit for PHIL 247 and PHIL 348.) A study of the major Modern and Contemporary philosophers that have been influential in theology. The course will treat some major representatives of some of the following schools of thought: rationalism, empiricism, idealism, existentialism, hermeneutics, phenomenology, personalism, process thought, and analytic philosophy.


PHIL 330 Ethics

3 Credits
Introduction to traditional and contemporary problems and methods of philosophical ethics or moral philosophy. The impact of ethics on theological and religious teachings and concerns and vice versa.


PHIL 350G Philosophy of Religion

3 Credits
Across the centuries human beings have longed for something beyond the natural order of goods. This course considers such questions as: Can God’s existence be proved? What is the relationship between experience and revelation in religion? Is there a way to harmonize the claims of faith and reason? Seminal works by authors such as Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Lucretius, Justin Martyr, St. Augustine, St. Thomas, Hume, Nietzsche, Weber, Newman, MacIntyre and St John Paul II may be studied.


PHIL 360G St. Thomas Aquinas *

3 Credits
A study of major themes in Aquinas’ philosophy and theology through a study of selections from the Summa Theologiae. Topics such as the nature of sacred Doctrine, the Trinity, nature and grace, Divine Law, the virtues, sacramental theology, Christology and eschatology will be addressed.


PHIL 400 Senior Research Thesis & Defence

3 Credits
During the last year of study, each student researches, writes, and presents a written thesis, the results of which they will defend orally before a panel of faculty members. Under the direction of a thesis director, students will explore critically a topic that arises from their program in Catholic Studies. The purpose of this cumulative exercise is to provide each student with an opportunity to develop and manifest what John Henry Newman called “an integrated habit of mind”.


Moral Theology

MPS 222 The Social Teaching of the Church

3 Credits
The roots of social justice in the tradition. Major themes in the social teaching documents of the Church. Social teaching in the Canadian/North American church. Social justice, ministry and evangelization. Liberation theology. Social analysis as a tool for Christian ministry.