The mission of The Catholic University of America is to render service in the United States as an intellectual center of the highest quality where every dimension of truth, natural and revealed, can be examined with competent expertise. As a central part of this mission, the School of Theology and Religious Studies sets itself two goals: to promote excellence in teaching, research, and publication in the area of theology and religious studies; and to provide the professional training of lay and clerical leaders who will serve the Roman Catholic community in the United States and throughout the world.
In pursuit of these goals, the school places emphasis on an interdisciplinary approach and collaboration with other schools of the university, on the ecumenical and interreligious dimensions of all theological studies, on the exploration of relations between religion and culture, and on the promotion of informed efforts to work for justice and peace both within the Church and in the world in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
History of the School
From its foundation The Catholic University of America has given academic priority to theology and religious studies and related disciplines. Initially, the academic programs in these areas were offered in the School of Sacred Sciences (1889). In time there emerged the School of Canon Law (1923), followed by a Seminary Program (1931) and, within the School of Arts and Sciences, the Program of Religion (1932). The original School of Sacred Sciences was later divided into a School of Sacred Theology and a School of Philosophy (1937). In 1970 a Liturgical Studies Program was instituted.
After an extensive review of programs and structures, the Board of Trustees approved a recommendation by the Academic Senate to establish a new School of Religious Studies in September 1973. The School was composed of five departments: Biblical Studies, Canon Law, Church History, Religion and Religious Education, and Theology. In 2002, the Board of Trustees, after the recommendation of the Academic Senate, voted that Canon Law be reestablished as a School of Canon Law and that the remaining academic units of the School become programs in a School of Theology and Religious Studies. By thus coordinating existing units, The Catholic University of America established a School of Theology and Religious Studies as a national center of academic research, instruction, and service.
While our faculty have long taught undergraduate students, in 2014 we began matriculating undergraduate theology & religious studies majors directly into our School. We are now the only school in the nation where undergraduate students can receive a degree in theology from a Pontifical faculty. Students also have a set of general education requirements more deliberately tailored to support their major than was possible in the past.
The School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. The following degree programs are approved:
M.Div., M.A., D.Min., Ph.D. MCAT
Commission Contact Information
The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275
Supported by gifts donated by or honoring the following benefactors: Shakespeare Caldwell (May 1885), Francis A. Drexel (July 1888), and George L. Duval.
The Andrews-Kelly-Ryan Professor of Biblical Studies
Supported by gifts donated by or honoring the following benefactors: Dr. Thomas F. Andrews (March 1901), Margaret Hughes Kelly (November 1889), and by James J. and Hannah Cusack Ryan (November 1911).
The Warren-Blanding Professor of Religion and Culture
Established by the Riley J. and Lillian N. Warren and Beatrice W. Blanding Foundation in January 1973.
The Catholic Daughters of the Americas Professor in American Church History
The professorship and endowment was established by the Catholic Daughters of the Americas in August 1975.
The John C. and Gertrude P. Hubbard Professor of Religious Studies
This professorship was established in October 1989 by Gertrude P. Hubbard in memory of her husband, Dr. John C. Hubbard, a former professor at this university, from "The Dr. John Charles Hubbard and Gertrude Pardieck Hubbard Endowment."
The Carl J. Peter Professor of Systematic Theology and Ecumenism
Established in 1995 to honor the memory of the Rev. Carl J. Peter, former Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies (1977-1985). The holder of the chair lectures in those areas of theology to which Father Peter devoted his life of research, service, and teaching.
The Msgr. Walter J. Schmitz, S.S., Professor of Liturgical Studies
In 1995 the Very Rev. Walter J. Schmitz, S.S., Chair of Liturgical Studies was established through a bequest from the estate of Father Schmitz, a former Dean of the School of Sacred Theology.
The Katharine Drexel Chair in Religious Studies
Established in 1997 to honor the memory of a woman who devoted her efforts to the work of evangelization and charity within the nation's native and African-American populations.