Tuesday, November 14, 2017
A bracing, sobering read, here, about the state of Catholic higher education and some of the forces that are shaping it. I share many of the author's concerns about many of the particulars mentioned, though I think it sweeps a bit too broadly in places and also neglects the good things that are happening -- and, in many respects, the Catholic-identity improvements that have happened in recent years -- at my own University of Notre Dame. The author writes:
Still, despite all the evidence that most Catholic colleges and universities have lost their way, cause for hope exists in the flourishing of Catholic colleges—Christendom, Franciscan, Ave Maria, the University of Dallas, Wyoming Catholic, John Paul the Great, St. Thomas More College in New Hampshire, California’s Thomas Aquinas, and others—that remain committed to a Catholic identity.
I share this admiration for much of what's happening at these newer, smaller, intentional Catholic colleges. At the same time, "cause for hope exists in the flourishing" of, e.g., the McGrath Institute for Church Life, ND Vision, Echo, the Alliance for Catholic Education, the Program on Church, State & Society, the Center for Ethics & Culture, the Tocqueville Program, etc. As I've said before, if one cares about Catholic higher education (and, in my view, we all should), then one should care about, and pray for, Notre Dame (and not just the Fighting Irish!).