Hiring for Mission at Catholic Colleges and Universities: A Survey of Current Trends and Practices
On the level of higher education, many of you have pointed to a growing recognition on the part of Catholic colleges and universities of the need to reaffirm their distinctive identity in fidelity to their founding ideals and the Church’s mission in service to the Gospel. Yet much remains to be done…
Pope Benedict XVI, Ad limina Address to American Bishops, May 5, 2012
Catholic higher education is heir to the greatest intellectual, moral, and cultural patrimony in human history. It has a deeply satisfying answer to who and why man is. It’s beautiful because it’s true. It has nothing to be embarrassed about and every reason to be on fire with confidence and apostolic zeal. We only defeat ourselves—and we certainly don’t serve God—if we allow ourselves ever to think otherwise.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, A Heart on Fire: Catholic Witness and the Next America
In the post-Vatican II period, Catholic colleges and universities in the United States have experienced a marked decrease in the numbers of their Catholic faculty. As we read in The Catholic University of America’s ten-year review of its application of the norms first promulgated by the Apostolic Constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae and affirmed by the U.S. Bishops in 19991, the twenty-year period from 1975 to 1995, especially, was a time when the identity of Catholic colleges and universities was undergoing much self-criticism and redefinition. Coupled with the decreased availability of religious and clerical personnel, owing to the vocations crisis, and an increased dependence upon lay faculty, the net result for Catholic University, concludes the University’s report, “was a decrease in hires of committed Roman Catholics as well as a decreased emphasis on formally tracking the religious preference of new faculty hires.” This result was characteristic of most Catholic colleges and universities in this period.2
The promulgation of Ex corde Ecclesiae in 1990 aimed to address this crisis of identity occurring in Catholic institutions of higher learning, and in the twenty-two years since its promulgation much progress has been made toward calling these institutions back to their “privileged task,” as Ex corde puts it, of uniting “existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth” (Introduction, no. 1). However, the decline in numbers of Catholic faculty has, by and large, continued unabated. While certain institutions have demonstrated admirable pro-activity in responding to Ex corde’s norm that Catholic colleges and universities maintain a majority of Catholic faculty, others are struggling to maintain that majority as older and predominantly Catholic faculty retire. The issue, of course, is not simply about numbers; it is about sustaining the very character of Catholic institutions of higher learning. As Richard D. Breslin, professor of leadership and higher education at Saint Louis University, writes: “One can stipulate that if hiring practices are not addressed in the Catholic higher education community, some of these institutions will continue to be called Catholic and to call themselves Catholic, but they will have lost their real identity; they will have lost their souls. They will have done so precisely because their hiring practices failed to support and sustain the mission and philosophy of the university as Catholic.”3
The aim of this report is to survey current efforts by Catholic colleges and universities to avert this danger by means of their hiring practices. The institutions surveyed include twenty-five institutions included in the third edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College (October 2012), as well as selected institutions not in the Guide, including, by way of comparison, some non-Catholic ones. In particular, the report will focus on how Catholic colleges and institutions are going about “hiring for mission,” that is, how they are endeavoring to recruit and hire committed Catholic faculty, faculty who unite in their persons the search for truth within their respective disciplines, and the certainty by faith of already knowing the fount of truth. As a result of this survey, a better understanding will be achieved of the current trends and practices at Catholic colleges and universities when it comes to hiring for Catholic mission. This will help facilitate the later discernment of strengths and weaknesses, and the eventual advocacy of particular policies aimed at encouraging Catholic institutions to realize ever more faithfully their mission “in the heart of the Church.”4
The report will consist of two main parts. After a brief note on sources, the first part of the report will sketch some of the most noteworthy aims and challenges that must be acknowledged by Catholic institutions in forming any robust hiring for mission policy. The second part of the report will then present a variety of specific hiring-for-mission policies, ordered according to the stages of a typical academic hiring process.
A Note on Sources
Much of the research for this report was conducted online, first by surveying the web materials of Newman Guide institutions, as well as additional Catholic and non-Catholic institutions:
Newman Guide Colleges
- Aquinas College (Tenn.)
- Ave Maria University
- Belmont Abbey College
- Benedictine College
- Catholic Distance University
- Catholic University of America
- Christendom College
- College of St. Mary Magdalen
- The College of Saint John Fisher & Thomas More
- DeSales University
- Franciscan University of Steubenville
- Holy Apostles College and Seminary
- Holy Spirit College
- John Paul the Great Catholic University
- Mount St. Mary’s University
- Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy
- Redeemer Pacific College
- Saint Gregory’s University
- Thomas Aquinas College
- Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
- University of Dallas
- University of Mary
- University of St. Thomas (Tex.)
- Walsh University
- Wyoming Catholic College
Other Catholic Colleges
- Canisius College
- Creighton University
- John Carroll University
- LeMoyne College
- Loyola Marymount University
- University of Notre Dame
- University of St. Thomas (Minn.)
- Baylor University
- Bob Jones University
- Brigham Young University
- Colorado Christian University
- Wheaton College
Personal interviews (all but two of which by telephone) were conducted with the following key administrators and faculty:
- Terry Ball, Dean of the College of Religious Education, Brigham Young University
- Christopher Blum, Professor of Humanities and Academic Dean, Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
- Anne Carson Daly, Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Belmont Abbey College
- Michael Dauphinais, Dean of Faculty, Ave Maria University
- Rick Garris, Director of Human Relations, Colorado Christian University
- Joshua Hochschild, Dean of the College of Humanities, Mount St. Mary’s University
- Christopher Kaczor, Professor of Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University
- Rev. Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C., Professor of History and former chair of the department, University of Notre Dame
- Lawrence R. Poos, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, The Catholic University of America
- Kimberly Shankman, Dean, Benedictine College
- Steve Snyder, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Christendom College
In an email exchange Dr. Don Briel, Director of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, furnished his forthcoming essay “Mission and Identity: The Role of Faculty,” discussed below.
At the end of this report is a linked appendix listing the institutions surveyed in the report.
Hiring for Catholic Mission: Aims & Challenges
The very concept of “hiring for mission” entails a clear understanding on the part of an institution of just what its mission is. In the next section of this report we’ll take a look at some specific examples of strong mission statements at Catholic colleges and universities. First, however, it would be useful to establish a more global view of the mission of such institutions, and further, the general sorts of hiring policies and practices entailed by it. In other words, we need to ask: what, generally speaking, is the institutional identity of a Catholic institution of higher learning, and what are the requirements this identity imposes upon the practice of hiring members to its faculty?
The best place to begin articulating an answer to this twofold question is Ex corde Ecclesiae, which outlines four “essential characteristics” of what makes a Catholic college or university truly Catholic:
- a Christian inspiration not only of individuals but of the university community as such;
- a continuing reflection in the light of the Catholic faith upon the growing treasury of human knowledge, to which it seeks to contribute by its own research;
- fidelity to the Christian message as it comes to us through the Church;
- an institutional commitment to the service of the people of God and of the human family in their pilgrimage to the transcendent goal which gives meaning to life (no. 13).
A paraphrase of these essential characteristics might read as follows:
A truly Catholic institution of higher learning is a Christian community dedicated, according to the principles and rightful autonomy of the various intellectual disciplines, to the pursuit and transmission of truth, under the inspiration and direction of the teaching authority of the Church, and in service to the Church and to the wider human family.
These four essential characteristics of a genuinely Catholic college or university can be further expounded, in particular the commitment to truth and its relationship to the institution’s evangelical mission. In an important paper addressing this very relationship, Dr. Don Briel, director of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, has identified three “concerns” that characterize the pursuit of truth at a Catholic college or university:
- a concern for the exploration of and active commitment to the ultimate complementarity of faith and reason;
- a sustained examination of the nature of the unity of knowledge in addition to discrete disciplinary research; and
- a concern for the exploration of the distinctive character and present implications of the Catholic intellectual tradition.5
Briel here directs our attention to a Catholic institution’s mission to manifest the harmony between faith and reason; the ultimate integrity of the various ways in which truth is pursued; and the need for these various pursuits of truth to take place within the ongoing series of debates and inquiries that constitute the Catholic intellectual tradition.
In order to fulfill its mission, it is evident that a Catholic institution must seek to embody the most famous norm promulgated by Ex corde Ecclesiae: that “the number of non-Catholic teachers should not be allowed to constitute a majority within the Institution, which is and must remain Catholic” (Article 4, no. 4). A Catholic institution of higher learning is, according to Ex corde, a Christian community faithful to the Christian message as it comes to us through the Church. It is a community that seeks to harmonize its pursuit of truth with what is actually accepted by faith, to aim for an integration of its various pursuits so that the unity of truth is put on display, and thus to develop the living tradition of which its efforts form a part. By definition, then, a Catholic college or university requires a largely Catholic faculty. A predominantly Catholic presence on the faculty—a presence that is vigorous and not merely nominal—is essential to the achievement of a Catholic institution’s mission. In this regard Briel cites some trenchant remarks of Rev. James T. Burtchaell:
Every quality that a college or university desires as an institutional characteristic must be embodied in its faculty; they are what most make it what it is. To seek academic excellence would be in vain, for instance, unless at every evaluation of faculty and in every personnel decision this excellence were a quality openly sought after. If an institution professes to be Catholic, not just nominally but in ways that are intellectually inquisitive and morally committed, then it is similarly imperative that faculty and administrators unabashedly pursue and articulate those interests and those commitments in the recruitment and the advancement of colleagues. Neither intellectual excellence nor religious commitment nor any other positive value will exist within an institution unless each of those qualities is candidly recruited and evaluated and preferred in the appointments of its faculty. The result of such a positive process must be a faculty among whom seriously committed and intellectually accomplished Catholics predominate.6
In light of such considerations, many Catholic colleges and universities in the United States, most notably those recommended in The Newman Guide, have in recent decades given their hiring practices a fresh impetus. They have not only striven to establish faculties predominantly comprised, in Burtchaell’s words, of “seriously committed and intellectually accomplished Catholics,” but they have also worked hard at creating cultures within their institutions that attract and support this kind of scholar. Some institutions, like Thomas Aquinas College, Christendom College, and Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, were responding to the hiring crisis in Catholic higher education long before the promulgation of Ex corde. Others, like Belmont Abbey and the University of Notre Dame, have in recent years adopted new strategies in response to Ex corde. Still others, like Wyoming Catholic College and John Paul the Great Catholic University, have been created within the last decade as direct responses to Pope John Paul II’s call for a New Evangelization of culture.
Even this partial list of Catholic institutions indicates the great variety in kinds of Catholic college and university, a variety of mission that, according to Dr. Christopher Blum, academic dean at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, impacts the way in which hiring for mission is conducted at different institutions. For example, at Thomas More College, an institution with fewer than one hundred students offering a single bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts, hiring for mission takes on a different shape than it does, say, at Belmont Abbey College, a much larger institution offering a variety of degree programs both inside and outside the liberal arts. At Thomas More, reports Dean Blum, all new hires must be prepared to teach in an interdisciplinary setting in tutorial formats with fewer than twenty students, an expectation that simply is not part of Belmont Abbey’s hiring process, which more conventionally hires to academic specialty. Because of its specific curricular approach, Thomas More—as well as similarly-structured institutions such as Thomas Aquinas College and Wyoming Catholic College—probably relies more than most institutions on an informal network of contacts when it comes to attracting candidates for open positions.
Different curricular approaches—indeed, the very differences between colleges and universities—distinguish the various approaches to Catholic higher education in the United States. For the purposes of this report we will assume that these structural differences in themselves do not negatively impact the pursuit of Catholic mission and the development of robust hiring-for-mission policies.7 A small college and a national research university can each in its own way be exemplary in all that it means to be a truly Catholic institution of higher learning. But other factors do present challenges to the mission of Catholic higher education, and thus to the hiring practices of Catholic institutions. These are challenges that arise from the lived situation of these Catholic colleges and universities: from their histories, their confrontations with and attitudes toward our increasingly secularized culture, even their geographical locations. What challenges are these?
A first and very obvious challenge is a legal one: to what degree, if any, can institutions inquire into the religious affiliation, or lack of it, of prospective candidates? It is a complex question, one outside the scope of this report. But it should be noted, at least, that, according to the Office of General Counsel at The Catholic University of America, “a common point of confusion is the idea that because equal opportunity law prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, an employer may not exhibit a preference for someone of a certain religion. Many people do not realize that an exception exists for religious employers, including religious educational institutions. Both the United States Constitution and statutory law support this First Amendment right for religious educational institutions to hire members of their own religion on a preferential basis.”8
A second challenge is demographic. In their book, Catholic Higher Education9, Morey and Piderit characterize Catholic colleges demographically according to four models:
The Immersion Model: in which a vast majority of students are Catholic, the vast majority of faculty and administrators are Catholic, there is a broad array of Catholic courses in the academic sector, and a very strong nonacademic Catholic culture.
The Persuasion Model: in which the majority of students are Catholic, a significant number of faculty and administrators are Catholic, there is a small array of Catholic courses in the academic sector, and a strong nonacademic Catholic culture.
The Diaspora Model: in which a minority of students is Catholic, few faculty and administrators are Catholic, there is a minimal number of Catholic courses in academic sector, and a consistent Catholic culture in nonacademic areas.
The Cohort Two-Pronged Model: in which there exists a small cohort of well-trained and committed Catholic students and faculty, and a much larger group of students educated to be sensitive to religious issues with a view to influencing policy.
At first blush, the mission of Catholic institutions would seem to call all Catholic institutions to be classified demographically as (more or less) “immersion” schools. A school with “a small array of Catholic courses in the academic sector,” as in the “persuasion” model, would not appear to satisfy the three criteria of the Catholic pursuit of knowledge identified by Briel10; and the “disapora” and “cohort” models, with their low percentages of Catholic faculty, fall outside the norms of Ex corde. In any event, for any kind of school other than the “immersion” school to increase the numbers of its Catholic faculty it may well court resistance, especially perhaps from those non-Catholic, non-Christian, and non-theist members of the faculty, who may take the new impetus to be a negative comment on their own hires and on the accustomed diversity of the faculty. Peter Steinfels gives voice to this resistance when he writes:
Most major Catholic universities have had religiously diverse faculties for decades now, and many, especially urban universities, have similarly diverse student bodies. Any significant initiative to hire Catholics will prove offensive to non-Catholic members of the community and their Catholic colleagues. It will require a religious test alien to the academic culture of universities and injurious to the religious presence in scholarly life that Catholic universities should represent. It will stir from the get-go a degree of resistance that will be overcome by nothing short of top-down fiat disruptive of the university community.11
While there are things to dispute in this assessment, it at least clarifies the opposition that may well be faced as non-immersive institutions pursue more robust hiring-for-mission policies. Steinfels rightly notes that anxiety about new hiring initiatives will probably be felt especially at urban universities, where a greater demographic diversity is usually to be found, both on the faculty and among the students, than at institutions in less populated areas. Whether a school exists in the South and traditionally employs a large segment of non-Catholic faculty may also present a challenge to new hiring initiatives focused on Catholic mission.
A third challenge arises from what might be termed the concern for excellence. A common objection that arises when hiring-for-mission policies are debated is that such policies, in preferring the hiring of Catholics, jeopardize the institution’s pursuit of academic excellence—which presumably should be sought in whatever scholars may be found, no matter their religious identification or lack of it. John McGreevy, dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Notre Dame, adds the point that even when institutions aim to hire Catholics, they are confronted with a dramatic shortage of Catholic scholars.12 He cites a 2006 study claiming that, when it comes to tenure-track scholars in the arts and sciences and business at the fifty top-ranked research universities, only six percent self-identify as Catholics (McGreevy admits that the percentage is slightly higher at lesser-ranked universities). In response, McGreevy’s colleague in Notre Dame’s history department, the Rev. Wilson Miscamble, C.S.C., argues:
That (6%) figure may seem low relatively—and, incidentally, might prompt a curious person to wonder why Catholics (and religious believers in general) are so under-represented at the supposed top schools—but it actually represents a substantial raw number of faculty who are possible recruits to Notre Dame. Moreover, [McGreevy] substantially limits the recruiting pool by referencing only these major research schools. First-rate Catholic scholars also ply their trade at fine liberal arts colleges and at so-called second-tier research institutions, a group which includes Notre Dame itself. Furthermore, the community of Catholic intellectuals is hardly limited to the United States. Notre Dame has a valued tradition extending back for decades of recruiting non-American Catholic scholars like Waldemar Gurian and Stephen Kertesz which surely must be continued. (Of course, it still continues the practice of recruiting overseas but one wonders how effectively when the avowed atheist Jill Mann gained an appointment and the renowned Catholic scholar Eamon Duffy did not.) In short, the recruitment pool is significantly larger than [McGreevy] implies.13
Here, Miscamble challenges McGreevy on the fact that the six percent figure represents an actual low number of possible candidates for faculty positions at Notre Dame, while also reminding him that Notre Dame has an established tradition of hiring excellent scholars from abroad. But Miscamble also raises the deeper question of just what excellence means, both in itself and in relation to a particular institution and its academic needs. McGreevy limits the pool of acceptable Catholic scholars to those working at one of the top fifty research universities, assuming without question the criteria of that ranking as well as giving short shrift to scholars at so-called “lesser-ranked” institutions. The takeaway point is the following: when it comes to Catholic hiring, institutions have to decide what counts for them as excellent. In doing so, they must first apply the criteria set forth in Ex corde, as well as discern what sort of scholar is the best fit for their kind of curriculum. A versatile scholar with an interdisciplinary bent and a fondness for Socratic discussion will fit far better at a liberal arts school, for example, than a scholar with a highly specialized expertise.
The issue of specialization brings up a fourth challenge to Catholic hiring. Among the gravest threats to Catholic intellectual life today is the extreme amount of specialization within disciplines, and the compartmentalization that exists between disciplines. Apropos of this threat Alasdair MacIntyre observes:
The conception of the university presupposed by and embodied in the forms and activities of contemporary research universities is not just one that has nothing much to do with any particular conception of the universe, but one that suggests strongly that there is no such thing as the universe, no whole of which the subject matters studied by the various disciplines are all parts or aspects, but instead just a multifarious set of assorted subject matters.14
According to MacIntyre, the institutional form of the contemporary research university threatens the integration of human knowledge, a disintegration that in turn threatens the harmony between faith and reason that, as we have seen, is an essential aim of the Catholic intellectual quest. MacIntyre’s criticism of research universities aside, we can still admit that every institution of higher learning today has to do deal with the threat of specialization and compartmentalization. Hiring practices that seek to counteract this phenomenon must either wholly resist hiring for academic specialty or resist an ideal of academic specialization that favors the narrow intellectual furrow to the exclusion of an integrated view.
Small liberal arts-based institutions will have an easier time combating this threat of specialization and compartmentalization, but even they may well have to take up arms against it. Interestingly, Dr. Steven Snyder, vice-president for academic affairs at Christendom College, believes that when it comes to hiring for mission, the aim of acquiring a predominance of committed Catholic scholars is not enough. It is also important that the faculty share a “habit of communication in regard to common philosophical principles.” Even at a small, ideologically-driven college, remarks Snyder, intellectual divisions can arise, especially between scientists, on the one hand, and philosophers and theologians, on the other, due to their differing educational formations. A member of a biology faculty, for example, may be an exemplary Catholic, but have no sense of, perhaps even reject, the understanding of faith and reason that animates philosophy and theology. Specialization and compartmentalization are a constant, twin-headed threat to the Catholic intellectual life.
A fifth challenge to a renewal of Catholic hiring practices concerns the hiring of non-Catholic faculty. There is no question that non-Catholics can be welcome and productive members of a Catholic institution of higher learning. But there is a danger in assuming that non-Catholic scholars, in particular those whose work in some way impacts the Catholic intellectual tradition, are perfect substitutes for Catholic scholars. In his debate with Fr. Miscamble about Catholic hiring at Notre Dame, John McGreevy argues that “Miscamble’s preoccupation with the numbers also comes at the expense of ideas. Surely one responsibility of the faculty at a Catholic university is to cultivate possible areas of expertise that resonate with the long, rich heritage of Catholic Christianity.” But then McGreevy immediately adds: “This is not a confessional task. An appealing dimension of intellectual life at Notre Dame is that scholars from all backgrounds introduce our students to a range of subjects and areas not studied in such depth at other universities” (emphasis added). For McGreevy, then, as long as there are scholars on the faculty who are experts in fields that in some way “resonate with the long, rich heritage of Catholic Christianity,” then the Catholic research university has discharged its mission. But to call the assemblage of a faculty at a Catholic institution not a confessional task is surely too strong. Granted, a Catholic institution is entitled to make strategic hires of non-Catholics. But to accept a non-Catholic scholar working on a subject related to the Catholic tradition as a perfect substitute for a Catholic scholar, is to deny the supreme importance of the Catholic college or university being a community predominantly of Catholics pursuing their scholarly endeavors within the wider evangelical mission of their shared faith
A sixth and final challenge has to do with how to identify qualified Catholic candidates. Everyone agrees that when it comes to hiring Catholics, mere numbers are not enough. What an institution needs are Burtchaell’s “seriously committed and intellectually accomplished Catholics.” But how does an institution discern the religious commitment of job candidates? By having them check a box? By asking them directly? And how does it ascertain the Catholic commitment of faculty members as their careers proceed
As we turn now in the second part of the report to specific hiring-for-mission policies, it will not be the intention to show how each policy captures the essence of Catholic higher education according to the norms of Ex corde, or how each policy addresses one or more of the challenges just outlined—though much of this will be evident in the policies themselves. It will be enough if this first part of the report clearly frames some of the more important issues for those who will sift through these policies and evaluate those which will contribute to a set of best practices when it comes to hiring for mission.
Further Relevant Literature
1999 promulgation by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: The Application of Ex corde Ecclesiae for the United States:
Highly recommended is Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C., “Meeting the Challenge and Fulfilling the Promise: Mission and Method in Constructing a Great Catholic University,” in the Hesburgh volume cited in note 1.
This is an interesting article by Rev. Robert Niehoff, S.J., president of John Carroll University, on the importance of hiring for mission, the need to balance the “ideal” and the “possible” when it comes to mission hiring, and how the issue of mission by itself can never trump the need for excellent academic qualifications:
This article by Rev. James Heft, S.M., Alton Brooks Professor of Religion and president of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California, has a nice section on hiring for mission, exposing the false dichotomy between hiring for diversity and hiring for mission:
Mission Statements, Vision Statements, and Other Kinds of Statements and
Policies Regarding Institutional Mission
Let us now turn to real initiatives being taken by Catholic colleges and universities that are successfully hiring for mission. As stated earlier, a strong hiring for mission policy presupposes a clear statement of mission as the cornerstone of its structure.
Many institutions studied in preparation for this report have strong, even exemplary, missions statements. Here are some examples of the best:
Franciscan University of Steubenville Mission Statement:
The complete version of Franciscan’s mission statement is exemplary for its faithfulness to the Magisterium, its commitment to the Catholic liberal arts tradition, and its understanding of how a Catholic university should be a source of evangelical witness. Perhaps too long to quote in full, the last item in the Statement of Convictions that concludes the statement should at least be noted: “Therefore, the administration, faculty, and staff, in fostering an intellectual and faith community, are obligated to serve, lead, and guide the institution in a manner consistent with its overall mission.15
Ave Maria University Mission Statement:
Founded in fidelity to Christ and His Church in response to the call of Vatican II for greater lay witness in contemporary society, Ave Maria University exists to further teaching, research, and learning at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the abiding tradition of Catholic thought in both national and international settings. The University takes as its mission the sponsorship of a liberal arts education curriculum dedicated, as articulated in the apostolic constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae, to the advancement of human culture, the promotion of dialogue between faith and reason, the formation of men and women in the intellectual and moral virtues of the Catholic faith, and to the development of professional and pre-professional programs in response to local and societal needs. As an institution committed to Catholic principles, the University recognizes the importance of creating and maintaining an environment in which faith informs the life of the community and takes expression in all its programs. The University recognizes the central and indispensable role of the Ordinary of the Diocese of Venice in promoting and assisting in the preservation and strengthening of the University’s Catholic identity.
Christendom College Mission Statement:
Christendom College is a Catholic coeducational college institutionally committed to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.
The College provides a Catholic liberal arts curriculum grounded in natural and revealed truth, the purpose of which at both the undergraduate and graduate levels is to form the whole person for a life spent in the pursuit of truth and wisdom. Intrinsic to such an education is the formation of moral character and the fostering of the spiritual life. This education prepares students for their role as faithful, informed, and articulate members of Christ’s Church and society.
The particular mission of Christendom College, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, is “to restore all things in Christ,” by forming men and women to contribute to the Christian renovation of the temporal order. This mission gives Christendom its name.
Benedictine College Mission Statement:
Benedictine College is an academic community sponsored by the monks of St. Benedict’s Abbey and the sisters of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery. Heir to the 1,500 years of Benedictine dedication to learning, Benedictine College in its own time is ordered to the goal of wisdom lived out in responsible awareness of oneself, God and nature, family and society. Its mission as a Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts, residential college is the education of men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.
As a Catholic college, Benedictine College is committed to those beliefs and natural principles that form the framework of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and it is committed further to those specific matters of faith of the Roman Catholic tradition, as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ and handed down in the teachings of the Church. The college embraces students and faculty from all faiths who accept its goals, seeking in its members a personal commitment to the ideals and principles of a spiritual life and the expression of these in worship and action. Benedictine College promotes the growing involvement of religious and laity in the Church’s ministries.
As a college founded on the Benedictine tradition, Benedictine College inherits the themes handed on to us by the Benedictine family: peace, the balance of activity and contemplation, and the glorification of God in all undertakings. With the ideal of a common life vitalized by the spirit of St. Benedict, the members of the Benedictine College community can share work and prayer in common, faithful participation in the life of the community, attentive openness to the Word of God, deep concern for issues of justice and peace, and the pursuit of moderation, hospitality and care for the gifts of creation.
As a liberal arts college, Benedictine College is dedicated to provide a liberal arts education by means of academic programs based on a core of studies in the arts and sciences. Through these programs, the college guides students to refine their capacity for the pursuit and acquisition of truth, to appreciate the major achievements in thought and culture, and to understand the principles that sound theoretical and practical judgment require. In addition, the college provides education for careers through both professional courses of study and major programs in the liberal arts and sciences. As an essential element in its educational mission, Benedictine College fosters scholarship, independent research and performance in its students and faculty as a means of participating in and contributing to the broader world of learning.
As a residential college, Benedictine College supports and encourages the full development of its students through a community life that expresses and proclaims the worth and dignity of each individual. In a caring and supportive atmosphere, students are helped to develop a sense of meaningful purpose in life and encouraged to participate in programs which promote sound bodies, emotional balance and dedication to the welfare of others.
These and other strong mission statements share certain characteristics; they express:
- fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium;
- commitment to the pursuit of truth within the Catholic intellectual tradition, in particular the liberal arts tradition;
- a desire to develop the whole person: intellectually, morally, spiritually;
- a spirit of service to the wider culture understood as real Christian renewal; and
- where relevant, a desire to promote the particular spiritual tradition of the institution’s founding (for example, the Benedictine tradition at Benedictine College and at Belmont Abbey College).
By way of comparison, it is useful to consider the most relevant portions of the mission statement of Brigham Young University:
The mission of Brigham Young University—founded, supported, and guided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—is to assist individuals in their quest for perfection and eternal life. That assistance should provide a period of intensive learning in a stimulating setting where a commitment to excellence is expected and the full realization of human potential is pursued.
All instruction, programs, and services at BYU, including a wide variety of extracurricular experiences, should make their own contribution toward the balanced development of the total person. Such a broadly prepared individual will not only be capable of meeting personal challenge and change but will also bring strength to others in the tasks of home and family life, social relationships, civic duty, and service to mankind.
To succeed in this mission the university must provide an environment enlightened by living prophets and sustained by those moral virtues which characterize the life and teachings of the Son of God. In that environment these four major educational goals should prevail [of which only the first two will be cited, as being most relevant]:
- All students at BYU should be taught the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Any education is inadequate which does not emphasize that His is the only name given under heaven whereby mankind can be saved. Certainly all relationships within the BYU community should reflect devout love of God and a loving, genuine concern for the welfare of our neighbor.
- Because the gospel encourages the pursuit of all truth, students at BYU should receive a broad university education. The arts, letters, and sciences provide the core of such an education, which will help students think clearly, communicate effectively, understand important ideas in their own cultural tradition as well as that of others, and establish clear standards of intellectual integrity…
In meeting these objectives BYU’s faculty, staff, students, and administrators should be anxious to make their service and scholarship available to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in furthering its work worldwide. In an era of limited enrollments, BYU can continue to expand its influence both by encouraging programs that are central to the Church’s purposes and by making its resources available to the Church when called upon to do so.
We believe the earnest pursuit of this institutional mission can have a strong effect on the course of higher education and will greatly enlarge Brigham Young University’s influence in a world we wish to improve.
And from the evangelical perspective, there is Wheaton College’s Statement of Faith and Educational Purpose; the Statement of Faith is “reaffirmed annually by its Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff….”16
It is also worth noting the practice, employed for example by Christendom College and Benedictine College, of appending a vision statement to their statements of mission.
Other Kinds of Statements and Policies Regarding Institutional Mission
Following its vision statement, Christendom provides an eight-part essay that even further amplifies what it means to be a truly Catholic college.
Similarly Michael Dauphinais, dean of faculty at Ave Maria University, has produced the following message, with its accompanying video, explaining the nature of a liberal education in the Catholic tradition.
By way of introducing its faculty on its website, Franciscan University presents an overview of what it means to be a member of its faculty. There we read:
But what truly sets Franciscan’s professors apart from their peers is that they hold teaching and mentoring you as a sacred trust. They care not only about your GPA and your future career but about helping you become the man or woman God has called you to be from all eternity.
Moreover, on its website Wheaton College provides this overview of what a liberal education means in light of that institution’s evangelical mission.
Finally on the issue of mission, vision, and related statements, Dr. Anne Carson Daly, vice-president of academic affairs at Belmont Abbey College, stresses the importance of departmental mission statements being coordinated with the overall mission statement of the college or university. Consider in this light the mission statement of the Department of Biology at Belmont Abbey:
Department Mission: The Biology Department educates students in the discipline within the context of the Benedictine Liberal Arts tradition. In doing so, we understand biology as the study of life and life processes. The Biology Department believes that, in this modern world, knowledge of biological principles is necessary for every educated person. Such knowledge constitutes a vital part of that liberal learning whose goal, as John Henry Newman noted, is “fitness for the world.” We aim for the study of Biology to help students assess the many issues that face today’s world, enabling them to become responsible citizens and to promote the common good.
Departmental Goals: In Ex corde Ecclesiae, John Paul II states, “…a Catholic University is distinguished by its free search for the whole truth about nature, man, and God.” In biology, because of the limitations of the tools of science, we concentrate on the first two, the natural world and humans and our place in the realm of nature. It is the nature of biology to observe the fundamental symmetry of nature and the patterns and tempo in the evolution of organisms. In this way, biologists and scientists in general seek to understand the diversity, commonalities, and evolution of the natural world, and to appreciate the importance of assuming stewardship and preservation of the biological diversity of life….
Consider in this regard, too, the following mission statement of the School of Religious Education at Brigham Young:
The mission of Religious Education at Brigham Young University is to assist individuals in their efforts to come unto Christ by teaching the scriptures, doctrine, and history of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ through classroom instruction, gospel scholarship, and outreach to the larger community.
Identifying Potential Candidates
Now we want to begin to track the typical hiring process at Catholic colleges and universities, and highlight at the various stages of that process some of the more valuable policies and practices when it comes to hiring for mission.
More than one of the administrators spoken to in the preparation of this report argued that the more focused an institution’s mission is, and the more unabashedly Catholic it is, the more the institution is able to attract “seriously committed and intellectually accomplished Catholics.” Fr. Miscamble notes that three of Notre Dame’s recent hires, Bill Evans and Timothy Fuerst in economics and, a little further back, Brad Gregory in history—all top-flight scholars—came to Notre Dame precisely because of its Catholic mission. Gregory even left a tenured position at Stanford in order to do so. He also references Notre Dame’s Law School as a campus unit that over the years has built a superb faculty by aggressively hiring for mission.
Compare with this the situation at Colorado Christian University. With the administration’s support, Colorado Christian University has re-branded as an intensely religious institution, highlighting its Christian identity on its website and on job application materials. According to Rick Garris, director of human relations at CCU, this consistent emphasis on the school’s Christian identity functions as a pre-screening mechanism, attracting religious candidates and dissuading those of different or weak faiths. Applicants are further culled during the online portion of the application, which asks the potential employee to “talk about their faith.” Applicants who don’t provide an answer are automatically removed from the applicant pool.
We see in these examples of Notre Dame and CCU that a strong sense of mission distilled in the mission statement and embodied in the life of the institution is the first and foremost means of indentifying and attracting excellent Catholic job candidates. Responsibility for a strong Catholic culture starts, of course, at the top. Dr. Lawrence Poos, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at The Catholic University of America, makes this point when he credits a former president of that institution, now Bishop David O’Connell of Trenton, NJ, for changing the culture at CUA by thematizing the issue of hiring for mission. But apart from—or better, given—the existence of a robust commitment to mission on campus, how are strong mission-driven candidates identified?
Most institutions identify potential candidates informally: through professional associations, scholarly publications, the candidate’s being a student of a respected scholar, job postings, and the like.
Notre Dame, however, has gone to uncommon lengths to make the identification of potential candidates more strategic by establishing its Office of Recruitment Support, currently headed by Rev. Robert Sullivan. The primary purpose of this office is to maintain a “database of scholars who have been identified as Catholic, either by the scholars themselves or through public means.” The office makes available an online .pdf brochure that explains the purpose of the database, which is to help “identify for faculty positions academically excellent potential candidates who can advance [Notre Dame’s] Catholic identity.” There is an online signup form for those who would like to contribute their own name; but other names are collected through informal networks of professional and spiritual association.
Terry Ball, dean of the College of Religious Education at Brigham Young University, reports that BYU draws potential faculty candidates either from Church of Latter-day Saints seminary programs, or by attracting recent graduates (some of whom may have enjoyed study grants from BYU) or faculty from other institutions. In the latter case, BYU employs standing search committees to help identify pools of potential candidates. Like other institutions, it also makes use of receptions at major professional meetings. Those candidates the University is especially interested in will often be invited to campus for a trial semester of teaching.
Forming the Search Committee
At some mid-sized to smaller institutions, the college or university president is significantly involved in hiring new faculty. At Christendom, the president even serves on the search committee for each and every new hire, as does the vice-president for academic affairs. Though such a policy would be impracticable at a large research institution such as Notre Dame, it remains imperative, as Fr. Miscamble states, that the president, vice-president for academic affairs or provost, and the deans stay as involved in the hiring process as possible, especially in regard to hiring for mission.
One way for the top administration to stay involved, even if they themselves are not serving on search committees, is for the president and dean to meet with the search committee to discuss mission issues in the context of the relevant discipline, as is done at Benedictine College. Another strategy is for the vice-president for academic affairs to play a significant role in the selection of the search committee, as occurs at Belmont Abbey, where the rules governing searches require the VPAA to appoint the chair of the search committee (usually the chair of the relevant department or division). Carson Daly explains that these rules also require her to pick an additional committee member from the relevant division, as well as to select another member from a pool of three divisional faculty suggested by the search chair. At Christendom, the relevant department chair joins the president and vice-president for academic affairs to make up the trio that is the standard search committee at that institution.
Another excellent practice is found in the School of Arts and Sciences at CUA. Dean Poos requires of each department pursuing a hire to submit to him a “search strategy document,” a written explanation of the department’s reasons for wanting to hire, with emphasis upon how the proposed position relates to the University’s Catholic mission.
As a search gets underway, as Mount St. Mary’s Dean Joshua Hochschild stresses, the importance of hiring for mission must continue to be a theme of conversation in the department itself. The policies and procedures of the institution must inspire water-cooler conversations among faculty about how this charge is to be taken up by the department. Names of potential candidates will no doubt already begin to surface through friendships, associations, and encounters in the field, and discussion of these potential candidates must include how they would fit with the Catholic mission of the institution.
Further Relevant Literature
This essay by Rev. James Heft, S.M. has an interesting section on hiring for mission in which he pursues strategies to enforce the point noted just above, that hiring for mission strategies very much require a “bottom up” approach (i.e., intensive conversations with departments and department chairs about hiring for mission), just as much or more than they require a “top down” approach:
Advertising the Position
Statements of Expectation
When it comes to advertising positions, some schools display a page on their website that serves both as an extension of the mission statement and as a statement of what the school expects from future faculty, such as we find on the site of John Paul the Great Catholic University:
John Paul the Great Catholic University seeks to create a spiritually stimulating campus environment where students learn about Jesus Christ based on sacred Scripture, sacred Tradition, and the Catholic Church’s magisterium (teaching authority). There is a strong emphasis on traditional and time-enduring spiritual, moral, and social values.
All faculty involved with the teaching of the Catholic faith require a mandatum from the Bishop of San Diego. The mandatum documents the professor’s commitment and responsibility to teach authentic Catholic doctrine and to refrain from putting forth as Catholic teaching anything contrary to the Church’s magisterium.
JP Catholic University seeks to effect significant societal change by producing leaders committed to the application of Christ’s principles in the marketplace and in the workplace. JP Catholic seeks to graduate leaders who will passionately implement ethical business and employment practices. Graduates must strive to create workplaces that embody the principles of Jesus Christ in their interactions with all the publics of the enterprise – employees, customers, investors, suppliers, and community.
John Paul the Great Catholic University intentionally seeks to avoid causing controversy and confusion among its students in matters of faith. JP Catholic seeks to shape and form solid Catholic leaders and innovators poised to put into action the teachings of Jesus Christ, and not to become agitators for change on matters of doctrine.
All teaching faculty commit to harmony with Catholic Church teachings (the pope and bishops) in speech and action. Faculty, staff, students or volunteers who knowingly in public speech or actions take positions against the Catholic Church compromise their relationship with JP Catholic. JP Catholic expects all trustees, faculty and staff to celebrate the positive spiritual and entrepreneurial components of its mission and to eschew betraying or obstructing what the institution is striving to build. Students, faculty and staff come from all faiths, and the university has as a fundamental belief of mutual respect for diverse beliefs.
A similar directive to future applicants can be found on the website of Benedictine College:
Our Benedictine 2020: A Vision for Greatness strategic plan has made it a campus wide priority to: “Recruit, retain, and develop one of the great Catholic college faculties in America.”
The plan continues: “We believe that Benedictine College’s educational experience is enhanced by all aspects of our mission: community, faith and scholarship…
“Community: The first step to achieving academic excellence in a community of faith and scholarship is the ongoing development of one of the great Catholic college faculties in America….
“Faith: Benedictine College is committed to sharing with all members of our community the beauty and mystery of the Catholic faith as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ and handed down through the teachings of the Church….
“Scholarship: Academic excellence at Benedictine College is driven by faculty who exhibit strong commitment in their teaching and scholarship to provide an environment that prepares students with the best that has been thought and written. Faculty will develop graduates who are critical thinkers who read, speak, and write well, and are personally and professionally prepared for life’s challenges on a local and global scale. As faculty at a Catholic college, we embrace the distinctive challenge of Catholic education articulated by Pope Benedict XVI: to form the will, as well as the mind, of the students within our care.”
Also pertinent are the Collegiate Statutes promulgated by Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, which set up a strong set of expectations for potential faculty:
All Fellows [i.e., faculty members] are required to uphold the teaching and ethical norms of the Roman Catholic Church and to make the annual Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity in accord with the Apostolic Constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae. Those Fellows teaching courses in Sacred Scripture or Theology are expected to seek the mandatum from the local ordinary, the Bishop of Manchester, New Hampshire.
At Mount St. Mary’s, all candidates are shown, and told they would be expected to support, the first page of the Mount’s Governing Documents, which state:
The Board of Trustees reasserts the critical importance of the Catholic identity in all operations of the University. A strong Catholic identity is central to the mission of Mount St. Mary’s University. Therefore, all faculty, staff, administrators, executive officers and Trustees are to work in concert with and support this Catholic mission. The basic tenets of this Catholic mission at Mount St. Mary’s include:
- The University is committed to the person and Gospel of Jesus Christ as the foundation of our values and attitudes which are reflected in our campus culture, policies and procedures.
- The University fully understands, respects and follows the teachings of the Catholic Church.
- The University is in full compliance with both the letter and spirit of Ex corde Ecclesiae.
- The University recognizes the authority of the Holy See and the authority vested in the Archbishop of Baltimore regarding the Catholic nature and direction of Mount St. Mary’s University.
The School of Religious Education at Brigham Young University has also taken a pro-active approach to stating their expectations of future faculty. When one clicks on the FAQ section of the School’s website and scrolls down, one finds a policy statement regarding Hiring Future Faculty in Religious Education. “What are the criteria to be used in deciding whom to hire?” the statement begins, a question that is then discussed under five headings: Orientation, Gospel Scholarship, Teaching, Training and Credentials, and Citizenship. The first of these headings, Orientation, sets the foundational expectation of all future faculty of the School:
Orientation means having a firm testimony of an unquestioned commitment to the Savior and his gospel, to Joseph Smith, the Restoration, the Church, and the prophetic destiny of Brigham Young University. Other qualifications, no matter how impressive, do not override the necessity of this criterion.
Similarly, too, at Colorado Christian University, both applicants and existing employees are required to affirm their commitment to CCU’s statements of Faith, LifeStyle Expectations, and Strategic Objectives that demonstrate the institution’s evangelical principles.
Turning now to job advertisements themselves, consider this advertisement for a position currently available in Christendom College’s Department of English Language and Literature:
The Department of English Language and Literature at Christendom College seeks a full-time faculty appointment to begin August 15, 2013. This is an entry-level position.
The successful candidate will teach a 4/4 load that may include any of the literature courses in the core curriculum, major-oriented courses in literary criticism and/or poetics, and courses in his field of expertise. The department especially welcomes candidates who specialize in medieval literature. A Ph.D. and teaching experience are preferred, but the department will consider particularly well-qualified ABD candidates.
Christendom College, located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, is a four-year Catholic liberal arts college whose faculty members take an annual, voluntary oath of fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church. Our faculty members enjoy being part of a community of Catholic scholars dedicated to excellence in teaching. For more information on the Christendom Mission and Vision statements, curriculum, and student life, see www.christendom.edu.
This advertisement is typical of what one tends to find in academic job postings—except for the final paragraph, which not only links the position advertised with the overall mission of the college (“Christendom College…is a four-year Catholic liberal arts college), but also alerts potential candidates that members of the Christendom faculty take a voluntary Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church. In alerting potential candidates to this practice, Christendom makes abundantly clear what it expects from its faculty in terms of commitment to the school’s Catholic mission. Steve Snyder, vice-president for academic affairs at Christendom, underscores that the taking of the Oath of Fidelity is voluntary, but by mentioning even this voluntary practice in its job postings, Christendom puts the hiring for mission issue at the forefront and effectively winnows out potential candidates who might apply simply in the interests of finding a job.
A current job posting for a position in the History Department at Franciscan University also “requires support for Mission of the university.”
The Catholic University of America uses similar language in every one of its job postings:
The Catholic University of America is the national university of the Catholic Church and was founded as a center of research and scholarship. We seek candidates who, regardless of their religious affiliation, understand and will make a significant contribution to the university’s mission and goals.
Here, moreover, is a current advertisement produced by Benedictine College for a position available as an experimental physicist. This is a good example of a job posting for a position outside the humanities that strongly ties in the position to the Catholic mission of the college:
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Benedictine College invites outstanding teacher-scholars to apply for a tenure track position for an Experimental Physicist starting in fall 2012. PhD required. Benedictine is a college growing in enrollment and reputation. The Department offers bachelor degrees in physics, astronomy, engineering physics and physics secondary ed. Nearly ¾ of our graduates go on to graduate or professional schools. The successful candidate should have a strong commitment to undergraduate Liberal Arts education. Teaching areas include introductory courses for the general student body and courses and laboratories at all levels for majors. The successful candidate will be expected to establish on-campus research experiences for students participating in our Discovery Program as well as in departmental research. Candidate’s background should include experience in experimental physics, complementing current faculty strengths in astronomy and theoretical physics.
Benedictine College, which has a full-time undergraduate enrollment of approximately 1600 students, is a mission-centered academic community. Its mission as a Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts, residential college is the education of men and women within a community of faith and scholarship. Benedictine College provides a liberal arts education by means of academic programs based on a core of studies in the arts and sciences. In addition, the college provides education for careers through both professional courses of study and major programs in the liberal arts and sciences. As an essential element of its mission, Benedictine College fosters scholarship, independent research and performance in its students and faculty as a means of participating in and contributing to the broader world of learning.
Beyond disciplinary expertise, Benedictine College seeks faculty members eager to engage and support our mission. Application materials should discuss how you would contribute to the college’s Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts identity.
Likewise, Notre Dame’s College of Engineering currently has a notice on its website for prospective applicants during the 2012-13 academic year which exhibits good coordination between the mission of the university and that of the College of Engineering—especially impressive for a discipline outside the humanities:
Notre Dame invites academically gifted applicants supportive of and dedicated to enhancing its mission as a Catholic research university, particularly women, members of historically underrepresented groups, and others who will enhance the diversity of its faculty to apply….
The most common way that hiring for mission is emphasized at the application stage is in the institution’s request for the applicant to compose a response to the university’s mission statement. Dean Michael Dauphinais at Ave Maria and Dean Christopher Blum at Thomas More College both stressed the need of this statement to convincingly show how the candidate’s teaching and scholarship relate to the Catholic mission of their respective institutions. The key question that Blum likes to see the candidate answer, either in the response to the mission statement or in the on-site interview, is “How do you perceive your own pursuit of wisdom as contributing to the Catholic intellectual tradition?” Steve Snyder likes the candidate’s response to the mission statement to reveal how the mission statement of Christendom aids the scholar in his or her intellectual life.
At Mount St. Mary’s University, application materials invite the candidate to address the mission of the institution in one of three ways:
Beyond disciplinary expertise, Mount St. Mary’s seeks faculty members eager to engage and support our Catholic identity. Application materials should discuss how you might contribute to the University’s Catholic liberal arts mission, how your work engages with the Catholic intellectual tradition, or how your own faith tradition informs your vocation as teacher and scholar.
About this aspect of the application Dean Hochschild remarks:
In addition to providing some sense of what a search committee should look for, it is just fairness and a favor to candidates to invite specific engagement in a cover letter. Without that, given the different types of Catholic universities and the different kinds of views that can be represented on a search committee, it is simply unfair to mention “Catholic identity” in a generic sense and then expect candidates to say anything in a cover letter.
We find that many candidates (and not just Catholics) welcome the opportunity to speak to these issues, and I know of more than one occasion where this language actually prompted someone to apply who wasn’t otherwise going to.
Narrowing the Field
The question of mission fit perhaps comes most forcefully into play in the activities by which the search committee, in conjunction with the upper administration, narrows the field of potential candidates—a field which at least in larger research universities can reach into the hundreds for a single position.
Institutions sometimes employ “first-round” phone interviews, or interviews at meetings of professional associations, in order to help winnow the field of candidates, interviews in which mission questions can play a part. For example, Baylor University in its phone interviews asks candidates specific questions not only about their religious affiliation, but also about the degree of their involvement in their church or parish. In order to help determine a short-list of candidates, The Catholic University of America’s College of Arts and Sciences follows the practice of many institutions in asking candidates to write a response to the university’s mission statement.
On-site interviews, which customarily include a lecture or “job talk,” as well as the teaching of a course, also help manifest the candidate’s serious commitment to, or alliance with, the religious mission of the institution. At this stage of the process various strategies are employed.
The candidate’s discussions with the search committee, for example, will include specific questions on Catholic mission. As Christopher Kaczor, professor of philosophy at Loyola Marymount University, explains about his own department’s procedures:
Our department does a good job hiring for mission by asking open-ended questions like the following, “LMU is a Catholic university. How do you see yourself contributing to the distinctive mission and identity of LMU?” Then, the candidate says whatever they say but it is often revelatory. The follow up questions are key. So, we might follow up with, “Well, how does your answer differ from what might be fitting at a non-Catholic university?” Or, “How does your research/teaching/service contribute to the promotion of justice and service of faith?” We try to get the candidate to talk at length about such questions and we’ve been successful in determining who would be a good fit for us.
At Mount St. Mary’s, Dean Hochschild reviews all the applications that come in for positions available in his school, taking special note of those candidates who write a good letter about Catholic mission. Hochschild underscores that he does not try to force a department into hiring a specific candidate, but he converses with departments before invitations for on-site interviews, and must approve all candidates. In explaining negative decisions to the committee, he harkens back to earlier conversations about the importance of hiring for mission. He also depends upon the support of the president and provost in supporting his decisions (the president, when possible, also interviews all candidates invited to campus for interviews). Usually, if three candidates come to campus for interviews at the Mount, then the president expects at least two to be Catholic. For Hochschild, “it is most important that at least two be well-versed in and show personal investment in the Catholic intellectual tradition, and all three show willingness and ability to engage that tradition.”
The Catholic University of America has a requirement that the president and provost be given an opportunity to review and approve the curriculum vitae of a candidate for a faculty position before that candidate is invited for an on-campus interview. Indeed, Dean Poos meets for an hour and a half with each candidate who interviews on campus for a position in his school, and makes discussion of the University’s mission a main focus of that interview. In these interviews Dean Poos asks the key question: “How would it be different for you to be a faculty member here than at, say, Ohio State?”
Helping narrow the field of job candidates at Ave Maria University is its policy that Catholics must form a majority in every department. At Ave Maria, too, the dean of faculty meets with the search committee to determine which candidates shall be invited for on-site interviews.
At Belmont Abbey, the vice-president for academic affairs as well as the president meet separately with all candidates during their on-site visits, and make a discussion about the mission statement of the college central to those interviews. At Christendom the procedure is the same, as it is, too, at Benedictine College, where the president and dean discuss with the candidate the relevance of mission to his or her daily life as a faculty member, preparing the candidate to integrate faith and reason in the classroom.
Finally, in Brigham Young University’s College of Religious Education, the entire faculty engages in voting on the candidates. The dean, president of the university, as well as the university board of trustees, then must approve the recommended candidate—with the board of trustees, not the president, having the final say. If the recommended candidate fails to win approval from either the dean, president, or the board, then the search committee is charged to recommend another candidate.
The issue of the candidate’s commitment to Catholic mission need not end with the offering of a contract. Indeed, the contract itself can contain language that affirms the college’s or university’s expectations of the candidate in this regard. At Christendom, for instance, it is put into the candidate’s contract that public dissent from magisterial teachings is grounds for dismissal from the College. By public dissent is meant more what is published by the scholar than what may be spoken more or less off-hand at a public venue. The school’s procedure in such cases involves a request of judgment from the local ordinary.
Also at Christendom, new hires receive one-year, probationary contracts for each of their first three years of employment, in the midst of which he or she may be dismissed without cause. These probationary years help the school confirm both the scholarly excellence and Catholic commitment of the faculty member.
At The Catholic University of America, formal offers of employment to faculty and staff are accompanied by explicit references to the expectations of employees to respect and support the University’s Catholic mission:
The Catholic University of America was founded in the name of the Catholic Church and maintains a unique relationship with it. The University’s operations, policies and activities reflect this foundation and relationship and are conducted in accordance with its stated mission. Regardless of their religious or denominational affiliation, all employees are expected to respect and support the University’s mission in the fulfillment of their responsibilities and obligations appropriate to their appointment.
Though it is not a contractual component, the statement already alluded to on the website of John Paul the Great Catholic University at least raises the specter of contractual ramifications of public dissent from Magisterial teachings or conduct otherwise undermining of the mission of the University:
All teaching faculty commit to harmony with Catholic Church teachings (the pope and bishops) in speech and action. Faculty, staff, students or volunteers who knowingly in public speech or actions take positions against the Catholic Church compromise their relationship with JP Catholic. JP Catholic expects all trustees, faculty and staff to celebrate the positive spiritual and entrepreneurial components of its mission and to eschew betraying or obstructing what the institution is striving to build.
New Faculty Orientation and Beyond
At the point in which the candidate becomes a new member of the college’s faculty, the process of actually conforming his or her scholarly activities to the college’s specific expression of Catholic mission begins. Most colleges employ some kind of new faculty orientation in which to begin this process. This orientation to mission can be a one-time event, as for example at Baylor University and Benedictine College. At Benedictine the dean makes a presentation that involves discussion of Ex corde along with an introduction to the college’s Benedictine heritage.
But the orientation can also be a longer program. Brigham Young University conducts an eight-week new faculty seminar in which mission issues play a key part. Both BYU and Baylor also assign a faculty mentor to new faculty members in order to help them adapt to the culture of the institution—a practice that was not mentioned in the discussions with Catholic administrators about their new faculty orientation programs
At The Catholic University of America, as well, the provost conducts a mandatory year-long program of orientation and socialization to the academic culture at CUA for new full-time tenure-track and tenured faculty. The program includes a three-day retreat and then six two-hour luncheon meetings spread throughout the academic year. Discussion of Ex corde forms a part of the program.
Even more significantly at Catholic University, Dean Poos meets each semester with every pre-tenured faculty member in his school. In these meetings he takes the opportunity to discuss Ex corde with the faculty member, encouraging him or her to read and study the document, especially the section on characteristics of research at a Catholic university (no. 15). This is particularly important at CUA in that, in their tenure applications, faculty must write a reflection on how their teaching and scholarship relates to the Catholic mission of the institution.
Mount St. Mary’s likewise employs a year-long faculty development seminar for tenure-track faculty, directed by various faculty members (not just deans and theologians), a seminar which involves readings on liberal education and the Catholic university. Dean Hochschild was inspired to launch this kind of seminar by his experience of a similar faculty development seminar at Wheaton College. Belmont Abbey requires that all new faculty attend a presentation on the Benedictine heritage of the College.
As noted earlier, some schools use the Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith, along with the mandatum for faculty members teaching theology or Sacred Scripture, as ways of confirming faculty commitment to the purpose of their hire: to adhere whole-heartedly to the Catholic mission of the institution.
Taken together, all of these post-hire practices help cultivate the kind of mission-driven Catholic culture so imperative for a successful hiring-for-mission policy.
Further Relevant Literature
This July 2009 First Things article by John Larivee, F.K. Marsh, and Brian Engelland, “Ex corde and the Dilbert Effect,” lays out some good recommendations for implementing the demands of Ex corde in hiring:
The article by Richard D. Breslin mentioned in the Introduction outlines several advantages of hiring for mission and maintaining a strong Catholic identity. He asserts that schools which are faithful to their Catholic identity will attract more donors, which will free up capital to attract more students and employ professors with “star power.” However, achieving this “next level” of Catholic identity requires schools to hire candidates who, “establish the necessary linkage between their personal philosophy and the philosophy and mission of the institution.” He also points out that it has become unfashionable for interviews to ask about a candidate’s background, religious beliefs or philosophy. Because of these sloppy hiring practices, Breslin asserts that the institution risks “losing its soul.” Besides the aforementioned discomfort about touching on non-academic job requirements, the author also writes about the narrowness of a university’s personnel search, which is frequently carried out by a single department for a faculty member with a highly specialized skill set without any regard to the “institution as a whole.” After laying out these problems, Breslin goes on to lay out a specific series of “institutional action steps”:
- Conduct an internal scan: A self-evaluation, instituted by the president and the board of trustees, which establishes the health of a school’s Catholic identity. It isn’t a “witch hunt;” rather, the purpose is to discover, “whether individual hiring units have taken seriously the responsibility of seeking qualified candidates who embrace or who are respectful of the institution’s mission and philosophy.”
- Review Hiring Practices: Ensuring all the literature related to hiring includes a “serious segment associated with the Catholic mission.” Hiring teams should include at least one person who will inform the candidate that they are applying for a position at a Catholic institution, which entails certain responsibilities.
- Make a Declaration of Intent: A revised statement about the school’s hiring practices and the community’s role in solidifying an institutional Catholic identity.
- Develop Specific Literature: Similar to item 3, the school should revise its mission statement and policy statement to conform with its Catholic philosophy.
- Review the Interview Process: The institution should make sure that its dedication to a strong Catholic Identity is reflected in all stages of its hiring process, not as a “litmus test” for candidates but as an informative conversation. Asking questions about a candidate’s philosophy and values emphasizes a school’s dedication to these items.
Here is a link to a long document on hiring for mission produced by Loyola Marymount University. The document contains many detailed articles pertaining to hiring for mission, ranging from overviews on the importance of hiring for mission to essays explaining the kinds of questions to ask candidates and how to frame those questions. Even more importantly, there is a chart which shows the difference between legally framed questions and questions that could be considered discriminatory and therefore grounds for a lawsuit. There is also a series of questions which Marymount submits to applicants pertaining to Catholic identity.
This is a link to a 2001 article by Heft and others on hiring for mission and the conflicting attitudes held about it by administrators and faculties at Catholic institutions. (A link to the first part of this two-part article was not available online.)
Here is a link to Creighton University’s guidelines for hiring for mission. The guidelines mention how the applicant’s interest in Catholic identity and mission is established at each stage of the hiring process (i.e., the listing for the job must mention the school’s Catholic identity, written applications should be screened based on how the candidate characterizes how they will “fit” into the mission of the school, and so on).
Linked Digest of Institutions Surveyed
Newman Guide Colleges
Mission Statement: http://www.aquinascollege.edu/welcome/vision-values.php
Norms related to Ex corde Ecclesiae: http://www.aquinascollege.edu/academics/index.php
Online Application Form For Faculty: http://www.aquinascollege.edu/main/employmentDetails.php?employmentID=36
Legal Hiring Disclaimer: http://www.aquinascollege.edu/main/legal.php
Job Listing (nursing faculty): http://www.aquinascollege.edu/main/employmentDetails.php?employmentID=36
Ave Maria University
Mission Statement: http://www.avemaria.edu/AboutAveMaria/OurCatholicIdentityandMission.aspx
Online Application Form for Faculty: http://www.avemariahr.org/docs/file/Application%20for%20Employment%20edited.pdf
Instructions to Faculty Applicants (education): http://www.avemaria.edu/Jobs/FacultyPosition.aspx
Belmont Abbey College
Mission Statement: http://www.belmontabbeycollege.edu/Visionstatement/mission-statement.aspx
Belmont vs EEOC Details: http://www.belmontabbeycollege.edu/eeoc/
Mission Statement: http://www.benedictine.edu/about/missionvalues
Norms related to Ex corde Ecclesiae: http://www.benedictine.edu/about/missionvalues/ex-corde-ecclesiae
Online Applications Form: http://www.benedictine.edu/sites/default/files/application_benedictine_employment_fbd_072808.pdf
Instructions to Faculty Applicants (English): http://www.benedictine.edu/english-faculty
Catholic Distance University
Mission Statement (page 2): http://www.cdu.edu/images/currentCDUcatalog.pdf
Ex corde: http://www.cdu.edu/documents/welcome/ex-corde.html
Catholic University of America
Mission Statement: http://www.cua.edu/about-cua/mission-statement.cfm
Faculty Job Description (Health Information Technology/Intelligence Analysis): http://slis.cua.edu/about/employment.cfm#Faculty
Norms related to Ex corde Ecclesiae: http://www.pageturnpro.com/The-Catholic-University-of-America/26705-Ex-Corde/index.html#1
Mission Statement: http://www.christendom.edu/about/mission.php
Faculty Job Description (English): http://www.christendom.edu/about/job-pdfs/job%20announcement%202013.pdf
Online Application Form: http://www.christendom.edu/about/CCapplication.pdf
College of St. Mary Magdalen
Mission Statement: http://www.magdalen.edu/about-us/mission-statement.asp
The College of Saints John Fisher & Thomas More
Coat of Arms: http://www.fishermore.edu/the-fisher-more-college-coat-of-arms/
Mission Statement: http://www.desales.edu/home/about/academic-excellence/philosophy-mission
Employment Mission: http://www.desales.edu/home/about/people/employment
Catholic Identity: http://desales.edu/home/about/our-heritage/catholic-identity
Faculty Job Descriptions (bottom of page): http://www.desales.edu/home/about/people/employment
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Mission Statement: http://www.franciscan.edu/AboutFUS/Mission/
Norms Related to Ex corde Ecclesiae: http://www.franciscan.edu/PassionatelyCatholic/
Instructions for Faculty Applicants (History): http://www.franciscan.edu/EmploymentListings/History/August2013/
Passionately Catholic: http://www.franciscan.edu/PassionatelyCatholic/
Holy Spirit College
Mission Statement: http://www.holyspiritcollege.org/mission.html
Hiring for mission and Ex corde Info: http://www.holyspiritcollege.org/authentic-catholic-college.html
John Paul the Great Catholic University
Mission Statement: http://www.jpcatholic.com/about/vision.php
Online Applications: http://www.jpcatholic.com/academics/openings.php
Instructions for Faculty Applicants/Job descriptions: http://www.jpcatholic.com/about/fidelity.php
Mount St. Mary’s University
Mission Statement: http://www.msmary.edu/presidents_office/mission-statement/
Ex corde Norms: http://www.msmary.edu/presidents_office/docs/2006-07_Catholic_Iden_Mission.pdf
Hiring Guidelines: http://www.msmary.edu/administration/human-resources/pdfs2/Professional-Search_Procedures_rev%20Aug%2007.pdf
Our Lady Seat of Wisdom
Mission Statement: http://seatofwisdom.org/about_us/about_us/vision-and-values.html
Oath of Fidelity: http://seatofwisdom.org/news/latest/bishop-mulhall-presides-over-opening-mass-and-faculty-oath-of-fidelity.html
Redeemer Pacific College
Mission Statement: http://twu.ca/academics/calendar/2012-2013/affiliate-institutions/redeemer-pacific-college/purpose.html
Thomas Aquinas College
Mission Statement: http://www.thomasaquinas.edu/about/mission-history
Norms Related to Ex corde Ecclesiae: http://www.thomasaquinas.edu/a-catholic-life
Oath of Fidelity for Faculty: http://www.thomasaquinas.edu/catholic-life/oath-fidelity
Profession of Faith: http://www.thomasaquinas.edu/catholic-life/oath-fidelity
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
Mission Statement/ President’s Message: http://www.thomasmorecollege.edu/about/mission/
Ex corde info: http://www.thomasmorecollege.edu/about/commitment-to-the-church/ex-corde-ecclesiae/
Fidelity to Faith: http://www.thomasmorecollege.edu/about/commitment-to-the-church/
Hiring For mission: http://www.thomasmorecollege.edu/about/commitment-to-the-church/mandatum/
University of Dallas
Mission Statement: http://www.udallas.edu/about/mission.html
Hiring for mission: http://www.udallas.edu/offices/provost/missionandvision.html
Online Application Form: http://www.udallas.edu/offices/hr/employmentapplication.html
University of Mary
Mission Statement: http://www.umary.edu/about/mission/missionidentity.php
Hiring for mission: http://www.umary.edu/jobs/
Applicant Info Packet About Mission Hiring: http://www.umary.edu/pdflibrary/applicantinfopacket.pdf
University of Saint Thomas
Mission Statement: http://www.stthom.edu/About_UST/Our_Story/Index.aqf
Norms Related to Ex corde Ecclesiae: http://www.stthom.edu/Public/index.asp?Friendly_Flag=1&page_ID=3778
Online Application for Faculty (theology position): http://www.stthom.edu/Offices_Services/Offices/Human_Resources/Employment/FullTime_Faculty/School_of_Theology.aqf
Mission Statement: http://www.walsh.edu/our-mission2
Hiring Samples: http://www.walsh.edu/faculty18
Wyoming Catholic College
Mission Statement: http://www.wyomingcatholiccollege.com/about-wcc/index.aspx
Hiring for mission: http://www.wyomingcatholiccollege.com/about-wcc/education/index.aspx
Oath of Fidelity / Profession of Faith: http://www.wyomingcatholiccollege.com/about-wcc/ex-corde-ecclesiae/index.aspx
Norms Related to Ex corde Ecclesiae: http://www.wyomingcatholiccollege.com/about-wcc/ex-corde-ecclesiae/index.aspx
Non-Guide Schools Surveyed
Bob Jones University
Doctrinal Statement: http://www.bju.edu/about-bju/creed.php
Brigham Young University
Mission Statement: http://aims.byu.edu/
Hiring for mission: http://www.byu.edu/hr/?q=job-seekers/faq/ecclesiastical-questions
Online Application for Faculty: https://yjobs.byu.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/frameset/Frameset.jsp?time=1348493161821
Liberal Arts Applications: https://yjobs.byu.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/frameset/Frameset.jsp?time=1348493161821
Job Description – English Department: http://english.byu.edu/jobs/
School of Religious Education Policy for Future Faculty: http://religion.byu.edu/questions-and-policies
Mission Statement: http://www.baylor.edu/profuturis/
Hiring for mission: http://www.baylor.edu/hr/index.php?id=79065
Online Liberal Arts Application: http://www.baylor.edu/hr/index.php?id=91190
Mission Statement: http://www.canisius.edu/about-canisius/mission/
Hiring for Mission: http://www.canisius.edu/about-canisius/mission/hiring/
Online Application: http://www.canisius.edu/dotAsset/4346d10f-a0b8-4bc9-83d3-7d523698c465.pdf
Job Description – Faculty Position (organizational studies): https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.canisius.edu/dotAsset/f6541fdc-7b5a-47e5-a021-ee8cde5a87a8.doc&sa=U&ei=0MltUIC5OrG70AH_xIHoAg&ved=0CAcQFjAA&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNE6I6yF4XthmMXmXwbTV1HCKC89ZQ
Colorado Christian University
Mission Statement: http://www.ccu.edu/welcome/mission.asp
“About Us”: http://www.ccu.edu/employment/about/
Job Description – Event Manager: https://ch.tbe.taleo.net/CH10/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=CCU&cws=1&rid=1036
Job Description – English Affiliate Faculty: https://ch.tbe.taleo.net/CH10/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=CCU&cws=1&rid=858
Behavior Expectations: http://www.ccu.edu/employment/lifestyle.asp
Statement of Faith (required to ‘affirm their commitment’ to this): http://www.ccu.edu/welcome/webelieve.asp
Strategic Objectives: http://www.ccu.edu/strategicobjectives/default.asp
Mission Statement: http://www.creighton.edu/mission/
Hiring for mission: https://www.creighton.edu/ccas/facultyandstaff/hiringformission/index.php
Online Application for Faculty: https://careers.creighton.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/frameset/Frameset.jsp?time=1348499028750
John Carroll University
Job Description – Assistant Professor of Strategic Management: http://sites.jcu.edu/facultypositions/home-page/john-m-and-mary-jo-boler-school-of-business/assistant-professor-of-strategic-management/
Online Application: http://webmedia.jcu.edu/hr/files/2011/02/Application.pdf
Mission and Identity Statement: http://sites.jcu.edu/mission/pages/vision-mission-core-values-and-strategic-initiatives-statement/
Catholicity Statement: http://sites.jcu.edu/mission/pages/catholicity-statement/
Mission Statement: http://lemoyne.edu/tabid/482/Default.aspx
Hiring for Mission: http://lemoyne.edu/tabid/2264/default.aspx
Job Description (Director, Office for Career Advising): http://lemoyne.interviewexchange.com/jobofferdetails.jsp;jsessionid=49964936D123D9D88C45E9F98C1D8D4C?JOBID=32412
Online Job Application (Personal Info Form): http://lemoyne.edu/AZIndex/HumanResources/FacultyStaff/PersonalDataForm/tabid/3039/e/1/Default.aspx
Loyola Marymount University
Mission Statement: http://www.lmu.edu/about/mission/Mission_Statement.htm
Statement of Non-Discrimination: http://www.lmu.edu/Assets/Statement+of+Non-Discrimination.pdf
Faculty Job Description (Law Professor): https://jobs.lmu.edu/postings/8085
Hiring for Mission best practices document: http://www.lmu.edu/AssetFactory.aspx?vid=43866
University of Notre Dame
Mission Statement: http://www.nd.edu/about/mission-statement/
Description of hiring practices: http://hr.nd.edu/nd-faculty-staff/forms-policies/applicant-screening/
Norms Related to Ex corde Ecclesiae: http://catholicmission.nd.edu/
Faculty Position Description (photography): https://jobs.nd.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/position/JobDetails_css.jsp?postingId=204215
Equal Opportunity Statement: http://hr.nd.edu/nd-faculty-staff/forms-policies/about-notre-dame/
University of St. Thomas (Minn.)
Faculty Position Description (Assistant Professor, German): https://jobs.stthomas.edu/postings/13692
Mission, Vision and Convictions: http://www.stthomas.edu/aboutust/mission/
Center for Catholic Studies: http://www.stthomas.edu/cathstudies/about/director/default.html
Statement of Faith and Educational Purpose: http://www.wheaton.edu/About-Wheaton/Statement-of-Faith-and-Educational-Purpose
The liberal arts in the evangelical Christian tradition: http://www.wheaton.edu/Academics/Liberal-Arts
- This CUA document is a model response to the demands of Ex corde, especially when it comes to the question of hiring for mission: http://publicaffairs.cua.edu/cuapublications/ex-corde-ecclesiae.cfm. Benedictine College also deserves praise for its similar document: http://www.benedictine.edu/about/missionvalues/ex-corde-ecclesiae.
- For more on the cultural shifts during this period, see Philip Gleason, “What Made Catholic Identity a Problem?” in Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., ed, The Challenge and Promise of a Catholic University (Notre Dame, IN: 1994): pp. 91-102. Also of major importance is George M. Marsden, The Soul of the American University: From Protestant Establishment to Established Nonbelief (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).
- “Hiring to Maintain Mission” in Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice, vol. 4, no. 2, December 2000): pp. 227-239. Breslin’s article is available online here: http://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/catholic/article/view/243. See also Archbishop Michael J. Miller’s “Challenges Facing American and European Catholic Universities: A View from the Vatican,” the 2005 Terrence R. Keeley Vatican Lecture sponsored by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, University of Notre Dame. Archbishop Miller’s lecture is available online here: http://nanovic.nd.edu/programming/keeley-vatican-lecture/.
- Interestingly, D. Paul Sullins has argued against the assumption that increasing the proportion of Catholic faculty necessarily involves some form of hiring preferences or screening (“The Difference Catholic Makes: Catholic Faculty and Catholic Identity” in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 43: 1 (2004)). Sullins argues, instead, that retention of faculty is a more significant issue when it comes to the proportion of Catholics on a faculty. http://faculty.cua.edu/sullins/published%20articles/accu04.pdf.
- Don Briel, “Mission and Identity: The Role of Faculty,” forthcoming in Catholic Education: A Journal of Inquiry and Practice.
- James T. Burtchaell, C.S.C, “Catholic Institutions of Higher Learning: Dutiful Yet Free in Church and State,” Current Issues in Catholic Higher Education: Commitments and Communities, vol. 9, Number 1, Summer 1988.
- But it could be argued that the very structure of the modern, secular “multiversity,” an ideal which some Catholic institutions emulate to one degree or another, is by definition inimical to the purposes of Catholic higher education. See in this context George Grant’s essay, “Faith and the Multiversity,” in his Technology & Justice (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1986). See also the discussion of Alasdair MacIntyre below.
- For more on this question from CUA’s Office of General Counsel, see its document, “Legal Issues Unique to Religious Educational Institutions,” online at http://counsel.cua.edu/Religion/publications/legal-issues.cfm.
- Melanie M. Morey and John J. Piderit, S. J., Catholic Higher Education: A Culture in Crisis (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 89.
- In Chapter 3 of Catholic Higher Education, p. 63, Morey and Piderit describe the Catholic character of the academic content at persuasion model schools in this way: “Though limited in scope because the institution is expected to appeal to both Catholic and non-Catholic students, the academic sector has a clearly identifiable Catholic component. Because faith is comprised of content as well as attitude, all students are expected to take a course related to Catholic teachings. Another theology course including treatment of some facets of the Catholic tradition is required, and students are either strongly encouraged or required to take one or more courses in philosophy.”
- Peter Steinfels, “Hiring Catholic—Hiring for Mission,” published on dotCommonweal, the blog of Commonweal Magazine, September 25, 2007: http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/?p=1287
- John T. McGreevy, “Catholic Enough? Religious Identity at Notre Dame” on the Commonweal Magazine website, September 28, 2007: http://commonwealmagazine.org/catholic-enough-0
- Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C., “More from Miscamble on Catholic Hiring,” on the Mirror of Justice blog, October 18, 2007: http://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/mirrorofjustice/2007/10/more-from-fr-mi.html. The whole discussion involving Steinfels, McGreevy and Miscamble was spurred by Miscamble’s piece in America Magazine: “The Faculty Problem: How Can Catholic Identity Be Preserved?” September 10, 2007: http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=10176&s=2
- Alasdair MacIntyre, God, Philosophy, Universities: A Selective History of the Catholic Philosophical Tradition (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2009), p 174. This final chapter of MacIntyre’s book, entitled “Now: universities, philosophy, God,” is particularly germane to the present report.
- http://www.franciscan.edu/AboutFUS/CompMission/; see also http://www.franciscan.edu/PassionatelyCatholic/