Written by Alison Coffman ’12, English Education and Catholic Studies
As a freshman I had big plans to major in Business Communications, maybe pick up a minor in Art History on the side, and eventually pursue a career in the corporate world. If someone would have told me that I’d end up majoring in English Education with a Catholic Studies minor, and that my first job out of college would be teaching in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I probably would have punched them out of disbelief.
Written by Paula Thelen ’12, Catholic Studies, Theology, and Secondary Education
This title of a 1972 National Conference of Catholic Bishops (now USCCB) document has truly become my educational philosophy over the years. It may seem a rather simple pedagogy in theory – the fact that Christ taught through stories that were relevant to His listeners, built community among His students, and courageously practiced what He preached – yet is not quite so easy to put into practice.
Yet last fall I gave myself over to early mornings (often as early as 5:20 am) and busy weekends grading papers in order to co-teach 90 freshmen girls Faith and Morality and 100 7th and 8th graders Church History and Language Arts. My school placements, both Catholic because religion is my subject area, were Convent of the Visitation in Mendota Heights and Epiphany in Coon Rapids, respectively
My experience with Catholic Studies has been more than an opportunity to grow in knowledge, it has been an incredible opportunity for formation as a person. I came into college with a faith that was founded on “heart-knowledge” of the Lord, but through Catholic Studies, and learning fundamental truths, it has allowed my faith to flourish with a new and rich depth. I am currently taking a course titled, “Faith and Doubt” which is both a Catholic Studies and Philosophy course. My experience in this class has been exceptional. It is never an issue of desiring to do the homework because I truly want to be learning the course material. The material not only inspires my personal faith, but allows me to gain a faith-filled perspective on life that is so significant in relating to others.