Reflections on Core Curriculum, Mission, and Catholic Identity in Our Time

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Patricia O’Connell Killen, Ph.D.

Abstract

Reviewing and revising core curricula at Catholic colleges and universities is often fraught, primarily because the core symbolizes so centrally these institutions’ identities. Situating core revision as one dimension of a larger shared task in which all Catholic institutions are engaged today—living into and articulating the meaning of being authentically Catholic beyond the bounds of an ethnic/religious/class subcultural context—lowers the temperature and offers a different angle of vision from which to approach the core. From this perspective, those working on core revision do well to think through how the content, structure, and pedagogy employed in the core, together communicate to students the power of the Catholic narrative of existence and invite them to consider its significance for their lives and their aspirations for the future. Doing this work can deepen faculty appreciation for the Catholic narrative and its animating power in their institutions.

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Author Biography

Patricia O’Connell Killen, Ph.D., Gonzaga University

Patricia O’Connell Killen is Academic Vice President and Professor of Religious Studies at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.