Engagement with Pluralism: A New Way of Understanding and Fostering a Catholic Culture within Catholic Universities

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Charles R. Strain, Ph.D.
James Halstead, O.S.A.
Thomas Drexler, M.A.


This article engages in a critical dialogue with Melanie N. Morey and John J. Piderit, S.J.’s Catholic Higher Education: A Culture in Crisis. It proposes a fifth model, the Catholic Engagement model. It elaborates that model by examining a working paper, “Catholic Identity and the DePaul Student Experience,” that has been used in workshops at DePaul University which explore seven “deep structures” in the Catholic tradition that can form bridges linking people in a pluralistic campus culture.

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Author Biographies

Charles R. Strain, Ph.D., DePaul University

Charles R. Strain, formerly Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, is currently Professor of Religious Studies, DePaul University, Chicago, IL.

James Halstead, O.S.A., DePaul University

Rev. James Halstead is Associate Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, DePaul University, Chicago, IL.

Thomas Drexler, M.A., DePaul University

Thomas Drexler, currently Executive Director of the Ignatian Spirituality Project, Chicago, IL, is the former Assistant Vice President for Mission and Values, DePaul University, Chicago, IL.