The Catholic University of America


School of Theology and Religious Studies
– Since 1889

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Historical Highlights

  Caldwell Hall
  Caldwell Hall has been home to the study of theology at Catholic University since its founding.

From its foundation The Catholic University of America has given academic priority to theology and religious studies and related disciplines. Initially, the academic programs in these areas were offered in the School of Sacred Sciences (1889). In time there emerged the School of Canon Law (1923), followed by a Seminary Program (1931) and, within the School of Arts and Sciences, the Program of Religion (1932). The original School of Sacred Sciences was later divided into a School of Sacred Theology and a School of Philosophy (1937). In 1970 a Liturgical Studies Program was instituted.

After an extensive review of programs and structures, the Board of Trustees approved a recommendation by the Academic Senate to establish a new School of Religious Studies in September 1973. The School was composed of five departments: Biblical Studies, Canon Law, Church History, Religion and Religious Education, and Theology. In 2002, the Board of Trustees, after the recommendation of the Academic Senate, voted that Canon Law be reestablished as a School of Canon Law and that the remaining academic units of the School become programs in a School of Theology and Religious Studies. By thus coordinating existing units, The Catholic University of America established a School of Theology and Religious Studies as a national center of academic research, instruction, and service.

Anniversary Events

SEPTEMBER 26–29, 2012

Conference on the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II

The aim of the conference — titled “Reform and Renewal: Vatican II after Fifty Years” — is to shed light on what the council did and how those accomplishments can be applied in the Church today. This conference will explore how the council focused on both reform and renewal, how the council’s documents were or were not implemented in Church life, and how the Church in the 21st century can respond to its needs in light of the teachings of Vatican II.

The conference will feature keynote addresses by Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Rev. John O’Malley, S.J., author of What Happened at Vatican II and professor at Georgetown University; and Monsignor Paul G. McPartlan, Carl J. Peter Chair of Systematic Theology and Ecumenism at CUA and member of the international Roman Catholic-Orthodox dialogue and of the International Theological Commission.

Topics to be addressed at the conference include theological method, religious life, priestly formation, apostolate of the laity, ecumenism, interfaith dialogue, religious freedom, and moral theology.