College of Arts & Sciences


Philosophy Essay Competition ImageThe Department of Catholic Studies has designed a curriculum that specializes in a variety of disciplines including history, modern Catholicism, philosophy, science, theology, social service, art, music and literature. In addition to the Catholic studies major (30 credits), the department also offers a minor in Catholic Studies (15 credits) and certificates in Catholic Studies (12 credits) and Pastoral Music Ministry (12 credits).

Major in Catholic Studies
In addition to meeting the standards and requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences, students majoring in Catholic Studies are also required to take 30 credits (10  courses), including:

    • CAST 1001 (3 credits)
    • CAST 3193 (3 credits)
    • CAST 3940 / CORE 3746 (3 credits)
    • Four CAST 1000-2000 level courses (12 credits)
    • Three CAST 3000-4000 level courses (9 credits)

Minor in Catholic Studies
Students seeking a minor in Catholic Studies are required to take 15 credits (five courses), including:

    • CAST 1001 (3 credits)
    • Two CAST 2000 level courses (6 credits)
    • Two  CAST 3000-4000 level courses (6 credits)

Certificate in Catholic Studies
To earn a Certificate in Catholic Studies, students are required to take 12 credits (four courses), including:

    • CAST 1001 (3 credits)
    • Two CAST 2000 level electives (6 credits)
    • One CAST 3000-4000 elective (3 credits)

Certificate in Pastoral Music Ministry
To earn a Certificate in Pastoral Music Ministry, students are required to take 12 credits (five courses), including:

    • CAST 1600 / MUAP 1500 (3 credits)
    • CAST  2012 / MUAP 2152 (3 credits)
    • MUTH 2141 (3 credits)
    • MUAP 1182 (2 credits)
    • One course in MUAP 1151-1158 (1 credit)

For a complete listing of Applied Music (MUAP) and Music Theory (MUTH) courses and descriptions, please refer to the Undergraduate Catalogue.

Thinking about double majoring in Catholic Studies and another program? Take a look at this suggested plan of study for a Catholic Studies/Nursing double major. Open PDF »

Course Descriptions
In addition to offering traditional, in-classroom courses, the Department of Catholic Studies also offers many online courses. Unless noted otherwise, the courses listed below are in-classroom courses. Catholic Studies elective course offerings and their descriptions are also listed in the Undergraduate Catalogue.

Required Courses

CAST 1001 Search for Human Fulfillment*
"What is human fulfillment and how does one find it? Beginning with the Scriptural understanding of the great human drama, the course will explore the Catholic understanding of who we are and therefore what kind of human fulfillment is suited to us. The course will investigate the basics of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition through theology, history, literature and philosophy and will end with a look at ultimate fulfillment in the life of heaven. The course will examine primary resources from several disciplines, including theology, philosophy, history and literature, and from different ages of the Church, including ancient, medieval and modern.  3 credits Note: CAST 1001 may be taken in-classroom or online

*CAST 1001 fulfills the core requirements in the College of Arts and Sciences for both the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees.

CAST 3193 Integrating Seminar in Catholic Studies
This course represents an integrating experience of the student's participation in the Catholic Studies Program, whereby theological understanding and lived experience of Catholicism become intertwined. Particular attention is paid to how Catholicism's incarnational theology necessarily applies to and acts within the specific setting of the student's life, parish and community. 3 credits

CAST 3940 (CORE 3746) Catholic Classics and Interiority
This course flows from the new Seton Hall University core curriculum and endeavors to flesh out the meaning of “the Catholic intellectual tradition.” Its aim is to analyze the Catholic classics in the light of human interiority, particularly the human passion for meaning, for the good and for God. 3 credits  Note: CAST 3940 may be taken in-classroom or online

History and Modern Catholicism Electives

CAST 3016 (CORE 3752) Global Christianity
This course explores the distinctive characteristics of non-western forms of Christianity in the Middle East and Egypt, Africa, the Caucasus, Central Asia, India, China and Latin America and the recent spread of western forms of Christianity into non-Western cultures from an inter-disciplinary, historical and theological perspective. 3 credits

CAST 3019 (CORE 3756) Christians and Muslims in Dialogue, A Catholic Perspective
This course examines the historical interaction between Christianity and Islam in light of pertinent themes in Christian-Muslim encounters.  It explores cotemporary positions in interreligious dialogue between Christianity and Islam from interdisciplinary, historical and theological perspectives. 3 credits

CAST 3020 (CORE 3759, JCST 6018) Catholic-Jewish Dialogue on the Holocaust
A critical assessment of facts, issues and attitudes affecting Catholic-Jewish interfaith dialogue on the Holocaust.  3 credits

CAST 3021-WB (WMST 3513, CORE 3980) Modern Women of Faith
The course focuses on the question of what it means to be women of faith, by considering the example of several Catholic women who have lived exemplary, faith-filled lives in a way that has challenged conventional expectations of women on the part of society. In view of their examples, students are encouraged to identify and consider the characteristics of an authentic, faith-filled, Catholic feminism. 3 credits Note: CAST 3021 may be taken in-classroom or online

CAST 3023-WB (PHYS 3103-WB) The Popes and Science
This course is designed to introduce students to Papal teaching on the relations between Christian Faith and natural science and also to serve as a foundation for further study of faith and reason. The course aims to explore the impact of the Popes on the development of modern science. 3 credits Note: CAST 3023 may be taken in-classroom or online

CAST 3397 (CORE 3754) Latin American Catholicism
Catholicism is not only an inextricable part of Latin America history and identity, but the region’s experience of the Faith has a profound influence on the universal and future life of the Church. The course examines in particular Catholicism in Latin America, which embraces a rich ensemble of the humble and heroic, the struggles for human dignity and the miraculous. 3 credits

CAST 4295 (CORE 3250) The Church and Science
This course is concerned with the development of the experimental sciences (viz., physics, chemistry and molecular biology) within the western tradition and the influence that the Church and science have exerted upon each other since the beginnings days of Christianity. 3 credits

CAST 4392-WB (HSTD 6834-WB) The New Jersey Catholic Experience
This course is designed to provide the student with a detailed knowledge of how the Catholic Church developed within the context of New Jersey and American history over the past three centuries. The story of a distinctive Catholic experience has many dimensions which will be described not only through major milestones and eras, but through a growing socio-religious perspective which includes the laity, religious leaders, and key individuals who contributed to the legacy of their faith statewide. 3 credits Note: CAST 4392 is an online course

Philosophy, Theology and Social Service Electives

CAST 3018 (CORE 3755, RELS 3301) John Henry Newman: His life and Teaching
The course focuses on the philosophical-theological thought of John Henry Newman, tracing Newman’s views from his early life to his conversion to Roman Catholicism. 3 credits

CAST 3320 (CORE 3745) Chesterton, Lewis and the Sacramental Tradition
This course examines the works of two of the most prominent 20th century British Christian writers. Although both authors are renowned as apologists, the course focuses upon their imaginative writings and how these served as invaluable expressions of their thought and spiritual vision. Works considered include Chesterton's novel The Man Who Was Thursday and Lewis' novels Out of the Silent Planet and Till We Have Faces3 credits

CAST 3749 (CORE 4291) Philosophy and Theology of Bernard Lonergan
This course will treat the life and work of the Canadian philosopher/theologian Bernard Lonergan from his early days to his later manuscripts on economic theory. It will outline the early influences on his thought – Newman, Plato, Augustine, Aquinas – as well as the influence of the modern sciences and historical scholarship. It will present the broad outlines of his theory of consciousness with an emphasis on self-appropriation. The relevance of his thought to the fields of education, philosophy, history, economics and theology will be highlighted. 3 credits

CAST 3955 (SOCI 3881) Catholicism and Social Sciences
Models of integration and tension between Catholicism and the various sciences of human behavior are examined in their historical contexts. Main controversies—the relationship between facts and values, essentialism vs. anti-essentialism, voluntarism vs. determinism, and relativism vs. objectivism—are examined from a Catholic perspective that emphasizes how theology and the human sciences “implicate” each other.  A Catholic theology of the human sciences is applied to modern and postmodern conditions of life, and contrasted with other Christian as well as non-Christian theologies. 3 credits

CAST 4390 (NURS 3950, CORE 3768) Catholicism, Healthcare and the Human Condition
This course will explore the experiences of both patient and healthcare provider and the relationship between the two. The healthcare encounter (e.g. doctor-patient, nurse-patient) is privileged, unique and multidimensional. The groundwork will be set by study of the human condition and the structure of the healthcare delivery system; students will examine how humans live and how they die revealed by a consideration of disease, socioeconomics, psychology and religion.  Our study will be advanced using the tools of art, literature, science and theology. 3 credits

Art, Music and Literature Electives

CAST 1600 (MUAP 1500) The Practice of Catholic Liturgical Music from Gregorian Chant to Vatican II
The course will feature a study of key elements in the development of sacred music practice as seen through the prism of 2000 years of musical development in the Roman Catholic Church, from Plainchant, commonly known as Gregorian Chant, to Vatican II. 3 credits

CAST 2011 (CORE 3747) Catholicism and Art
This course considers the relationship between the Catholic faith and artistic expression and why art is an inextricable aspect of Catholicism. Particular attention is paid to the various forms and ages of Catholic art, and the rich theological/spiritual messages conveyed through nearly two millennia of painting, sculpture and architecture. 3 credits 

CAST 2012 (MUAP 2141) Catholic Liturgical Music Today: Practical Applications
This course examines essential liturgical documents of the Second Vatican Council which regulate sacred music in the Church. In addition to these documents, the course will explore the following topics: the structure of the Mass, the Liturgical Year, knowledge of the Church Psalm Tones, current music practices and resources. 3 credits

CAST 2410 (CORE 3722) Bible as Literature
This course studies literary qualities of the Bible with attention to its poetic and narrative modes. It provides an in depth exploration of the ways in which biblical literary forms, Biblical themes, and Biblical images influence American and European literatures. 3 credits

CAST 3015 (CORE 3750) Catholicism and Literature
Christianity is literally the religion of the Word, and Catholic writers have been expressing, exploring and communicating the mystery of “the Word made flesh” for two thousand years in every genre of the literary arts.  The course will examine this legacy of “artful theology” in its many variations and in its constant features.  Representative authors and works from different epochs will be examined both in their socio-historical context and for their enduring theological and spiritual significance. 3 credits

CAST 3017 (CORE 3751) Saints Alive!
This course examines the lives and struggles of famous Saints as seen through the lens of contemporary filmmakers and playwrights. 3 credits

CAST 3023 (CORE 3763) The Human Person in Faith and Fashion: A Catholic Perspective
The course looks at the age-old question, what it means to be a human person. The course explores this question by analyzing three views: [1] the human person in the image of God in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, [2] the human person in the image of self, as defined by other schools of thought, and [3] the human person in the image of fashion (person as portrayed by the fashion media.)  We will look at fashion images as a visual language, and evaluate what it communicates about men and women.  The course will also explore the impact of the three views of personhood on the culture at-large. 3 credits

CAST 3024 (CORE 3764) Literature of Catholic Conversion
The experience of conversion is central to Christianity, and throughout the millennia writers have recounted their paths to faith in Christ. The course examines a number of these accounts and authors from the Catholic and broader paths to faith in Christ. The course examines a number of these accounts and authors from the Catholic and broader Christian tradition, including such figures as Saint Augustine, Saint Edith Stein and C.S. Lewis. 3 credits

CAST 3028-WB (HSTD 6404-WB, STHO 6404-WB) Worship and Holy Images in the Catholic Church
Using theological, historical, and anthropological perspectives, the course explores the spiritual significance of Christian iconography from early Christianity to the Middle Ages focusing on the links between imagery and Christian worship. 3 credits Note: CAST 3028 is an online course

CAST 3422 (CORE 3373) Catholic Literature and Film
This course, which fulfills both a Catholic Studies and an English requirement, is concerned with the translation of specifically Catholic literature into film. We shall be examining seven texts in the course, all of which have been adapted for the screen. We shall be reading five novels, one play, and a collection of sermons. This collection of the sermons of the late Archbishop of San Salvador Oscar Romero is not directly parallel to the film bearing his name, Romero, but the spirit of the sermons is deeply reflected in the filmed depiction of the man. All the other works have been intentionally adapted into their filmed counterparts. 3 credits

Study Abroad Electives

Student Exchange Program – University of Münster (Germany and Italy)
Our exchange program offers students an exceptional opportunity to spend time at the University of Münster for one or two semesters and become immersed in German or Italian culture. Catholic Studies students who participate in this exchange program live abroad in a student hall of residence or in private accommodations while paying Seton Hall tuition. To learn more about the program, including choice of courses, application process, visa requirements, housing and available scholarships, please contact Dr. Ines A. Murzaku at or (973) 275-5845.

CAST 3027 (CORE 3981/JCST 6026) The Catholic Church & the Jews in Poland
An analytical survey of Catholic-Jewish coexistence throughout Polish history. Through the reading of primary texts referring to the settling of Jewish community in Poland, the conditions of flourishing of Jewish culture, evolving Catholic attitudes towards the Jewish minority, complex Church-Jewish relations during the Holocaust, and unprecedented renewal of Jewish culture in postwar Poland, as well as the rebuilding of Catholic-Jewish relations in recent decades, the course will provide an advanced introduction to Catholic-Jewish history in Poland. The study abroad trip to Poland, through visiting important Catholic shrines and famous sites of Jewish culture, will provide students with tangible examples of Catholic-Jewish coexistence in Poland, the destruction of Jewish community by the Nazis, as well as with more recent memorialization of the Jewish culture in Poland. 3 credits

CAST 3293 Catholic Faith and the Resurrection of Poland 1795-1990
Few countries exhibit as strong a connection of its history, culture and identity with the Catholic Faith as does Poland, a factor which proved decisive in its return to freedom. The course examines how the Polish people and Church endured through the periods of partition and Nazi/Soviet tyranny until their resurgence in the epochal pontificate of Pope John Paul II and the collapse of Communism. 3 credits

CAST 3994 (CORE 3748) Foundation of Christian Culture
Drawing from a variety of sources - historical, literary, philosophical and theological - this course examines the origins and nature of Christian culture, exploring in particular the value of culture itself as an aspect of revelation and incarnation. 3 credits

CAST 3998 (CORE 3762) Italy in the Footsteps of the Saints
Italy enjoys a pre-eminence as a spiritual center for the Christian world alongside its importance in the development of Western civilization's art, music, architecture and political thought. The course will examine the interplay between Italy's profound spiritual heritage and cultural achievements, focusing on the contributions of such key figures as the Apostles Peter and Paul, Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi, Saint Catherine of Siena, and Saint Ignatius of Loyola. 3 credits

CAST 3999 Emergence of Christian Rome
The Church in Rome has manifested the greatest durability, adaptability and influence of all the early Christian communities mentioned in the New Testament. The course begins with the Roman Church's Jewish roots, the Apostles Peter and Paul and the age of persecutions and continues through its increasingly central role in shaping Western Christianity from the time of Constantine to the early Middle Ages. Special focus is given to the developing office of the papacy and the self-expression of this vibrant community through its art and architecture. 3 credits

Internship Elective

CAST 3891 Internship in Catholic Studies
The Internship provides an opportunity for students to gain experience working with national and international agencies whose activities draw their inspiration from or demonstrate an engagement with the Catholic Intellectual Tradition in its many forms and applications. This may include Catholic-related schools, hospitals, ministries. social justice agencies or non-governmental organizations. 3 credits

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