Catholic, Classical, Complete: Atlanta Georgia's Holy Spirit College
education of the next generation of Catholic men and women. It is Christ the Teacher who teaches His children in the Catholic College. In an address to educators in 1979 John Paul proclaimed "Catholic education is above all a question of communicating Christ, of helping to form Christ in the lives of others."
Catholic education exists to put students in touch with the source of all Truth and Beauty, Jesus Christ. For example, instruction in the sciences, though certainly pursuing and utilizing all available methods for scientific inquiry, should present that science is to be at the service of truth, the dignity of the human person from conception until natural death, marriage, the family and the common good. Math should be presented as a language with which we are enabled to plumb the depth and beauty of God's creation.
At a Catholic College students should be introduced to the masters, the great classics of Western Civilization. They should discover the rich tapestry of art found in the heart of the Church and come to understand that the Church has birthed some of the greatest artists in human history precisely because she reveals God the Divine artist. Students at a Catholic College should not just read about Aristotle, or Plato, or Saint Thomas Aquinas but actually read these great teachers who informed the foundation of Western Civilization.
Catholic Colleges should stretch students academically, promoting excellence and not minimalism. In an authentically Catholic educational philosophy there is no dichotomy between "faith and reason" or faith and intellectual excellence. In one of the encyclical letters of the Venerable John Paul II, Faith and Reason (Fides et ratio) he expressed this unity so clearly: "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth-in a word, to know himself-so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves."
Recently I discovered another authentically Catholic College which has been raised up by the Holy Spirit to take its place in this vital mission. This new College is located in Atlanta, Georgia and is appropriately named Holy Spirit College. It has taken the above quotation from "Faith and Reason" as a part of its own self description. It seeks to respond to the challenge of the Church to build an authentically Catholic College in complete fidelity to the Magisterium. Its educational motto is particularly compelling to me "Catholic, Classical, Complete".I encourage our readers to visit its web site here. The following description of its mission is taken from that site:
About Holy Spirit College
Holy Spirit College is an independent, authentic Catholic liberal arts college governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees and supported by a distinguished Academic Advisory Board. Holy Spirit College is not affiliated with any religious order or congregation. Holy Spirit College (HSC) was founded in 2005 as an undergraduate college offering courses in the Liberal Arts to students enrolled at Holy Spirit Preparatory School. Graduates of those courses have gone on to study at many of the finest undergraduate institutions in the United States including Harvard, The University of Notre Dame, Emory University, Vanderbilt University and The Naval and Air Force Academies.
In 2009, Holy Spirit College was authorized by the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission (GNPEC) to offer both a Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.) Degree in addition to the Associate of the Arts Degree in Liberal Arts (A.A.). HSC is preaccredited by the American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE). Spring 2010 was a time of growth and structuring of the HSC program as we entered into an articulation agreement with Ave Maria University, adopting their core curriculum to allow for students attending HSC during the freshman/sophomore years to transfer to Ave Maria to complete a major not offered at HSC. With the finalization of the articulation agreement, formal expansion of program offerings began July 1, 2010.
In August 2010, in addition to its dual credit students from Holy Spirit Preparatory School, the college admitted its inaugural cadre of full-time undergraduate students pursuing a Bachelor of Philosophy Degree. These students were offered majors in Philosophy, Theology, and Catholic Education as well as the opportunity to complete additional majors through our partnership with Ave Maria University.
The college expects to initiate a Masters of Theology Program (subject to GNPEC approval) in Spring 2011. Subsequent years anticipate the development of additional graduate degrees of Master of Philosophy, Catholic Education, and Psychology.
Holy Spirit College is blessed with a beautiful and mature campus setting that is shared with both Holy Spirit Parish and Holy Spirit Prep. The college enjoys dedicated facilities within the parish complex including college lecture theaters, a satellite library, a break room, and offices. A student common room with study, dining and relaxation areas is located in the nearby Commons Building and accessed by college students only via an entry key code. The newly created Alternate Energy Center provides an avenue for environmental science labs and research.
I have contacted the President of Holy Spirit College, Gareth N. Genner and the Chair of the Faculty of Theology, Father Paul Burke. I hope to visit the campus in the future and interview them both. I will keep our readers informed. In the meantime, let's pray for Holy Spirit College and all of the other Catholic Colleges and Universities doing the vital work of preparing the missionaries for the New Evangelization.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Catholic College, Holy Spirit College, Ex Corde Ecclesia, Gareth N. Genner, Father Paul Burke, New Evangelization, Deacon Keith Fournier
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