Letter of Support from Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Beverly Davenport <link to .pdf>
Letter of Support from McMicken College Dean Kenneth Petren <link to .pdf>
From the Conway Foundation
"Ruth and Bob Conway believed that what they had been given was a gift from God that they should share with others. To give beyond their lifetimes, they started a charitable foundation. Ruth's fondness for her alma mater and their mutual commitment to the Catholic faith and religious dialogue led to their decision to fund the Ruth J. and Robert A. Conway Endowed Chair in Catholic Studies at the University of Cincinnati. They never realized how transformative it would become"-Conway Foundation.
From Our Donors
"We've had the opportunity to meet Dr. Zalar on several occasions. His passion for Catholic history and background in Germanic studies is a great fit for the tradition and culture of the University of Cincinnati. We look forward to continuing our support for the Catholic Studies Program" - Dr. Peter and Jennifer Mallow, UC undergraduate and graduate alumni.
From the Archdiocese of Cincinnati
"I want to offer my deepest gratitude to all who have been involved in the formation of this Program in Catholic Studies at the University of Cincinnati….This program is a public recognition that Catholic life is not only something to be cherished by members of a particular faith community, but is consistently and enthusiastically present in the public square, helping develop the character of our world, our nation, and the Greater Cincinnati area. It is something that all people, whether believers or non-believers, can objectively study, alongside the rich contributions of many other faith communities, to achieve a better understanding of the society in which we live. The Program should also offer enlightenment for how Catholicism contributed to the very development of Western university life, of which the University of Cincinnati is a shining and successful example" - Most Reverend Joseph Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
From Our Students
" want to take courses on my terms and within my interests. These courses are among them. I was raised Catholic and I feel that faith without proper intellectual foundations is insufficient" - Sean, Violin Performance.
"I am extremely interested in taking courses in Catholic Studies! I love learning more about my faith and its history. I am happy that these courses are being offered" - Alexa, Communication Sciences.
"Cincinnati has a very high number of Catholics and so does UC. It amazes me that we have not had Catholic Studies until now. I think that since we are such a 'Catholic area' we should know about our roots, our culture, and our faith" - Stephanie, Nursing.
"Faith is an essential part of my everyday life. Catholic Studies is a good idea for UC, because it will account for Catholicism in the examination of many different cultures" - Kelly, Nursing.
"I want to take courses in Catholic Studies to better understand my history and from where my religion originated. These courses will be beneficial to UC, because they will help to create a sense of understanding among religions" - Lauren, Graphic Design.
"I am not Catholic, but I would like to learn more about Catholicism and how it has shaped past and present society. Most could learn from the Church's ideas and principles" - Patience, Psychology.
"We've been in dire need of a serious Catholic presence at UC!" - Billy, Aerospace Engineering.
"I think that expanding religious studies is a good idea for a secular university given that so many young people are religious. Also, Cincinnati has a strong Catholic heritage that ought to be studied" - Ellen, Political Science & Philosophy.
"UC is a very diverse university, but it could use a more serious intellectual discussion about Catholicism" - Annie, Secondary Education/English.
"As a Catholic, my obligation is to learn more about my faith and its foundations. This, to me, is a given. I also help with Sunday school at my parish, so hopefully I can share some of the knowledge I acquire with my kids" - Jessica, Psychology.
"I converted to Catholicism about a year ago. I have never had any religious education before and I am hoping to learn a lot in these courses" - Aaron, Pharmacy.
"I very much want to learn more about Catholicism. These courses are so different from what I am used to taking!" - Steven, Criminal Justice.
"I have received some form of Catholic education for the better part of fifteen years. Over this time, I felt like I had learned a decent amount about my faith. But the course 'Foundations of Catholicism' allowed me to discover and study ideas in the kind of detailed way I would not have respected in elementary or high school. It is a GREAT way to learn more about Catholicism at a high intellectual level. It challenges one to think, question, and discover more about its sophisticated faith tradition. I would tell all students that if they want to gain an intellectually sound and penetrating understanding of Catholicism, this course is a must" - Ben, Mathematics/Education.
"Coming from a faith-filled family, I was not a stranger to the basics of Catholicism, but I never had the time to examine them from the roots up. The course 'Foundations of Catholicism' considered the history and contemporary implications of Catholic beliefs and practices, breaking down the Church's teachings and activities and analyzing them to their origins. I wish more people knew about the topics we covered in this course, especially the principles in which they are grounded. As a result of taking this class, I feel more confident explaining my faith to others, and this can only promote intercultural understanding" - Kevin, Information Technology-Software Design.
"I really don’t think I could be grateful enough for the course 'The Catholic Intellectual Tradition'. I've learned more about myself as a person in this class than in the entirety of my college education. I feel like this class was everything I wanted out of college but only got at the end! If I end up coming back to UC for graduate school or for further education, I will definitely check out the classes that Catholic Studies has to offer" - Regina, Architecture.
"Taking a class in the Catholic intellectual tradition was a true joy. The class took a solid academic approach, but it intersected equally well with the faith concerns of many students. The class allowed me to get a view of the intellectual history of my faith from a reliable academic and historical perspective. This new knowledge then allowed me to appreciate more fully the intellectual depth that has gone into our faith over the years, and to thus incorporate that same knowledge into my own perspectives. What I now know more fully, I am able to love more fully. It was a great experience and a great opportunity to be able to live out my faith in the context of my schooling, which is a challenging thing to do nowadays. I never pictured myself as much of a donor to UC as an alumnus, but a donation that goes specifically to the Program in Catholic Studies is something I could get behind" - Matt, Biomedical Engineering.
From University-Recognized Student Organizations
"We in the UC Society of Saint Paul greatly appreciate the Program in Catholic Studies. Many Society members have had the privilege of attending courses in the curriculum since the Program's inception. In addition to teaching us about Catholic beliefs and practices from an academic perspective, these courses have helped students hone their critical thinking, research, reading comprehension, and argumentation skills. Instruction has also called us to practice the intellectual virtues, such as self-discipline, studiousness, courage, and magnanimity. The Program has created a positive and dynamic Catholic presence on campus while immeasurably strengthening both our lives of faith and our career preparation. We owe a sincere debt of gratitude to the Program’s donors for so priceless an education" - Marty Arlinghaus, founding member and Program Coordinator, Society of Saint Paul.
"In their document "Empowered by the Spirit," the U.S. Bishops declare that one of the goals of campus ministry, especially on a secular campus, is to share information about the faith. By inviting our campus ministry team to lecture in one of the courses, the Catholic Studies Program gives us a chance to help students understand the Catholic tradition as it might relate to their chosen area of study. We have encouraged our students to register for classes in the Program by having Professor Zalar speak at our dinners or after Mass. We have also collaborated on the Conway Lecture Series. We want to send our graduates into the world fully formed in their faith. Although the Program in Catholic Studies is academically focused, it has helped us perform our mission more effectively" - Michael Schreiner, MDiv., Catholic Campus Minister, St. Monica-St. George Parish Newman Center.