Monday, December 28, 2009

More of "Catholic" Colleges... and why the cancellation of the MA theology program may not be a bad thing...

A while back I was upset because the President of my husband's college had pulled the plug on the Master's of Theology Program. My husband's class will be the last class to complete the program and then it'll be gone.

In some ways hearing about the program initially was a dream: he was offered major scholarships for keeping a good GPA. The classes were on weekends so he could continue to work full time (I was pregnant with Sadie when he was applying). And he'd have his MA in theology at the end of it all (a lot of the programs we looked at were "pastoral studies" but he was leaning more towards the theology programs).

He's now halfway through the program and we've learned a lot. Maybe we were a little naive when we started out. We knew that a lot of Catholic Colleges are liberal and heterodox (my alma mater definitely was) but after talking to the priest in charge of the program we were convinced that it wouldn't be problem.... If only that priest taught all of the classes!

Unfortunately many of his professors don't seem mature enough (or confident enough in their own beliefs) to deal with a student on a weekly basis that doesn't passively accept their heretical drivel. He had a professor write personal insults on one of his final papers. She then cancelled the meeting that he asked for to talk about the paper, and finally refused all requests to meet with him. He had to tell another professor after class one day that he didn't think they should continue their conversation about HIV in Africa (and condom distribution) until after the semester was over. The teacher had become enraged and he was seriously worried about his grade (this is the same professor that tells one of my husband's classmates after each of his anti-Pope/anti-magesterium/ anti- Church rants that he's "very wise"). His complaints to the department (when he had a paper with personal insults written on it) have shown us that the professors are pretty much free to do what they want and that nothing will be done...

So maybe it isn't a bad thing that this particular program is going under. The University, like many of the heterodox religious orders in the country, doesn't seem to understand that it's enrollment (in the field of theology) is down because people who want to study religion, tend to be serious about it. They give it actual thought. And they don't accept the watered down, "everybody's okay" spirituality that has nothing to do with what Christ actually taught and a lot to do with a liberal political agenda.

A year and a half to go. Maybe I should get a ticker on my page so that we can count it down....

At least we've learned to be much, much more careful when he decides on his next school.

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