Catholic higher education in the United States is undergoing dramatic changes, driven largely by the virtual disappearance of nuns, brothers, and priests from Catholic university campuses. Today, Catholic colleges and universities are dealing with critical questions about what constitutes Catholic collegiate identity. What are appropriate ways to engage the Catholic tradition across all sectors of university life? What constitutes a critical mass of committed and knowledgeable Catholics necessary to maintain religious identity? What is an appropriate level of knowledge and religious commitment for those who lead, govern, and teach at Catholic institutions and how do they acquire it? Many people have strong - and strongly differing - opinions about the current state of Catholic higher education. Melanie M. Morey and John J. Piderit, S.J., wade into these waters with a study of 124 senior administrators at 33 Catholic colleges and universities across the United States. Exceptionally candid appraisals by administrators across a varied landscape attest that a cultural crisis is looming at a number of Catholic institutions.
Morey and Piderit offer the first in-depth cultural analysis of the Catholic character of Catholic universities and colleges at a crucial time for these institutions. With new research and practical applications, this book is an invaluable resource for Catholic educators and anyone concerned about the future of Catholic higher education.