Welcome to Catholic Studies at VCU
Catholic Studies at VCU explores the world’s oldest and largest expression of Christianity from a perspective that is global, interdisciplinary, and comparative. The minor in Catholic Studies is one of a very few at state universities in the United States and as such is designed for all undergraduates, regardless of creed or religious affiliation. Study of such a globalized faith as Roman Catholicism is undertaken in an transnational framework within the VCU School of World Studies. Many students complement their study of Catholicism with foreign language courses, particularly Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian, which are spoken by millions of Catholics.
The Chair in Catholic Studies at VCU’s School of World Studies is unique in central Virginia for offering a global perspective on Catholicism focused through an academic lens. The Chair strives to engage a wide audience regardless of religious affiliation through an interdisciplinary focus by using sociological, historical and anthropological analyses.
Taught by the Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies, R. Andrew Chesnut, classes adopt a humanistic, comparative approach to understanding Catholicism. Coursework includes discussions of Catholicism as it relates to social justice, Latin America, history and more. Check out the VCU course catalog for more information about classes in Catholic Studies.
In addition to classes, the annual Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Lecture Series brings diverse speakers including academics, artists and clergy to speak on a range of issues related to Catholicism. Previous lecture topics have ranged from the Haiti earthquake to Catholicism in Asia; all lectures are free and open to the public.
The School of World Studies is committed to promoting cross cultural appreciation and dialogue so it follows naturally that Catholic Studies employs a transnational and comparative framework to highlight the global reality of Catholicism.