Josef Cardinal Ratzinger, during his homily at the 2005 conclave which would eventually elect him to be Pope Benedict XVI, said, “We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.”
Now, 14 years later, it is very apparent that the soon-to-be Holy Father knew exactly what he was talking about. Today, tolerance is the greatest of virtues and belief in truth is a form of bigotry.
But knowledge of the truth and the ability to explain it well to others is a lost art for so many. With a lack of a systematic education in the faith, many are wandering aimlessly, relying on what they learned in 8th or 12th grade religion class, and unsure of how to defend the truth in the public square.
Christendom’s graduate school empowers its students and alumni to be the bearers of truth in society, through its faithful approach to the teachings of the Church, and its systematized course of studies which includes three classes in philosophy, an essential part of understanding and proclaiming the truth. Philosophy provides students with the ability to use reason to pursue truth, delve deeper into the faith, and present the faith reasonably and effectively.
Christina Bongiovanni, an alumna of the graduate school, attributes her life-changing graduate education to the philosophy formation offered by the graduate school.
“I had never taken a philosophy class in my life, and I came to not only understand the importance of philosophy, but actually came to love the way that philosophy can change the way that one thinks. The broad mix of classes opened my eyes and enabled me to understand our faith and beliefs in entirely new ways,” she says.
Bongiovanni also found that the professors were completely dedicated to teaching their students in a way which enables the students to pursue the truth.
“Whether the courses were taken in the classrooms or online, the accessibility and willingness of the professors to spend one-on-one time was invaluable,” she says. “I was always struck by two things regarding the professors. One, they always treated my simple questions with respect. And, second, when I had searching questions that I felt might be bordering on heretical, professors always encouraged me to ask those questions, reminding me again and again that it’s only through asking the tough questions that we can arrive at the truth.”
The professors seek to teach according to the spirit and method of St. Thomas Aquinas, integrating philosophy and theology to better equip students to pursue the truth and understand the faith.
A background in philosophy along with the professors’ willingness to enable their students to seek and find the truth provides a strong and life-changing education.
“My experience at Christendom deepened and broadened the foundation of my Catholic faith in a profound way,” she asserts. “Thanks to the variety of classes and wisdom of the professors, what I learned at Christendom has enabled me to not only speak about my faith from a much stronger base of knowledge but has also enriched my sense of the spiritual life in an unexpected way.”
For more information about the graduate school and to learn how catechists, Catholic school teachers, and Directors of Religious Education can save 50% off tuition, go here.
Contributed by Nuala Kelly (’19).