Kathryn Prejean 0

Students & Alumni with concerns on SOM Undergraduate Degree

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Dear Members of the Board of Trustees of the University of Dallas, 

Students of the University of Dallas have long appreciated the rigorous intellectual environment they can expect to find here: one rooted in the Great Books and steeped in the historical tradition of the Catholic Faith. In Fides et Ratio, John Paul II said that "Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves." It is precisely this robust understanding of the faith joined with the challenging core curricula that has shaped thousands of students for decades. 

Unlike other institutions of higher learning that were founded in the spirit of the Catholic faith but have since wavered and become unrecognizable as such, the University of Dallas has emerged from the test of time possessing a Theological curriculum that contains sound orthodox doctrine and professors that not only teach the tenets of the faith, but witness to it in their personal lives. Coupled with a challenging Liberal Arts curriculum, the result has been a winning combination that has not only profoundly shaped the students, but also many with whom the graduates have come into contact after UD. 

While in college, many students search for a sense of identity, engaging some of life's most difficult questions and shaping their understanding of the world and their faith. Many of the viewpoints formed during these critical four years will serve as the foundation for the rest of their lives. Students attend UD expecting and desiring the opportunity to engage their faith and in their Theology classes find answers to their questions in an education that is untainted by misrepresentations of doctrine. As President Keefe stated: “There isn’t an institution that compares to the University of Dallas in its fidelity to the Church and its academic rigor.” Until now, this has been a defining feature of UD. 

Unfortunately, we fear this might soon change. The School of Ministry and several professors support controversial theological opinions that are in conflict with the Magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church. As such, it is challenging UD's commitment to Ex Corde Ecclesiae. This is troubling. The new Pastoral Ministry major, as it is now arranged, will bring undergraduate students under the instruction of the School of Ministry and formed by the often controversial and errant theological positions that are promoted by several of its professors.  

I am writing today to ask you to take action. We need supporters of UD to stand for Truth and for the the University of Dallas' faithful Catholic character. Please thoughtfully inquire into the School of Ministry to determine whether its teachers will be orthodox, staunch defenders of Catholicism, unabashed in their ability to teach the faith and remain faithful to the Magisterium. If they are not, we implore you to reconsider adding this new major in Pastoral Ministry to the curriculum. In the words of Dr. Patrick Fagan, "May this disaster be averted." 


Students and Alumni of the University of Dallas


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