Catholic High Schools: Facing the New Realities

Catholic High Schools: Facing the New Realities


By (author) James L. Heft

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 163mm x 236mm x 25mm | 204g
  • Publication date: 8 December 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0199796653
  • ISBN 13: 9780199796656
  • Sales rank: 1,333,410

Product description

Catholic high schools in the United States have been undergoing three major changes: the shift to primarily lay leadership and teachers; the transition to a more consumerist and pluralist culture; and the increasing diversity of students attending Catholic high schools. James Heft argues that to navigate these changes successfully, leaders of Catholic education need to inform lay teachers more thoroughly, conduct a more profound social analysis of the culture, and address the real needs of students. After presenting the history of Catholic schools in the United States and describing the major legal decisions that have influenced their evolution, Heft describes the distinctive and compelling mission of a Catholic high school. Two chapters are devoted to leadership, and other chapters to teachers, students, alternative models of high schools, financing, and the key role of parents, who today may be described as "post-deferential" to traditional authorities, including bishops and priests. Written by an award-winning teacher, scholar, and recognized educational leader in Catholic education, Catholic High Schools should be read by everyone interested in religiously- affiliated educational institutions, particularly Catholic education.

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Author information

Fr. James L. Heft, S.M. (Marianist), Alton Brooks Professor of Religion at the University of Southern California, is the author or editor of 12 books and over 150 scholarly articles, and currently serves at the President of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC ( His recent research has focused on the mission of Catholic education and interreligious dialogue.

Review quote

All those wrestling with how to revitalize Christian education can learn from Heft's impassioned but at the same time realistic and deeply informed advocacy on behalf of Catholic high schools. Mark U. Edwards, Jr., President Emeritus, St. Olaf College

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Chapter 1: Conditions for Success Chapter 2: Historical Developments Chapter 3: American Culture and Religion Chapter 4: The Mission: Moral and Religious Formation Chapter 5: Leadership: Theological Resources Chapter 6: Leadership: Moral Sources Chapter 7: Students Today: Descriptions Chapter 8: Teachers: Calling and Response Chapter 9: New Models and More Money Chapter 10: The Future of Catholic High Schools Index