Catholic Higher Education

Catholic Higher Education : A Culture in Crisis

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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. Morey and Piderit waded into these waters with a study of 124 senior administrators from 33 Catholic colleges and universities across the United States. From these interviews emerged the evidence that a cultural crisis is looming over these institutions. Based on their research, Morey and Piderit describe the present situation and offer concrete suggestions for Catholic colleges and universities to recover their Catholic identity, culture, and mission. The authors define the critical issues and analyze and address them by using the rich construct of culture, particularly organizational culture. They provide four different models of how Catholic colleges and universities can operate and successfully compete as religiously distinctive institutions in the higher education market. After specifying the content of the Catholic tradition - intellectual, moral, and social - Morey and Piderit critique present performance among institutions in all four models, provide specific policy proposals for attending to religious cultural weakness, and offer principles for effectively leading and managing cultural change.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 464 pages
  • 162.6 x 233.7 x 38.1mm | 748.44g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195305515
  • 9780195305517
  • 2,002,251

About Melanie M. Morey

Melanie M. Morey is Senior Director for Research and Consulting at NarrowGate Consulting in Reno, Nevada. John J. Piderit, S.J. is President of the Catholic Education Network in the Bronx, New York.show more

Review quote

The authors' historical research coupled with extensive campus visits and over a hundred interviews provide the reader with the most comprehensive and nuanced examination of this important sector of American higher education in print. A 'must read' for all who care about the future of this set of institutions. * David Breneman, author of Liberal Arts Colleges: Thriving, Surviving, or Endangered * Piderit and Morey have made a major contribution to the ongoing debate about Catholic higher education. Relying on a survey of 124 senior administrators, they clarify the issues, discuss the implications of their findings, and make concrete recommendations to which everyone interested in the subject should listen. Their discussion of the decline of the Catholic religious orders is especially challenging. * Andrew Greeley, author of The Catholic Revolution : New Wine, Old Wineskins, and the Second Vatican Council * This extraordinarily rich and timely work will serve as an invaluable resource for all who are interested in the future of Catholic higher education. Through the sheer breadth of the investigation and their own keen analysis the authors have produced a work that is provocative, and at the same time full of insight, thoughtful reflection and practical recommendations. This book gets at all the right questions...and sketches out what may very well become some of the best solutions. * Rev. Dennis Dease, President, The University of St. Thomas * This may be the most important study of Catholic higher education that has ever been done. An exceedingly well-researched, straightforward, and balanced presentation, this book should be required reading for every administrator and trustee of every Catholic university and college in the country. If I had a magic wand to wave, I would see to it that every faculty member and student in those institutions would also read and ponder it. * Rev. Richard P. McBrien, Crowley-O'Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame * In order for Catholic colleges and universities to provide an excellent Catholic education for the students of today and tomorrow, it is crucial that they remain rooted in the mission defined by their founding religious communities and maintain a vibrant Catholic culture on campus. The depth of information that Father Piderit and Dr. Morey have compiled through their focused interviews of college and university administrators and analyzed in light of their own work in Catholic higher education will help Catholic institutions of higher learning to be true to their heritage and faithful to the Church. * Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago *show more

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