In his apostolic constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, St. John Paul II wrote that a Catholic university or college is “a living institutional wtiness to Christ and his message, so vitally important in cultures marked by secularism.” He continues by saying that everything in these Catholic institutions should be conducted in harmony with the evangelizing mission of the Church, including offering an “education in a faith-context that forms men and women capable of rational and critical judgement and conscious of the transcendent dignity of the human person.” I wonder if you might agree that Catholic colleges and universities that seek to form young adults holistically and intentionally in this manner are perhaps more important today than they ever have been.
My guest today carries the responsibility of helping provide just such a Christocentric formation in an intentional college culture. Dr. Joe Wurtz is Dean of Students at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where he also serves as Executive Director of the Gregorian Fellows. A graduate of Benedictine himself where he earned a BA in philosophy, he also holds a master’s degree in Higher Ed Administration from the University of Kansas, and a doctorate in Higher Ed Administration from George Washington University. As Dean of Students, he oversees programs and activities involving residence life, student development, intramural programs, student health services, counseling, student activities, and career development at Benedictine. He joins me to talk about the vision of student formation at a Catholic college in our day and age.