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    Faculty and Staff Invited: Fr. James L. Heft: The Future of Catholic Education: Challenges and Opportunities Impact Banner

    Faculty and Staff Invited: Fr. James L. Heft: The Future of Catholic Education: Challenges and Opportunities

    February 23, 2022

    In honor of the Ignatian year the Jesuit Center and the College of Arts and Sciences will be hosting Fr. James L. Heft, Alton M. Brooks Professor of Religion and founding president of the Institute for the Advancement of Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California. Fr. Heft is the author of the recent book The Future of Catholic Higher Education: The Open Circle. 

    His University presentation “The Future of Catholic Education: Challenges and Opportunities” is on Thursday, March 3, at 4:30 p.m. in the Moskovitz Theater. A cocktail reception for faculty and staff will follow his talk.

     Fr. Heft joined the Marianists in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1973. He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and education at the University of Dayton in Ohio and was a graduate student in philosophy at Georgetown University. In 1977, Fr. Heft earned a Ph.D. in history and theology from the University of Toronto in Canada. He then began a 30-year teaching career at the University of Dayton, serving six years as chair of the theology department, eight as provost and 10 as chancellor. A former chair of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Fr. Heft has written and edited over 12 books and nearly 200 book chapters and articles. In 2011, he was honored with the Theodore Hesburgh Award for long and distinguished service to Catholic higher education.

     In The Future of Catholic Higher Education, Fr. Heft draws from his extensive experience to discuss the current state of Catholic higher education and what needs to be done to ensure that Catholicism isn't fazed out of the educational system. He analyzes the foundational intellectual principles of Catholic Higher Education, and both the strengths and weaknesses of the present-day system in order to look at possibilities for its future.

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