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BELMONT, N.C. (August 3, 2015) — Private, non-profit, Catholic, Belmont Abbey College announced its newest degree program—the Catholic Educational Studies degree —to be offered beginning this Fall. This new degree, which leverages the college’s deep expertise in education and theology, is designed to meet the needs of Catholic Schools that desire skilled educators with a strong Catholic theological foundation. The degree program will be directed by Dr. Laura Campbell.

“With so many fewer religious sisters, brothers and priests in our Catholic schools, the laity will have to respond to God’s call to bear the responsibility for providing the religious formation of youth,” said Dr. Campbell. “More and more of our students are expressing a desire to teach in Catholic schools. By adding this Catholic Educational Studies major we will help build upon the legacy bequeathed by our Catholic religious orders.”

The Belmont Abbey College educational licensure program already offers a well-respected approach to elementary teacher education in terms of knowledge and pedagogy. This new major will create a program that will challenge students called to be Catholic educators and allow for Catechetical formation for those students who aspire to:

  1. teach in Catholic middle and secondary schools
  2. be Directors of Religious Education
  3. become Youth Ministers
  4. serve as Parish and school coordinators.

The Catholic Educational Studies major, building on a rigorous, liberal arts core, will prepare future secondary teachers to understand the Catholic intellectual tradition and share their passion for learning. The college hopes the program will also contribute to the development of faithful, informed, and articulate participants in Catholic education.  The degree will form an excellent foundation for a career in 6-12 Catholic education.

The new degree program will also provide opportunities outside the classroom for student faith formation, participation in liturgical and communal prayer, and action in service of social justice by participating in internships with the Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools middle and secondary schools. The intent of the degree is to prepare all the Catholic interns to be eligible for basic catechetical certification.

“We’re excited to be a part of a movement in Catholic education to bring solid catechetical formation to a new generation,” said Dr. Bill Thierfelder, president of Belmont Abbey College. “We hope to form partnerships across our region that will create a strong footing for Catholic education for years to come.”

Founded in 1876 by Benedictine monks, Belmont Abbey College focuses on the development of the whole person in mind, body and spirit. Located just 10 miles west of Charlotte, N.C., the College is currently home to more than 1600 students.  For more information, visit