The Christianity and Culture minor at Belmont Abbey College emphasizes:

  • how Christian thought and practice engage culture

In this program, you will explore Christianity’s roots in the Mediterranean, stages of growth in Europe, expansion to the Americas, and current global status. You will come to better understand the relationship of Christianity to culture in your own time and place, and you will learn to articulate that relationship in conversation with a variety of audiences.

You’ll enjoy the Abbey’s Christianity and Culture minor if you:

  • love history, literature, theology, or politics
  • want to better understand connections between Christian faith and American or international cultures
  • want to better understand distinct geographies that have been vital to the development of Christian—and Western—civilization
  • want to develop a more global perspective on Christianity
  • want to better understand possible connections between Christian faith and professional life

From some perspectives it might seem that the influence of Christianity is declining in a Western or global setting. By contrast, we emphasize how Christianity has been essential to the past and present—and promises to shape the future—of the human community, sometimes in surprising ways. The minor will:

  • Build on the foundations of your core curriculum experience, drawing connections across disciplinary boundaries in upper-level courses
  • Prepare you to connect your overall experience at the Abbey to your life as a national and global citizen

With a Christianity and Culture minor from Belmont Abbey College, you will be better prepared to enter a broad variety of career areas such as:

  • religious life
  • graduate school
  • education
  • communications or journalism
  • health care
  • business 

The Abbey Difference:

Students pursuing this minor at the Abbey explore how Christianity has engaged in intensive dialogue with distinct cultures—sometimes cooperative, sometimes combative, always transformative—and thereby become better prepared to bear witness to its continuing potential to do so. Building on the college’s core curriculum, they become increasingly aware of both real historical differences and ecumenical possibilities in Christian thought and practice. They learn to connect the Benedictine heritage on our campus to the world beyond it, sometimes in intensive study abroad experiences.

The program’s coordinating committee reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the minor. Dr. Farrell O’Gorman (committee chair) has published two books on Christianity and modern literature, with a particular focus on the Americas. Dr. Patrick Wadden, a native of Ireland and graduate of Oxford University, is an award-winning expert on the medieval history of northern Europe. Dr. Grattan Brown, who completed graduate studies at the Accademia Alfonsiana in Rome, speaks widely on bioethical concerns and Catholic social thought.

Generous donor funding has enabled them to lead students on two-week study abroad trips in support of the minor. These trips have been to Rome, where the seed of the Gospel first took root in the West, and the British Isles, which nurtured those forms of Christian experience most historically influential in the United States.

Highlights of our Experience:

These are the sorts of classes you can look forward to with a Christianity and Culture minor from Belmont Abbey College:

CC 201 Catholicism in America. Introduction to 1) the historical and cultural experience of Catholics in America and 2) the role of Catholicism in the American imagination. The course is multidisciplinary, with primary attention to history and literature, occasional consideration of theology and the social sciences, and some attention to the role of Catholics in professional life.

CC 350 Topics in Christianity and Culture (cross-listed). Offered in Spring semester. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to topics further developed in the CC 351 study abroad course. Recent topics: History and Literature of Ireland; Art and Architecture of Rome.

CC 351 Studies in Christianity and Culture (cross-listed). Study abroad course offered in mid-May through early June. This course builds upon the foundations laid in CC 350. Students visit sites of historical and cultural significance as well as attending lectures and participating in a seminar-style discussion. Recent destinations: Ireland, including Northern Ireland; Rome, including nearby Italian destinations such as Assisi.

Program Requirements:

Students must complete 15 hours of courses from the following list. Of those 15 hours, at least 3 hours must be earned in each of the following disciplines: EN, HI, and TH.

  • CC 201 Catholicism in America
  • CC 350 Topics in Christianity and Culture (cross-listed with EN, HI, and/or TH)
  • CC 351 Studies in Christianity and Culture (cross-listed with EN, HI, and/or TH)
  • EN 400 Special Topics (on Christian topics or authors such as Tolkien, Dostoevsky, O’Connor)
  • EN 403 Medieval Literature
  • EN 413 Dante
  • EN 421 Love in the Literary Tradition
  • HI 334 Religion and Revolution in Early America
  • HI 350 History of the Benedictine Tradition
  • HI 360 The Crusades
  • HI/TH 366 Islamic Beliefs and History
  • HI 405 Christianity and Colonialism
  • PO 371 Catholic Political Thought
  • PO 402 Medieval Political Philosophy
  • TH 325 Protestant Tradition
  • TH 340 Catholic Social Teaching
  • TH/HI 341 Church History
  • TH 345 Theology of Sexuality and Marriage
  • TH 370 Theology of Science
  • TH 371 Theology of Culture
  • TH 384 The Virgin Mary
  • TH 425 Theology of Ecumenism

It is the student’s responsibility to see that all degree requirements for graduation are fulfilled.


Dr. Farrell O’Gorman
Program Coordinator (Chair)
Professor of English
B.A., University of Notre Dame
M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Student Trip