Monday, October 25, 2010

CINO (Catholic in Name Only) and Double Majors

Have you noticed anything new on the blog layout? No? In your left side bar, under the Personality Profile, is a counter that shows just how long I have until graduation. Currently it's 1 year, 6 months, 1 week, and 6 days. *sigh* Seems like such a long time but then I think about how fast these past 2 (nearly 3) months have gone and that makes me feel better. Being at a CINO (Catholic in Name Only) college is hard and getting harder.

I'm beginning to see certain assignments marked down. The tension between professors and certain students (myself included) is beginning to increase. My anxiety's also beginning to get a lot worse. My anxiety had been under control and had gone months without an actual attack and now I have them every other day. Yesterday I was told by several people that I should just leave the school; to finish out the semester and transfer elsewhere. My poor mother, who's seen me at my worse, has been noticing the same pattern which I display before the anxiety gets really, really bad. Yesterday I nearly fainted while standing and had the worse panic attack I've had in a really long time. I don't know if my being at that school is bringing this on but it certainly looks that way.

On Friday I was talking to another faithful Catholic and she was talking about leaving the school as soon as the semester was over... and she's not the only one. Many of us who do not agree with the "teachings" that happen at that school are considering transferring elsewhere, even if it means losing this semester. I had the good fortune of meeting a former student and she said she left after a year because she went through the same that I went through with the professors... and she had the same professors, years ago, that I have now. You can just imagine how bad things are. I don't 100% regret going there only because it's taught me a valuable lesson, but I wish I would've really looked at the school before even applying. I knew things were bad but I didn't know the extent of it until I actually got there. I think I can withstand the abuse (and I feel like it is a form of abuse) for another semester or even until I graduate but I am not 100% sure. As I said, my anxiety is getting worse (so much worse) so I am really thinking about what to do.

My advice to those who have children, siblings, or friends thinking about going to a Catholic college/university is: do your research!! Avoid the CINOs (Catholic in Name Only) colleges. I can tell you that in Southern California the only two that are geniunely Catholic are Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula and (according to The Newman Guide) John Paul the Great University in San Diego. If Thomas Aquinas College accepted transfer students I would've gone there years ago. I still think about it -- about going there -- but having to start over as a freshman and have a lot of loans prevents me from attempting to go there. A recent list of Catholic colleges and universities came out in the publication First Things (you need a subscription to view the article) which listed the Most and Least Catholic. I'm surprised my current college didn't rank in the bottom 12. The list seemed to echo what The Newman Guide recommends as far as which schools are recommended, plus a couple others the Guide doesn't have. I'm actually using both to help zero in on which Graduate schools to apply to. Even though I'm only a junior, I'm already seriously thinking about where I want to go for Grad school.

There is one more thing I have to consider; one thing that will be decided in less than 24 hours from now (2:34 p.m. PST). I recently took my Foreign Language placement exams and, well, I very did well. I did so well that the head of the department asked me to consider pulling a double major in Religious Studies AND Spanish with an emphasis on Translation/Interpretation. This only happened today, and it was sort of a fluke that I even sat down with her in her office to briefly talk about it. I was really discouraged about school yesterday but the chat I had with the head of the Modern Languages department kind of sparked a little something in me. A friend suggested I drop Religious Studies and focus solely on Spanish but I don't think I can. At most schools (and I think at mine as well) you can't change your major once you transfer into one. I want to major in Religious Studies but if I could do it elsewhere, I'd be uber happy. If I'm going to stay at this soul sucking school I'm seriously considering adding Spanish so I have something else to focus on. So, that's where I'm at now. I have a big decision to make and I don't know what to do. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

By the way, if anyone knows of a college/university that allows transfers with a cap of about 70-80 units, let me know. I will have 82 at the end of this semester but I'd consider losing a semester's worth of units to go elsewhere. I'm kind of desperate at the moment. lol.

Alright, I have to go write a 7-page essay on the New Testament... which I don't expect to receive full credit on because (like the other assignments) I fail to write what she wants us to write... because I don't agree with what she's teaching or her beliefs. That's right, I am purposely refusing to write what she wants us to because I can't, consciously, agree with it. And the professor is supposed to be open minded. Go figure.

I hope everyone had a great weekend and will have a great week.

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless!



*EDIT on 12/7/2010: I have since posted two separate posts on the subject last month and this month, including a detailed post last week. Thank you for the comment and advice but I already made my decision weeks ago. :)*

43 comments:

MJ said...

I say add the double major. It'll be more interesting...and do check to see if you can drop religious studies. At least at my state school you can change your major whenever you want, even as a junior transfer.

Emmy Cecilia said...

Yeah, I'm going to see if I can find a loophole 'cause, as much as I'd love to be a Religious Studies major, that school is NOT the place to study for it.

Ian Dunois said...

Emmy,
Great of you to be so open with your life and allowing us to view a piece of your world.
I found your blog via Patrick Madrid on Facebook.

A few items I'd like to raise for you.
-There is a current debate on whether the educational system signals towards education (how much someone knows or has learned) or to how productive of a worker they are (do the tasks that were asked, timely completion, etc)
I fall in the education system signals to how good an employee is argument. With that said, do the work but only to the extent on doing the work to get a grade. Do not stress the grade as it does not reflect your education. That will fall onto you.

-Direct and indirect education. As the professors are not educating you properly take it upon yourself in challenge their teachings. This will educate you more than you may realize and you will be better at handling their arguments from it. As you do not have the opportunity to have a professor to directly teach you what you are seeking you will have to use this indirect method. It can give you some inspiration when you find that you can hold your own with some tenured staff, not because of any brilliance of our own, but from the long history of Church teaching that allows us to grapple with those who are more intelligent than we.

-Read letters to a young catholic by George Weigel. It is a fun read; more importantly read chapter 5 on Bl. John Henry Newmann and the Hartford Appeal. It speaks upon the issue "that obedience to Christian truth is liberating in the deepest sense of human liberation."

-On what to do: in economics we have a term called opportunity cost. It means the next best thing. The opportunity cost to writing this comment for me would be to sleep as it is late. I value this comment higher than sleep currently and therefore choose to continue writing. Ask yourself, what else could you be doing? If it is majoring in Spanish, why not leave the school and finish your degree in Spanish in another university (even a non-Catholic one)
My advice would be to stick it through. As you appear to want an education rather signal you are a hard work, take the double major. If Spanish will help you with the mal teachings. Don't worry about your grades as long as you are challenging yourself and increasing your education. The grades are needed to get into graduate school but a few good letters of recommendation can make up for many a low grade. You already have the likes of Patrick Madrid. Keep blogging, and you may encounter you have more recommendations than you thought which can be the factor that gets you into graduate school and perhaps some funding for it.

I pray for the best for you, and look for any like minded professors at the school you can lean to. They can provide some assistance and mentorship. Not all the professors will have like minded leanings.

GOD BLESS!

AndreaM said...

Hey Emmy! You figured it out earlier than I did - I was 30 (though I always loved the Catholic Church and attended mass weekly) - I know, I went to MSU and then CINO U of D Mercy. I tried to speak up, but I was pretty mute, possibly because I was humbled by a pretty sinful party life. I wish I would have been stronger, like you. Now, I'm learning to be (I'm 37). I did speak out on life issues...I get some of the attacks...

Now we homeschool, and being at a not-so-faithful Parish (though many of its Parishioners are faithful), there is always a fight in process. Sad to say, it doesn't end! We could leave the Parish, but we feel called to remain. Like you, we are called to be leaven there.

Pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance. Clearly you are intrigued by the Spanish Major. God puts intrigue on our hearts for a reason. I also have learned that if I am doing what God wants, though difficult to begin sometimes, I am graced with energy and peace. When I am not doing His Will (like when I resisted homeschooling for many years), He allows much anxiety.

It's only the beginning of a lifetime of discernment! Keep the faith because believe me, it only gets better! You only fall more in love with Love! Let Him guide you. Beg Him for an answer. You are His precious girl and He will guide you always, in communion with Mary and all our friends in the communion of saints.

Your big sister in Christ,
Andrea

Emmy Cecilia said...

Hi Ian,

Thank you so much for your comment!

I have gotten out of the mentality of getting straight A's. I now accept whatever grade I get because I know it does not reflect on who I am as a person... and because I don't need the added stress in my academic environment.

Unfortunately, with the exception of one professor, the majority do not allow us to challenge what they "teach." I've had friends in classes attacked for speaking up in defense of the Church and our Faith. I have one particular professor who will literally get two inches from your face and attack you if you don't agree with what she says. No one wants to speak up, or sit in the front, because she twists things around and will get into arguments over any little thing she doesn't approve of. I am learning what the liberal "Catholic" side's arguments are, though, and it's helping me understand where they're coming from in case I ever need to defend the Faith (in a situation where I'm allowed to actually speak up.) In the one class I'm allowed to speak up, I do openly challenge the professor and I think I'm getting a little better as I've stumped her twice so far. lol.

Thank you for the reading suggestion, I'll add it to my list. :)

If there is an option for me to transfer elsewhere, I'd gladly take it. If not, and if it's God's will that I stay at this school and make the most of it, then that's what I will do.

Once again, thank you for your comment! God Bless! :)

Emmy Cecilia said...

Hi Andrea,

Thanks for speaking up! I agree that it's hard to speak up sometimes but it's good that we're both getting more courage to do so. :)

Thank you for your kind words and advice. I do agree that as long as I'm doing His will then I will be fine. :) I hadn't thought that maybe the Religious Studies major was a cause of anxiety because it might've not been what God wanted. Something to ponder. :)

God bless you!

bullma99 said...

I agree with Ian Dunois.
Great of you to be so open with your life and allowing us to view a piece of your world. I too found your blog via Patrick Madrid's Facebook page. I recently began looking at some Catholic Colleges for my daughter who is currently in the IB program as a junior. Your journey will shed some light in our future college/university options. Muchisimas gracias!

Emmy Cecilia said...

Hi Bullma,

Good luck to you and your daughter! I'm glad I was able to help y'all a bit. Please research, as much as you can, the schools before the applications even begin. There are more CINOs than there are faitfhully Catholic colleges.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

I'm a bit late to the discussion, but avoid it. Unless you have 2 majors that are complementary to teach other, I'd say avoid the overwork syndrone. (Which I can only tell you because I've done it)

Whitney said...

I'm sorry to hear how hard it is for you, and I hope that you will be able to find a school to transfer to that will fit more in line with not only your beliefs, but with how I think a school should be run - not based on getting a good grade from what the teacher's beliefs are. May God be with you in whatever you do!

Skirtz said...

Emmy - What a great blog that Patrick Madrid led me to via Facebook! Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I, too, was a cradle Catholic who came back to the faith - and I didn't figure it out until I was 29, so good for you. College can certainly be a soul sucking place - stick to your beliefs and seriously consider the Spanish double major - it sounds like something worth sinking your teeth into.

I'm looking forward to your next post!

Lisa S.

romishgraffiti said...

I don't know if this is a possibility, but in general, when you think you are going to get an assignment that is looking for you to toe the party line, get as much detail about the assignment's requirements as you can and write the assignment truthfully and faithfully. If you met the requirements but the prof just doesn't like what you said, that should rate no worse than a "C". If you get a worse grade, appeal it first to the teacher, and then to the department and so on. My bet is most teachers will pass you rather than get into the hassel of a formal appeal. And of course, DOCUMENT EVERYTHING.

romishgraffiti said...

P.S. Post the assignment requirements and the submitted paper on a blog. Shine a little light and see if anyone scurries. God bless.

Katie said...

Hi Emmy,

Found this post via Patrick Madrid as well...can't imagine how tough it must be to be at a CINO school. Have you considered Franciscan University? I am a Grad Theology student here and love it! Francisca is very unique as it is authentically Catholic and almost everyone here is excited and passionate about the faith. Daily Mass is always packed (no matter what time you go 6:30 am, noon or 4:45) and the Professors are top notch, holding true to the teachings of the Church.

If you've not considered it, I would look into it for Grad School.

God Bless! Remember that you can be a light to all those in darkness at your school.

Katie :-)

Irenaeus said...

Do you have an email address I can contact you at? I'm an academic and I'm interested in your issues with your profs.

Jana said...

It sounds like you're being passive aggressive with those certain instructors. That's probably a good thing. It's very hard to break someone who is passive aggressive because they are doing what is asked, just their way and not the teacher's way. You will get a lower grade doing that but it may save your faith. I know this method works because I was in the military and I used it in basic training. They never could "break" me because of the way I protected myself. I did what they asked of me, with a joyful spirit, rather than bucking authority.

Do what else you can to preserve yourself. Pick up that double major, take a class for fun, distract yourself with the writings of great catechists like Bishop Fulton Sheen or Alice Von Hildebrandt. Do the assignments but do your research. Maybe even write alternate essays refuting the teacher's arguments (just don't turn in the wrong one).

We all have to do things we don't like or appreciate at times. Make the best of it, grow, learn, and stay true to your beliefs.

Good luck.

~M~ said...

Have you looked into Ave Maria in Florida?
You're a courageous young woman and if you can't transfer, I do believe Our Lord will give you the grace to endure.
You are in my prayers.

Ryan said...

Hi Emmy. I was also a Religious Studies major with similar struggles. Here's my advice... It can be beneficial to learn the ways historical, textual criticism, etc. Even if you understand its limits greater than your professors there can be great value in learning the more secular approach to our faith. Earlier in my undergrad I fought this, but today I most appreciate the ability to relate and understand how secular academia considers Religion.

I recall writing a paper in my final class on Islam that sought to "prove" the Crucifixion and Resurrection were not historical events (as is taught in Islam). I even had to debate against Christians in my class to "prove" their faith was based on a lie. (at the end of the debate I offered to explain weaknesses not brought up by my professor or fellow students). But today I know that I can argue against the Resurrection as well as anyone, yet I still believe. And that often makes my conversations to those who do not believe more fruitful.

My advice is to be a student of these various philosophies, but only in an out-of-body sort of way. Your witness for Christ will show fruit when you know exactly how Freud, John Dominic Crossan, Hans Küng and the rest look at the world. This is not easy, and requires double the effort (learning what is taught by your professors as well as what the Church teaches), but it can be fruitful. Don't expect Religious Studies to grow your faith. Only to equip you to better defend your faith -- particularly to the other students who are not surrounding themselves with the faithful and are consequently losing their faith.

Stay strong, Emmy. Students at schools like this need your help to stay faithful, or to become faithful.

And to parents and others who read this... If you are not deeply grounded in faith and in a supportive and faithful community who can walk with you through challenges like Emmy is facing. Do NOT ever study Religious Studies at ANY school apart from a very very select few that are faithful to the Church through and through.

God bless you, Emmy.

Joseph Antoniello said...

Emmy,

At Franciscan University of Steubenville (where I currently attend) from what I understand, you can transfer however many credits you have as long as you finish your final, consecutive 30 at FUS.

So, even with 82 hours, you would be able to bring in them all (as many as would transfer I would think). Religious Studies is not necessarily a major though, but the Theology and the Catechetic departments are phenomenal.

Here is all the info if you want to give it a shot. God bless.

Admissions Office
1235 University Boulevard
Steubenville, Ohio 43952
800-783-6220 toll-free
740-283-6226 voice
740-284-5456 fax
admissions@franciscan.edu

Patrick said...

My prayers are with you. I decided to play it cautious and take an Ancient Greek / Latin double major. I suppose I will have to take a few philosophy courses, but it will make me far more formidable in Theology.

Elise said...

The Church needs you! I studied at a Protestant college at a time when there were not many orthodox Catholic colleges. You can still get a good education - it is just going to take great effort on your part.

Now, I work as a Pastoral Associate. The Church needs young people with a passion for Christ, and the fact that you'll be bilingual only means you'll be much in demand!

Keep at it! It will prepare you well for life.

Elise
www.kissingtheleper.com

AMDG said...

Emmy,

You ought to consider finishing at the Franciscan University of Steubenville (we were rated in the top tier for Catholic schools faithful to their mission by the First Things ratings you mentioned). Our theology major is academically robust and faithfully and fully Catholic. We have many transfers who come here from situations just like your own. Contact me if you're interested and I'll put you in touch w/ the folks in admissions. Alternately, you can contact admissions directly yourself:
Admissions website

admissions@franciscan.edu
msirilla@franciscan.edu

I wish you the best.
-Dr. Michael Sirilla
Associate professor of theology

Erika said...

I found my way here via Patrick Madrid's site. My children are still quite young so college is in the far distant future, but I appreciate you sharing your experiences. My husband and I both feel it is extremely important for our children to attend authentically Catholic schools, should they choose college, and your story only solidifies our convictions. All the best to you and your studies! God bless you --

Tomnibus said...

I second the suggestion of Franciscan University. I am an alumnus and it us a wonderful school. I don't know about transfers though, you would have to ask them.

Adoro said...

I attended a CINO college (not nearly as bad as yours) for my undergrad degree, but as I wasn't majoring in religious-anything, it affected me minimally by completely destroying what little faith I had in the one class I did have to take.

However, I got my MTS through Ave Maria University and can testify to their faithfulness, their fidelity and...the work you do to earn your degree! I highly recommend Ave Maria!

stuartweiss said...

I fully empathize with your situation. I was a Theology major at the University of San Diego until about a week ago actually (I'll be here an extra year because I couldn't stand the major anymore). I would also get marked down on assignments and I've heard some horror stories from friends.

If you happen to be at USD you should let me know. It would be nice to have someone else to talk to about this stuff!

Either way, my prayers are with you. Hang in there.

eulogos said...

If you didn't have the anxiety issue, I would say stay, and do the Spanish.There will be a lot of need for Spanish speaking people in religious education, for instance. I would also say that you could maybe satisfy the teachers by showing in your papers that you grasp what they are trying to teach before you say that you disagree. In other words, if it is some form of deconstructionist textual criticism, master their arguments before you express disagreement. Also, if you look at a paper, like a test, as a test of whether you understand what the teacher wants, it isn't wrong to give them what they want. You can phrase it in such a way that you are not saying you believe it. In nursing school I had to do this at times. I admit I was threatened with dismissal for things I said in the "Controversial Issues in Nursing" class though, which was really "Indoctrination into the currently Politically Correct Views on All Issues." I could be politic in writing, but not when it came to speech. Other people told me to shut up or say what I was expected to say, but I had a difficult time with that. Still, if you can accommodate yourself without betraying yourself, it isn't wrong to do so.

However I am very concerned about your description of panic attacks. They are a big sign that this school has pushed your stress level above what you can take and stay mentally healthy. So why not try Steubenville? Why not go somewhere where your faith is supported instead of attacked?

Good luck and God bless you,
Susan Peterson

Carl said...

I am a grad theology student at Franciscan University of Steubenville, and I believe that there is no hour cap for transfer students. You can find more infor at www.franciscan.edu/admissions/requirements/transfer

Emmy Cecilia said...

I'll post an updated entry either tomorrow or on Friday. Thank you all for you comments and prayers. :)

Miss Hiracheta said...

your blog is cool-I am enjoying it and sending prayers your way. Prayers especially with the battle you deal with daily at your college.
jmjteacher

Catherine said...

Hi Emmy, so glad I stumbled upon your blog!

Some of your other readers have suggested Steubenville - one of the Sisters in the Congregation I'm discerning with studied there and can't speak highly enough about her study experience. And she belongs to a habit-wearing order *wink* so it must be Catholic in more than name!

All the very best. I was blessed in my study - I did my theology masters at a university that provided some fantastic, faithful Catholic lecturers and the material was top-notch... all in line with Magisterial teaching. However, I was surrounded by a large number of students who didn't really believe in what we were studying, who carried on in awful ways socially at parties and things. I understand at least on some level how hard it can be, and its NOT just you - ANYONE in that situation would feel the need to do something about it!

Since you can't change the hundreds/thousands of people at the uni who seem to be a little 'dodgy' (forgive my Australianism) then you need to look at what you CAN change! You CAN change the situation by removing yourself from it.

I hope that you're able to find another school with minimal cost and hassle!

God bless!

William a sinner. Most unlearned. The Least of all the faithful… said...

May the Lord give you strength!!! We are the Church Militant and we are in a fight here in the mortal sphere. Don't give up! Think of the many Millions of our Brothers and Sisters who are persecuted and face death this day around the world for practicing the faith. You are Defensor Fidei!!! I will pray for your strength, for I know it can be very difficult. Do not think your fight is in vein, and you might not see it now, but you may save some souls in the long run with your defense.

If the wolves are too much, and there is an invasion of wolves trying to bring down the Church from the inside, then look to Steubenville, Belmont Abby College or Ave Maria.

In The Peace of Christ,
Will

Benjamin said...

Hey this blog post is something I can kind of relate to. Here is some advice from my own personal experience; use it as you see fit:

1. Sometimes it's a matter of finding the good professors at the College you are going to. Use ratemyprofessor.com to help find the good ones and which classes they are teaching. Look especially at the objective info. and specific examples of positives and negatives; sometimes people post on there just to hear their own voice and/or because they are slackers wanting to blame the teacher for their bad grades (the best worst posts are when someone complains about a class having homework).

2. You are right- researching a College is important!

When trying to find a good Catholic College check their website out. Look at the curriculum for the major you're interested in and who the teachers are. Look into the teachers via ratemyprofessor. That will help you out as well. Don't always buy into everything that their contact person tells you. I don't mean that they are all liars but by occupation their agenda is usually (first) persuading people to choose that College. They may try to get you to come by showing you nice things there that are less important than the things you are really looking for. Be sure to ask all of the important questions (ex. "is this school more theologically conservative/liberal compared to others?" "How much does it cost?" "Job placement based on my major?" -very important! "Will I be persecuted for standing up for what the Church actually teaches? I'm serious about this!")

Also, I would see what other focuses the College/University has. If it's also known to be a good business school, law school, etc. this might be a good thing and it might be a bad thing. Sometimes a Catholic College will lose its identity in trying to promote the more secular studies and in trying to accomodate those who are less religious. A good Catholic College puts its Catholic identity first and foremost above everything else. I'm not saying that it shouldn't try accomodate other non-Catholic students/secular majors but that it should very well make sure it is accomodating to those who are going there for (gasp!) a solid Catholic education!

I have more to add but I will perhaps later. Anyway, in the meantime, good luck out there!

Emmy Cecilia said...

I have a new post up: http://tinyurl.com/2be9q2j Hopefully it answers some questions regarding my school situation.

Ned said...

Tears in my eyes as I write this - I will pray for you Emmy. I pray everyday as a member of the Universal Living Rosary Association, so I will definitely add you and your situation to my intentions. At least the Internet is allowing the young, orthodox/committed Catholics to come together. As Colleen Carroll Campbell calls us - We're the new faithful. Before I go - have you been to www.savior.org? It's a live view of the Blessed Sacrament - one or two sisters are always adoring (though you won't see them). God bless!

Catholic Mom said...

As a part time instructor at a state university, your best bet for transfer may be to a public university. You will retain the most credits that way. My university will remain nameless, but is generally considered more Catholic than the Jesuit University in town, because the faculty is more understanding, and the Focus program is huge! Respond to my comment and I will email your the specifics. God Bless!

Emmy Cecilia said...

I have written about my situation (updated news) in my new entry. Please read it. :)

Do Not Be Anxious said...

I have attended the summer conferences at Steubenville for years and support that school and recommend it for anyone wanting a good education and campus life. However ... I would also put in a second for Ave Maria University, outside of Naples, Florida. Equally good school, great law school, and warmer. (I also am a supporter of this Catholic school).

stpetric said...

As Bill Clinton might say, I feel your pain! That said, I'll offer a few unsolicited observations:

1) Transferring can be problematic. I know, having done it -- twice -- before completing my undergraduate degree. I'd think long and hard about it.

2) Unless you have specific graduate school plans in mind, in the long run your undergraduate major is probably going to become fairly irrelevant. Find a department that you're comfortable in and go with it.

3) MOST IMPORTANT: Choose your courses by who's teaching them, not by their title or course description! Find the orthodox professors (or even the judicious and fair-minded liberals) and stick to them like crazy! This can make or break your academic experience. If there are required courses taught by unreliable professors, look into the possibility of doing them as reading courses/independent studies with reliable professors. IMPORTANT, IMPORTANT, IMPORTANT!

4) Pray for the grace to take your college for what is rather than for what it isn't.

And through it all, remember that God looks on the heart. He will honor your desire to glorify him in your intellectual pursuits.

Good luck!

blessedpierguy said...

Hi Emmy, Thank you for speaking up!

I attend college at Ave Maria University.

I just wanted to let you know that I do believe we accept transfers with a cap of about 70-80 units...

I work in admissions so I would be more than happy to help you out.

here is our website:
http://admission.avemaria.edu/

Masha said...

I'm so sorry for your experience! I ALMOST went to a CINO college in the east. I'll be forever grateful to God for directing me elsewhere, to an amazing College and my husband as well! You have my prayers as you decide what to do.

I also have some advice, as someone who spends a lot of her intellectual life discussing the church with less-than-orthodox Catholics, especially in the academic world. Part of the reason your professors are hard to deal with is because they are coming into the relationship (with you) with a mistaken understand of Who the Orthodox Catholic Is. If you respond in kind, allowing your perception of Who the Heterodox Catholic Is to color your reception of the goodness of the person and the ideas and attitudes he is trying to impart, than you will never have a chance. But, if you force yourself to see the person First, perhaps meeting with him and discussing how you feel about the class in a non-accusatory way, you may find you can work together, with mutual respect of the person, if not the idea.

I do realize that this is not always possible, but I've never yet encountered a situation where it hasn't helped in some way.

Good luck and God Bless.

cyejbv said...

I can't tell if you already decided... ?:-O but on WDTPRS Fr Z gave a two thumbs up for a college in Wyoming... and forgive me, but about Steubenville, isn't it sort of charasmatic-ish? Also questionable theology beliefs as per some of the faculty,(?) No, actually I have heard that a few times so the question mark is pansy-ish of me to type. We ixnayed the idea of going to Steubenvilles youth conference there as chaperones for our parish because of trusted feedback we received... God Bless You as you decide or in the decision you've made :)

BlueandBlue said...

Emmy,

As a fellow anxiety sufferer I feel your pain. However I truly feel that you might want to consider switching majors. I think you can lead the call for change in the education system, but not now. Also, I would speak with the dean about this teacher. There is a difference between leading academic discussions and punishing no believers, regardless of setting or personal beliefs.

I can tell that you are one of the VERY FEW young adults who understand and support and are willing to discuss the teachings. God wants those who can defend the faith, but I also know he wants us to be happy. I wish SCC was still around so that you could transfer, and if you feel called, perhaps you can help rebuild it. (I was a potential student, but chose another school. Despite this, I feel that it would have been wonderful given different circumstances)It would have been a great fit for you, despite the distance from home.

I think you make a great point for the need for Catholic colleges and universities to change their image. Save a few mentioned, these schools are rooted in catholic tradition and provide spiritual guidance but exist mainly to educate students in areas outside of religion. They offer wonderful campus ministry, but students must chose to attend them. The are at heart catholic, but expect the students to grow in their faith outside of the classroom.

I will play devil's advocate with respect to this as many catholic students (including myself) have been extremely lucky to have had a catholic foundation early in life. After Catholic High School, it is refreshing to be able to discuss the teachings of the church and the practices of the secular world and a few of the what-ifs such as the repercussions of condoms, birth control etc.

It has allowed mt to learn the how's and why's of the church that are not so apparent when reading the catechism. By seeing many different ideas and faiths, I have been able to defend the teachings of the church, but have developed a greater understanding of why many people are turned off them.

It seems to be a growing trend that many people have equated Catholic universities (who can teach whatever they want in most respects) to parochial schools.
I would like to see a greater disclosure to prospective students regarding this issue, as it has caused you and others such pain. I think many other students would have considered other schools had they known this.