The Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education, a division of The Cardinal Newman Society, will relocate to Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg under the leadership of Monsignor Stuart Swetland, effective July 1.
Monsignor Swetland currently serves as the Mount’s vice president for Catholic identity and mission.
According to a news release, over the course of a three-year agreement, the Mount will staff and manage the Center for the Society. Established in 2008, the center supports mission-centered teaching, policies and programs at Catholic colleges and universities, according to the Vatican constitution, “Ex corde Ecclesiae.”
The center’s recent projects include Assessing Catholic Identity, a handbook to help college leaders evaluate their institutions, as well as several studies helping colleges defend against threats to their religious liberty.
“The renewal of Catholic identity is underway, and the center is at the forefront, researching and analyzing solutions to critical issues in Catholic higher education and identifying and sharing best practices on Catholic campuses,” said Patrick J. Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, in the news release.
Thomas Powell, president of Mount St. Mary’s, said “The center will provide valuable resources to aid Mount St. Mary’s and other colleges and universities to strengthen their Catholic identity.”
Reilly said that Powell and Monsignor Swetland have been an integral part of a working group of faithful college presidents who have helped pave the way for the center’s work.
In his capacity as center director, according to the news release, Monsignor Swetland will tackle key issues in Catholic higher education, such as formation programs for new faculty, improvements in core curricula, integrating faith and reason in particular disciplines, reinforcing a presumption of sobriety and chastity on college campuses, and facilitating collaboration among college officials.
The center will also continue to be a leader in addressing the growing threats to the religious liberty of Catholic campuses.
Reilly said that Monsignor Swetland “has extensive pastoral, teaching and leadership experience in higher education, and is a natural fit for leading the Center.”
“As vice president for Catholic Identity and Mission at Mount St. Mary’s University,” Monsignor Swetland said, “I have been intimately involved with our university’s efforts to implement and live in accordance with the letter and the spirit of ‘Ex corde Ecclesiae,’ Blessed John Paul II’s apostolic constitution on Catholic higher education. I believe that the Center for the Advancement of Catholic Education can significantly help our universities in their efforts to fulfill their mission.”
“It is crucial,” continued Monsignor Swetland, “that the church be actively present to our young adults during this vitally important stage of development by radiating Jesus Christ in word and sacrament to and for them. The apostolate of Catholic higher education, at its best, serves this purpose. The Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education will aid our universities in their efforts to form the next generation of Catholic leaders.”