In A.D. 2011 the Congregation for Catholic Education, at the direction of Pope Benedict XVI, issued its Decree on the Reform of Ecclesiastical Studies of Philosophy. The terms of this Decree apply to schools and departments of theology and philosophy residing in Roman Catholic Universities which are selected by dioceses for the theological formation of presbyteral candidates, diaconal candidates, and lay ministers.
The Decree consists of two parts. The first part is made up of the sixteen paragraphs constituting its new material. The second part consists of those parts of the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana (A.D. 1979, Pope John Paul II) addressing these same issues and which are, either, retained in whole or are modified in the current Decree.
The purpose of the articles which appear here is to present the parts of this document in sequential order and to offer additional commentary. The articles here will begin with the presentation of the first paragraph of the first part of the Decree. Subsequent articles will present/address the next part of the Decree. Scrolling down through the articles will bring the reader, in reverse order, to all parts of the document already considered.
“Decree, Part II: NORMS OF APPLICATION [Ordinationes; Articles 51, 52, 52 bis, 59, 60, 61, 62, 62 bis, 65. 66]
“Art. 62 bis [Adaptation of the Norms of Affiliation and Philosophical Aggregation]
“§ 1. Given the reform of the three-year first cycle of ecclesiastical philosophical studies, which concludes with the Baccalaureate in philosophy, the philosophical affiliation must be in conformity with what has been decreed for the first cycle regarding the number of years and the curriculum (q.v. Ord., Art. 60, 1°). The number of full-time teachers in an affiliated Institute of philosophy must be at least five, with the required qualifications (q.v. Ord., Art. 61).
“§ 2. Given the reform of the two-year second cycle of ecclesiastical philosophical studies, which concludes with the Licentiate in philosophy, the philosophical aggregation must be in conformity with what has been decreed for the first and second cycles regarding the number of years and the curriculum (q.v. Sap. Chr., Art. 72 a and b; Ord., Art. 60). The number of full-time teachers in an aggregated Institute of philosophy must be at least six, with the required qualifications (q.v. Ord., Art. 61).
“[Adaptation of the Norms regarding the Philosophy Course as Part of the First Cycle of an Affiliated Institute of Theology]
“§ 3. Given the reform of the philosophy course as part of the first cycle of philosophy-theology studies, which concludes with the Baccalaureate in theology, the philosophy formation given in an affiliated Institute of theology must be in conformity with what has been decreed with regard to the curriculum (q.v. Ord., Art. 51, 1°). The number of full-time teachers of philosophy must be at least two.”
The School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., awards the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Licentiate, and Ph.D. Since 1895, this School of Philosophy has awarded just over four hundred Ph.Ds. Of the over four thousand one hundred colleges and universities in the United States which award academic degrees, only three have independent Schools of Philosophy. The Catholic University is one of those three. The rest have departments of philosophy or philosophy sections which often are located in a College or School of Arts and Sciences.
The School of Philosophy at the Catholic University has two administrators, twenty two faculty members, three emeritus members, and six associates. These serve the entire university community; its philosophy students, its theology students, its nursing students, et alia. Seven of these thirty three are women. Six or more are Roman Catholic clergy and/or members of religious communities. Twenty nine of these thirty three persons hold terminal degrees (Ph.D) in philosophy. These thirty three serve a university community of under seven thousand students. This works out to roughly one philosophy instructor for every two hundred students (1/200). The departments of philosophy at other Roman Catholic institutions such as Notre Dame University, Georgetown University, Bellarmine University, and Saint Thomas More College have a similar instructor to student ratio; 1/200 to 1/500. Secular universities and colleges tend to have a higher instructor to student ratio; 1/500 to 1/3000.