McNeese, LC Diocese create theology program

By By Kara Carrier / American Press

The Diocese of Lake Charles on Tuesday announced a joint collaboration with McNeese State University and Our Lady of Holy

Cross College in New Orleans with its newly instituted Center for Catholic Studies.

The center, at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Student Center, will offer undergraduate theology courses.

According to McNeese officials, the collaboration will benefit students by allowing some of the university’s degree programs

to accept courses taken at the center to fulfill elective hours in their chosen course of study.

The Rev. Nathan Long, diocese secretary

for ministry of Christian formation and director of adult education,

said officials

have been working on the center and collaboration for almost two

years, and that all involved share a common goal to assist

students in the pursuit of the truth.

“The more education we provide on a

number of topics, the better off our community is,” Long said. “We see

the Center for

Catholic Studies as another aspect of reality for people to study —

whether it be Jewish studies or women studies or Islamic

studies. The more someone is aware of the faith that has impacted

culture and society, the better off they are in terms of

their knowledge of the whole.”

Long said the Lake Area is fortunate

that this vision is shared not only by the Catholic faithful but also by

local leaders

in higher education. He said that without the cooperation of

McNeese and Our Lady of Good Counsel, the center wouldn’t have

been possible.

“We of course are delighted that this

day has arrived,” Long said. “After all, the conviction that higher

education is an

incentive to help people see all of reality — both sacred and

secular — has led to many breakthroughs, which today many take

for granted.”

Long said interested students must register for courses through the Center for Catholic Studies. Registration for the fall

semester will begin in April.