St. Thomas-Houston university’s new sex and gender program based on ‘Catholic anthropology’   — By: Catholic News Agency

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CNA Staff, Apr 5, 2024 / 16:15 pm (CNA).

In response to gender studies programs that often churn out ideology contrary to Catholic teaching, the University of St. Thomas, Houston, (UST) is launching a sexuality and gender studies program based on “Catholic anthropology.”

“For some time now, conversations about gender and sexuality have dominated our headlines,” reads a UST press release. “Christian leaders in education, ministry, health care, law, psychology, and other professions often feel ill-equipped to enter into these conversations because they lack the necessary knowledge to speak with equal measures of authority and compassion.” 

The University of St. Thomas will offer a part-time, “flexible,” program that will enable students to earn a graduate certificate in sexuality and gender studies. Kevin Stuart, director of the Nesti Center for Faith & Culture, launched the program, and Leah Jacobson, Catholic speaker and author of the book “Wholistic Feminism,” will help run it. 

“Part of what inspired this program is the need for faithful professionals who will come into contact with difficult cases regarding sexuality and gender to be well-formed and well-informed,” Stuart told CNA. 

Stuart, who previously worked as a Catholic high school headmaster, said he knows what it’s like “to wake up on a daily basis and wonder whether today is the day these issues cross my doorstep.”

“And, if they do, am I prepared not only to offer compassion but God’s truth about who and what we are,” he added.

The four-course sequence includes online classes in Catholic anthropology, the history of gender, and the science and social science of gender and sexuality. The final course will apply legal and practical elements of sexuality and gender in order to help students “integrate” and “apply” the knowledge they have gained, according to the release.

“The graduate certificate in sexuality and gender brings the intersection of philosophy, history, and science to students and equips them to speak the truth with compassion and prudence,” the release continues. 

The program is designed “for working professionals,” and students may begin the program at any point and complete it “at their own pace.” 

“The University of St. Thomas is uniquely positioned to form leaders who understand the wisdom of the Catholic Church’s teachings concerning these issues,” the release noted.

The Catholic liberal arts university that was founded in 1947 is “committed to the Catholic intellectual tradition and the dialogue between faith and reason,” according to its mission statement. 

“As the culture continues to diminish the dignity of the human person, the Church stands firm in her understanding of sexuality and gender as gifts given to us by Our Creator, who made us in his image,” the press release stated. 

The gender ideology debate has caught the attention of Pope Francis, who called gender ideology “one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations” in a March interview with journalist Elisabetta Piqué for the Argentine daily newspaper La Nación.

In a continuation of the Church’s conversation on gender, the Vatican on Monday will publish a document on “moral questions” regarding human dignity, gender, and surrogacy.

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