Catholic Studies Academy

Catholic Studies Academy empowers Catholics to strengthen their faith through the systematic study of philosophy and theology in a flexible and affordable way. Join Now

Real Education is the Cultivation of Human Nature

Education is neither a science nor magic. It is not a machine because man, the subject of education is not a machine; it is not magic because man is not reducible to a material mechanism that may be manipulated by natural or “magical” processes. The essential...

What if the Devil Isn’t Real?

Controversy arose recently, when Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, S.J., the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, declared that the devil is only a symbol of evil, not an actual personal entity.  This reading of Fr. Sosa’s comments isn’t a matter of interpretation. ...

Education is Neither Science nor Magic

EDUCATION IS NOT A SCIENCE Education is not a science and despite what the education industry constantly promotes there is no magic formula for making everyone brilliant and successful. Taken together these theses constitute a heresy that offends the deepest held...

What’s the Most Important Measure of Success in a Catholic School?

In our time, most Catholic Schools in the United States, from the lowest to the highest levels of education, seek accreditation from secular, regional accrediting agencies.  These agencies require schools to undertake extensive self-studies in which they examine...

Does the Seamless Garment Approach Really Make Sense?

Guest post By Joseph Grossheim The original pro-life position was a reaction against the Roe v. Wade decision. Roe v. Wade claims that procuring an abortion cannot be prohibited by law, the pro-life position in its purest form upholds that no abortion can be procured...

What is Education?

Few issues so engage the passions of the public as education — and with good reason. Almost everyone values education and almost everyone has an opinion. We are exposed to an endless stream of articles and commentary about the politics of education, the decline in...

The Keys to Effective Writing: Purpose and Concision

You do not need to struggle with writing. In fact, effective writing should be as natural as talking. Unless you are writing for artistic or rhetorical purposes, the best way to improve your writing is to use the method of “effective writing.” This approach has...

Five More Maxims Against Modern Madness

In a previous post, I explained how Christians — and everyone of good will — can defend authentic truth from the “dictatorship of relativism.” This is an essential task for today’s Christians. It is just as important — and perhaps even more controversial — to...

Five Maxims Against Modern Madness

As far back as the nineteenth-century, W. B. Yeats observed, “the center does not hold.” The forces of secularism and industrial capitalism combined with the backlash of Marxism — economic and cultural — have destroyed the unity and cohesion of modern culture....

Is Christianity Unscientific?

Is Christian faith unscientific? Well, it’s complicated. In a previous post, I discussed the way in which skeptics will sometimes employ “science” to discredit the resurrection of Jesus, and I explained that what was really at stake is not so much science, but...

Episode 61: The Principles of Political Wisdom, Part II

The Principles of Political Wisdom, Part II In this episode, Jason and Dr. Smith discuss the third principle or the primacy of the common good. We cover:- Review of first two principles- Man is naturally political- The political community is the 'perfect' community-...

Episode 60: The Principles of Political Wisdom

The Principles of Political Wisdom In this episode, Jason and Dr. Smith discuss what the classics have to offer us with regards to political wisdom. We cover:- Political wisdom is not political science- Man is naturally political- Politics has a natural end,...

Episode 59: Changing World, Unchanging God

Changing World, Unchanging God In this episode, Jason and Dr. Smith discuss St. Thomas' 2nd way of demonstrating God's existence. We cover:- We live in a changing world- Secondary or intermediary causes- The Efficient Cause- Absurd positions against this way-...

Episode 058 – Classical Realism: A Clear Path to Truth

Classical Realism: A Clear Path to Truth In this episode, Jason and Dr. Smith continue their discussion on the Problem of Knowledge and discuss the topic of Classical Realism. We cover:- Overcoming errors to truth- Epistemology- Defining Classical Realism- Dialectic...

Episode 057 – The Problem of Knowledge

The Problem of Knowledge In this episode, Jason and Dr. Smith discuss issues surrounding the attainment of knowledge. we cover:- What is knowledge?- What is epistemology?- "How do you know that?"- Questions regarding "justification" of belief- Skepticism- Whether...

Episode 056 – Nature and Grace

Nature and Grace In this episode, Jason and Dr. Smith discuss the classical distinction between nature and grace. We cover:- Modern challenges to the classical distinction- What is nature/natural- Isn't everything from God?- The interaction of grace with nature- Real...

Episode 055 – The Reality of Human Evil

The Reality of Human Evil In this episode, Jason and Dr. Smith discuss the reality of human evil and the cultural disregard for it. We cover:- The denial or diminishing of the reality or gravity of human evil- Erroneous Arguments- Catholic Responses- Flatly against...

Episode 054 – The Destructive Effects of Modernism on 20th Century Catechesis

The Destructive Effects of Modernism on 20th Century Catechesis In this episode, Jason and Dr. Smith discuss Modernism and Anthropocentrism in Catechesis throughout the 20th century. We cover:- The philosophical underpinnings of Modernism- The influence of Kant- What...

Episode 053 – Dominicans vs Franciscans: Universals and the Struggle for the Medieval Mind

Dominicans vs Franciscans: Universals and the Struggle for the Medieval Mind In this episode, Jason and Dr. Smith discuss the idea of Universals and trace its development in Medieval thought. We cover:- Plato and the Idea of Universals- Universals and Particulars-...

Episode 052 – Dare We Hope that All Men are Saved?

Dare We Hope that All Men are Saved? In this episode, Jason and Dr. Smith discuss salvation and the idea that all men might be saved. We cover:- Hans Urs Von Balthasar and Bishop Barron- Strict Universalism- Scriptural Passages pointing to universalism and damnation-...

Real Education is the Cultivation of Human Nature

Education is neither a science nor magic. It is not a machine because man, the subject of education is not a machine; it is not magic because man is not reducible to a material mechanism that may be manipulated by natural or “magical” processes. The essential...

What if the Devil Isn’t Real?

Controversy arose recently, when Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, S.J., the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, declared that the devil is only a symbol of evil, not an actual personal entity.  This reading of Fr. Sosa’s comments isn’t a matter of interpretation. ...

Education is Neither Science nor Magic

EDUCATION IS NOT A SCIENCE Education is not a science and despite what the education industry constantly promotes there is no magic formula for making everyone brilliant and successful. Taken together these theses constitute a heresy that offends the deepest held...

What’s the Most Important Measure of Success in a Catholic School?

In our time, most Catholic Schools in the United States, from the lowest to the highest levels of education, seek accreditation from secular, regional accrediting agencies.  These agencies require schools to undertake extensive self-studies in which they examine...

Does the Seamless Garment Approach Really Make Sense?

Guest post By Joseph Grossheim The original pro-life position was a reaction against the Roe v. Wade decision. Roe v. Wade claims that procuring an abortion cannot be prohibited by law, the pro-life position in its purest form upholds that no abortion can be procured...

Women and the Diaconate?

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about women in the diaconate.  This is a difficult issue that extends well beyond the question of Church discipline and “small-t tradition.”  It touches on dogma, and if we get it wrong, we’ll have a theological disaster to clean...

The Holy Spirit: Giver of Life and the Paraclete

At Pentecost, we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and the Virgin Mary in the Upper Room, fifty days after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  This great feast marks the end of the Church’s most joyful and longest season: Easter. Whatever...

Don’t Be Ashamed of the Gospel…or the Eucharist

In the contemporary West, we’ve become used to a rather perverse and un-Scriptural idea: that real virtue depends on seeing ourselves democratically. People of good-will, it’s thought, eschew the idea of privilege or advantage as something inherently unfair—an...

He is Risen! And It’s Not a Metaphor

“He is risen!”  This Easter proclamation encapsulates the basis of faith in Jesus Christ.  It’s a sine qua non of the Christian faith.  Without the resurrection of Christ, there’s no Christianity. St. Paul puts it like this: “if Christ has not been raised, then...

Judas, Peter, and Me

In the Gospels, Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Christ, is depicted as a man generally disposed to underhanded activity.  Though he was entrusted with the treasury by which Christ’s earthly mission had been funded, it’s said that he stole from it for his own...

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Courses

Join the Academy

“Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire, and to know what he ought to do.” St. Thomas Aquinas

Features and Benefits

  • College-level philosophy and theology courses entirely online.
  • Access to reliable experts on philosophy, theology, and catechetics.
  • A community of committed Catholics seeking to deepen their faith through rigorous, intellectual formation.
  • A systematic, college-level curriculum in philosophy and theology.
  • Staffed by professional scholars and experienced teachers.
  • Faithful, rigorous, and independent – CSA is free to maintain the integrity of its mission without compromise.

Students who enroll in CSA will be able to:

DEMONSTRATE familiarity with the major figures and movements of the history of philosophy and theology.
DEFINE and understand philosophical and theological ideas and foundational principles.
REFUTE the most common errors that challenge and subvert the Catholic faith today.
DEMONSTRATE essential truths in philosophy and theology including the existence of God, the objective difference between right and wrong, the real possibility of Hell, the indissolubility of marriage, et cetera.
MEDITATE more deeply on the mysteries of God.
“The Church remains profoundly convinced that faith and reason “mutually support each other”; each influences the other, as they offer to each other a purifying critique and a stimulus to pursue the search for deeper understanding.” Pope Saint John Paul II

Fides et Ratio 100

Dr. Benjamin Smith
Lecturer in Philosophy

Dr. Smith, Lecturer in Philosophy and co-founder, received his M.A. in philosophy from the Catholic University of America and his Ph.D. from the Center for Thomistic Studies. He is steeped in Thomist philosophy and experienced in the analysis and refutation of modern errors. Dr. Smith has more than a decade of full-time experience as a professor and scholar. He has published articles in The Thomist, the Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, Public Discourse, and the Imaginative Conservative.

Dr. Richard Bulzacchelli, S.T.D.
Lecturer in Theology

Dr. Bulzacchelli, Lecturer in Theology, received the S.T.L. from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, and the S.T.D. from the  International Marian Research Institute. He has been a scholar and professor for almost two decades and publishes on a wide range of topics in theology and philosophy. He is the author of two books: Judged by the Law of Freedom: A History of the Faith-Works Controversy and a Resolution in the Thought of St. Thomas Aquinas and Elohim Created: A New Look at the First Creation Narrative.

Jason Gale, M.A., L.Div.
Lecturer in Theology

Jason Gale, Lecturer in Theology and co-founder, earned undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and the Maryvale Institute. He also received an Ecclesiastical License of Divinity (in Catechetics) from the Maryvale Institute. He has published several articles in The Sower Review and The Catechetical Review. He lives with his wife and 5 kids in Dickson, TN. Jason has been in the work of teaching and forming catechists for over 10 years and lectures regularly on catechesis.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this different from other programs?

Our mission is to model our courses after a 4-year degree program in philosophy and theology. You will have access to the same topics and subjects as you find at a 4-year college or university without the added cost and time constraints. Our lecturers guide you through the material over the course of 12 weeks and after the course is released, you will have access to it for the lifetime of your membership. We take you through a systematic study of philosophy and theology in an abbreviated manner without diluting the content. Most programs out there are usually based on the Catechism, a book of the bible, or are simply topical. We strive to fill that educational gap between the catechesis offered at the parish level and an undergraduate degree.

These elements are foundational for the CSA learning experience:

  • Our approach is systematic, not merely topical
  • Integrates philosophy and theology
  • College-level, academic education, abbreviated but not diluted
  • Independent community of scholars

Meet the instructors and learn more:

How does this work?

The academy works similarly to a magazine subscription. Your monthly subscription gives you

  • access to new material each week (including a theology class and a philosophy class)
  • exclusive material
  • a private forum for only members and the lecturers
  • along with added content throughout the year

Each course is approximately 12 weeks and a new course in theology and philosophy will be available every 3 months. Lectures for new course material will be available weekly during the 12 weeks. Lectures for past courses will be available at any time.

STUDENT

Students will have access to four theology and four philosophy core track courses for a term of 6 months each. Two new courses (one theology and one philosophy) will be rolled out every three months. When you enroll, you are given access to 101 and 102 courses in Philosophy and Theology.

  • Fundamental Theology
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Philosophy of the Human Person
  • Introduction to Sacred Scripture

At the end of 6 months, the next courses will be available to you. You will have access to each course for a term of 6 months. We will continue to carry through a systematic track of courses during the duration of your membership.

 

SCHOLARS & FELLOWS

Scholars and Fellows will have access to all new courses including exclusive courses like Introduction to Practical Theology and lifetime access to all courses in the archives. You will be able to take all courses as your schedule allows and will have immediate access to all new lectures as they are published.

What courses are available now?

On June 1, you will have access to one 12-week course in Philosophy and also one 12-week course in Theology.

  • Fundamental Theology (4-Part Foundation course and 12-week course)
  • Introduction to Philosophy

Currently, our 2 courses available lay the framework and foundation for the study of theology and philosophy. New courses will be available every 12 weeks.

2018-19 Schedule:
June 1, 2018: 2 new courses
September 1, 2018: 2 new courses will be added(4 total)
December 1, 2018: 2 new courses will be added (6 total)
March 1, 2019: 2 new courses will be added (8 total)

Each year will follow this schedule. We will also be adding more mini-courses and lecture series, exclusive audio content (including an expanded WIMP series) and other learning opportunities!

Will I have access to each course forever?

Students

All enrolled students will have access to each course for a total of 6 months. Every 3 months, 2 new courses will be made available to you, and you will have the opportunity to complete each course over a 6-month period. You can upgrade your membership at any time to access any of the course archives.

Scholars & Fellows

All enrolled scholars and fellows will have full access to all courses on the Catholic Studies Academy. Past courses will be available in their entirety and lectures from current live courses will become available each week over the course of 12 weeks.

How soon can I access the lectures?

Each course spans 12 weeks and a lecture will be available each week. On June 1, the very first lecture for Introduction to Philosophy and Fundamentals of Theology will be available to you. Our next 2 courses will become available on September 1 with a new lecture available for you each week.

How many courses will I have access to?

Student Membership

With the Student membership, you will have access to 4 theology course and 4 philosophy course per year. Every 3 months, you will be given access to one new theology and philosophy course. Each course will be available to you for 6 months.

Scholar & Fellow Memberships

With the Scholar and Fellow memberships, you will have access to courses as they become available. Every 3 months, you will have access to a new theology and a new philosophy course. This works out to 4 philosophy and 4 theology course per year.

Can I earn college credits?

The mission of Catholic Studies Academy is to provide a systematic education in theology and philosophy in an affordable and accessible manner. For these reasons, we do not offer credits for courses taken. We do offer certificates for courses completed (Scholars and Fellows only).

Can I purchase individual courses?

Yes – Some of our courses are available for individual or bundle purchase here.

I'm not sure if I have time for a college course?

The estimated time commitment for our courses is about 1-2 hours a week. The weekly coursework is recommended as follows:

  • 30 minutes – Video/Audio lecture
  • 30 minutes-1 hour – Online interaction in the forum
  • 30 minutes-1 hour – Recommended Reading

This work can be done each week or if you have more time one week rather than another, you can easily complete multiple classes in one week.

I'm no philosopher...

That is why you are here. You have a desire to know truth and to explain it in a rational way and be faithful to the Church. If you love wisdom, you are in the right spot!

This sounds a little out of my league

When you begin learning a new subject, it always seems “a little out of your league”. But the learning process takes some time to organize the material in your intellect. However, when you arrive “on the other side”, the material makes sense. In this case, we are asking the highest and most important questions about life.

Will I be under a contractual obligation?

No, you can cancel or upgrade at any time. If you have any questions or need to reach our support team, please email info@catholicstudiesacademy.com.

What courses are offered?

CSA Faculty will be rolling out a new philosophy and a new theology course every 3 months. The content of these courses will eventually give you access to the foundational and elective courses you might find at a faithful, Catholic college/university.

This will include courses in:

Theology – Fundamental Theology, Introduction to Sacred Scripture, Moral Theology, The Sacraments, The Church, Christology, Theology of the Trinity, Various Scripture Courses, etc. Philosophy – Introduction to Philosophy, Ancient Philosophy, Philosophy of the Human Person, Medieval Philosophy, Early Modern Philosophy, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Late Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of God, Ethics, Political Philosophy

What if I have a question or need clarity on a subject?

Students & Scholars: You have access to our online forum which gives you access to not only the professors but also the wider CSA community Fellows: In addition to the online forum, you will have further access to the lecturers for questions and dialogue through email.

Are you an accredited college?

No, we are not an accredited college. Keeping with our mission of affordable and accessible higher ecducation, we will never be accredited by an arbitrary institution.

WIMP – Worst Ideas in Modern Philosophy

Join us as we reveal some of the Worst Ideas in Modern Philosophy that have ruined the world and continue to drag humanity toward hell.

 

(Signing up for this series will also sign you up for the periodic newsletter from CSA.
Once you register you can update your settings at any time to choose what emails you want to receive.)

WIMP – Worst Ideas in Modern Philosophy

Join us as we reveal some of the Worst Ideas in Modern Philosophy that have ruined the world and continue to drag humanity toward hell.

(Signing up for this series will also sign you up for the periodic newsletter from CSA. Once you register you can update your settings at any time to choose what emails you want to receive.)

Sign up for our free 5-part mini-series

Join us as we reveal the Worst Ideas in Modern Philosophy that have ruined the world and continue to drag humanity toward hell.

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