How the Liberal Arts and the Basilian Charism Fit Together.
If it’s true that studying a language opens a world to a person, then a liberal arts education unlocks the universe.
Most of us acknowledge that a person who speaks another language can experience the corresponding culture far more intensely. Knowing the language is like a key unlocking the door to appreciating the practices, beliefs and values of a culture. Does it mean that a resident of Humble who only speaks English cannot enjoy the delicacies of Tex-Mex food? Or that a tourist from Germany cannot appreciate Friday Night Lights? Absolutely not. However, knowing a language allows us to enter the related culture and experience it in a richer, fuller way.
Educating the Whole Person
Correspondingly, Basilians have consistently educated the whole person—not just prepared students for a job. And we believe a liberal arts education empowers students to experience the world far more profoundly. Each subject at the University of St. Thomas, whether music, nursing, philosophy or business, opens a world for each Celt and allows our students a wider outlook. Furthermore, Basilians affirm that God, who is the source of all knowledge, can just as easily be encountered by a molecular biologist as by a historian, dancer or teacher. Ironically, this expansive perspective from a liberal arts education invariably leads our scholars to a greater humility as they realize the vastness and breadth of knowledge, opinions and experiences.
An Education That Emboldens Students
There is nothing inadequate about an English speaker from Katy, as long as she realizes that there are entire domains and peoples that she cannot fully experience. Similarly, there is nothing deficient about an accountant in Baytown, as long as he recognizes that there are areas of knowledge that he has never explored. A liberal arts education deliberately and unapologetically gives our students keys to unlocking the universe and emboldens our students with broader and humbler perspectives.
Fr. Kevin Storey
Superior General, Basilian Congregation