Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia
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|Catholic University Saint Anthony|
|Universidad Católica San Antonio|
|Motto||In libertatem vocati
From Galatians 5:13, RSV: “Called to freedom."
|Affiliations||Roman Catholic Diocese of Cartagena|
The Universidad Católica San Antonio ("Saint Anthony Catholic University"), also known as the Universidad Católica de Murcia (UCAM), is a private university located in Murcia in southeastern Spain. Founded in 1996 by José Luis Mendoza Pérez, a lay Catholic, with the permission of Bishop Javier Azagra Labiano of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cartagena, UCAM offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of fields, as well as summer courses open to international students. The university is characterized by a firm commitment to Catholic orthodoxy and the moral and social doctrines of the Church.
In 1978 Pope John Paul I promulgated the Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, which made allowance, in Article 3.3, for the establishment of Catholic universities by laypersons. Prior to Ex Corde Ecclesiae, only clergy and religious, along with affiliated institutions such as regional episcopal conferences and religious societies, were authorized under canon law to found institutes of higher learning under the patronage of the Roman Catholic Church. The document reflects the directives of the Second Vatican Council, which called for increased lay participation in the Church's liturgical and administrative life.
UCAM, the brainchild of founder José Luis Mendoza Pérez, was the first such university to be established under the new conditions presented in Article 3.3. A member of the Pontifical Council for the Family and father of 14 children, Mendoza serves as president of the university.
UCAM is located in Guadalupe just outside the city of Murcia (capital of the eponymous region of Murcia). At the heart of the campus is the Monastery of Los Jerónimos, an 18th-century edifice originally built for the Hieronymite order of monks. The monastery forms the main administration building, which thus resembles a cloister in structure: four hallways forming a rectangle around a central open courtyard. The school's chapel is part of the original structure. Also present are several newly constructed buildings housing classrooms and faculty offices.
Currently, UCAM offers undergraduate degrees in 18 fields of study and graduate degrees in 36 fields of study (27 Master's programs and 15 Ph.D. programs in overlapping subjects).
- School of Health Sciences and Physical Education
- School of Social Sciences and Communications
- School of Business and Legal Studies
- School of Engineering
Relationship with the professional world
The university maintains connections[clarification needed] with over 150 other colleges worldwide. Preparation for working life is part of the education program at UCAM, which also has an established network of business contacts to help ensure employment for its alumni after graduation.
UCAM and the "New Evangelization" of Pope John Paul II
Throughout his pontificate Pope John Paul II made reference to the need for a "new evangelization," a method by which the modern world could be effectively engaged with and evangelized to by the Catholic Church. The principles of this new evangelization are laid out most fully in the apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte ("At the Beginning of the New Millennium"), promulgated at the close of the year 2000.
UCAM's stance toward the secular world is informed by this notion, as can be seen in the Letter from the President introducing English-speaking foreign students to UCAM. According to Mendoza, the university has
a vocation both to teach and evangelise in the academic, scientific and cultural world and provide an instrument in Faith to solve the many questions and problems of contemporary society and in this way contribute to social, cultural and human development and progress.
Fundamentally, then, UCAM is supposed to be a Christian institution in dialogue with the modern world for the purposes of evangelization and the improvement of human society as a whole.
The academic environment at UCAM, though rigorous, is also relatively informal, and the administration encourages a collegial, debate-oriented relationship between faculty and students. Though offering courses in a wide variety of subjects, at its heart UCAM is about engaging the world from a Christian perspective; philosophical, theological, ethical and political issues are approached accordingly.