Celebrating 30 Years
The Nesti Center turns 30 this year!

Make plans to join our celebration at the 14th Annual Faithful Citizenship Dinner on Oct. 17, 2024, honoring our founder, Fr. Donald Nesti, CSSp.

Our mission

The Nesti Center for Faith & Culture provides education and formation to help people examine, discern, and live out the relationship between the Gospel’s universal call to love and the worldview and values of the dominant American culture.

Our vision

Founded by Fr. Donald Nesti CSSp in 1994, the Nesti Center for Faith & Culture aims to bring a faithfully Catholic voice to the ongoing dialogue between faith and culture. Through this dialogue, the Center seeks to foster relationships, mutual understanding, and opportunities for collaboration with people of all backgrounds and beliefs. We strive to form people of faith who have fully integrated the human, spiritual, social and intellectual dimensions of their lives. This developmental process integrates theoretical and practical learning to help people communicate God’s unconditional love for the world and serve the common good.

As a recognized Catholic Cultural Center of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Culture and Education, the NCFC offers academic programs, learning opportunities, and ecumenical, interreligious, diocesan and community partnerships. Participants in the NCFC programs address America’s complex social, political, and religious questions through reflection, dialogue, scholarship, and civic experience.

Our Beliefs & Values


The Donald S. Nesti, CSSp Center for Faith & Culture will celebrate its 30-year anniversary in 2024. Filmed in 2019, this video gives an excellent introduction to the NCFC's founding charism and ongoing mission.

The Graduate Certificate in Faith and Culture is rooted in the same course offerings as the M.A. in Faith and Culture degree program. It can be completed with half the credit hours and allows you to enrich your academic or professional career while earning a recognized credential.

learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Faith and Culture

The Graduate Certificate in Sexuality and Gender program will answer a strong need from professionals for the knowledge, tools, and skills required to communicate the Church’s understanding of what it means to be a man or a woman.

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In the Graduate Certificate in Catholic Feminism, learners will participate in robust discussion and deep historical and theological study from Feminist thinkers such as 18th century philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, 19th century thinkers Lucricia Mott and Sarah Grimke, 20th century philosopher Edith Stein, and 21st century Catholic thinkers Erika Bachiochi, Abigail Favale, and Helen Alvare. Contrasting writings from contemporary Feminist writers such as Judith Butler, Betty Friedan, and Ruth Bader-Ginsburg show the necessity for the roadmap our program provides for learners to cut through popular rhetoric about women’s roles and gender identity in the modern world.

apply now about the Graduate Certificate in Catholic Feminism degree plan - Graduate Certificate in Catholic Feminism

As an interdisciplinary degree program, the MA in Catholic Women’s and Gender Studies also goes where few other Women’s and Gender Studies programs go in exploring the intersection of feminist and gender theory with changes in women’s healthcare practices and treatment of the body. The Graduate Certificate in Women’s Health and Wellness helps students gain an understanding of why it is necessary to anchor any feminist thought or activism in the natural female body. With courses that tie authentic female experience to the natural female body, learners will understand how healthcare policy has shifted with the waves of Feminism and how women’s bodies became the scapegoats and dispensable variable for Feminist progress.

apply now about the Grad Cert Women’s Health and Wellness degree plan - Graduate Certificate in Women’s Health and Wellness

The Graduate Certificate in Gender and Family Policy will address head on the major issues of today with regard to sexuality and gender and how policy affects society in all areas; professionally, spiritually, personally. With the richness of the Catholic Church’s understanding of human flourishing as a backdrop, students will engage in examination and evaluation of policies around the world and their effects on family structures, divorce rates, and human wellness.

apply now about the Graduate Certificate in Gender and Family Policy degree plan - Graduate Certificate in Gender and Family Policy

The M.A. in Faith and Culture is designed to form leaders seeking to live with deeper faith, hope and love in today’s world while ministering to others. Our courses draw on the riches of Church Tradition, Scripture and social science research to identify the worldview and ideological forces at work in the dominant American culture, and discern how the Gospel message transcends, challenges, and redeems that framework. Generous scholarship assistance is available!

learn more about the Masters of arts in Faith and Culture

The Master of Arts in Catholic Women’s and Gender Studies grounds students in a Catholic understanding of human personhood and then explores its meaning and application to contemporary circumstances. It will bring the depths of the Catholic intellectual tradition to bear in examining the effects secular feminist theories have had on women's health care practices, law, education, family policy, and the culture at large

learn more about the Master of Arts in Catholic Women’s and Gender Studies

The Master in Liberal Arts with Concentration in Faith and Culture allows students to expand their liberal arts education, while focusing on the Catholic theological, moral, social, and spiritual traditions.

degree plan

Auditing a single course is a great way to explore our program! Many NFCF graduate courses are accessible via Zoom and are available to audit for $300 each ($150 for seniors 55+). Audit students have access to classes and course materials but are not eligible to receive academic credit or graded feedback.

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Faithful Citizen Named

The NCFC has chosen founder Fr. Donald Nesti, CSSp. as the honoree for the 14th annual Faithful Citizenship Award on October 17, 2024.

Event Details
& Tickets

Join us on October 17th, 2024 at the River Oaks Country Club. Learn more about underwriting opportunities, and to purchase tickets and tables.

Thank you,

We would like to thank our top donors Lois Davis, Raye G. White, and the Scanlan Foundation for their support of our 2023 Faithful Citizenship Dinner.

FCD Honorees

Since 2011, the Nesti Center has celebrated the dedication of numerous faithful Houstonians at our Faithful Citizenship Dinner.

Student Testimonies

"The person I am now is not the person I was when I started the program."

–Kathia, MAFC Alumna

"As a devout Catholic, I know we cannot compromise on the Truth However, the importance of communicating the truth with love is what the MAFC has helped me learn. I try to articulate the Gospel with others more charitably now, and not even so much with my words, but with my actions."

–Basil, MAFC student

“Our American culture of individualism and the 'self-made man' is countered by the Gospel way—the absolute truth of each person, made in God’s image, created in love, for love."

–Theresa, MAFC Alumna  

"I would recommend this program because it is full of rich academic content, presented by engaging instructors. It illuminates the beauty of our Catholic faith journey while challenging us to go deeper. And it exemplifies the joy of accompanying each other in community."

–Anne, MAFC student

"Thanks to the Faith & Culture program, I rediscovered the joy of believing. I rediscovered the beauty of following Jesus in our world today."

–Ana, MAFC Alumna

Student Testimonies

Requirements Disclaimer:
International students who wish to maintain or obtain an I-20 form and F-1 student visa or status should participate in the in-person program option.