Academic Catalog

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  • LIBRARIES

The Robert Pace and Ada Mary Doherty Library, the main University library, has over 260,000 volumes and access to over 150,000 electronic books, 225 databases, and access to over 80,000 periodical titles. The library provides various study areas, including silent reading areas, for students and faculty. The Doherty Library uses the Horizon automated library system and has online resources available through the library website (http://library.stthom.edu). The Doherty Library participates in the TexShare cooperative library program. TexShare allows students to have borrowing privileges at most university and college libraries in Texas through the use of a TexShare card.

The Hugh Roy Marshall Graduate Philosophy Library, especially strong in resources for the study of Thomism, contains approximately 11,000 volumes in the area of medieval philosophy, theology and history. This collection supports the graduate program of the Center for Thomistic Studies, stressing a historical understanding of Aquinas texts and a rigorous rethinking of this thirteenth–century wisdom in the light of twenty–first–century problems and realities. The Graduate Philosophy main collection is located on the second floor of the Doherty Library and all students can consult it. The Special and Reference collections of the Graduate Philosophy Library, located in Doherty Library’s second floor Hugh Roy Marshall Room, has restricted access.

The Music Library is located on the second floor of Cullen Hall. It contains more than 3,000 scores, both vocal and instrumental, as well as access to three different audio databases that include over 20,000 tracks. The Music Library is located on the second floor of Cullen Hall. It contains more than 3,000 scores, both vocal and instrumental, as well as access to three different audio databases that include over 20,000 tracks. There are also 450 LP records in this library’s reserved section.

The Cardinal Beran Library at St. Mary's Seminary is an integral part of the University's Graduate School of Theology. It has approximately 62,000 volumes, current subscriptions to 203 journals, 8,033 bound volumes of periodicals, 1,523 pamphlets, and 991 audio–visual items. Special collections include selected primary resources of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Catholic writers and a collection of historical pamphlets for catechesis of the laity. The library has been the beneficiary of the personal collection of former Bishop Wendelin J. Nold and the Blessed John Henry Newman resources from UST scholar, Fr. Richard Schiefen, CSB as well as books from retired Bishop Vincent M. Rizzotto and Archbishop Emeritus Joseph A. Fiorenza. Additionally, there are developing collections of primary resources relating to Vatican II and a collection of Catholic Fiction. Theological titles in Spanish and Vietnamese are obtained when available. To access the resources available in the Cardinal Beran Library, go to www.smseminary.com/library.

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Mission Statement

We are the University of St. Thomas, the Catholic university in the heart of Houston. We are committed to the Catholic intellectual tradition and the dialogue between faith and reason. By pursuing excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service, we embody and instill in our students the core values of our founders, the Basilian Fathers: goodness, discipline, knowledge and community.

We foster engagement in a diverse, collaborative community. As a comprehensive university grounded in the liberal arts, we educate students to think critically, communicate effectively, succeed professionally, and lead ethically.

History Of The University

The University of St. Thomas admitted its first freshman class, 40 men and women, on September 22, 1947. Of the ten faculty members, four were members of the Basilian Fathers, to whom the work of founding and operating the University had been entrusted. The Basilians, a congregation founded in France in 1822, had been working in the Diocese of Galveston–Houston since 1900, when they established the College of St. Thomas, now St. Thomas High School.

Bishop Christopher E. Byrne of Galveston–Houston had long hoped that a Catholic university might be established in his diocese, and in May of 1945 he announced that such an institution was about to become a reality. For that purpose the T.P. Lee mansion, located in the 3800 block of Montrose Boulevard, was purchased as a home for the new University, to which a science building and classrooms were soon added. From here a series of non–credit courses was taught from November 1946 until Easter 1947 to introduce students to what would be the University of St. Thomas.

With experience that was both practical and theoretical, the Basilian Fathers, led by Father Vincent J. Guinan, first president of the University, and Father Wilfrid Dwyer, vice president, shaped the initial curriculum. Influenced by the writings of Cardinal John Henry Newman as well as by their Basilian experience in Canada at St. Michael’s College, the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies and Assumption College, they determined that all students should pursue a broad program in liberal studies intended to serve as a solid basis upon which to build their lives and their careers in the community.

As a Catholic institution of higher learning, the University of St. Thomas is inspired by the teaching of Pope John Paul II’s apostolic constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae, and abides by the application norms prescribed by the American Bishops. Because of the University’s institutional commitment to the Church, “Catholic ideals, attitudes and principles penetrate and inform its activities in accordance with the proper nature and autonomy of these activities,” (Ex Corde Ecclesiae, 14). In its teachings and research, the University of St. Thomas is dedicated to the cause of truth and fosters the integration of knowledge, the dialogue between faith and culture, the ethical and moral implications of learning and the unique orientation to all study given by theology.

Basilian Tradition

The Basilians at the University of St. Thomas, by their spirituality, philosophy of education and esprit de corps, promote a lively sense of the University’s mission as a Catholic institution. Among the distinctive characteristics of the Basilian approach to higher education are:

  • Recognition of the continuing significance of the Catholic intellectual tradition in shaping Western civilization;
  • Commitment to an integral Christian humanism that embraces the liberal arts as well as all other areas of knowledge;
  • Fidelity to the authoritative teaching of the Church;
  • Respect for the contribution of St. Thomas Aquinas to the Church’s intellectual life, especially to philosophy;
  • Healthy respect for the life of the mind, a passion for the discovery of truth in every area and a conviction that faith must begin and end in a knowledge that bears fruit in love; deep appreciation of human dignity that calls for the education of the whole person: physically, intellectually, morally, socially and spiritually;
  • Close association with and availability to students;
  • Genuine concern to assist students who are economically or otherwise disadvantaged;
  • Willingness to provide counseling and pastoral care, especially through sacramental celebration;
  • Collaborative spirit that gratefully recognizes that the University is a common intellectual venture of students, faculty, staff and administration as well as other supporters and friends;
  • Trust in God’s grace and a willingness to carry out whatever labors are required for the good of the University without seeking recognition. In all their endeavors, the Basilian Fathers seek to enrich the University of St. Thomas with their presence, their talents and their prayer.

Commitment To Faculty Excellence​

Pursuing excellence in teaching, scholarship and service is a hallmark of the University of St. Thomas. In keeping with this commitment, the Center for Faculty Excellence was established. The mission of the Center is to provide faculty with resources and services that foster and support their success in teaching, research and service throughout all stages of their careers. The directors and participants of the Center for Faculty Excellence seek to develop a community of teachers and scholars to work collaboratively with all sectors of the University to accomplish that mission. Activities of the Center include conducting new faculty orientation, supporting faculty development workshops, facilitating faculty study days, hosting forums to discuss teaching practices, and providing support for individual members of the faculty.

University Seal

The colors of the University of St. Thomas are red and gold. On the seal, the golden cross of our faith symbolizes the divinity of Christ the King, while the background of red is for the humanity of Christ.

The dove and rayonnant sun in the first quarter are symbols of St. Thomas Aquinas. In the second quarter, the star is for the “Lone Star State” and for the Mother of Christ under the title “Star of the Sea.” The hyacinth in the third quarter reminds us of San Jacinto, the river and battlefield near Houston where Texas won its independence. The second dove in the last quarter is the symbol of St. Basil, patron of the Basilian Fathers, who founded the University of St. Thomas.

Thereby, on the shield, St. Thomas and St. Basil, Doctors of the Western and Eastern churches, respectively, represent the universality of the Church. The motto, “Crescamus in Christo,” reminds us that as we advance in knowledge and wisdom, we should also grow in love and service of Christ.

Contact Academic Advising at 713-831-7227 or advising@stthom.edu if you need to access to degree plans from previous years.