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Students and the Catholic Identity in CUEA

The Catholic University stands for Moral integrity, Truth, and Respect for Faith. This demands a high sense of discipline, and strength among students to resist the temptation to exploitation and corruption. It further demands that students should live and practice the values of faith, hope, love, respect, justice, peace, and truth.

There is need to enhance student bodies and platforms where they participate in an active and non-violent way. Students are challenged to:

  • Pursue an education that combines excellence in studies and professional training.
  • Search for all truth and meaning throughout their lives.
  • Cultivate the human spirit resulting in a capacity to understand, contemplate, make personal judgment and develop a religious, moral, social sense, and be Christ’s witness as future leaders.

The education of students combines academic and professional development with formation in moral and religious principles and the social teaching of the Church. The programme of studies for each of the various professions must include an ethical formation appropriate to that profession. The common courses like Christian Ethics and Bible Studies are compulsory to all students.

To help students develop a high degree of moral integrity, the University:

  • has established policies on smoking, drinking, and relationships on campus.
  • placed messages on Catholic ideals and virtues at strategic sections in the University.

Catholic Identity in a Catholic University

The Catholic University is an arm of the Church’s educational ministry. Its effectiveness must be measured against the goals of the overall organization (Abbot, 1966:643). The Catholic identity goals are stipulated in Universal Church documents such as Christian Education of the Youth of 1929, Declaration on Christian Education of 1965, The General Catechetical Directory of 1971, On Evangelization in the Modern World of 1975, Catholic School of 1977, Catechesis Tradendae of 1979, Lay Catholics in Schools; Witness to Faith of 1982, The Code of Canon Law of 1983 and The Catholic School of 1988, just to mention a few.

Catholic University:

  • Upholds the Catholic Church’s teaching on God, humankind and nature.
  • Is guided by the wisdom that seeks to understand the whole Truth to be held in its entirety without compromise.
  • Has the mission of integral Truth, liberation, development, and salvation for all people.

St. Thomas Aquinas once taught, A Catholic university should impart holistic knowledge to students founded on the Supreme Truth for transformative conscience, attitudes, skills, values relationships, and meaningful cosmotheandrian destiny (Summa Theologica Vol.3, 1912, Question 74, 942).

The Catholic University of Eastern Africa seeks to promote scientific research, quality teaching, and community service for the purpose of enhancing Christian living. Based on Scriptures and the living tradition of the Church both universal and local, the University provides programs designed to prepare qualified upright and responsible personnel for the Church and the society.

CUEA is governed by the norms of the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana (Christian Wisdom) and the principles, values and norms characteristic of other Catholic universities (On Catholic Universities 15/8/1990), ex Corde ecclesiae, From the heart of the church and from other general norms found in the Code of Canon Law Part II Article 3 and the Complementary Church Legislation, the University elucidates her Catholic Identity.

The Apostolic Constitution on Catholic Universities expounds on this Catholic Identity in paragraphs 12-27.

In summary:

  • A Catholic University is like any University in the sense that it is an academic community which, in rigorous and critical fashion, assists in the protection and advancement of human dignity and cultural heritage through teaching and various services offered to local, national and international communities (Apostolic Constitution No. 12).
  • It possesses institutional autonomy to perform its functions or operations effectively.
  • The University guarantees its members academic freedom as well as the rights of the individual person and of the community as preserved within the common good.

 The specific nature and identity of a Catholic University:

  • Assure Christian Catholic presence in the university by confronting the great problems of society and culture.
  • Instil Christian inspiration in the University as an institution.
  • Enhance a continuing reflection in the light of biblical values, principles and moral imperatives within the Catholic magisterial teaching.
  • Ensure fidelity to the Christian message as it comes to us through the Church in matters of faith and morals (No. 27).
  • Strengthen institutional commitment to the service of the people of God and the entire human family.

 The Catholic University therefore focuses on Catholic ideals, attitudes, and principles that penetrate all university activities.

  • A Catholic University is both a community representative in various branches of human knowledge and an academic institution in which Catholicism is vitally operative (No. 14).
  • It is a place where scholars scrutinize reality with the methods proper to each academic discipline and where various disciplines are brought into dialogue, for mutual enrichment.

Being a Christo-centric University, CUEA pursues her objectives in the formation of human society animated by the spirit and model of Christ. It is an institution with a common vision of the dignity of the human person, created in the image of God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This vision is characterized by the following values: spirit of freedom, charity or concern for others, mutual respect, sincere dialogue, protection of both individual and community human rights, promotion of unity and always maintaining and strengthening the distinctive Catholic characteristics and nature of the Catholic University as an institution.

In the Catholic University, research is greatly encouraged to bring about:

  • Integration of knowledge
  • A dialogue between Catholic faith and reason
  • An ethical/moral concern
  • Theological perspective (No.15-20)

Catholic Theologians, aware that they fulfil a mandate received from the Church, advocate fidelity to the Sacred Magisterium of the Church as the authentic interpreters of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. To confront the complex problems facing modern society, and strengthen the Catholic Identity of the institution, regional, national and international cooperation is promoted in research, teaching and community service. Such cooperation is also to be promoted between the Catholic University and other Universities, and with other research and educational institutions, both private and governmental.



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