The Mission of the Pontifical Faculty
The Dominican House of Studies traces its mission to the preaching charism and Catholic intellectual heritage bequeathed to the Order of Preachers by its founder, St. Dominic de Guzman. Dominic constructed a religious order international in scope yet decentralized in structure to address the needs of the Church by preparing preachers both intellectually informed and pastorally competent. This evangelizing mission is asserted in the basic claim of the Fundamental Constitution of the Order of Preachers that the Order was instituted “especially for preaching and the salvation of souls.”
To prepare preachers, Dominic established houses near the leading universities of his time in which students of the Order could follow a prescribed course of study in preparation for their pastoral work. Since Dominic insisted that spiritual formation is essential to intellectual formation, academic study was situated within a religious community shaped by a common life, liturgical prayer, modified monastic observance, a democratic form of government, and fraternal charity. St. Thomas Aquinas completed this vision by sharpening the speculative quest for truth within a broad Aristotelian framework, marked by a respect for scientific method, freedom of inquiry, broadness of scope, precision of concepts, and largeness of spirit. Thomas remains even today guide and model of the Dominican intellectual life by reason of his docility of mind to Revelation, unwavering respect for the visible world and the human person, and unflagging commitment to think with and within the Church. The Dominican House of Studies is direct heir to this theological and spiritual tradition which Dominic founded and Thomas developed, a theological heritage both speculatively inclined and pastorally charged that spans nearly eight centuries.
In service to the evangelizing mission of the Dominican Order, the primary purpose of the Dominican House of Studies is to provide a Catholic theological education that prepares students for the ordained ministry in the Province of St. Joseph. Recognizing the wide appeal of a theological education in the Dominican tradition, the Dominican House of Studies accepts all interested and qualified students without regard to race, gender, religion, or ethnic background. The Dominican House of Studies is committed to imparting to all of its students a capacity for serious scholarship and a basic competence in philosophy and theology through the study of St. Thomas Aquinas in dialogue with the best of contemporary thought. For ministry preparation it offers a comprehensive program of studies integrated with spiritual and pastoral components in order to form students imbued with a desire for holiness, capable of effective preaching, and competent pastoral ministry. With an academic environment shaped by a Thomistic focus, a small student enrollment, and a high faculty—student ratio, the Dominican House of Studies fosters among students and faculty an intimacy conducive to personal formation in the spiritual, intellectual, and ministerial spheres of preaching, teaching, and other ministries.
Adopted by the Council of the Faculty, December 10, 2001
Amended and Adopted by the Board of Trustees, January 19, 2002