Introducing New Rosary College Faculty Member, Kaitlyn Curtin (MTS, MEd)

Kaitlyn Curtin

Fall Course

Kaitlyn Curtin is joining the faculty of Rosary College to teach Sacred Scripture (Theology 101) in-person this fall.

Sacred Scripture is the first theology course in sequence for full-time students. Rosary College is still accepting both part-time and full-time students to its unique, integrated program of Catholic studies in the liberal arts – register here!

Mrs. Kaitlyn Curtin, MTS, MEd

Kaitlyn Curtin: Theological Studies

An award-winning instructor, Kaitlyn has also taught undergraduates, diaconate candidates, and catechists. Most recently, she has served as an adjunct professor at Holy Spirit College in Atlanta. Her richest experience as an educator, however, has been the raising of her six children. 

Kaitlyn obtained three degrees from the University of Notre Dame: Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Philosophy (Honors Program); Master of Theological Studies; Master of Education (ACE Program). While a student at Our Lady’s university, Kaitlyn served as president of ND Right to Life and acted as the club’s liaison to Bishop Darcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

She writes for popular media about the Doctors of the Church.

Catholic Education in the Upstate

Kaitlyn and her husband Tommy, headmaster of Our Lady of the Rosary School, are committed to providing excellent Catholic education in the Upstate.

The Upstate is already strong, and she is blessed to be a part of the natural next step: an excellent and faithful Catholic college.

What most excites you about the opening of South Carolina's first Catholic College?

Basilica of the Sacred Heart University of Notre Dame

The Catholic Church has built up institutions of learning everywhere the Gospel has been planted: desert monasteries in Egypt, universities in Italy, hedge schools in Ireland – and a college in Greenville!

We have many wonderful Catholic colleges in the US, and I was blessed to teach for a relatively new one – Holy Spirit College in Atlanta. But the community here in South Carolina should not have to leave in order to learn! I am most excited that Rosary College will strengthen and engage the local community by bringing people together for study.

What is your area of expertise?

My greatest strength is my gift for the art of teaching. I have worked with students of all ability levels, from the gifted to the disadvantaged, and have helped them find success.

Looking back on my career thus far, my focus has always been translation. As a Latin instructor, I seek to help students access the meaning of texts without leaving the original language behind. 

Similarly – and more importantly – I work as a theology instructor to translate the Church’s tradition for the present moment.

The average lay person does not have the expertise to wade through volumes of dense theological treatises on their own. A good teacher guides students so that they can access and understand great works of theology for themselves. This task is especially crucial when students are reading the Bible. Finding Christ in the “Word made text” and interpreting Scripture faithfully are at root exercises in translation.

My greatest strength is my gift for the art of teaching. I have worked with students of all ability levels, from the gifted to the disadvantaged, and have helped them find success.

Statue of priest carrying the Holy Eucharist in a monstrance

How did you come to specialize in this area?

Finding my path to becoming a Sacred Scripture instructor began with the excellent formation I received from my parents. They made a point of bringing us to daily Mass whenever possible and they made great sacrifices to put us through Catholic schools. 

Unfortunately, not all Catholic school teachers live up to their mission. My seventh grade religion teacher told us that archaeologists would someday locate Christ’s body in the Holy Land. She was an IHM sister, but she had come to believe that the resurrection story was purely symbolic.

Quoting from Paul, I replied that “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain.”

She responded dismissively, “I am sorry if this shakes your faith.” 

This event convinced me of the Church’s great need for teachers who would hand on the rich wisdom of Tradition.

I pursued theology as an undergraduate and then as a graduate student. I went on to complete a second Master’s degree, this time in education, and to hone the craft of teaching in multiple educational settings. My philosophy of education is closely aligned with a classical model, but I incorporate the best principles and practices of teaching wherever they are found.

What was one of the most profound experiences of your own college/ university education?

the holy tomb where Jesus was laid and ressurected

I was blessed to participate in two trips to with the Notre Dame Holocaust Project: Jews and Christians from Germany, Poland, and the United States met at Auschwitz to discuss the theological implications of the Holocaust. The entire experience was profound, but one moment stands out. In a meadow on the way from Birkenau to our lodgings, a participant who was a rabbi stopped us to quote Psalm 30:12: “You have changed my mourning into dancing; you took off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.”

Right there in the meadow, the rabbi taught us a traditional Jewish dance. I experienced the power of Scripture to bring healing and communion at the site of terrible crimes against God’s chosen people. 

I reflected later that most of the Auschwitz guards had been raised as Christians. How could they have missed truth so horribly when they had access to the Bible? My experience drove home the very high stakes of teaching not only the Holy Bible but the rule of faith that guards it against appropriations and misinterpretations.

I reflect now also on the power colleges have to bring people together – great and unexpected things can happen!

 

What ought to be the value of a liberal arts education? How does this influence your teaching?

roses and flowers

Humans flourish when they live according to their maker’s design, that is, when they image God through clear thought and creative love. A liberal arts education develops all these and so naturally equips a person for success in all human endeavors, from relationships to employment to civic service to worship.

A liberal arts education dedicated to the Truth also liberates a person from the delusions characteristic of the present age. In my classes, I take care to identify and contest petty heresies masquerading as the fruits of “progress.” I challenge students to dig down to first principles and to articulate the reasons they believe and think as they do.

A liberal education has value also in the development of ethics grounded in both reason and tradition. In a program that treats philosophy, theological studies, history, literature, math, and science, students learn that ethics is a matter of integrity, or consistency, and that nothing human is irrelevant to the pursuit of the good life.

One of the deficiencies of the modern university is that it's not a university but a multi-versity. Disciplines and departments are increasingly competitive and separated from each other, and have no unifying purpose. How do you plan to integrate course material from other disciplines into your own courses to promote the integrated humanities aspect of Rosary College's Integrative Catholic Studies degree program?

I had the privilege of studying with Alasdair MacIntyre, a philosopher who diagnosed this problem of fragmentation: Disciplines multiply by subdividing into niche specializations until conversation seems to have been rendered impossible; reluctance to think outside of one’s expertise is treated as virtuous, but this odd humility is at odds with the pursuit of wisdom.

Theology is the remedy. Theology brings the conversation unity, for God is the source of all creation and so of all knowledge.

As an instructor of Sacred Scripture, I turn to many disciplines for insight. History, archaeology, ancient languages, and literature are all indispensable. When we look at 2 Samuel’s history of David, for example, history teaches us that it is atypical of its time. Ancient Egyptians did their best to obliterate the memory of Pharaoh Akhenaten due to his aberrant theological ideas, and most ancient Near East civilizations considered decisions of a king as unalterable and perfect. The biblical narrative, however, recalls with honesty the sins and mistakes of the human sovereign. The stark difference in portrayals helps us see that the Scripture is treating God, not David, as the ultimate king of Israel.

My class also explores ways theology has shaped and should govern the other disciplines.

Why is it essential that Catholicism is present in your course?

It is impossible to study the Bible without Catholicism, for it was Catholicism that established the canon. The claim that these texts are divinely inspired is an astonishingly bold one, and to make any sense it requires us to claim the inspiration of the Holy Spirit working without error through the Church. 

Michelangelo's David

The Life of a Student

Whether or not a student is completing a degree with Rosary College or simply delving deeper into Scripture through formal classes, he will be encouraged to make the contemplation of God’s word a way of life.

Students will be challenged to research in the richness of tradition and to pursue a deep understanding of the Church’s exegetical heritage.

We will give special attention to the ways the early Church interpreted Scripture, and so we will be guided by commentaries from Irenaeus, Jerome, and Augustine. These great Catholic saints will remain a person’s teacher long after the end of college studies and will be beacons in the pursuit of truth.

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