From the desk of the President & CEO of St Augustine College
Greetings from St Augustine!
In the light of the Trump withdrawal from the Paris Agreement yesterday, the future of what Pope Francis calls ‘our common home’ is a little less secure; in response, we must redouble our efforts to meet the ‘urgent challenge’ that Pope Francis presents to us in Laudato Si’ …‘to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change’. Despite the short signed actions of the Trump administration, ‘Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home’.
Because of the international gloom, I hope to lighten your spirits somewhat by sharing with you a few positive developments that have occurred recently at St Augustine.
The first academic semester for our undergraduate students has ended. After fourteen weeks of hard work, they are now writing their examinations. I wish them well over this stressful time.
I am delighted to announce that, in 2018, St Augustine will be introducing a Bachelor of Commerce (PPE) degree. The degree will be offered on a full-time (three years) and part-time (six years) basis. All students registered for the Bachelor of Commerce (PPE) will major in Economics, with a second major in either Philosophy or Politics. The curriculum includes a number of compulsory subjects. In the first year, modules in Academic Development and Research Skills assist students with developing their reading, writing and communication skills, and, in the third year, two modules are devoted to a research project. Three modules in the first and second years provide students with opportunity to explore topics that are fundamental to the ethos of St Augustine (Philosophy of the Human Person, Introduction to Ethics, and Introduction to Catholic Social Thought). Additional compulsory subjects include Mathematics, Statistics and Accounting; elective subjects include Business Management and Law. The curriculum allows for a possible third major (in either Philosophy or Politics, Business Management, Law and Mathematics). Apart from acquiring subject content knowledge, the multidisciplinary nature of the qualification prepares graduates for a range of careers that require critical thinking, logical reasoning, and a solid foundation in commercial literary and numeracy.
Further, in future, each quarter, St Augustine will be hosting a ‘Seasonal School’ for those interested in intellectual or professional enrichment. A Seasonal School ‘Student’ will attend a module currently on offer (for Non Degree Purposes) in St Augustine’s postgraduate degree programme. The first Seasonal School – a ‘Winter School’ – will be held from 3 to 7 July 2017 (9h00 to 17h00). The Modules to be offered are: ‘The Market Economy and Christian Ethics’, ‘The Ethics of Democracy’, ‘Leadership and Management of a Faith-Based School’, ‘Philosophy of Knowledge’, ‘Christian Spiritual Tradition’, ‘Ecumenism and Inter-Faith Dialogue’, ‘The Universal Church and Particular Churches’. The cost for attending one of the modules (excluding course material, which will vary from module to module) is R 1 500.00.
Should you be interested in applying for the BCom degree or be interested in registering for a module in our Winter School, please consult the St Augustine website (www.staugustine.ac.za).
Thanks to the support of the Apostolic Nuncio, HE Archbishop Peter WELLS, in May, St Augustine received a generous grant from the Papal Foundation. Apart from the important contribution that the grant made to St Augustine being able, successfully, to honour many of its immediate financial commitments, the grant also reflects the confidence of the ‘Universal Church’ in St Augustine and its future.
‘Human beings,’ Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si’, ‘while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning. We are able to take an honest look at ourselves, to acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction, and to embark on new paths to authentic freedom. No system can completely suppress our openness to what is good, true and beautiful, of our God-given ability to respond to his grace at work deep in our hearts. I appeal to everyone throughout the world not to forget this dignity which is ours.’
On this positive note, I wish you a safe and warm Winter in this corner of ‘our common home’.
President and CEO