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24-01 The American Catholic Experience is a Course

24-01 The American Catholic Experience

Jan 8, 2024 - Feb 16, 2024

$99 Enroll

Full course description

Partner dioceses receive discounted courses. This link provides a list of partner dioceses and discount codes to use when registering.


Created by Dr. Jay Dolan, a Notre Dame History Professor, The American Catholic Experience will introduce students to the history of American Catholicism from the age of John Carroll to just prior to the Second Vatican Council (1780-1960). It will focus on some of the major immigrant groups that have made up the Catholic mosaic. In addition, a subtext of the course will be the themes of democracy, ethnicity, and religion, and devotional Catholicism. It will be more of a social history of Catholicism rather than an institutional history. 

Course Content

Unit 1: Catholicism in an Age of Democracy: 1780-1820

Unit 2: The Immigrant Church--Irish and Germans: 1820-1880

Unit 3: The Immigrant Church--Italians and Polish: 1880-1920

Unit 4: Consolidation of the Immigrant Church: 1920-1960

Unit 5: A Desire for Reform: 1920-1960

Course Format

  • Six weeks in duration; first week for orientation.
  • Up to 20 students in each course.
  • Text based lectures.
  • Supplemental readings are provided to encourage further exploration, internet links provided for all readings.
  • Written assignments (200-250) required.
  • Facilitator-moderated weekly Zoom sessions with participants.

Participation Requirements

  • Watch or read the lecture for each unit.
  • Read assigned texts; keep notes, questions, and comments for class discussions.
  • Answer weekly discussion question. 
  • Respond to weekly unit assignment.
  • Attend weekly Zoom for each unit. If you cannot attend, you can still meet the participation requirements.
  • Complete the course evaluation.

Time Expectations

4 to 6 hours per week, depending on your learning style and schedule.

Course Certificate

An electronic certificate of completion awarding 35 contact hours will be available in course when completing all course requirements.

Area: Church History

Course Begins: January 2024