Faith and Learning Scholars Program

 “Augustine believed in the power of a community dedicated to the collective pursuit of truth and Christian friendship. At Villanova, this spirit comes alive through the students, faculty, staff, administrators, and Augustinian Friars who are united in a passionate pursuit of knowledge and service to others. This mutual commitment to Veritas, Unitas, Caritas – Truth, Unity, Love – serves as a living embodiment of the University’s Catholic and Augustinian mission and creates an environment that fosters exciting opportunities for learning and growth.”

Fr. Peter Donohue, OSA

Consistent with this visionary statement, the Center for Faith and Learning provides the opportunity to explore the vocation of the mind and the depths of the Spirit in the way of Augustine, who searched for knowledge in the context of community. 

The activities of the Center promote critical inquiry in the context of community and friendship, where those who enter the dialogue, seek integration of faith, which is the hallmark of Augustinian pedagogy. 

In the Faith and Learning Scholars program Faculty Mentors and Student Scholars together will:

  • discuss what it means to be engaged in a search for truth and to be dedicated to the intellectual life,
  • explore ways to balance contemplation and activity,
  • consider one’s future potential for service to society, the academy and the Church,
  • grow through knowledge to wisdom.
Senior Scholars and Dr. Beth Hassel, Director

Faith & Learning Scholars Program

“Sharing Faith and Friendship” – 24 Faith and Learning Senior Scholars Honored at Final Dinner Dialogue

On April 23, 98 sophomore, junior and senior Scholars gathered with their faculty Mentors and distinguished guests in the Villanova Room for the final Dinner Dialogue of the year.  The article discussed was “Inspiring Faith and Engaging Reality:  Promoting Virtue in a Secular Age”, by Mark Ravizza, SJ.  TheFaith and Learning Scholars program, now beginning its fifth year, is a three year long program and features “Dinner with Big Questions,” i.e. Augustinian-styled Dinner Dialogues held four times annually attended by the scholars seated together with their faculty mentors.

The 24 Senior Scholars of the Center for Faith and Learning Faith and Learning Scholars program pictured here with Director Dr. Beth Hassel, PBVM, D.Min (front row, right), received their set of red and gold Honor Cords, representing faith and wisdom, at the close of the event. Similar to their Mentors these are worn at Commencement:

Left to right, back row:  Jessica Swoboda, Noah Thacker, Christian Bruni, Kelly Gabriel, Wyatt Kimble and Alexander Kuczmarski.

Middle row:  Lilly Rizzo, Sara Thoms, Megan Hopkins, Conor Dawson, Meaghan McCann, Rosalina Jowers, Anna Bauer, Brian DiCola, Mark Mullany, and Kimberly Tower.

Front row:  Sarah Garwood, Elisabeth Nichols, Colleen Francke, Elizabeth Prather, Jennifer Warren and Dr. Hassel, Director.

Not pictured:  Alexander Abdalla, Tiffany Ferrette and Mary Sondermeyer.


Center Logo

Senior Scholars Say:

"Our dinner dialogues were always like a breath of fresh air for me -- they helped me take a step back and consider my faith, something that I don't always make time for in my day-to-day life. Those moments became very important to me over the past three years."
"I have had the opportunity to meet a group of people all with the same focus of school and integrated faith.  I never thought I would be able to connect with these students (and faculty) in one setting. I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to experience faith and learning these three years."
"I'm a more confident person. Not just in my faith life, though that's certainly true, but I feel like a more well-rounded individual for having participated in this program. I'm more open. I'm more comfortable talking about myself and my experiences."
* Scholars application 2015-2016.pdf
Scholars application 2015-2016
* Faculty Mentors application 2015-2016.pdf
Faculty Mentors application 2015-2016