The Catholic University of America

Jan. 30, 2015

President Garvey to Join Presidents of Baylor, Yeshiva to Discuss Faith-Based Higher Education

  John Garvey

Catholic University President John Garvey and two other university presidents will discuss “The State of Higher Education and the Calling of Faith-based Universities” at the National Press Club on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 6:30 p.m.

Garvey will join Ken Starr, president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and Richard Joel, president of Yeshiva University in New York City. The discussion is part of Starr’s “On Topic” series of talks.

“What are universities for? This is the question of the day in higher education, and faith-based universities and colleges have a distinct advantage in answering it,” President Garvey says. “Because we believe that human beings are made to know, love, and serve God, we recognize that the academic vocation must be a way for students and faculty to come to know and love God better.

“This means we don’t just teach students about God in theology class; we create an intellectual environment in which faith informs all of our studies,” Garvey adds. “It means we teach our students about the life of virtue and we try to show them how to live it.”

At the event, the presidents will discuss questions that include:

  • Is there a market for a faith-based institution in the 21st century?
  • Is it a strength for these three universities that they refuse to give up their faith tradition?
  • With the changes in the landscape of higher education, what are the pressures of being a modern-day university in the 21st century? Is maintaining a cultural identity any different than 100 years ago?
  • How do these institutions defend religious freedom and thought?

“Today, faith-based higher education institutions provide education and scholarship grounded in ethics and an intellectual curiosity that springs from disciplined habits of the heart that inspire action to help a hurting world,” President Starr says.

“Faith-based institutions serve a higher calling, ennobled by eternal values,” he adds. “They are committed to instruction, research, scholarship, and creative endeavors so that talent may be released, truth may be discovered, beauty revealed, and goodness multiplied, for the benefit of others.”

The event begins with a reception at 6:30. The conversation will start at 7 p.m. The presidents plan to take questions afterward.

The National Press Club is located at 529 14th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. To register, email

MEDIA: To register to cover the event, contact Mary McCarthy Hines or Katie Lee in Catholic University’s Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600 or, or Lori Fogleman in Baylor’s Office of Media Communications at




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