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About Us

The Centre for Catholic Studies (CCS) is the first of its kind in British higher education. It represents a creative partnership between academy and church: a centre within the pluralist, public academy for critically constructive Catholic studies of the highest academic standing.
Read our Prospectus (opens pdf)


World-class research and teaching 

The CCS is the UK’s first permanent centre devoted to pioneering world-class research and teaching in Catholic theology in the public academy. We operate within the UK’s premier research Department of Theology and Religion, and work in close partnership with the Catholic Church and other organisations, in multiple ways, to produce future leaders, foster talent, and foment Catholic scholarship locally and globally.


The aims of the Centre for Catholic Studies are: 

  • To provide a distinctive forum for the creative analysis of key issues in Catholic thought, culture, and practice 
  • To engage, inform and shape public and ecclesial life from a leading knowledge and research base 
  • To engage the breadth and depth of Catholic tradition in conversation both with the full range of disciplines and perspectives in a leading university and with the range of other faith traditions 
  • To develop and pursue major collaborative and interdisciplinary research projects and to attract associated grant awards and philanthropic support 
  • To model a vibrant and inclusive community of scholars of Catholicism and practitioners of Catholic theology 
  • To form outstanding theologians who will shape the future from the richness of Catholic tradition in the church, academy, and public life 
  • To foster and develop excellent working relationships with relevant regional, national and international public and ecclesial bodies 

Each year the CCS: 

  • Pursues numerous research projects in the areas of Constructive Catholic Theology, Catholic Social Thought and Practice, the History of Catholicism, and Catholicism, Literature, and the Arts, with developing interests also in the Social Scientific Study of Catholicism 
  • Supports staff members in their personal research and publications 
  • Offers various series of research seminars and lectures, including the Catholic Theology Research Seminar and the Ushaw Lecture Series 
  • Supports postgraduate students with scholarships funded by generous donations from our partners 
  • Provides postgraduate training, teaching, and supervision 
  • Engages in outreach work, especially through the work of the Bede Chair and the St Hilda Chair 
  • Pursues a significant amount of fundraising and institutional development and partnership work 

The past year's activities are described in our Annual Report. View the CCS Annual Review 2021/22 (opens pdf).


Durham Castle Courtyard

Our research

The Centre for Catholic Studies has well-established research programmes in Constructive Catholic Theology, Catholic Social Thought and Practice, and the History of Catholicism, and newer research programmes in Catholicism, Literature, and the Arts and Lived Catholicism.

Explore our Research Areas