Vatican II

The Vatican II Council: Catholic Higher Education in Transition

The date is October 11, 1962, the setting is Rome. Pope John XXIII convenes the first meeting of the Second Vatican Council, officially opening a series of meetings, the likes of which had not occurred in at least a century. The Second Vatican Council aimed to modernize an institution still set in medieval times, bringing it in line with the modern world.

The modernized doctrine introduced proclamations that served as a catalyst of change across all levels of Catholic Higher Education, introducing a more secular and inclusive worldview. Catholic Higher Education shifted from an isolated policy on education in the service of establishing proper Catholic morals over education for its own sake. 

The changes at St. Edward’s University from during the 1960s reflected this paradigm shift in the new curriculum models, religious services, administration practices, and student experience on campus. 

The intent of the following pages is to chart how St. Edward's transitioned from its antiquated practices into a modern era introduced by the Second Vatican Council.