Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted (December 20, 2011) 

“In accord with the Code of Canon Law, the Apostolic Constitution promulgated by the Holy Father, Blessed John Paul II Ex Corde Ecclesiae, and the USCCB’s Norms for the Application of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, I have decided to grant permission for Southwest Catholic University to identify itself as a “Catholic” university and to use the name, “Catholic” within the territory of the Diocese of Phoenix. For purposes of clarity, my permission applies to this newly formed university and extends to said university should it move forward with plans to be renamed the “Catholic University of the West.”

Bishop Olmsted reviewed the curriculum of Catholic University of the West in 2011.  As Catholic University of the West is addressing the final location for the University, the Curriculum Development Committee continues reviews of the curriculum.


Curriculum Development Committee

  • Dr. John X. Evans, Ph.D.,  Committee Chairman
  • Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.
  • Nicholas J. Healy, J.D.
  • Fr. Andriy M. Chirovsky, Ph.D.
  • William Fahey, Ph.D.
  • Don Cashman, Chairman, Catholic University of the West


Initial Curriculum Approved

  • Theology
  • Philosophy
  • Business (Pre-Law, Human Resources, Sports Management, etc.)
  • Education
  • Music

Campus and Degree Programs. The University will construct a full service residential campus in the Phoenix metro area. The University intends to operate as a fully accredited four-year bachelor’s degree program residential campus and online university, although it will initially also offer two-year associates degree programs while seeking accreditation. The University plans to offer a 2 year associates degree program and launch core 4 year bachelor’s degree programs in the areas of Business, Education, Theology, Philosophy, and Music. Specialized degree programs such as Engineering are under consideration as potential additions.

Several other Catholic universities around the country have agreed to enter into articulation agreements with the University, thus guaranteeing our students recognition of all course credits earned at the University should they wish to transfer after two years. The University is a tax exempt, non-profit corporation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and qualifies to receive tax deductible financial contributions and tax deductible bequests, transfers and gifts.