All Catholic institutions are increasingly involved in discussions about what constitutes Catholic identity. It is a pressing question for schools, universities, hospitals, and social service agencies. As the debate proceeds on the possible implementation of formal norms for Catholic universities according to Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the question of Catholic identity becomes a most crucial for Catholic colleges and universities. Through a content analysis of literature on Catholic higher education, the author suggests a framework for specifying the content of Catholic identity. Within a structure of three major influences which are delineated in 18 categories, Catholic identity is described as a rich and multifaceted phenomenon.

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