Fides et Ratio


Supporting Catholic Studies or Religious Studies and Theology Students

The Fides et Ratio scholarship aids students pursuing either a minor in Catholic Studies, or a minor or major in Religious Studies and Theology. The goal of this scholarship is to equip Loras College students with the intellectual background to practice their faith as strong parish leaders following graduation. The scholarships are funded through the generosity of Paul (’60) and Frances Breitbach.

$2500 per academic year or $1250 per semester is awarded in addition to merit aid.

Supporting Academic Programs

The Catholic Studies minor is multidisciplinary in character, including not only theology but history, politics, social studies, philosophy, literature, the arts, and science. Catholic Studies provides a broad introduction to the Catholic heritage which can enrich the Loras experience, no matter what major a student pursues. It is a study of Catholicism in its intellectual, historical, social, and cultural dimensions. 21 credits.


The Religious Studies and Theology major and minor emphasizes three areas of study: theological studies, biblical studies, and moral studies. By taking courses in these topics, students learn to identify theological approaches to key concepts, themes, and practices of religious life. In addition, students gain skills in researching and theologically interpreting religious beliefs and practices within the contemporary world. The major is 34 credits and concludes with either a thesis or practicum. The minor is 18 credits.

Eligibility Requirements:
  • First year, sophomore, and junior students are eligible for the scholarship the semester following their declaration of either a minor in Catholic Studies or a minor or major in Religious Studies and Theology.
  • Students should be enrolled in a course that fulfills their declared program’s requirements either the semester they declare or the semester following declaration.
  • Students in the Breitbach Catholic Thinkers and Leaders program are not eligible as their program and accompanying scholarship already requires a Catholic Studies minor.
Requirements for Maintaining Eligibility:

Scholarship funds are disbursed at the start of the fall and spring semesters. To remain eligible, students must:

  • Meet once a semester with a faculty advisor to discuss their course of study, how they are applying what they are learning through co-curricular involvement, and how they are planning to serve the church following graduation.
  • Maintain a GPA of at least 2.5 for courses taken for the major/minor.
  • Make progress in attaining the minor or major with no more than one semester without coursework towards the degree.
  • After completion of the required coursework, students remain eligible to receive the scholarship until they graduate.
Application Process


Questions? Connect With Us!

Amanda Osheim, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Practical Theology
Director of Breitbach Catholic Thinkers and Leaders Program
563.588.7506 |

Dr. Osheim received her doctorate in systematic theology from Boston College. Her courses include Introduction to Religious Studies and Theology; Foundations for Ministry; God’s Literature; Empowered Catholic Women, The Four Marks, and Communication for Communion. Dr. Osheim’s particular interest is ecclesiology, which is the study of the church’s identity and mission. She also collaborates with the Archdiocese of Dubuque to develop programs that meet the growing need for lay leadership in parishes.

Her research focuses on discernment of the Holy Spirit within the church; development of church doctrine and practice; and the evolving role of lay ministers in the church’s life. Dr. Osheim is an editor and contributor at Other recent publications include: “On Our Pilgrim Way [Responses to ‘Evangelii Gaudium’].” America: The National Catholic Review vol.210 no. 1 (January 6-13, 2014); “Theology: serving the conversation.” C21 Resources, Fall 2013, p. 37.…; “The Local Church in Dialogue: Toward an Orthopraxis of Reception.” In Visions of Hope: Emerging Theologians and the Future of the Church. Kevin J. Ahern, ed. Orbis Books, 2012.

John Waldmeir
Professor of Religious Studies
563.588.7966 |

Dr. Waldmeir teaches courses on religion and culture, sacred scripture, and world religions. A member of the Loras faculty for sixteen years, he has published four books, most recently Cathedrals of Bone, The Role of the Body in Contemporary Catholic Literature. A fifth book on the contemporary Catholic Church in Ireland, is forthcoming. He has held the annual John Cardinal O’Connor Chair for Catholic Studies twice at Loras, and recently won the Cardinal Newman Award for outstanding campus teaching and leadership.