Activities & Opportunities

Unique activities and opportunities that our program offers include

Spirit of Place / Spirit of Design. Led by its founder architect Travis Price, FAIA, this award-winning educational forum explores the design and construction of architectural forms that are able to successfully respond to their natural, sacred, and cultural settings in a modern idiom.  The15 design-build projects done since 1992 have allowed students the unique opportunity to research, design, and construct a project in a remote landscape, as a team. The program’s overriding goal is to foster a new language of modern architecture fostering environmental stewardship, the preservation of cultural metaphors, and the education of architects and artists. For more information, visit the Spirit of Place/Design website.

Walton Family Distinguished Critic in Design and Catholic Stewardship.  Once a year (usually in the Fall) we bring a world-renown architect to lecture, teach a short and intense design charrette, and attend the final jury of the SSCS studio (wherein the workshop is offered). Architects Antoine Predock (2009), Craig Hartman (2010), Juhani Pallasmaa (2011), Alberto Campo Baeza (2012) and Claudio Silvestrin (2013) have been the last four Walton Critics. This program is made possible by a generous grant from the Clarence Walton Fund for Catholic Architecture.

Symposia. SSCS faculty and students participate and/or organize high profile conferences addressing topics relevant to the concentration. For instance, in Fall 2011 we hosted the Symposium “Transcending Architecture: Aesthetics and Ethics of the Numinous” — an event that brought remarkable speakers to discuss the immeasurable qualities of architecture. In Spring 2010, we assisted in the organization of the Symposium “A Living Presence. Extending and Transforming the Tradition of Catholic Sacred Architecture”. In Spring 2007, we collaborated with the Latrobe Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians to offer the Symposium “Building Spiritual Washington”.

The G. Magi Scholarship. The Magi Endowment for the Liturgical Arts offers scholarships to graduate students whose postgraduation goal is to serve the Catholic Church as a teacher, composer, choral director, sculptor, craftsman, or some other mediums (including architecture). The scholarships are restricted to half tuition only and may extend to multiple semesters pending on work progress. Many SSCS students have been able to gain support in the past usually by proposing research work associated with their Master’s thesis. The call for candidacy occurs in mid to late October (for the following Spring Semester) and early March (for the following Fall Semester). For more information, review this document that contains what you need to know to apply for this scholarship as a graduate student at CUA School of Architecture and Planning.

Semester SSCS Meeting. The SSCS concentration usually hosts one meeting per semester to discuss issues relevant to graduate students, faculty, and the program. These meetings are open, relatively informal, and include food and drinks. Our concentration is currently forming a SSCS group for social and professional networking. For more information on the SSCS alumni group, contact Ana Garcia Bilbao (at

Direct access to professionals and scholarsin the DC area and beyond. SSCS faculty have access to a large array of local, regional, national and international connections that may prove important for thesis research, applying for a job, seeking a PhD., or just travel.