“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

September 15, 2009

A New Guide to America's Faithful Catholic Colleges

New Guide Recommends Faithful Catholic Colleges

Entire Contents of Guide Available as a Free Online Resource for Catholic Families

Manassas, Va.—Today The Cardinal Newman Society published a new, second edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, a unique resource for parents and students seeking a faithful Catholic education.

This comprehensive Guide recommends 21 colleges and universities in the United States plus eight international, online and unique programs based on the strength of their Catholic identity. In addition, the Guide includes several essays to help families better understand the search for a strong Catholic college.

The culmination of four years of research and hundreds of interviews, this edition of The Newman Guide builds substantially on the successful first edition which was published on All Saints Day in 2007. All told more than 8,000 copies of that edition were distributed to Catholic leaders and families.

“When we published the original Newman Guide in 2007 we did not know what to expect, but we found that families were eagerly searching for help in identifying Catholic colleges that truly embrace their Catholic mission in all facets of campus life,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society and one of the editors of the second edition of the Guide.

“The mission of The Cardinal Newman Society is to help renew Catholic higher education, and we can think of no better way to do that than by offering this edition of The Newman Guide as a book but also as a free online resource. We are doing this so that as many Catholic families as possible are able to learn about the quality academics and faithful campus life available at the recommended colleges,” said Reilly.

Every college or program recommended in the Guide includes a complete profile that examines academics, governance, spiritual life, student activities, and residence life. New additions to this edition’s profiles are a letter to families from each college president as well as information on financial aid packages.

The online version of the college profiles include additional campus pictures and videos, open house and other event details, as well as a form to request admissions or financial aid information directly from the college.

The recommended Catholic colleges are:

§ Aquinas College, Nashville, Tenn.

§ Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, Fla.

§ Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, N.C.

§ Benedictine College, Atchison, Kan.

§ The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

§ Christendom College, Front Royal, Va.

§ The College of Saint Thomas More, Fort Worth, Tex.

§ DeSales University, Center Valley, Pa.

§ Franciscan University of Steubenville, Steubenville, Oh.

§ Holy Apostles College & Seminary, Cromwell, Conn.

§ John Paul the Great Catholic University, San Diego, Calif.

§ Magdalen College, Warner, N.H.

§ Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Md.

§ Providence College, Providence, R.I.

§ St. Gregory’s University, Shawnee, Okla.

§ Southern Catholic College, Dawsonville, Ga.

§ Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, Calif.

§ The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, Merrimack, N.H.

§ University of Dallas, Irving, Tex.

§ University of St. Thomas, Houston, Tex.

§ Wyoming Catholic College, Lander, Wyo.

A new section in this edition of The Newman Guide recommends international, online and unique Catholic colleges and programs to help provide options to families looking for non-traditional ways to obtain a faithful Catholic education.

The recommended international, online and unique programs are:

§ Angelicum Great Books Program, online

§ Campion College, Old Toongabbie, Australia

§ Catholic Distance University, online

§ Our Lady of Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Tex.

§ Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, Barry’s Bay, Ontario, Canada

§ Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (“the Angelicum”), Rome, Italy

§ Redeemer Pacific University, Langley, British Columbia, Canada

§ St. Bede’s Hall, Oxford, England

In addition to the recommended college profiles, The Newman Guide includes several essays to help families put the search for a Catholic college in context.

The essays are:

§ A foreword by Father Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.,
co-chairman of The Cardinal Newman Society’s National Advisory Board

§ “The Status of Catholic Higher Education,” by Patrick J. Reilly,
president of The Cardinal Newman Society

§ “Finding God on a Catholic Campus,” by Father C. John McCloskey, Ill,
a well-known spiritual advisor and college chaplain

§ “Why Study Philosophy and Theology,” by Dr. Peter Kreeft,
a well-respected author and professor

§ “The Value of a Catholic Education,” by Eileen Cubanski,
founder and executive director of the National Association of
Private, Catholic and Independent Schools

§ “Can You Afford a Catholic Education,” by Phil Lenahan,
president of Veritas Financial Ministries and
Our Sunday Visitor columnist

§ What’s Catholic About Campus Living,” by Kathryn Jean Lopez,
editor-at-large of National Review Online and a frequent writer on Catholic issues

A study of the first edition’s recommended colleges by The Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education found that these institutions were not just faithful to their Catholic missions, but were generally also more affordable than other Catholic and private colleges and universities. That study is available online at CatholicHigherEd.org.

“If last spring’s Notre Dame scandal highlighted that there is still a long way to go to renew Catholic higher education, the colleges recommended in The Newman Guide are a prime example of how it is possible to have a quality academic program while remaining strongly Catholic,” said Tom Mead, executive vice president of The Cardinal Newman Society and one of The Newman Guide’s editors.

“As a Catholic father concerned with helping my children get to Heaven, I am personally grateful that there are so many options for a faithful, liberal arts education at the Newman Guide colleges. Our great hope in publishing this edition of the Guide is that tens of thousands of Catholic families will be introduced to these campuses where strong Catholic identity is a priority.”

The complete Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College is available at TheNewmanGuide.com.

Founded in 1993, The Cardinal Newman Society is dedicated to renewing and strengthening Catholic identity at Catholic colleges and universities. The Society focuses its work on assisting students, school officials and alumni; urging fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church; and researching activities both on campus and in the classroom. The Society is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization supported by more than 20,000 individuals. More than 367,000 individuals signed its 2009 petition concerning the Notre Dame commencement scandal.

In addition to publishing The Newman Guide, the Society houses The Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education which provides research and analysis on strengthening Catholic higher education. The Society promotes Catholic values on life and sexual ethics on campuses through its Love & Responsibility Program and also operates a Campus Speaker Monitoring Project to support the guidelines the U.S. bishops have established to prohibit Catholic institutions from giving opponents of Catholic teachings honors or platforms for their views. Additionally, the Society promotes Eucharistic Adoration and is the national coordinator for the display of the Vatican’s International Exposition The Eucharistic Miracles of the World on college campuses.


  1. I'm proud to say that my daughter is a freshman and attending Benedictine College. She loves it there and so do her parents! I can't describe the feelings we came home with after our very first visit there. The Holy Spirit must have been working in me, my husband and my daughter, because we all felt like we were "home-sick" for BC when we got back.

    I would recommend it to other Catholic parents/students looking for a good midwestern, Catholic college. Each time we visit I love it a little more!

  2. As a 2000 graduate of CUA, I have to agree this school has made great strides. It was well on its way to being very solid when I left, and the momentum has continued.

    The financial bottom line, academic standards, SAT scores, etc. also continue to improve.

  3. Thanks for posting this! I'm glad that finally, someone expects Catholic colleges to be, well, Catholic. I find these guides quite interesting, and I'm glad the CNS is doing this work.

    By the way, I graduated from Christendom a few years ago. Christendom College is the best Catholic school in the country! I highly recommend it.

    I wonder, how many readers of this blog are connected to these schools, and what are their thoughts on them? It would be great to hear feedback.

  4. Patrick - what is missing is the list of strong campus ministries. 90% of Catholic college students go to non-Catholic schools. So, where is the future of the Church being educated? Not in Catholic universities. We need a bigger focus on campus ministries.

    At Texas A&M we have 5,000 in Sunday mass (or more). We form them, train them as leaders, and send them to take on the world. With over 8 religious and priestly vocations a year, we are doing a bang-up job. But, at other campuses there is virtually no Catholic presence. This needs to change and without a focus on campus ministry it won't change anytime soon.

    Thank God for the good Catholic colleges we have, but we have more Catholics at A&M than any Catholic college in the nation.

  5. Any campus where the Brotherhood of Hope is providing campus ministry is a GREAT opportunity for students to live in the faith, fully & in keeping with the magesterium!

  6. Hi, my name is Colleen Monroe and I am a sophomore entertainment media student at John Paul the Great Catholic University in San Diego, California. I used to attend St. Patrick's Church in Columbus, Ohio with the Madrid Family. I absolutely love my education, and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world! Yes, we are small, but it's great having one-on-one interaction with my professors, who have been top CEO's of their own companies or have worked in the heart of Hollywood as award winning screenwriters and directors. Having an accurate, moral compass to steer you in the right direction is pivotal for truly impacting culture. G.K Chesterton said it so succinctly once upon a time, "to become a Catholic is not to leave off thinking, but to learn how to think."