Catholic Identity College Guide 2014 (Report on 38 Faithfully Catholic Colleges in the U.S.)


so theyleft our the best academic Catholic institutions-such as Georgetown-Boston college-Creghton-Marquette -Loyola NO -St. John’s NY, St. Francis New York, Fordham-Manhattan College-also the Holy Cross in Mass

why do you think that is?

of the Colleges that were listed -Catholic University of America and perhaps Belmont Abbey are strong academically -the rest are really not

I thought they were rating on Catholic identity…not academic excellence. :shrug:


Catholic Identity (whether or not the school is authentically Catholic or just historically Catholic or in name only Catholic as many of them are today) is what they are being rated on, not academics.

Another good Catholic College. guide

It isn’t a Catholic college, but Texas A&M has a very strong Catholic community. I imagine LSU’s is similar as well.

No surprise about Creighton.

Bishops’ Doctrine Committee Says Book By Creighton University Professors Conflicts With Catholic Teaching On Sexuality

The “Register’s” criteria dwell much on oaths of fidelity among professors, the Catholic makeup of boards of directors and faculty, and the views of commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients. There wasn’t much - except the availability of Mass - that spoke to what the STUDENTS actually believe or how they practice their faith, or resources available to students.

How would you know who is “best” or “strong” today?

Most of our information about “best” comes from the past - in other words, a university’s reputation from its former quality, which may or may not be relevant now. Since those universities have changed drastically, there is a good chance that reputation of academic quality is totally irrelevant now. The current students don’t benefit at all from how good that college was in 1960.

The other source of information is the secular media. If a theologian dissents from the Catholic Faith, he automatically gets labelled as “brilliant”, or “pastoral” (“hey, he’d make a great bishop”). If a different priest actually agrees with the Magisterium and teaches doctrine, he gets labelled “rigid” or a “hardliner”. The same holds true for media coverage of colleges. Even some of the Catholic media tends to echo whatever the secular media regards as “strong”, or “continuing the Jesuit tradition” even when it no longer applies.
Other, faithful colleges have major achievements. Those don’t get in the secular media.

I’m sure Harvard would judge Boston College to be stronger academically than Franciscan University of Steubenville, for instance. Do you trust Harvard, or do you trust the secularist-dominated academic associations that may compare colleges? There’s no reason to believe that colleges that lost their philosophic vision and purpose, magically retain clear vision on Science, Math, etc. If Fordham or Georgetown are confused in their core values, they likely are confused in all academic areas. That’s not academic quality.

I think it’s really hard to know which colleges are “stronger academically” than others. If you look at the prestige schools, one finds that the average SATs and GPAs are higher than some that are not considered prestige schools. So are the costs.

Now, one can assume the academic environment of a school whose entering freshmen have high SAT scores is more stimulating and perhaps challenging than one whose freshman class has lower ones.

But is that really true, and how can we know it’s true? Some kids study for the SATs for years, with tutors who specialize in that. Does that tell us the kid is really a high performer in other ways, and does it tell us any of that will “rub off” on any other students?
Or does it just tell us his parents are well off?

Perhaps the profs are more learned in the higher-ranked schools. But if one is always taught by graduate students, does that matter?

Undoubtedly there are differences in certain departments. Almost for certain a degree in physics from MIT bespeaks a higher level of achievement from one at, say, Ave Maria. But can we assume that’s true in all things?

" Almost for certain a degree in physics from MIT bespeaks a higher level of achievement from one at, say, Ave Maria. But can we assume that’s true in all things?"

Yes -there are multiple ratings of Colleges looking at test scores-percentage of faculty with terminal degress ( Ph.d or MD for example)-number of students admitted to professional schools -National Merit Scholars -average SAT -strength of curriculum-number os students applying versus admitted-Barrons is a good guide-

you are safe in saying that MIT is superior to Ave Marie in everything""

I do understand if you use fidelity to roman catholic Doctrine then Ave Marie in that area would be superior

to ignore the Georgetowns and Boston College and all those great New York schools just is not valid

Maybe, but I think it’s pulling it pretty long to announce that MIT is superior in “everything” to Ave Maria, across the board. The quality of any given class depends on a number of qualities of the teacher, only one of which is where he received his terminal degree. I recall, for example, having taken one literature course in college from a very celebrated professor with a PhD in Brit Lit from Yale. It was definitely inferior to another I took from a professor from a “lesser” university. The latter guy simply had more insight into the material than did the former. And it seemed to me he worked harder at it and made us work harder at it as well.

I realize those who rate colleges have to base their ratings on something, and the factors you mentioned are among those one could use. I don’t say they are without meaning. But they still don’t tell us what the likelihood is that any given student is truly going to “catch on” to the course material in a truly engaged and insightful way.

I’m not saying it’s worthless to attend, say, Boston University. But I am saying that one can get just as good an education at, say, much lower-ranked Creighton, depending on the course he pursues, the profs he draws and the effort he puts into it.

I know a young lady who attended Georgetown on scholarship. Did well. Wrote papers for hire for people with lots of money and no real interest in learning (of whom there seemed to be a very significant supply). She also attended a State U, and felt she learned as well there as she did at Georgetown. Of course, she was also highly motivated and selected her profs and classes well.

Number of graduates attending professional schools might tell one nothing more than the socioeconomic class of those who gain admission to undergraduate; perhaps even to some degree how much the student’s parents contributed to the professional school.

And we really can’t be sure, can we, that the atmosphere of a school has no effect on how students perform in that school and later on. If the atmosphere of one is reverent and serious, and that of another is right out of “Charlotte Simmons”, then the fact that the latter’s entrants have higher SAT scores doesn’t really tell us how the average attendee will learn or perform later on in life.

Sure it’s valid.
The biggest single issue in higher education today is honesty. Research is frequently faked to get government grants, or publication, or promotion. Term papers are faked all the time. Many professors give As to everybody, to make is smoother for themselves. There are no longer secured objective or neutral criteria or reliable ratings to evaluate, since the SATs, GREs, often qualifications of professors, etc. can either be faked on an individual or group level, or reflect political correctness, even at the most prestigious institutions. A university pours money into a directory, the directory rates it high; the media acclaims a college as “prestigious” because it supports the gods the media likes.

Starting, maybe a century ago, higher education began rejecting the notion of absolute truth and goodness, in theory. (Read C S. Lewis’ novel “That Hideous Strength”). But they continued, for decades, to enforce absolute truth and integrity within academia. In recent years, the next generation stopped upholding academic integrity in secular colleges, and in secularized “Catholic” colleges. The impact of dishonesty in academia not only affects the theology departments, but all departments. It is naive to believe that an institution that is dishonest about its Catholic identity would magically maintain honesty across all the arts and sciences. If you find out your used car salesman no longer believes in objective truth, why would you keep trusting him by buying his cars?

It’s not just a matter of Ave Maria being trustworthy only on theology; trust is crucial across all fields of learning.

Where does St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO, stand as far as Catholic identity.
Just curious.

I disagree with virtually everything you said above-we are so far apart that I have no comment-as a 40 year participant participant in medical research at best your comments are misguided
Have a good day
CJ McAllister M.D. FACP

Yea, a good deal of major universities as mentioned didn’t make the list. Probably a number of factors, including graduation rates, faculty resources and assessments from peer colleges.

Yes, and the two are not necessarily synonymous.

Some of these schools provide a rather odd and now very generalizable education.

But anyway, thank you for your medical research!

Darn no Jesuit universities. Those are some of the best universities in the country.

In all honesty I think this report is very biased. Just what makes a Catholic university Catholic?

Actually, I think Creighton is probably among the best on that list. Georgetown and BC are certainly worse.

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