Catholic Universities

I have applied to several colleges, three of which are Catholic, and I have heard negative things about religious universities in general. Much of the talk seems to indicate a dissent from orthodoxy within “catholic” higher education, specifically in regards to the Jesuits. One of the colleges I looked at was Loyola Marymount U, which seemed quite promising at first, but I became immensely disappointed to learn that the school was becoming a “catholic by name only” institution. Some questionable actions included hosting a pro-choice governor as commencement speaker, allowing a GSA club on campus, and upholding religious pluralism in the mission statement, among other things (I am not against dialogue between different beliefs, but the undertones indicated that the college probably isn’t as faithfully Catholic as I had expected).

Other Catholic options include U Portland and Gonzaga, but I haven’t heard much about the authenticity of their Catholic identities. I have also heard that a “madatum” is given to theology teachers by the local bishop that certifies the catholicity of their courses (or something along those lines), but only a handful of Catholic universities have it. Does anyone have information, advice, or personal opinions on these colleges mentioned? If certain Catholic universities are “losing it”, would it be best to attend a secular school rather than a “religious” one where my faith would actually be in jeopardy?

If it helps, my career preferences lie within mathematics and science.

A couple of things you may wish to consider. First, many of the schools which were founded by the Society of Jesus, are no longer truly run by them. They might have one or two Jesuits on the board of trustees or one here and there in the administration or the classroom, but the majority of decision makers are not within the order and often have their own agenda. There are many discussions on CAF on that topic if you care to look into them.

Secondly, if your goal is to find a faithfully Catholic college/university, I would recommend you go to the Cardinal Newman Society website.

They do a nice job of evaluating the level of Catholic presence and adherence to orthodox Catholicism at various schools.

I was going to post that same link!

Cardinal Newman Society does great work exposing and pressuring “Catholic” colleges that aren’t.

The University of Portland is run by the Holy Cross fathers, which also run Notre Dame. Despite the President of Notre Dame giving an honorary degree to President Obama, Notre Dame is still very Catholic and the University of Portland probably is also. Notre Dame does have some liberal priests, but also good conservative ones. 50 of the Notre Dame faculty signed the petition against the HHS mandate.

I know there are other Catholic Universities in Canada as well. St Paul’s in Ottawa seems to be a great school. The course list is rather impressive. There are others that are also very good.

That link is nice to have. Thanks for posting it.

I would like to know if there are any possible Third Order Regular Dominican discerners who might be interested in a proposed charism–the Congregation of St Thomas Aquinas. These sisters would be campus ministers, wear the Dominican habit at the motherhouse, but adapt the educational institution’s colors to their habits, depending on mission assignment. An example would be white tunic with orange capelet, veil, and scapular (with Dominican white scapular underneath, like Maryknoll used to do) for the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, or yellow tunic and black scapular, capelet, and veil for Wake Forest.

The tunic would always be the lighter color.

If any interest, please PM me.


I don’t live in the US but my alma mater is a Jesuit university. Today, I was there to assist in a recollection for junior college students, but what tickled me was a bit of news that really pleasantly surprised me. Apparently, there’s a group of people in the university lead by faculty, students, and a few of the Jesuits whose sole purpose is to celebrate and promote the TLM. Surprise indeed. :slight_smile:

Someone already mentioned Cardinal Newman Society, but I just want to throw a voice out there for Ave Maria University. It’s on that list, first of all, and I know firsthand that overall it is a great place and definitely teaches everything in accordance with the Church’s teachings. And I might be mistaken but almost every theology teacher here does have the “mandatum” you’re talking about.

And as far as I know, they have great mathematics and science departments! :slight_smile: :thumbsup:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit