Jesuit universities


#1

Hey everyone,

I’m wondering what you all think of Jesuit universities. I’m a senior in high school and applied to four Jesuit schools (along with a couple more secular universities). My mom graduated from a Jesuit school and thinks I’d really like it, but I disagree with a lot of her views (she’s not what you’d call a very orthodox Catholic), and I think she developed many of them during her college years. But, that said, I don’t want to be “afraid” of losing my more traditional Catholic faith – I’m more looking for a place that would help me grow in my faith as much as possible during college.

Which do you think would be a better choice in terms of developing my faith, a Jesuit school or a secular school (hopefully with a nice Catholic group)? I didn’t apply to any non-Jesuit Catholic schools so they’re not an option at this point. I realize no one can give me an exact answer, but just in general, what are your impressions of Jesuit schools?

Thanks for your thoughts! God bless.

~lefty22


#2

[quote="lefty22, post:1, topic:270562"]
Hey everyone,

I'm wondering what you all think of Jesuit universities. I'm a senior in high school and applied to four Jesuit schools (along with a couple more secular universities). My mom graduated from a Jesuit school and thinks I'd really like it, but I disagree with a lot of her views (she's not what you'd call a very orthodox Catholic), and I think she developed many of them during her college years. But, that said, I don't want to be "afraid" of losing my more traditional Catholic faith -- I'm more looking for a place that would help me grow in my faith as much as possible during college.

Which do you think would be a better choice in terms of developing my faith, a Jesuit school or a secular school (hopefully with a nice Catholic group)? I didn't apply to any non-Jesuit Catholic schools so they're not an option at this point. I realize no one can give me an exact answer, but just in general, what are your impressions of Jesuit schools?

Thanks for your thoughts! God bless.

~lefty22

[/quote]

I attended a Jesuit college and a Jesuit grad school "back in the day". There really was a sea change between attending the one and attending the other. It was a time when it seemed the "spirit of Vatican II" simply authorized everything under the sun, including dissent. Still, the two schools were dissimilar in other ways already.

Jesuit schools vary a lot. Two of my daughters attended one and it really wasn't bad, in terms of dissenting from the Church. On the other hand, my son initially attended another Jesuit school and transferred to a state school because "..at least there he didn't have to listen to anti-Catholicism all the time."

One of my other daughters attended a Jesuit school which is thought to be the "flagship" Jesuit University. She thought it was a moral sewer.

So, a lot depends on which school you're talking about. I think I could not be wrong in recommending Rockhurst or Creighton. I would be very slow to recommend SLU and would not recommend Georgetown at all.

Two of my children later attended Ave Maria for graduate school and are glad they did. Two went to state Universities for grad school and are glad they did.

One of my granddaughters is looking at Wyoming Catholic College, and it certainly seems impressive to me if one is into a "great books" kind of undergraduate education Latin is mandatory. So is music. And the quality of the faculty is jaw-dropping. That's combined with a robust outdoor life in the mountains. (Campouts in the mountains are mandatory. Equestrian arts are not mandatory but are greatly encouraged.) She is, paradoxically, also looking at Texas A&M, which is a public university, but whose student body is 1/3 Catholic. (That would be about 15,000 Catholics there...practically a Catholic student city in itself) It has, I understand, one of the best Newman Centers on earth and a vibrant Catholic student life.

You can't judge a book by its putative cover in all of this, I am afraid. I think maybe I would start by looking up those schools who have accepted the mandatum, and would be concerned about one that hasn't. As soon as google is back up, it shouldn't be hard.

I would definitely recommend Benedictine in Atchison, Ks. Everything I have ever heard about it is good. And, as Catholic colleges go, it's one of the less expensive. Creighton is also less expensive than most.


#3

Fordham is excellent, I had several Jesuits who were professors, and earned my BFA there. I did not perceive a particularly liberal environment, it was centrist or neutral if anything. The instruction was great. I would warn you to NEVER cut a class that is taught by a Jesuit, and always be prepared for class. Their favorite activity is to take your pet theory, bend it into a club, and beat your brains out with it! However, at the end of the semester, you will understand that material better than anything you have ever studied before. They're great teachers, and I was blessed with quite a few of them, or managed to survive quite a few of them, depending on your point of view!


#4

I recommend that you don't depend on anything like a university to develop your relationship with God. Hate to say it, but this is up to you. There will plenty of people even at a Jesuit university who will influence you away from a faith-based life.

I recommend that you see any university as really just a tool you use to gain a career of the sort you desire, so that you can support your future wife and kids.

Jesus and his Apostles and the vast majority of Catholic saints never went to any university or college of any kind. See what I mean? Work hard, and get yourself good education for a career, so that on graduation day you already have a good job lined up (or already have your own business up and running and supporting you).

You can have a good prayer life and good life studying the Faith and attending Mass anywhere--even on an aircraft carrier or anywhere. See what I mean.

When you get to college, don't judge your institution based on how "spiritual" or Catholic is is or isn't. (Some people say some Catholic universities are really very Catholic.) Just get on with your spiritual life and get on with your education for a good career. Be a man. Be grown up. Take charge of your life. Don't seek out a perfect place. There is no perfect place. There is a perfect God, however, so develop your relationship with God. You can do that anywhere, and you can choose to not do that anywhere.


#5

I went to a Jesuit university and it is where I began to nurture my relationship with God on a deeper level. I was able to do the Exercises of St. Ignatius in my junior year, attended my first masses in Latin (both the Ordinary form and the Extraordinary form) and my first Eastern rite masses, first learned to sing Chant and began going to confession on a regular basis. I also found a community of students and faculty who shared my faith and helped me to grow.

Sure, there were students who didn’t experience any of these things, and there were students down the street at a secular school who had an amazing Newman center and grew in their love for God as well, but I wouldn’t change my college experience for anything.

It should be noted that I also chose a school that has a great education program (I did my undergrad work in Education). I wanted a school that was challenging academically, since that was the main purpose of my going to college, but did look at more Catholic colleges than secular (and I went to public school my entire life before college). And, it didn’t hurt that we have great football and hockey teams :thumbsup:


#6

Loyola in Montreal comes to mind. I recall one story from my late dad who told me that when he attended back in the 40’s corporal punishment was still in “vogue”. Quite mature men had to get accustomed to being flogged on occasion. Can’t remember if it was for being disobedient or for failing studies. The reason is therapeutic for the soul ie: pride and humility. Anyway, guess this isn’t done anymore.

Graduates from it rate top notch and are exemplified for their professionalism and knowledge and are in demand world wide.


#7

You have to remember: One of their mottoes as a religious order is “Magis.” That means “more,” or if you like, “excellence.” Those Jesuits who are in a teaching role take the motto very seriously. They expect a lot of work done well, and don’t tolerate slackers.

When I went to Fordham I was already a performing artist with New York City Ballet. I wanted to get my bachelors’ in fine arts to prepare me with credentials as a teaching artist, and later on, in a university or pre-professional ballet school (one of the big schools, not your average strip-mall dance studio.) My work routine at that time was a full schedule at NYCB (including company class and rehearsal, which was anyplace from four to six hours a day,) three or four performances a week, meaning the evening is totally shot, plus two college classes. The reading assignments, library (this was pre-easy-internet, you actually went to a library and loooked up things in real physical books,) laboratory (read: another ballet class, and most of the other students were professional dancers as well,) easily threw another twelve hours a week into my schedule. It took me six years to get my degree, but it was worth it. And yeah, a Jesuit scholastic (one in formation, not ordained yet) taught the ballet class. He was easily as tough as some of the Russian teachers I studied under. I recall one time when he caught me cheating a little at the barre (warmup exercises.) I had to do fifty slow degages (very slow straight-leg lifts to the front, side, and back, as high as possible) as punishment. My hips hurt just thinking about this right now! I think the Russians would have been easier than he was! He would have had a promising career as a Marine drill sergeant if he hadn’t joined the Jesuits!

I too, in my junior year, got the opportunity to do the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Actually, it was between my junior and senior years, during the summer months. I was able to attend a 30 day retreat at their retreat house on Staten Island. It was a blessed month of quiet study, reflection, prayer, conferring with a spiritual director, daily Mass. I think the Lord thought this was exactly what I needed!

You can see that with my schedule it didn’t leave much time for anything other than eating and sleeping! I pretty much lived on salads, takeout, and Egg McMuffins for those six years.

My great aunt (rest her soul,) a Sister of Charity, was in town one week during this time to attend a nursing conference (she was an operating room nurse.) She had dispensation to stay with me in my apartment for that week because it was close to where she was attending the conference. I recall her comment after a couple of days of staying with me:

“Mercy, Odile! You live more like a nun than I do!”


#8

My daughter is in the process of applying to college. How can one tell what is a Jesuit University or even Catholic, if it doesn’t say “Catholic”? I had no idea Fordham was Catholic?


#9

[quote="odile53, post:7, topic:270562"]
You have to remember: One of their mottoes as a religious order is "Magis." That means "more," or if you like, "excellence." Those Jesuits who are in a teaching role take the motto very seriously. They expect a lot of work done well, and don't tolerate slackers.

When I went to Fordham I was already a performing artist with New York City Ballet. I wanted to get my bachelors' in fine arts to prepare me with credentials as a teaching artist, and later on, in a university or pre-professional ballet school (one of the big schools, not your average strip-mall dance studio.) My work routine at that time was a full schedule at NYCB (including company class and rehearsal, which was anyplace from four to six hours a day,) three or four performances a week, meaning the evening is totally shot, plus two college classes. The reading assignments, library (this was pre-easy-internet, you actually went to a library and loooked up things in real physical books,) laboratory (read: another ballet class, and most of the other students were professional dancers as well,) easily threw another twelve hours a week into my schedule. It took me six years to get my degree, but it was worth it. And yeah, a Jesuit scholastic (one in formation, not ordained yet) taught the ballet class. He was easily as tough as some of the Russian teachers I studied under. I recall one time when he caught me cheating a little at the barre (warmup exercises.) I had to do fifty slow degages (very slow straight-leg lifts to the front, side, and back, as high as possible) as punishment. My hips hurt just thinking about this right now! I think the Russians would have been easier than he was! He would have had a promising career as a Marine drill sergeant if he hadn't joined the Jesuits!

I too, in my junior year, got the opportunity to do the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Actually, it was between my junior and senior years, during the summer months. I was able to attend a 30 day retreat at their retreat house on Staten Island. It was a blessed month of quiet study, reflection, prayer, conferring with a spiritual director, daily Mass. I think the Lord thought this was exactly what I needed!

You can see that with my schedule it didn't leave much time for anything other than eating and sleeping! I pretty much lived on salads, takeout, and Egg McMuffins for those six years.

My great aunt (rest her soul,) a Sister of Charity, was in town one week during this time to attend a nursing conference (she was an operating room nurse.) She had dispensation to stay with me in my apartment for that week because it was close to where she was attending the conference. I recall her comment after a couple of days of staying with me:

"Mercy, Odile! You live more like a nun than I do!"

[/quote]

Talk about stamina and perseverance. :thumbsup: True definition of "Old School".


#10

[quote="TrueLight, post:8, topic:270562"]
My daughter is in the process of applying to college. How can one tell what is a Jesuit University or even Catholic, if it doesn't say "Catholic"? I had no idea Fordham was Catholic?

[/quote]

I'd say there are two rating systems you need scrutinize. Before Vatican II there was just one, the secular, and for a Catholic college it was an almost "choose one", and you'd be safe. Sadly, Notre Dame has been given bad press lately, and they tell me faculty is now made up of other persuasions has well as staunch Catholic and lukewarm Catholics. But this institution tugs at us nostalgic has it does to many old timers. The spirit of "Army and Navy", Catholic cohesiveness and comradery are now long gone and we have simply a skeletal university without substance due to the departure of it's lifeblood, the Holy Mother. It's time the faculty return to those old standbys of devotion and collective piety. Only then can the remaining body change and it's dedicated name sake the Holy Mother will restore it's former state that glorified her Majesty through the rewards of victory in sport and the scholastic achievements of it's outstanding virtuous graduates.

But in these days there's no such confidence and we need to ask the Church for it's opinion. Ask clergy who have graduated. Some are canon lawyers now, some are in a teaching profession and all forms of walks of life. Gather a consensus and watch for institutional reputation within the Church. There should not be media back biting, it should conform to Church direction. It's students should express a confident and proud demeanor and their placement should be in virtuous endeavors.

(St. Paul in Ottawa Canada has an impeccable reputation, but I realize it's out of the way for most Americans).


#11

[quote="lefty22, post:1, topic:270562"]
Hey everyone,

I'm wondering what you all think of Jesuit universities. I'm a senior in high school and applied to four Jesuit schools (along with a couple more secular universities). My mom graduated from a Jesuit school and thinks I'd really like it, but I disagree with a lot of her views (she's not what you'd call a very orthodox Catholic), and I think she developed many of them during her college years. But, that said, I don't want to be "afraid" of losing my more traditional Catholic faith -- I'm more looking for a place that would help me grow in my faith as much as possible during college.

Which do you think would be a better choice in terms of developing my faith, a Jesuit school or a secular school (hopefully with a nice Catholic group)? I didn't apply to any non-Jesuit Catholic schools so they're not an option at this point. I realize no one can give me an exact answer, but just in general, what are your impressions of Jesuit schools?

Thanks for your thoughts! God bless.

~lefty22

[/quote]

I went to Rockhurst University in KC Missouri. a Jesuit school . It was a frst class school and i recieved a first class education. My niece just graduated from there and says it is the same as when i went.


#12

[quote="TrueLight, post:8, topic:270562"]
My daughter is in the process of applying to college. How can one tell what is a Jesuit University or even Catholic, if it doesn't say "Catholic"? I had no idea Fordham was Catholic?

[/quote]

Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities Member List: ajcunet.edu/Member-Institutions

National Catholic College Admission Association Search Page: catholiccollegesonline.org/search.html


#13

[quote="odile53, post:3, topic:270562"]
Fordham is excellent, I had several Jesuits who were professors, and earned my BFA there. I did not perceive a particularly liberal environment, it was centrist or neutral if anything. The instruction was great. I would warn you to NEVER cut a class that is taught by a Jesuit, and always be prepared for class. Their favorite activity is to take your pet theory, bend it into a club, and beat your brains out with it! However, at the end of the semester, you will understand that material better than anything you have ever studied before. They're great teachers, and I was blessed with quite a few of them, or managed to survive quite a few of them, depending on your point of view!

[/quote]

Didn't Fordham recently have a professor that had a book condemned by the USCCB rather publicly? I am not going to call names but is a rather large scandal. PM me if you would like a link.

Personally your best bet is to find a program that is Theology and not relgious studies. In this case regardless of who the religious order is theology falls under the purview of a Bishop. Religious studies does not.

I am very traditional - at times it is tough. But I have found it has strengthened my faith and my ability to argue the traditional viewpoint from a more academic and less emotional level.


#14

I graduated from a Jesuit university, and to be honest, if I could do it all over again, I would have gone someplace else.

I really could have used a lot more support from my school's Campus Ministry department, I would have appreciated a more reverent liturgy, and I would have liked more solid theology classes. Some people who are very strong in their faith can make it through on their own, but for me and people who struggled with faith issues during college, I think I would have done much better at a school with a stronger Catholic identity. I must say, however, that there are some wonderful Jesuits out there who are excellent professors and spiritual directors. But unfortunately the Jesuits don't necessarily "control" their schools anymore, so they don't always have a say in what happens around campus or what is taught in the classroom.

I'd recommend checking out the schools on the Cardinal Newman Society list if you are looking for a solidly Catholic university. Good luck!


#15

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