Truly Catholic Colleges


I get out of the military this fall and am looking at colleges to start next fall. I want to attend one that is really Catholic, not just historically so. Does anybody know of any Catholic colleges that really nurture the Catholic faith and have a strong Catholic identity?



I know someone who went there and I looked at it myself for college.


The Newman Guide would be a useful book for you to read:

The National Catholic Register also does a guide every year.


I second the Newman Guide!


My alma mater–Notre Dame. At times we have our problems, but overall it’s a strong Catholic school and a great undergrad experience. Nowhere else but ND!


I don’t think Notre Dame didn’t make the list of Catholic colleges in the Newman Guide.


I was interviewed for the guide, and they featured us in their appendix (“What about Notre Dame?”). I take issue with their approach and with the information they featured–much of it was a few years outdated, and I don’t feel that it gave an adequate view of campus culture. There is much that is good at ND, whether the Newman Guide recognizes it or not, and I have very many orthodox friends who would tell you the same. The combination of Catholic student life (of course if you seek it out!) and academics at ND simply can’t be beat.


What I like about the Newman Guide is that is was simply looking for the best in the Catholic Faith. It put forth guidelines for what it felt was necessary and evaluated fairly. I am not looking for a discussion about Notre Dame. There may be many faithful people on their campus, but the college didn’t make the grade. I would hope it would challenge ND to better themselves as a Catholic College.


I can tell you one I would NOT chose.

The University of the Incarnate Word.

It’s pretty much catholic in name only - and I’m surprised they haven’t done away with that yet.

The campus ministry dept isn’t even run by catholics. :eek:


I believe that the Newman Guide can be a helpful tool for some, but it is certainly not the last word on deciding which are truly Catholic colleges. And there are some it recommends that I would certainly avoid. Not everyone’s comfortable at Steubenville–I visited and definitely wasn’t, even though before I went I had been strongly considering it.

Everyone’s college search is different–I hope the OP uses many different resources and college visits to make his/her own decision.


Our Lady Seat of Wisdom in Barry’s Bay, Ontario. My sister and cousin went/go there! It’s very Catholic and very nice. And only 2 hours away from Ottawa. It’s not fully accredited yet but is almost there. So since it’s not fully accredited yet, there’s only 3 years. But their credits are accepted at some colleges, like Christendom, Franciscan, and Redeemer.


I went to Boston College and felt they did a good job integrating things like Mass in the dorms, etc… I was dissapointed, though, because I never had a priest in the four years I attended (even for theology class). I was a science major. Many of my non-science major roomies had priests.


We’re thinking of taking a trip up there next summer to check it out… our son graduates from high school in 2012!


I remember Fr. Groechel saying Catholic Univ. of America was back on the list of good colleges. Some are so-so but have good points and shouldn’t be totally ignored. As one mom said when 2 or her 3 sons went to Providence College and one to Yale, the Yalie was the most devout…was on LOTR on EWTN with a group of other Catholic football players and he said when you have to defend your faith and it isn’t a “bubble” sometimes it helps you not take it for granted.
I also am concerned that some like “Ave Maria” last I heard, wasn’t accredited but that might have changed. To spend that much $ on a college that isn’t seems to be a waste of money.
Although Franciscan Univ. is thought much more highly now, many Catholic Univ. that are more religious, are not very good with aid and also not rated well overall in guide books which “might” make them not as acceptable when looking for work. Having a strong Catholic presence is great, but you have to have strong acedemics also…well rounded is the best thing.


Agreed. Everyone I’ve met who went to Steubenville is a solid Catholic.

I’ve also heard very good things about Ave Maria in Florida.


I’ve heard really good things about Belmont Abbey College in NC. The Pres was on Life on the Rock several months ago. There is a Benedictine Abbey there, and the monks are very involved with the college and students.



I heard from a friend that there is a very large Charismatic movement at Steubenville. I personally do not care much for the Charismatics, so I would avoid it, but to each his own. Can anybody confirm this?


Hey, fellow Eagle (though MUCH younger.) Dh and I both graduated from BC, pre-Doug Flutie by a decade, and loved it. We had excellent theology courses (taught by Jesuits) and appreciated the very strong emphasis on Catholic social teaching. I think that in their headlong rush to reach the very top tier of schools academically (we know how difficult it is to be accepted already) they have forgotten, and are a bit embarrassed by, their roots, especially when it comes to things such as abortion, birth control, etc. That’s Massachusetts for you, though. I hope the pendulum swings the other way, so I can start contributing again.


There is a large charismatic presence at Steubenville. They’ve hosted the Catholic Charismatic Leadership conference a time or two.

My friend’s extremely devout daughter attends Ave Maria and she is very pleased with it.


Franciscan is amazing, and most of the majors are academically challenging. (Some departments are great others have their weaknesses.) I’ve transfered almost a years worth of classes from two state schools to save money, so I can graduate a little early. Almost all of my Franciscan classes were at least 10 times more challenging than at the state school. I also love the fact that I get to take 6 Theology/ Philosophy/ Church History classes and I’m a Science/ Social Studies Education major! :smiley:

Also regarding the financial aid, don’t be afraid to try to get outside scholarships and research grants on your own. I’ve found thousands in grants, however it took a lot of hard work, you can’t count on Franciscan’s financial aid office to find them for you.

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