Catholic Colleges That Are Actually Catholic
Many people are attracted to Catholic colleges because of their reputation for academics and community. One of the best ways to find out which schools have a reputation for Catholicism is to check out what the students have to say about their own experiences at these schools. I’ve compiled a list of some of the most highly-rated institutions in terms of religious life on campus, as well as student reviews from other sources like Niche or College Prowler.
Thomas Aquinas College
Thomas Aquinas College is a Catholic liberal arts college located in Santa Paula, California. It was founded by the Dominican Order in 1947 and named after the 13th century priest and philosopher Thomas Aquinas. The college offers bachelor’s degrees in philosophy, theology, biology and psychology.
The Catholic University of America
The Catholic University of America was founded in 1887 and is located in the District of Columbia. It is the oldest Catholic university in the United States, and it still has a pontifical charter granted by Pope Leo XIII.
The school was originally called The Catholic University of America, but it later dropped “The” from its name. Today, this institution provides students with bachelor’s degrees through doctoral degrees. There are also more than 50 graduate programs available at CUA:
- Arts & Sciences (BA)
- Business (MBA)
- Education (MA Ed)
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Franciscan University of Steubenville is a Catholic university in Steubenville, Ohio. It’s one of 28 Catholic universities in the United States and one of only five such schools to receive Carnegie Foundation classification as a “Doctoral/Research University.” Its mission statement reads: “Franciscan University of Steubenville seeks to develop persons within an academic community who will demonstrate moral integrity, intellectual vitality and artistic sensitivity for the betterment of society.”
Christendom College is a four-year, co-educational, Catholic liberal arts college with a mission to educate students in the Catholic intellectual tradition.
Located on a picturesque 500-acre campus in Front Royal, Virginia, Christendom College offers you an intimate setting with the opportunities of a large university.
For undergraduates seeking to earn an undergraduate degree in philosophy and theology, Christendom offers an intense program of study designed to give you a broad understanding of the Catholic intellectual tradition while preparing you for graduate studies or professional life by providing:
John Paul the Great Catholic University
- John Paul the Great Catholic University
John Paul the Great Catholic University was founded in 1998, and today it has a student body of over 3000 people. The university is located in San Diego, California—a large city with a rich Catholic history that was once home to Mission San Diego de Alcala (the first European settlement on what became the U.S. west coast). The school’s namesake is Pope John Paul II, who served as pope from 1978 until his death in 2005.
- As one of the few Catholic colleges that are actually Catholic, JPCU places an emphasis on both liberal arts courses as well as coursework focused on science and technology. If you want to study philosophy or theology at JPCU but also want to make sure you understand how things like physics work too, this may be your best option.
- On top of its traditional college-level classes (and its online program), John Paul II offers students several opportunities to get involved with their community through internships and volunteer work.*
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts is a four-year, private, Catholic liberal arts college located in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Thomas More College is a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA).
Benedictine College is a private, Catholic liberal arts college located in Atchison, Kansas. It was founded in 1858 by the Benedictine monks of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota.
Benedictine College offers bachelor’s degrees in 37 majors and pre-professional programs including business, education, nursing and engineering. It also offers master’ s degree programs in accounting through its online program or on campus at its Omaha Campus (through Northwestern).
Ave Maria University
Ave Maria University is a private, Catholic university located in Naples, Florida. Founded in 2002, it has since grown to become one of the largest Catholic universities in the US. With a student population of 3200 students, Ave Maria University offers all of its undergraduate degrees online and on-campus at its main location as well as satellite campuses throughout Florida.
Ave Maria University places emphasis on its faith-based mission to educate students from diverse backgrounds so they can become leaders who live their lives with integrity and devotion to God and others.
Wyoming Catholic College
Wyoming Catholic College is a Catholic liberal arts college located in Lander, Wyoming. The school has a student population of around 1,000 students and offers over 30 undergraduate degree programs. WCC’s mascot is the Thunderbird, and their colors are blue and gold (the colors of their patron saint). The college also has several varsity sports teams that compete with other schools across the region.
The college has a strong focus on both the arts and athletics—it was recently ranked as one of the 100 “best colleges for art majors” by U.S. News & World Report!
The Wanderer’s Top Ten Catholic Colleges – 2016-17 Edition
The Wanderer is a Catholic newspaper that was first published in 1932. It’s also the oldest continuously published Catholic magazine in the US. They recently released an updated list of their top ten Catholic colleges for 2016-17, which I have reproduced below:
- University of Notre Dame (ND)
- The Catholic University of America (CUA)
- Ave Maria University (AVM)
- Franciscan University of Steubenville (FUS)
- Thomas Aquinas College (TAC)
- St. John’s University – Queens Campus
This is a list of top ten Catholic Colleges
- University of Notre Dame
- Georgetown University
- St. Mary’s College of Maryland (Most Catholic College in the U.S.)
We hope this list of Catholic colleges has helped you find a school that fits your needs and budget. These schools offer students a unique Catholic education experience, as well as many other great benefits. From strong academics to affordable tuition costs, these institutions offer something for everyone!