Loyola University Chicago; photo taken by the author
As we’re in the midst of the 50 days of the Eastertide, now is the perfect time of the year to share why attending a Catholic college or university could be one of the greatest decisions you ever make!
I am interested in applying to several Catholic colleges and universities because I want to strengthen my faith (which will prepare me for real-world challenges), because I want to meet others who will help me grow in my relationship with the Lord, and because I will be educated by professors who share my beliefs and values—knowing they will want what is best of me.
Strengthening my faith
One of the most important things to look for in your future is a college that what will help grow your faith, resolve, and principles. This extends beyond your religious faith to anything else you consider a priority in your life, from political views to favorite hobbies. Yes, college is for your education, but it is also important to participate in other activities to make the most of what could be the best time of your life.
Personally, I am very interested in attending a Catholic college or university, because developing a strong faith is central to most Catholic colleges’ missions. For example, here are snippets of two college mission statements—one from Marquette University and one from the University of Notre Dame—with the importance of faith in bold:
“Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university dedicated to serving God by serving our students and contributing to the advancement of knowledge. Our mission, therefore, is the search for truth, the discovery and sharing of knowledge, the fostering of personal and professional excellence, the promotion of a life of faith, and the development of leadership expressed in service to others. All this we pursue for the greater glory of God and the common benefit of the human community” (“Our Mission”).
“The University of Notre Dame is a Catholic academic community of higher learning, animated from its origins by the Congregation of Holy Cross. The University is dedicated to the pursuit and sharing of truth for its own sake. As a Catholic university, one of its distinctive goals is to provide a forum where, through free inquiry and open discussion, the various lines of Catholic thought may intersect with all the forms of knowledge found in the arts, sciences, professions, and every other area of human scholarship and creativity” (“University Mission Statement”).
Theology classes and religious course work
“My son, do not forget my teaching, take to heart my commands; For many days, and years of life, and peace, will they bring you” (New American Bible, Proverbs 3:1-2).
Catholic colleges and universities also offer many theology courses that go in depth about Catholicism, and I am also interested in learning more about how my beliefs were developed and how Catholicism has impacted the world since it was introduced about 2,000 years ago.
Not only would theology courses—which are required in the curriculum of the Catholic colleges and universities I am considering—increase your knowledge about one of the greatest cultural shifts the world has ever encountered, but these classes can also prepare you for any challenges that may come along with being open about personal views and your faith. “I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel with my eye upon you” (Psalms 32:8, Saint Joseph Edition of the New American Bible, Revised Edition. New Jersey, Catholic Book Pub. Corp., 2011.).
Not only is it the Catholic college or university’s mission to teach its students more about the faith, but there will also be hundreds, if not thousands, of students surrounding you with the same intentions…
Attending a Catholic college or university will surround you with students of the same faith. These students will have so many different stories of how their faith has impacted their life; it will be amazing to see how the Lord has led them where they are today.
Lifelong friends can be made at any college, but imagine those bonds with friends of the same faith! Not only will the friendship be strong, but this lifelong friend will also help you grow in your relationship with Christ and vice versa.
Related: Search for Catholic colleges
Doing what’s best for me
All in all, I know that attending a Catholic college or university is in my best interest because the professors teach to bring out the best in you, I will meet others who love the Lord as I do, and because it is one of the best ways to strength my faith before it is tested in the real world. In my case, the transition from a public high school to a private and Catholic college or university will also be an interesting change and something new to try.
If you were considering attending a Catholic college or university, I hope I have made your college search a bit easier otherwise—or I hope you are now considering attending one!
Let me know if you have additional reasons for attending a Catholic college or university. What about them draws your interest?