Originally Posted: Oct 3, 2011
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2021
In the United States, there are over 200 Catholic colleges and universities educating men and women for the world today and for a better tomorrow.
In a world that requires hope, Catholic colleges provide unbounded hope. Catholic colleges may vary in size, location, and offerings, but all share an intellectual and spiritual tradition that, at its heart, asserts that each person is created in God’s image with the potential for limitless good.
Founded on the belief that all people have something worthwhile to contribute to society, Catholic schools provide a well-rounded education to prepare graduates for lives of service. Catholic colleges and universities do this by fostering intellectualism and personal growth, providing an experience that speaks directly to those practicing the Catholic faith. These institutions are committed to values such as conscience, charity, compassion, and integrity.
With its commitment to the worth of each individual, Catholic higher education encourages both spiritual and intellectual growth. While academic disciplines are numerous, a focus upon the humanities is essential. The humanities serve as the foundation for understanding the arts and sciences as well as business and industry. Further, the humanities engender within students a healthy respect for the contributions of all disciplines. Regardless of the degrees students earn at Catholic institutions, they leave with a strong ethical foundation and the ability to write well, think critically, and communicate effectively.
While the humanities provide a strong ethical foundation and instill a desire for lifelong learning, the Catholic intellectual tradition demands the pursuit of all disciplines: science and medicine, engineering and technology, education and business. Catholic college graduates obtain placement in top-tier graduate programs and professional schools, and they secure employment through their well-rounded education and superior training.
Within the structure of Catholic higher education, students can find many educational traditions, each with its own unique set of values and practices. Though connected by a common ancestry, the different educational sects each bring something distinctive and diverse to the Catholic educational landscape. Some examples include the Augustinian, Benedictine, Diocesan, Dominican, Franciscan, Holy Cross, Jesuit, Lasallian, Marianist, Sisters of Mercy, and Vincentian heritages.
As you consider your educational future, consider a Catholic college or university. They foster the proliferation of hope, focus on the dignity of the person, and are rooted in faith to support the contribution each individual can make toward a better world.
Julie McCulloh is the Dean of Admission at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.