Catholic identity or education: Are the top Catholic universities falsely rated by secular standards?
By Kenya Sinclair
A list of the top 40 traditional Catholic and Jesuit colleges in America was created, but were they rated fairly?
‘Any review that purports to take the Catholic faith into consideration when evaluating colleges must do so with the understanding of what the Church envisions for Catholic universities.’
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – Newsmax revealed their top forty Catholic and Jesuit colleges in America, but what were their standards?
The United States contains over 300 Catholic and Jesuit colleges and Universities, twenty-eight of which are widely known as the “Great 28.” Those within the Great 28 cater to intellect, morality and spirituality while expanding services to serve others in local and national communities.
Newsmax specified they considered “subjective criteria, such as legacy and influence along with quantifiable measurements like class size, student-to-faculty ratio, and student retention rates” to choose their top 40 colleges.
The Cardinal Newman Society’s Adam Wilson, the managing editor of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, believes the list does not accurately portray a college’s Catholic identity.
“Any review that purports to take the Catholic faith into consideration when evaluating colleges must do so with the understanding of what the Church envisions for Catholic universities,” Wilson explained.
One Newsmax representative told The Cardinal Newman Society that special consideration was given to “institutions that allow students to give back or care for others while growing spiritually,” but also that they “wanted the list to feature exceptional institutions that ‘strike the perfect balance between integrating faith and reason with a rigorous academic education.'”
In another questionable choice, most of the schools, with the exception of Georgetown University, which falls at number two on the list and is described to be “Based in its Jesuit affiliation, Georgetown teaches ‘cure personalis,’ or ‘care for the whole person,’ has been reported by the Newman Society to have “significant Catholic identity abuses.”
So terrible is Newsmax’s list that the Newman Society added that Georgetown University had a canon law petition filed against it due to several Catholic identity abuses. The petition demanded the University either remove its Catholic affiliation or restore its Catholic identity.
LifeSiteNews reports six of the institutions listed on Newmax’s top 40 list have inspired organizations dedicated to exposing Catholic identity issues and called for administrative action.
There are also documented cases in which several of the other schools diluted or entirely removed theology requirements in their core curriculum, have provided pro-abortion speakers and embraced gender ideology, despite each topic’s incompatibility with Church teachings.
Wilson added the apostolic constitution on Catholic universities, Ex corde Ecclesiae and the U.S. bishops’ application of the document are crucial elements in helping Catholic education institutions align their identity with the Church’s vision for education.
In closing, Wilson asked, “If the priorities and themes that the Church considers important are not valued when reviewing Catholic colleges, then why bother with Catholic colleges in the first place?”