Choosing a Catholic College, Part II: Conclusions

I was originally going to write three posts about The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, but I think anything important can really be said in just two.  And I’m just to lazy to write a third.

My biggest concern about many of these colleges would be the possible lack of diversity.  From personal experience, when I went to college was the first time I was ever really challenged in my faith and forced to think about what the Catholic Church teaches and why.  This is because after 12 years in Catholic schools and a life that revolved heavily around my parish community I was now interacting on a regular basis with non-Catholics who had been taught a lot of incorrect information about the Catholic Church (as opposed to many luke-warm Catholics who had not been taught a lot of correct information about the Catholic Church).  I think if you spend your whole life all of the way through college in a Catholic bubble of like-minded people then hitting the real world after college with co-workers who are not like-minded could be a real shock to the system.  Then again there is not a lot of diversity of thought allowed in many college classrooms today unless you count the various degrees of liberalism as diverse.

On the flip side, no one could accuse my kids of living in a Catholic bubble.  Most of the families they interact with are not Catholic or not practicing Catholic.  I am not saying this is a bad thing, and in early childhood it’s probably not a big deal.  But as they enter adolescence they will probably be tempted more by friends who may not share the values my kids are being raised with.  I could see where attending a Catholic college could make kids raised like mine feel less spiritually isolated and offer the opportunity to be immersed in a like-minded culture that would bolster them in their faith as they enter adulthood.

I still don’t think I would push my kids to go to a Catholic college too much, but it might be worth having them look through The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.  Even though none of the recommended colleges are within a one-state radius of Illinois, a requirement for any college to which my children apply, I think reading through the book could offer lots of food for thought in their college selection process.  For instance, I could see us discussing the merits of small and large colleges, what kind of housing situation would be in their best moral interest, carrying their faith into college, and their involvement with the Newman Center on campus wherever they go.  And since we have two or three Catholic universities in our general vicinity I think the book does offer some useful tools for measuring each school’s Catholic identity that would help our over-all evaluation process.  I really don’t know that I would have thought to discuss these things if I hadn’t read this book.  After all, no one discussed them with me before I went to college.


Explore posts in the same categories: Books, Catholic Faith, Homeschooling/Education, Philosophy, Religion

One Comment on “Choosing a Catholic College, Part II: Conclusions”

  1. […] 4.  The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College by Cardinal Newman Society:  Please refer to this post and this post. […]

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