National guide features Christendom College

By Kim Walter

For the seventh year in a row, Christendom College has been ranked by The Cardinal Newman Society in “The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.”

Published since 2007, “The Newman Guide” recommends colleges, universities, and online programs for strength of Catholic identity and academic excellence, with an emphasis on undergraduate education. Primary sections include in-depth information on academics, spiritual life, residence life and student activities.

The 2014 edition, published on Monday, listed 28 Catholic institutions. This was the first year that Christendom College received a little extra coverage, as the school and several students were pictured on the front of the magazine.

The photo highlights the college’s Chapel of Christ the King, which “The Newman Guide” describes as being at the center of both the campus and of campus life.

At the request of countless Catholic families, the Newman Society asked nearly 100 questions of each college on everything from Mass and confession times to what majors are offered, and from visiting hours in the dorms to a list of campus clubs and activities, and everything in between. Updated answers from the colleges are now available on the publication’s website.

“For more than 35 years, Christendom College has made a vital contribution to American Catholic life through its solid spiritual formation and its liberal arts curriculum. What was once a tiny holdout against the decline of higher education is today a model for Catholic liberal arts colleges, with a well-deserved reputation even in Rome,” according to the publication.

Tom McFadden, director of admissions, said it is always nice to be recognized in the magazine. However, it was a “nice surprise” to be featured on the front cover.

“Two of our biggest competitors have been pictured in recent publications,” he said. “So this was wonderful. And the picture really showcases the area around our school.”

McFadden said each year that presidents of Catholic educational institutions from across the country come to the college.

“They meet with our president and really look at what we’re doing in order to figure out where they should go,” he said. “For more than 35 years, we’ve been one of the leaders in the transformation of Catholic higher education. Some institutions want more rigorous academics, some want to be more Catholic … we’ve struck an ideal balance of all major factors.”

McFadden added that Christendom is one of two Catholic institutions that doesn’t accept federal money in order to operate. He said that given the government’s increased involvement in education, people should be drawn to the fact that the college won’t be affected.

As times have changed, McFadden said that Christendom hasn’t. He said he believes that there is still a large community of students looking for a Catholic-based undergraduate education.

“It may not even be Catholicism that people are looking for,” he said. “It might be that they want more character building or that private school experience, and we can offer that.”

McFadden said he hopes that residents of the communities surrounding Christendom are aware of the national and international recognition that the institution has received.

“An institution like Christendom is unique, and ‘The Newman Guide’ has been wonderful enough to highlight that for all these years,” he said. “We are very proudly a part of this community, and we welcome anyone to campus to take a look around.”

To see the complete listing and find our more about “The Newman Guide” visit: www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/TheNewmanGuide/RecommendedColleges/ChristendomCollege.aspx.

Contact staff writer Kim Walter at 540-465-5137 ext. 191, or kwalter@nvdaily.com