The list below is a collection of some of the best Catholic colleges in the country. These schools are ranked based on several criteria, including factors such as each school’s reported acceptance, enrollment, retention and graduation rates. Highlighted in the snapshot of each school are noteworthy programs, facts and statistics about what it is like to attend any one of these celebrated institutions.
Information & Data
A Catholic education is unique in that it weds the erudite heritage of American education with the ethos and spiritually-guided inquiry of the Jesuit tradition. Catholic and Jesuit universities have a rich history of academic and scholastic accomplishment. The belief is that, to grow, a student should be educated as a whole person: mind, body and soul are all a part of the curriculum when attending a Catholic college. Many Catholic colleges and universities embrace a theologically aware, morally upright worldview; they are committed to instilling their students with faith as well as a strong education.
Some other characteristics emblematic of a Jesuit education include the importance of fellowship, socializing and service. Most Catholic schools offer many opportunities for students to give back to their local and global communities through charitable service. Study abroad is another common mark of the Catholic education; most Jesuit institutions offer robust opportunities and programs to travel abroad in order to gain a more global perspective on the world at large. Hands-on, experiential learning is also another staple of a Catholic education. Students who choose a Catholic college are almost certain to experience their studies, not just read about them, in a meaningful environment.
Top Catholic Colleges with Online Programs
In many ways, the steady advancement of Bible-based colleges and Catholic institutions has run parallel to the growing number of online degree programs in the U.S. The fastest growing demographic of college students today are adult learners who currently work 20 or more hours a week, as stated in a study by the U.S. Department of Education. According to non-profit Catholic research center, CARA, the number of students attending Catholic colleges and universities has nearly doubled between 1965 and 2014. There has been increased demand, over the course of the past two decades, for a quality Catholic education that offers the flexibility that adult students require.
It is not surprising, then, that the two forces in post-secondary education have partnered. For students who work during regular class hours, for those with family commitments or for members of the military, finding the time to learn is the biggest barrier to earning a degree. The colleges listed below offer all of the same Catholic values, emphasis on community service and leadership and legacy of scholastic excellence that students expect from a Jesuit institution, all from the convenience of a living room and a laptop.
Many of these distance learning options focus on occupational studies and in-demand careers such as nursing, business management and education. For students seeking a relevant, valuable, accredited education, these colleges offer students of all denominations an opportunity to apply faith to their academic growth and to experience study in a hands-on learning environment through internship, online classroom collaboration and networking.
The colleges ranked below represent a collection of the best online Catholic colleges in the United States. These rankings are based on criteria such as each school’s reported acceptance, enrollment, retention and graduation rates. Many of the programs that are included on the list offer some of the most affordable private school tuition rates in the country. Most of these schools offer classes to students all over the U.S., and a select few do not charge out-of-state tuition for online students.