Catholic colleges and universities have, for many years, offered the possibility of a private school education with a strong ethical focus at a relatively reasonable price. While a good percentage of the students at these schools have always been Roman Catholic, most of them also have a strong tradition of welcoming kids from all kinds of religious and ethnic backgrounds (at St. John’s University in New York, for example, only about half the student body is Catholic). I actually attended a branch of Loyola University of Chicago (in Italy) for a half a year some time ago, and found it very open to a non-religious person like myself.
There are well over 200 Catholic colleges in the U.S., serving more than 650,000 students. They range from famous schools like Georgetown (the very first Catholic school in America, founded in 1789) to Our Lady Of The Lake University, a small Catholic school near San Antonio that is known better regionally than nationally. The schools are only loosely affiliated. There are organizations like the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, which has a large membership of Catholic schools, and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, which represents the interests of 28 Jesuit schools. But generally, the top Catholic universities each pursue their own education programs. You’ll find that some Catholic schools integrate a quite a bit of religion into their degree programs, while others require little at all.
The Catholic Move to Online Teaching
Catholic schools, which are all non-profits, were not big movers and shakers in the initial stages if the online teaching revolution. But they have begun to devote more resources to online degree programs. That’s good news for two reasons: 1) tuition at many of the schools are reasonable – not cheap exactly, but less than other private schools, and 2) many of these schools, like Regis and Gonzaga, enjoy national reputations. They’re also quite old, which means they tend to have so many alumni spread around that you can regularly come across them in your job hunt after finishing school.
Here’s a listing of Catholic colleges and universities that are offering online degree programs right now:
Located near Chicago, this school is proud to call itself a “melting pot” of students from many different religious and philosophical backgrounds. It has a close relationship with the Benedictine order. The school has about 3,000 students, with a bit over 50% of them being female. More than promoting a strictly Roman Catholic viewpoint, the university aims to produce “informed and responsible citizens and leaders in the world community.” It has six colleges. Benedictine’s online degree programs are largely focused on business. It has some unique offerings in the area of accelerated business degrees, to help you get to your next career step faster:
– MBA Finance
– MBA Internet Marketing
– MBA Marketing Management
– MBA Health Administration
– MBA Entrepreneurship
– MBA International Business
Get information on Benedictine University
SAINT JOSEPH’s UNIVERSITY
St. Joseph’s is a Catholic school of about 9,000 students based in Philadelphia, that was founded in 1851. U.S. News & World Report has recognized it as #4 among “Up and coming schools” in the U.S. Offers master’s degrees online in business and criminal justice:
– MS Business Intelligence
– MS Criminal Justice
– MS Criminal Justice, Behavior Analysis
– MS Criminal Justice, Federal Law Enforcement
– MS Criminal Justice, Homeland Security
– MS Criminal Justice, Intelligence & Crime Analysis
Get information on St. Joseph’s University
UNIVERSITY OF SAINT MARY
Founded in Kansas in 1923 by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, USM is a private school with just 720 students. But it has grown a significant online teaching program focused on healthcare and business. The school’s mission is to help foster “value-centered lives and careers that contribute to the well being of our global society.” Online degree programs include:
– MS Nursing – Nurse Educator
– MS Nursing – Nurse Educator
– RN to BSN Nursing
Get information on The University of Saint Mary
Regis is one of the 28 associated Catholic, Jesuit schools in the U.S. Located in Denver, it has about 14,000 students and is comprised of three colleges: Regis College, the College for Professional Studies, and the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions. The school has a long tradition of encouraging community service by students. Noted alumni include comedian Bill Murray.
The school is particularly strong on business and computer technology distance learning programs:
MS Information Assurance
Get information on Regis University
OUR LADY OF THE LAKE UNIVERSITY
A small Catholic university in San Antonio. Offers a technology degree program that is certified by the National Security Agency.
Offers several master’s degree online:
MS Information Systems & Security
MS Nonprofit Management
MS Social Work
Get information on Our Lady of the Lake University