Catholic Identity | Christendom College


Catholic Identity

As you discover more about Christendom, you’ll see why the Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College says:

For 30 years Christendom College has made a vital contribution to American Catholic life through its solid spiritual formation and its liberal arts curriculum.  While some colleges in this Guide may match its Catholic commitment, it is unlikely that any exceeds it.

In summary, this is what makes Christendom a truly Catholic College:

  • In joyful adherence to the principles set forth in Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Christendom is primarily an Educational Apostolate, with an emphasis on helping the students grow intellectually and spiritually in their love and knowledge of God and the created order, and thereby, ultimately helping them to attain eternal salvation. In short, we care about the development of the whole person and the welfare of their souls.
  • The College, although lay-run, has the approval of the Ordinary of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, in which it is located. Christendom was founded in 1977 with the assistance of then-founding Bishop of Arlington, the late Bishop Thomas J. Welsh, and continued to receive the support of his successor, the late Bishop John R. Keating, and the Third Bishop of Arlington, Paul S. Loverde (Read quote from Bishop Loverde about Christendom College). Currently, the Fourth Bishop of Arlington, Bishop Michael Burbidge, is very supportive of Christendom and her mission, continuing on this great relationship between the college and the Diocese.
  • All professors are Catholic and ALL of them make an Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium and a Profession of Faith each year in the presence of the Diocese of Arlington’s Bishop Michael Burbidge.
  • All classes, whenever possible, are taught with a Catholic vision and worldview. When teaching history, it’s with a fuller Catholic understanding – and we explain how the Catholic Church has made an impact on history. When teaching philosophy, one is open to the truths of natural reason and the fullness of truth about God, man and the created order, with a strong emphasis on St. Thomas Aquinas’ teachings.
  • Among other subjects, all students take at least 6 classes in Catholic Theology and 6 in Philosophy (which is very Thomistic).
  • Our rules and regulations governing student life are intended to help students embrace the fullness of Catholic life. Reflecting the dignity and serious nature of the course of studies, there is a professional dress code for class, Mass, and lunch; a modesty dress code at all times; alcohol, TVs and internet are not allowed in the residence halls; intervisitation between the men and women in the residence halls is not allowed; and a curfew for freshmen and sophomore students who are under 21 is enforced. We believe that these rules are beneficial for the growth of the student’s moral, intellectual, and spiritual life.
  • The College, in its daily life, also shows a deep commitment to the Sacraments and sacramentals of the Church: Daily Mass, Daily Adoration, Daily Confession, Daily Rosary, Daily Evening and Morning Prayer are offered.
  • We are attempting to help rebuild Christendom, that is, a time in history when the culture was inspired by the Gospel and the teaching of the Church. We celebrate the traditions of the Church and enjoy the many liturgical and cultural feasts of the Catholic Church and her rich heritage, even cancelling classes each year on the Solemnity of All Saints (November 1st) and the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 8th).
  • Beautifully celebrated liturgies are a trademark of Christendom. Gregorian chant, polyphony, traditional choir, incense, Novus Ordo Latin Masses, traditional hymns, Eucharistic and Marian processions are all part of this tradition.
  • Students are given ample opportunity to take part in corporal and spiritual works of mercy, both on and off-campus.
  • Catholicism is not simply a religion and theology is not merely a class one takes at college. It involves an openness to the True, the Good, and the Beautiful, wherever found. We believe that Catholicism is a way of life and on our campus, it is the “air that we breathe.” Catholicism, joyfully lived in fidelity to Christ and His Church, affects everything that we do here, from our Commencement speakers to our student clubs, from our curriculum to our Masses.

Popes, Cardinals, Luminaries: Why They Love Christendom

  • “I am well aware of the distinguished record of Christendom College and of the outstanding contribution which it has made to Catholic life in the United States. For this reason, I am particularly honored to associate myself with such a fine Catholic institution of higher learning and my prayers are that Christendom College will enjoy many more years of service in the education and formation of young people.” – Pope Benedict XVI 
  • “There is a crisis in Catholic higher education today. Many Catholic colleges have abandoned the Faith and have become very secular. But there are a handful of schools that remain faithful to the Church and offer strong academic programs emphasizing Catholic philosophy and theology. One such college is Christendom College. It has the mission of working to restore all things in Christ. It achieves this by educating its students with a rigorous core curriculum, teaching everything with a Catholic worldview, and by immersing its students in a truly Catholic culture. I’ve been to the campus numerous times and have always been impressed with what I’ve seen. I heartily recommend Christendom College to anyone seeking an education guided by Faith and reason and I ask you to consider learning more about this great College which is worthy of both your financial and spiritual support.” – Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR 
  • “Christendom College is one of the best liberal arts colleges in America. Its commitment to providing its students with an integrated, rigorous core curriculum, combined with a vibrant Catholic atmosphere that permeates every aspect of the college experience, marks it as a distinctive and precious resource. I recommend Christendom College to anyone seeking an education that teaches students to think, to pray, and to serve, all under the guidance of Faith and reason. It is wholly worthy of your support.” – George Weigel
  • “It is a joy for me to be associated with whatever has to do with the good of Christendom College. This is good news in our time! It is refreshing to see a Catholic college where the parents can send their children and not get worried whether they will get serious Catholic education – without discount – just as it is.” – Francis Cardinal Arinze
  • “I cannot think of any university from which I would be more pleased to receive an honorary doctorate than Christendom College. I’m very well acquainted with the writings of Dr. Warren Carroll…and I have also long admired the work of Dr. O’Donnell, and am a faithful reader of the newsletter of the College [Instaurare]. I have known a number of the alumni, and of course, I always think that the ultimate test of the excellence of a Catholic college is the quality of Faith in Christ and in His Church of the alumni, and Christendom certainly stands out in that regard.” – Raymond Cardinal Burke
  • “When you’re a bishop, you get a lot of honorary degrees…but I can not think of any institution from which I am more pleased to receive a degree. This is truly a school born ex corde ecclesiae and remains close to Christ’s heart, faithful to His Church, and passionate about the mission we have received: to build a civilization of love and instaurare omnia in Christo (to restore all things in Christ).” – Sean Cardinal O’Malley 
  • “Christendom College is doing a great work for the Church.” Pope Saint John Paul II 
  • “Christendom College is more than an academic institution of the highest caliber. It is a Catholic academic institution — Catholic in its fullest and deepest meaning and purpose; it is authentically Catholic. Here, the students are formed in the totality of their beings: body, mind, will and soul. Yes, here is an Upper Room, your Upper Room where God the Holy Spirit desires to form you and to mold you into ardent disciples of Jesus Christ and articulate committed members of Christ’s Body the Church.” – Bishop Paul S. Loverde, Homily from the Opening Mass of the Holy Spirit, Christendom College, 8/23/10 (Full Text)