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Guide: Franciscan among top universities

October 30, 2012
From staff reports , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - Franciscan University of Steubenville is one of only 28 Catholic colleges, universities, and online programs chosen for "fidelity and excellence" to be included in the latest edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

A project of the Cardinal Newman Society, the Newman Guide goes where most college guides don't by examining how a Catholic institution's academic, intellectual, spiritual and moral environment fit within the tenets of the Catholic Church, according to officials.

"I have long admired the Cardinal Newman Society's steady efforts to help all Catholic colleges fulfill their destiny as laid out in Pope John Paul II's timeless teaching on Catholic higher education, Ex Corde Ecclesiae," said Franciscan University President the Rev. Terence Henry, TOR.

"Franciscan University is honored to be included once again in The Newman Guide. I am certain parents and students will find the Newman Guide invaluable in making one of the most important decisions in their lives," he said.

Noting that Franciscan University of Steubenville offers "a solid education and vibrant campus life," the Newman Guide's profile highlighted the new core curriculum adopted by the university this fall: "Undergraduates at Franciscan complete an integrated liberal arts core curriculum, based on the Western intellectual tradition and the Franciscan character of education and in accord with the Catholic mission of Franciscan University."

The guide also includes information on the university's student activities and spiritual life. The quick facts box lists the median SAT scores and high school GPAs of the university's admitted students (both well above the national averages), and other useful information.

The guide details how Franciscan University of Steubenville's academic programs maintain and strengthen the university's Catholic identity. It mentions all theology faculty have a mandatum on file with the bishop of Steubenville and have taken the Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity, and identifies other ways the university imbues Catholic ethical formation into all areas of study.

In its descriptions of the spiritual life at the university, the guide highlights attendance by students at Sunday Mass (98 percent), daily Mass (more than 700 attend one of three daily Masses on campus), the ready availability of confession and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament; and the many ways the faith life is integrated in the residence halls, athletic programs, clubs and other student activities.

In its summation, the Newman Guide says, "There's no place quite like Franciscan University of Steubenville, and its students' enthusiasm for serving God both during and after their college years is most refreshing. ... Few institutions share Franciscan University's reputation for strong Catholic identity, including a powerful witness to the pro-life cause and evangelization, which penetrates everything the institution does."

The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College is available in full color, online and in print at

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