The Catholic University of America

The national university of the Catholic Church in the United States, founded and sponsored by the bishops of the country with the approval of the Holy See, committed to being a comprehensive Catholic and American institution of higher learning.

(photo: Register Files)

620 Michigan Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20064
(202) 319-5000

Enrollment: 5,956

The Institution:

  • President’s Oath
  • Catholic Board
  • Catholic Faculty
  • Mandatum Required *
  • Theologians’ Oath *

Campus Culture:

  • Mass and Confession
  • Speakers Vetted
  • Unobjectionable Clubs
  • No Coed Dorms *
  • Health Services Okay

School’s Comments:

Mandatum: Catholic theologians must receive a “canonical mission” from the local bishop/chancellor that obliges them to “teach in the name of the Church” — it is different from the mandatum.

Theologians’ Oath: The Catholic faculty recite the “Profession of Faith” in the presence of and along with the local bishop/chancellor and president at the opening Mass of each academic year. 

Catholic faculty have not been required to take the “Oath of Fidelity” because of the canonical mission/nihil obstat binding the ecclesiastical faculties.

Dorms: Beginning fall 2014, virtually all undergraduate students reside in single-sex residence halls. In addition, three halls have religious in residence — two female residence halls have sisters living with students, and a priest lives in one of the male halls.


Holy Spirit College

Holy Spirit seeks to educate and to form students who, as leaders in professional and civic life, will live by the highest intellectual and ethical standards. In service of this goal, Holy Spirit endeavors to create an environment in which integrated learning is a shared responsibility. Shared responsibility for the life and governance of the College should lead all its members to make the best of their own talents, to work together, to be sensitive to one another, to serve others, and to seek justice within and beyond the Holy Spirit community.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.