|Number of Students||477|
|Location||Front Royal, VA|
|Total Cost (Tuition, Room & Board)||$34,570|
|Net Price (learn more)||$20,673|
|Number of Majors||7|
|Median High School GPA||3.7|
Answers from the college on the most important questions. Click a topic below to read more.
Is your institution accredited by at least one regional or national education association?
Please identify each accreditor and indicate whether it is approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). It is approved by the USDE.
Please cite evidence of student or alumni accomplishment, such as graduation rate, graduate school placement, job placement, awards, etc.
Graduation Rate: 69% 4 years 70% 6 years
Christendom alumni are involved in just about every field possible. Our graduates strive to make their mark on history by being great at what they do. We empower them by expanding their intellects, educating them in an ordered liberal arts curriculum that is focused on wisdom and truth. Approximately 18% of Christendom alumni (9% above the national average) have attained a graduate degree, having studied at such institutions as Notre Dame Law School, Harvard, University of Virginia, Fordham, William and Mary, The Catholic University of America, Johns Hopkins, The Angelicum, Oxford University, Washington & Lee Law, and the University of Dallas. There are over 150 alumni priests and religious, as well as 100s of stay-at-home alumnae mothers who are doing great work by raising their families.
Please identify any notable public recognition of your institution’s academic quality in the last three years, such as rankings, awards, etc.
Christendom College is ranked as one of the top-ten colleges in America by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI). The College also appears in the Best College Review’s National Top 5 ranking. Christendom continually receives national recognition for its rigorous and Catholic educational program from such college guides as Barron’s Best Buys in College Education, Peterson’s Competitive Colleges and 440 Colleges for Top Students, First Things’ college guide, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Best Value. It has been ranked as one of America’s Top Conservative Colleges by the Young America’s Foundation, one of the nation’s most Radical Colleges by left-leaning The Huffington Post, a Top College for American Values by Newsmax, and as the college that “embodies [Pope] Benedict’s vision of higher education,” by US News and World Report.
Are more than half of the current members of your faculty practicing Catholics?
Approximately what percentage of your current faculty members are practicing Catholics?
Are members of your faculty officially informed of their responsibility for maintaining and strengthening the Catholic identity of the institution?
Are members of your teaching faculty expected, as a condition of employment, to respect Catholic teaching and comply with Catholic morality in their public actions and statements both on and off campus?
Please identify key undergraduate faculty who are noted experts in their field, have produced important publications, have leadership roles in academic associations, etc. and briefly describe such accomplishments (optional):
Dr. John Cuddeback is the author of a book on friendship, and gives many talks on the subject. Dr. Christopher Shannon is a well-published author, whose forte is American history. Dr. Brendan McGuire and Professor Mark Wunsch are both dynamic speakers who frequently speak at events hosted by the Institute of Catholic Culture. Prof. Mary Stanford is a highly-sought speaker on Pope St. John Paul the Great’s Theology of the Body. Dr. Adam Schwartz is the author of The Third Spring, which profiles the spiritual journeys and religious and cultural beliefs of four seminal members of that twentieth-century revival: G. K. Chesterton, Graham Greene, Christopher Dawson, and David Jones.
Does the institution have a department of Catholic theology, distinct from “religious studies” and other disciplines?
Are courses in Catholic theology clearly identified and distinguished from other courses dealing with religion?
Does every faculty member in the theological disciplines have the mandatum (or the “canonical mission” for ecclesiastical faculties) approved by the appropriate Church authority, as required by Canon Law?
The bishop personally presides over the Mass at which the entire faculty personally take the oath. The Bishop personally receives the oath of fidelity to the magisterium from the faculty each year.
Do all faculty in the theological disciplines make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?
Does your institution require that all theology courses be taught in a manner faithful to Scripture, Tradition, and the Church’s Magisterium, and also to the principles and methods proper to Catholic theology?
Please describe the place of Catholic theology in your institution’s undergraduate curriculum and how it is distinct from other institutions.
At Christendom, Theology is hailed as the “Queen of the Sciences.” Every Theology course is designed both to cover the perennial truth taught by the Church and developed by the Catholic theological tradition, and to expose the false steps which have led to widespread loss of orthodoxy in recent years.
The Church has taught that the spirit, methods, and principles of St. Thomas Aquinas, yield the optimal results in speculative theology. Therefore the core curriculum and all the upper division courses in speculative theology include the reading of St. Thomas and are all taught according to his approach. Thus the Theology Department at Christendom College takes special care to insure that the students achieve a solid grasp of the Thomistic synthesis.
Please identify the theology courses that are included in the undergraduate core or distribution requirements and the professors who routinely teach those courses:
Fundamentals of Catholic Doctrine 1, Fundamentals of Catholic Doctrine 2, Introduction to the Old Testament, Introduction to the New Testament, Moral Theology, and Catholic Apologetics. Professors include Prof. Raymund O’Herron, Dr. James DeFrancis, Prof. Eric Jenislawski, Fr. Stephen McGraw, Prof. Joseph Arias.
Please identify any course that every undergraduate student must take:
First Semester Freshman Year (18 credit hours):
English 101: Literature of Western Civilization I, History 101: Ancient and Biblical World, Mathematics 101, Philosophy 101: Introduction to Philosophy, Theology 101: Fundamentals of Catholic Doctrine I
Second Semester Freshman Year (18 credit hours):
English 102: Literature of Western Civilization II, History 102: Formation of Christendom, Science 102, Language 102, Philosophy 102: Philosophy of Human Nature, Theology 102: Fundamentals of Catholic Doctrine II
First Semester Sophomore Year (18 credit hours):
English 201: Literature of Western Civilization III, History 201: The Division of Christendom, Political Science 201: Principles of Political Theory, Language 201, Philosophy 201: Ethics, Theology 201: Introduction to the Old Testament
Second Semester Sophomore Year (18 credit hours):
English 202: The Literature of Western Civilization IV, History 202: Church and World in the Modern Age, Political Science 202: Social Teachings of the Church, Language 202, Philosophy 202: Metaphysics, Theology 202: Introduction to the New Testament
First Semester Junior Year (6 credit hours):
Philosophy 301: History of Medieval Philosophy, Theology 301: Moral Theology
Second Semester Junior Year (6 credit hours):
Philosophy 302: History of Modern Philosophy, Theology 302: Catholic Apologetics
Please identity the courses that students may choose from in order to satisfy common curriculum distribution requirements:
Astronomy, Euclidean Geometry, Calculus, French, Latin, Greek, Introduction to Scientific Thought, Introduction to Mathematical Thought.
How many credits are required for graduation and what percent are from core / distribution courses?
126 credits 67%
Is every undergraduate student required to take one or more courses in which they are taught authentic Catholic doctrine and practice?
If yes, please describe them generally and note how many courses are required?
All students take Fundamentals of Catholic Doctrine 1 and 2, which go over the 4 pillars of the Church: Creed, Commandments, Sacraments, and Prayer. All students also take Moral Theology.
Is every undergraduate student required to take one or more interdisciplinary courses relating theology or philosophy with other disciplines?
List the major, minor and special program areas that students may choose for specialization while pursuing an undergraduate degree:
Theology, Philosophy, History, English Language and Literature, Early & Classical Christian Studies, Political Science & Economics, Mathematics. Students may minor in Physics, Liturgical Music, Economics or any of the above-listed majors.
What are the three most popular majors or specialty disciplines for undergraduate students, and about what percentage of undergraduate students specialize in these disciplines?
Political Science, 16%
Does each undergraduate degree program require Catholic ethical formation related to the student’s major field(s) of study?
Does your institution regularly provide academic events to address theological questions related to specialized disciplines?
Through the Major Speakers Series, and other such forums, the college does offer students insights into theological questions related to specialized disciplines.
Does your institution require cooperation among faculty in different disciplines in teaching, research and other academic activities?
If yes, please describe.
Our faculty work in an environment that encourages cooperation and provides opportunities for both research and departmental collaboration. The College’s integrated core curriculum promotes frequent dialogue across the disciplines.
Does the local bishop (or other competent ecclesiastical authority) select or approve the appointment of your chaplain?
Does your institution offer Mass on campus at least on Sundays and other days of obligation?
On average, about what percentage of undergraduate students attend Sunday Mass (including the Saturday vigil Mass) during the academic year?
Does your institution offer daily Mass to students?
On average, about how many undergraduate students attend daily Mass during the academic year?
70% on a daily basis.
Does your institution offer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to students at least weekly?
Yes, once or twice, currently
Are all of the Masses celebrated on campus reverent and in accord with liturgical norms and directives?
Are the altar servers at your institution’s Masses male only or both male and female?
Please list the schedule of Masses, noting the following for each Mass: the day and time, the Form or Rite of the Mass, and the style of music, if any (chant, traditional, contemporary, etc.):
Sunday 10 a.m. (Latin, Ordinary Form)
Monday 7:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 4:45 p.m. (English, Ordinary Form)
Tuesday 7:30 a.m. (English Ordinary Form, ad orientem); 11:30 a.m., 4:45 p.m. (English, Ordinary Form)
We 7:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. (English, Ordinary Form), 4:45 p.m. (Latin, Extraordinary Form)
Th 7:30 a.m. (English Ordinary Form, ad orientem), 11:30 a.m., 4:45 p.m. (English, Ordinary Form)
Fr 7:30 a.m. (English Ordinary Form, ad orientem), 11:30 a.m., 4:45 p.m. (Latin, Extraordinary Form)
Sa 7:30 a.m. (English, Ordinary Form), 11:30 a.m. (Latin, Ordinary Form)
All Masses are traditional liturgies, some with chant, others with pipe organ and choir, some celebrated in Latin, others in English.
Does your institution offer Confession on campus at least weekly?
List the schedule for Confession by day and time:
Monday – Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., 6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Sunday: 9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
By appointment with a chaplain according to mutual convenience.
Does your institution offer Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at least weekly?
List the schedule for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by day and time:
Monday-Friday: Following 11:30 Mass – 4:45 p.m. (Benediction at 4:30 p.m.)
Sunday: 4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. (In conjunction with Solemn Vespers)
Please identify regularly scheduled devotions on campus for students such as the Rosary and prayer groups:
Liturgy of the Hours
Vespers: Monday-Friday, 4:15 p.m., Saturday 5:00 p.m., Sunday 4:40 p.m.
Readings/Matins: Monday-Saturday, 9:35 p.m. (anticipated for the following day)
Compline: Monday-Saturday, 10:00 p.m.
Sunday Solemn Vespers, 4:30 p.m.
Monday-Saturday, 6:00 p.m.
Sunday after 22:30 Mass
Men and Women Vocation Discernment Groups
Does your institution offer retreat programs available to all Catholic students at least annually?
Please describe any formal programs to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life:
Men’s and Women’s Vocation Discernment Groups.
If your institution has formal vocation programs, about how many students participate in them each year?
The College offers an annual Discernment Weekend where many priests and religious from around the country come to campus and give talks and visit with the students.
Are you aware of any graduates from your institution (not including seminary students, if any) who are ordained to the priesthood or have entered religious life? Please describe.
Yes. As of August 2013, Christendom College has helped foster 152 religious vocations amongst its alumni ranks (74 priests, 50 sisters, 1 deacon, 2 brothers, with 25 men currently in seminary). Students entering religious orders and who take final vows of poverty, chastity and obedience are eligible for loan forgiveness from the College. Students who pursue missionary or other lay apostolic work also qualify for some deferments.
Additional Chaplaincy information, clarification or description (optional):
Christendom has three full-time priests on campus, and welcomes other priests to campus to offer Mass and hear confessions.
St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church is the local Catholic parish (4 miles away) and offers additional Masses on Sunday and throughout the week, including a 12:30 p.m. Sunday Mass, offered in the Extraordinary Form each week.
Please describe options for students to reside on and off campus:
90% of full-time students reside on campus in the college’s residence halls, which are separated by gender. Only students who are living at home, with parents, or who have special needs, may live off campus. These students must get permission from the Dean of Students.
Does your institution offer only single-sex residence halls?
Your institution offers single-sex residence halls for (please put an “X” in front of any that apply):
X All students
Any Student who wishes
All freshmen (only if not “All students”)
What percentage of students living on campus live in single-sex residence halls?
When are students of the opposite sex permitted to visit common areas of residence halls?
Rarely. Officially, there is no intervisitation, but a couple of times a semester, on a given Sunday afternoon, the College holds “Open House” events for students of one sex to visit the residence halls of students of the other sex.
Are students of the opposite sex permitted to visit students’ bedrooms? (Not including irregular (once or twice a semester), “open house” events.)
How does your institution foster sobriety and respond to substance abuse on campus, particularly in campus residences?
Christendom College takes a pro-active approach in fostering sobriety on campus. While students are not allowed to possess or store alcohol in the residence halls or on campus, alcohol is provided to students of legal drinking age at certain school sponsored events. In this way, alcohol consumption happens in a social capacity with limits and accountability to encourage a balanced and moderated approach to drinking. Christendom is also proactive in providing alternatives to the common College “drinking scene”. With College-sponsored and student-organized events every weekend night students have fun, safe, and positive opportunities and outlets during their college years.
Christendom works hard to promote sobriety on campus, but substance abuse is a personal struggle that a few students may encounter. Understanding that a number of factors may contribute to substance abuse the Office of Student Life works hard to provide pastoral care to these students. Spiritual direction is available on campus and references to Catholic counselors are available. In the residence halls, Resident Assistants are trained to recognize the signs of substance abuse and provide residents with the resources and references they need to overcome these struggles. RAs are encouraged to build personal relationships with each resident and foster a strong community in the halls so that they can assist a struggling resident in a truly fraternal matter.
How does your institution foster a student living environment that promotes and supports chastity, particularly in campus residences?
Through both policy and formation we strive to develop students’ sense of chastity and respect for the distinction and dignity of the genders. College is a natural time to begin pursuing a vocation, and while many students pursue romantic relationships during their time here they are asked to refrain from any physical romantic interaction on campus. Unlike many colleges, living a life of chastity and respect for dignity of each gender is the prevailing attitude by students on campus and infrequently needs to be addressed by staff. Lastly, students are also required to comply with a modest dress code that is in place at all times.
While the College recognizes the academic benefits of the internet, we also recognize that it can be an intrusive source of temptation and so internet access is not provided in the residence halls. Men and women are housed separately on campus, which allows for specialized formation events and healthy relationships be fostered throughout the year. In these ways we hope to provide the boundaries and education necessary for students to grow in appreciation of their own dignity and the dignity of others.
Does your institution have formal programs to foster Catholic prayer life and spirituality in campus residences?
There are a number of groups that meet formally and informally to pray together and to grow in virtue, these include the Legion of Mary, as well as lectures and discussions, and through the Student Life Office.
Please identify and briefly describe officially recognized student clubs and activities at your institution that…
foster spiritual development:
The Legion of Mary is a world-wide organization of the lay apostolate. Students in the Legion seek to take the light of faith they receive at Christendom to the wider world. They do so by accepting a routine of prayer and apostolic works—at least two hours a week—thus deepening their faith while bringing it to others. Works include door-to-door evangelization, comforting of the sick and dying in nursing homes, and visitation of inmates at a local prison.
engage in corporal works of mercy:
The College sponsors mission trips during spring break each year, where normally 30% of the students participate. Students can also take part in a variety of corporal works of mercy, including visiting nursing homes, working with a local soup kitchen, volunteering at a Crisis Pregnancy Center, joining with Meals on Wheels, or other such activities.
address sexual issues (including birth control, abortion, homosexuality):
The students have a group called Shield of Roses whose main mission is to prayerfully protest the horrors of abortion each Saturday morning throughout the academic year at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in the metro DC area.
address issues of social concern:
Students for Life and the College Republicans are two groups that are meant to attract students who want to try and make a change to the social status-quo of the country.
address particular academic interests:
The Cincinnatus League is a student group that promotes intellectual interests outside of the classroom and works to bring speakers to campus to broaden their academic experiences. The Chester-Belloc Debate Society exists as an extra-curricular academic opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to come together to discuss important social, religious, or academic subjects in a debate setting.
address particular cultural interests:
Under the direction of Christendom College English Professor Dr. Patrick Keats, The Christendom Players put on a variety of plays and musicals – one in the fall and one in the spring. All students are invited to audition for the plays and others are encouraged to use their talents in helping with set design, make-up, costumes, and music.
provide opportunities for athletic pursuits:
Christendom has 9 varsity inter-collegiate athletic teams and provides opportunities for all students to take part in intramural sports. As part of the USCAA, the College has intercollegiate sports in the following areas: Men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, and soccer, women’s softball, women’s volleyball, and men’s rugby. The intercollegiate sports include whiffle ball, indoor soccer, volleyball, and dodgeball.
please list all student clubs not listed in the above categories:
The Schola Gregoriana assists in the College community’s worship in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by chanting the traditional propers. This all-male group thus beautifies the weekly Sunday Mass, helping to elevate the hearts of the Faithful to interior participation in the Holy Sacrifice. The group also chants the propers for the high feasts celebrated during the school year as well as at the graduation Mass.
Men’s and women’s choir sings for Sunday and feast day Masses on campus. The choir sings sacred polyphony by such noted masters as Palestrina, Victoria, and Josquin des Prez. Occasionally the group gives performances off campus.
The Swing Dance and Contra Dance Clubs are popular with the students, and give them the opportunity to learn to dance and have fellowship with other students.
The Rambler: The student journal dedicated to training the next generation of Catholic journalists and intellectuals to engage the world through the media. Rambler journalists gain invaluable experience reporting and writing about the news, arts and culture, and faith and reason from the perspective of their liberal arts education. As a member of the Collegiate Network (CN), The Rambler offers a unique chance to make contacts and pursue journalistic excellence through CN conferences, news internships, and other valuable opportunities such as the CN’s Geo-Strategic Journalism Course held in Prague.
Holy Rood Guild: This group of women students cares for the vestments and altar linens used in the Chapel, and coordinates displays and decorations for religious celebrations.
Does your institution require all student clubs and activities, including those listed above, to operate in accord with Catholic teaching?
How does your institution address student clubs and activities that may conflict with Catholic teaching?
As a Catholic academic institution, Christendom encourages critical thinking and engagement with the world, while still holding fast to the truths taught by Christ’s Holy Church. For this reason, any student groups that might promote or advocate positions contrary to the Church’s teachings are not allowed to be started or to sponsor events, meetings, or promotions on campus. Activities or clubs that promote teachings, ideas, or actions that oppose what the Church teaches would not be permitted. If a student were to advocate such views through a club or individual action, he or she would be reminded of the Code of Student Conduct and, if actions persist, be subject to the College’s disciplinary procedures.
Does your institution require student services like health care, counseling and guidance to conform to Catholic ethical and moral teaching and directives?
Has your institution’s diocesan bishop (or other competent ecclesiastical authority) officially recognized the institution as Catholic?
Do your institution’s governing documents include or reference the General Norms and Particular (United States) Norms of Ex corde Ecclesiae?
Do your institution’s governing documents or institutional policies require conformity to the General Norms and Particular (United States) Norms of Ex corde Ecclesiae?
What is your institution’s mission statement:
Christendom College is a Catholic coeducational college institutionally committed to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.
The College provides a Catholic liberal arts education, including an integrated core curriculum grounded in natural and revealed truth, the purpose of which at both the undergraduate and graduate levels is to form the whole person for a life spent in the pursuit of truth and wisdom. Intrinsic to such an education is the formation of moral character and the fostering of the spiritual life. This education prepares students for their role as faithful, informed, and articulate members of Christ’s Church and society.
The particular mission of Christendom College, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, is “to restore all things in Christ,” by forming men and women to contribute to the Christian renovation of the temporal order. This mission gives Christendom College its name.
Does your institution have a written policy regarding speakers and honorees that at a minimum meets the standards established by the United States bishops in “Catholics in Political Life?”
If yes, please give the policy:
Christendom College Speakers Policy
As part of the educational process, students and faculty are encouraged to invite guest speakers to campus who have demonstrated expertise in an area of interest to the College community. Registered student clubs and organizations may invite to Christendom College any person who, in their opinion, might contribute to the intellectual, spiritual, or cultural life of the College. Individual students wishing to invite a speaker to campus should seek the sponsorship of a registered club or organization.
Student clubs or organizations planning to host a speaker must consult with the Student Life Office and President’s Office and with faculty in related fields of expertise prior to extending a final invitation. An important effect of such consultation will be to assist the College in its efforts to offer a full, varied, and balanced program of guest speakers that will result in a diverse range of topics and give the opportunity for students to interact with today’s most successful leaders.
This enjoyment of the freedom to express points of view on the widest range of public and private concerns must, however, be subject to reasonable restrictions of time, place, and manner. The right of free speech and expression does not include unlawful activity or activity that in the judgment of the President, Executive Vice President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Dean of Students, would endanger, or imminently threaten to endanger both the physical and spiritual safety of any member(s) of the College community, pose a threat to the physical facilities, or disrupt the normal functions of the College.
Moreover, speech that is indecent or is grossly obscene or grossly offensive on matters such as race, ethnicity, religion or gender is inconsistent with accepted norms of conduct at the College.
Further, honors and awards will not be disposed on speakers who do not embrace the fullness of the Truth as expressed in the Catholic Faith or at least live a life of virtue and excellence as prescribed by the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and do not publically decry any teachings of the Catholic Church.
Obviously, and in all events, the use of the College forum shall not imply acceptance or endorsement by the College of the views expressed.
Describe the makeup of your institution’s undergraduate student body with regard to sex, religion, home state/country and type of high school (public, private, homeschool):
Total number of undergraduates: 469
Male: 42% Female: 58%
Catholic: 99% Other Christian: 1%
Jewish: % Muslim: % Other: %
Number of states represented: 45 (5 foreign countries)
Top three states: Virginia, Pennsylvania, California
Students from top three states: 42%
Catholic HS: 25% Homeschool: 60%
Private HS: 5% Public HS: 10%
Most up-to-date information provided by the College
Editor’s Note: Campus safety and security information for most colleges is available via the U.S. Department of Education website here.
Are prospective and current members of your institution’s governing board(s) informed of their responsibility for maintaining and strengthening the Catholic identity of your institution?
Are more than half of the current members of your institution’s governing board(s) practicing Catholics?
Do Catholic members of your institution’s governing board(s) make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?
Is your institution’s president a practicing Catholic?
Does your institution’s president make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?
A message from the president.
Christ out Lord came to Earth not to make life easy but to make men great by offering us life in its fullness.
Our goal here at Christendom is to help you become the person God made you to be. Our outstanding education, which brings together the truths of faith and reason, will give you the foundation to become a leader in whatever field you enter and to make a deep impact on society as a courageous Catholic leader, of which our troubled world and Church are in such dire need.
If you wish to answer the call and challenge to “Dare to be Great,” then I urge you to join us in our common educational mission and seek to restore all things in Christ.
Dare to join us.
Dr. Timothy T. O’Donnell