Wyoming Catholic College

  • Wyoming Catholic College

    Lander, WY

  • Wyoming Catholic College

    Lander, WY

  • Wyoming Catholic College

    Lander, WY

  • Wyoming Catholic College

    Lander, WY

  • Wyoming Catholic College

    Lander, WY




Catholic Faculty


Catholic Students


On-campus students in single-sex dorms


Wyoming Catholic College (WCC), only recently founded in 2007, is for pioneers. Nestled in a small town near the Wind River Mountain Range and the Pope Agie River, the Great Books college is perfect for nature and outdoor enthusiasts as well as those who want to stretch themselves intellectually in ways they never dreamed possible.

The founders’ statement, “Born in Wonder, Brought to Wisdom: The Philosophical Vision Statement of Wyoming Catholic College,” explains that WCC intends to educate the whole person—body, mind, and spirit—emphasizing seven key objectives: Catholic community, spiritual formation, liberal arts education, integrated curriculum, Great Books, immersion in the outdoors, and excellent teaching.

Students study a pre-set four-year program. The curriculum at Wyoming Catholic College is centered around theology and the humanities; both are studied during all eight semesters. Graduates all receive the same Bachelor of Arts degree.

The College eschews the excessive use of technology in order to foster direct human contact and communication between students and faculty. One of the College’s trademarks is its Freshman Leadership Program (COR Expedition), a three-week backpacking trip in the pristine Wyoming wilderness in August and a one-week winter adventure in January.

The lay-run, independent college has a strong connection to the local bishop, who ex officio is a member of the Board of Directors. The bishop appoints two of the members of the board of directors and can veto any move away from the College’s educational mission. The corporate structure requires that at least two-thirds of the board members be practicing Catholics, and at least two-thirds of the faculty and administrators be practicing Catholics.

There are a total of 15 full-time faculty members and three part-time instructors.

Until the College is able to begin a permanent campus capital campaign, it uses buildings in downtown Lander, Wyoming, for classes, library, computer lab space, and student dining. The Baldwin Building, Lander’s second oldest edifice, serves as the administration and classroom building, library, and adoration chapel. The College uses Holy Rosary Catholic Church parish grounds for daily Mass and temporary residence halls.

In 2018, the College received full institutional accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), its regional accrediting agency. The College’s Board of Directors has voted unanimously to reject Title IV Federal Funds and remain independently funded.

Dr. Glenn Arbery became the third president of Wyoming Catholic College in April 2016.  He taught at a number of Newman Guide-recommended institutions before coming to WCC in 2013 to serve as academic dean and professor of humanities.  A convert to the Faith, Dr. Abery told us that the Catholic identity of WCC will continue to be strengthened under his leadership.

Tuition, room and board are priced at $32,300 for 2019-20. The College is wary of government entanglements and so does not participate in the federal student aid programs, but it provides generous scholarships, grants, work-study offerings, and loans from its own resources. Total enrollment is 155 students, with a goal of 400 at the future permanent campus.


In addition to the Theology and Humanities course, students take courses in Philosophy, Math, Science, Art, Music, Trivium, Latin, and Leadership.

The added outdoor component offers hands-on leadership skills that build self-confidence. At the 21-day orientation involves all incoming freshmen, split into male and two female sections with a chaplain, and three professional instructors who are certified through the Catholic Outdoor Retreat (COR), WCC’s outdoor training program. COR also works with students in risk-management training. All freshmen take a two-and-a-half day wilderness medical training course to learn how to manage injuries in the wild.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are expected to go on at least two of four week-long outdoor courses that are offered each year. These consist of everything from white-water rafting and kayaking to canyoneering, backpacking and mountain climbing and are built into the academic calendar so they do not conflict with class.

Another unique component of the Wyoming Catholic curriculum is a field-based science course that includes botany, wildlife, astronomy, and geology.

Wyoming Catholic has a distinct conversational Latin program that uses an immersion style of teaching where only Latin is spoken in the classroom.

All faculty members must agree not to undermine Church teaching or Vatican authority and to support WCC’s spiritual vision. At the Convocation Mass each fall, Catholic faculty as well as the president, dean of students, and chaplains profess their faith and recite an Oath of Fidelity in the presence of the Bishop or his delegate. In addition, any faculty who teach theology are required to obtain the canon law mandatum.


Holy Rosary Parish Mass is said at 8 a.m. daily. An Ordinary Form Mass is celebrated in English with Gregorian chant at noon on all weekdays, and  at 7 p.m. on Sunday. The Extraordinary Form is celebrated on Wednesday at noon and Sunday at 7:50 a.m.(a sung High Mass). Each month, a bi-ritual priest, celebrates a fully-sung Byzantine Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

Approximately 60 percent of students attend daily Mass, and all attend Sunday Mass. A sizeable number of students have expressed interest in a priestly or religious vocation.

The campus is served by two full-time chaplains, who celebrate Mass and hear confessions daily and are available for spiritual direction throughout the week.

Eucharistic adoration is held at theDeSmet Chapel (in the Baldwin Building) every weekday afternoon. There are also a number of prayer groups, such as Rosary and Compline, as well as spirituality practicums – small groups of students that meet and discuss various spiritual classics.


Until the permanent campus is built, there are three women’s residences and three men’s residences located next door to Holy Rosary. In addition, there are two apartment buildings—one male, one female–and a hotel wing where students are housed. On weeknights there is a 10:30 p.m. curfew; weekend curfew is midnight. Opposite-sex visitation is prohibited, as are drugs and alcohol. Complimentary laundry facilities are provided in the residence halls.

Because Wyoming Catholic is small, meal service is mandatory. In the dining hall, students may choose between the entrée of the day, chicken breast, make your own Panini sandwich, soup, or salad bar. Additionally there are special entrées for allergen sensitive individuals.

The College has a unique technology policy. Cell phones and smart phones are prohibited. If students own cell phones, they are locked up with the prefect. Students traveling long distances are free to check out their phones. Each room in the residence hall has its own cordless phone and answering machine with free internet-based calling service. Students may not have personal televisions. Electronic devices are not permitted during class. Outside of public spaces, such as the library and computer lab, there is no personal use of the Internet. A number of computers are available for student use in the library and in the mail room. Students are able to use their laptops to check their school email account in their dorm rooms, but all other Internet usage is blocked.

Frassati Hall houses a student lounge, and general assembly hall used primarily as the cafeteria.

The College also owns and operates Crux Coffee and Tea next to the Baldwin Building, where students gather daily and where formal College events are hosted.

The College has a three-tier dress code: formal, classroom, and casual dress. Classroom dress for men means a collared shirt with slacks or dress jeans. For women it means modest skirts or pants. Formal dress is for Sunday Masses and formal lectures: for men, a jacket and tie; for women, a dress or skirt. Appropriate casual dress is permitted at other times.

Lander is a thriving mid-size town with a population of 8,000. There are a number of hotels, banks and credit unions, restaurants, cafés, four hardware stores, theater, Shopko, and grocery stores all located along the main thoroughfare.

The crime rate is well below the national average and reflects property, rather than violent, crime. However, one statistic that is well above the norm is snowfall; Wyoming winters provide for an abundance of outdoor sports, including skiing.

The town has an 81-bed Lander Valley Medical Center that is supplemented by the Riverton Memorial Hospital, about a half-hour away.

Access to Lander isn’t easy. Students typically fly into Salt Lake City or Denver. Riverton, only slightly larger than Lander, has a regional airport with daily flights into and out of Denver International Airport. Around breaks and holidays, students volunteer to help transport people to Denver and Salt Lake.


Student activities are developing, with significant emphasis on outdoor pursuits.

Students can join the Wyoming Catholic College Choir. Classic movie nights, dances, intramural sports, and informal social activities round out the free-time opportunities. There are four dances each year – in October, at Christmas, at Candlemas, and in the spring. There is a special day of prayer and festivity in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary as well as a special celebration of Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, patroness of the College, in early February.

A variety of clubs have already sprung up on campus, including an Opera Society that makes an annual excursion to a live opera. On Sunday evenings, swing dancing is popular. There are also Latin immersion weekends and backpacking trips.

Students can use a high school gym for basketball and also participate in intramural or pickup games of volleyball, indoor soccer, football, rugby, softball, and ultimate Frisbee. They can also access a swimming pool, a rock climbing gym, and recreational facilities in town.

Students have been involved in various social projects: teaching catechesis classes on the Wind River Indian Reservation, working with Habitat for Humanity, annual trips to Christ in the City in Denver to work with the homeless, and teaching classes to local fifth-graders.

There is a Students for Life group which organizes participation in various pro-life activities. Students travel to San Francisco to attend the Walk for Life West Coast.

Bottom Line

The motto of Wyoming Catholic College is “Wisdom in God’s Country.”

This College is likely to appeal to students seeking a different kind of undergraduate experience. With its outdoor leadership and equestrian component, its unique immersion Latin program, its four-year double focus on humanities and sacred theology, and its strong emphasis on written and oral rhetoric, there’s no other Catholic college quite like it.

In the words of one faculty member, “The students who come now and in the next few years are going to be the co-creators, actively involved in something that is going to make a significant contribution to Catholic colleges in America.”

Questions & Answers

Each year, the Newman Society asks the colleges recommended in The Newman Guide to answer the following questions. Below you will find the responses that we received directly from Wyoming Catholic College.

Is your institution accredited by at least one regional or national education association? (Yes/No)


Please identify each accreditor and indicate whether it is approved by the U.S. Department of Education:

WCC has received full institutional accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), its regional accrediting agency.

Please cite evidence of student or alumni accomplishment, such as graduation rate, graduate school placement, job placement, awards, etc.

Of our five graduated classes, currently 16% are enrolled in graduate school, while 21% are serving in education, 4% in nursing or medicine, 14% in business, 2% in law enforcement, 5% in pursuing religious vocations or ministry, 3% in agriculture, and 23% in other areas such as government, outdoor education, engineering, and the non-profit sector.

Please identify any notable public recognition of your institution’s academic quality in the last three years, such as rankings, awards, etc.

The majority of college ranking systems and awards are dependent on a college or university’s accreditation status and peer review. While Wyoming Catholic College is rapidly building a national reputation for its serious, enthusiastic pursuit of the Good, True, and Beautiful, it remains a young institution. As such, it has yet to regularly appear on such systems and rankings.

Without neglecting difficult topics and ideas, how does your institution avoid leading students into serious error and spiritual harm through blasphemous, dissident, or heretical material in the bookstore, library, lectures, and course content? 

WCC doesn’t have a bookstore so that part does not apply; each semester our students are provided with the set of books read in the curriculum. We have a modest library, and given our limited shelf space we try to limit our holdings to books that complement the Great Books approach that we take to education. Books considered part of the “canon” of the Great Books of Western Civilization are prioritized, or those books that are written about or in response to them. Many of the books that are part of the canon, however, may rightly be considered dissident or heretical: Marx, Gibbon, Calvin, Hume, Voltaire, Nietzsche and more could rightly be given the title. In fact, some of the most powerful ways of presenting such are ideas are found in these classic works, and we don’t shy away from reading them. We don’t see our role as protecting students from encountering such material, but we do see ourselves as teaching the students how to effectively engage with it. In our view, a liberally educated Catholic is one who can read the most eloquent and powerful attacks on the faith and confront them with the force and strength of the Catholic intellectual tradition. To that end, all of our faculty promise to teach the texts in the program in dialogue with the life of faith and the Catholic tradition and mentor the students through their encounter with the texts. If students struggle with the ideas presented, they reach out to both faculty and chaplains who help the students grow in their faith through the encounter with these challenges.

How are the insights of the Catholic faith integrated throughout the curriculum and course content in all subject areas?

Fundamentally, WCC is committed to teaching its students the harmony of faith and reason, and every aspect of the curriculum is devoted to this goal. As our Philosophical Vision Statements notes: “Catholic tradition holds that there are two means, by reason and by divine faith, the respective objects of which are natural and revealed truth.” There are eight semesters of theology in which the student focuses on the mystery of faith, being immersed in Scripture, formed in the witness of the Church of Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and instructed by the Universal Magisterium of the Church. Throughout those semesters, reason is brought into the discussion in service to illuminating the fundamental mysteries of the Catholic Faith. Beyond Theology, our founding vision states: “The rock of philosophy underlying Wyoming Catholic College is called the Philosophia Perennis, the Perennial Philosophy. It is called “perennial” (or “traditional”) insofar as it follows the common understanding of God, man, and reality handed down from the ancient Greek philosophers (Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle) and the Bible through the Christian Middle Ages and the Renaissance into our own times. In our six semesters of philosophy, WCC gives St. Thomas Aquinas pride of place among philosophers and follows him as the teacher of the perennial philosophy. But these philosophical principles are sharpened and honed especially in the Math and Science sequence, where students strive to understand the natural world through math and science and consider how the modern scientific method relates to the perennial philosophy. The capstone courses of the sequence consider science in relation to philosophy as we consider modern physics, and then science in relation to theology as we study the science of evolution. In the Humanities and Art sequences, students are formed by the works of imaginative literature, history, music, and visual arts and they explicitly consider those works both in their own right and in relation to both the truths and the lived experience of the faith. Further, students confront the challenges to the perennial philosophy in those sequences, whether the epicureanism of Lucretius, the pragmatism of Machiavelli, or the cynicism of Voltaire, and confront those authors with all of the tools with which the curriculum has equipped them. In Latin the students explicitly reflect on the relation between the Latin Language and Christian Culture.

How does the institution’s academic program form students in love and knowledge of God, for sainthood?

The academic program forms students in faith and reason, the two wings whereby the human spirit rises to contemplate God. With reason we consider the world created by God and directed by His providence. Through our immersion in the natural world, literature and the fine arts, and our immersion in the world of faith principally through Scripture, Liturgy, and our Christian community, students encounter God and his works at an existential visceral level that is intended to move them to wonder and delight in Him who is the author of both nature and revelation. The students are then trained to reflect on these experiences carefully so that their speculative considerations never leave behind the fundamental encounter with God and His work that underlies all of our study. In this combination of immersive encounter and principled reflection, we hope students will feel a wonder at God, discipline their minds to correctly contemplate Him, and burn with a desire to know Him ever better.

How does the institution’s academic program prepare students for the renewal of culture in the light of Christ?

While the immersion and reflection described above are the core of what we do in the program, WCC believes that truth, once experienced and then known more clearly through disciplined reflection, is a common good; it is a good meant to be shared. So we are required to give students the skills to share it. With our emphasis on discussion-based classroom instruction, students are trained in the art of conversing about the most important things, and through our courses on written and spoken classical rhetoric students are trained to share the good news they have learned in their time at WCC. In addition, our Outdoor Leadership Program gives students frequent opportunities to practice servant leadership, to stretch into the wider community through service projects, and to reflect on their experience of working in a group to learn better and better how to cooperate and achieve great things. This practical training in communication and leadership, building as it does on the experiential encounter and disciplined thinking, raises up students well suited to renewing the wider culture in the light of Christ.

What is the median SAT and ACT of your most recently admitted class? (Note that some colleges may not require one or both scores from all students) 

SAT: 1180

ACT: 25

What is the median H.S. GPA of your most recently admitted class?


Additional Academic Quality information, clarification or description (optional)

WCC offers all its students a demanding, fully integrated four-year program that aims at the education of the whole person in all three dimensions—bodily, spiritual, and intellectual. Using primarily Great Books, students undertake a comprehensive curriculum of classical subjects, including Humanities, Theology, Philosophy, Art History, Music, Mathematics, Science, Trivium, and Latin, in an order that best introduces the principles, methods, and major conclusions of each, as well as their many interrelationships.  Students also participate in an Outdoor Leadership Program that teaches real-life skills and virtues. A horsemanship program is also required. Finally, ample opportunities for spiritual growth are part and parcel of the campus way of life.

Are more than half of the current members of your faculty practicing Catholics? (Yes/No)


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? (Yes/No)


How are faculty members informed of this responsibility?

Are members of your teaching faculty required, as a condition of employment, to be faithful to the magisterium of the Catholic Church in all teaching activities? (Yes/No)


Are members of your teaching faculty required, as a condition of employment, to conform to Catholic moral teaching in their public actions and statements both on and off campus?


Do all Catholic faculty members make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity? (Yes/No)


Please identify key undergraduate faculty members who are noted experts in their field, have produced important publications, have leadership roles in academic associations, etc. and briefly describe such accomplishments (optional):

Many of our faculty have produced important academic publications or given major papers at conferences. Dr. Holmes is a noted Scripture scholar. Dr. Kozinski has published a much-discussed book, The Political Problem of Religious Pluralism: And Why Philosophers Can’t Solve It. Dr. Kwasniewski has published two books: Wisdom’s Apprentice: Essays in Honor of Fr. Lawrence Dewan and On Love and Charity: Readings from the Sentences Commentary of St. Thomas Aquinas, as well as over 150 scholarly and popular articles. Dr. Llewellyn is a world-renowned expert in the teaching of Latin as a living language. Dr. Mortensen was awarded the Vatican Pontifical Academies’ Prize for his dissertation on analogy. Professor Baxter’s translation of Fosca’s commentary on Dante’s Inferno is due to be published by ISI Books. Professor Owens has published annotated editions of Latin texts. Dr. Glenn Arbery and Dr. Virginia Arbery are highly regarded teachers and well published scholars in the area of the humanities.

Additional faculty information, clarification, or description (optional):

Although our faculty have impressive credentials and publications, all of them are completely dedicated to undergraduate teaching as their primary occupation. Our current 9:1 student:teacher ratio makes frequent interaction and extended conversations a part of everyday life at the College.

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? (Yes/No)


Do all faculty in the theological disciplines make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity? (Yes/No)

Yes. All Catholic faculty at WCC, regardless of discipline, make the Profession of Faith and take the Oath of Fidelity each academic year.  While we know that this is not strictly required, we wish to go beyond the minimum and demonstrate that all our Catholic faculty are committed to teaching all disciplines ad mentem ecclesiae. Any non-Catholic who teaches at the College must make an annual public pledge to respect the teachings and teaching authority of the Church and the Pope’s authority as head of the Church.

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? (Yes/No)


Please identify the theology courses that are included in the undergraduate core or distribution requirements and the professors who routinely teach those courses:

All students are required to take the following courses: THL 101: Salvation History I; THL 102: Salvation History II; THL 201: The Mystery of the Trinity; THL 202: Creation and Providence; THL 301: Grace, Sin, and Redemption; THL 302: The Mystery of the Incarnation; THL 401: The Body of Christ; THL 402: Life in Christ. There are also optional theology practica that assist students in such areas as praying with Scripture, participating more fruitfully in the Mass, and discerning their vocations. The professors who most frequently teach these courses are Dr. Holmes, Dr. Kwasniewski, Dr. Mortensen, and Mr. Washut. Other qualified teachers have taught certain semesters, always with the mandatum.

Please describe the place of Catholic theology in your institution’s undergraduate curriculum and how it is distinct from other institutions.

To our knowledge, Wyoming Catholic College is the only undergraduate program in which students, over the course of eight semesters, study in their proper order both salvation history and the essential mysteries of the Catholic Faith, with a “Great Books” approach: Sacred Scripture, documents of Catholic Tradition, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the Popes and Councils. As a result the curriculum is extremely rich and profound in its engagement with the fundamental questions of Catholic theology, its application in the spiritual life of each student, and its power for the New Evangelization.

Additional theology information, clarification, or description (optional):

In theology at WCC, each student attains a synoptic view of revealed truth by studying the fundamentals of sacred doctrine in all the major divisions of its subject-matter, that is, the different mysteries of faith. Because Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium are indissolubly bound in unity, as Vatican II’s Dei Verbum teaches, theology at WCC is characterized by a deep and sustained encounter with all three of these constitutive elements. Over the span of eight semesters students ponder the mysteries sitting at the feet of the best teachers: inspired authors of Scripture, great Fathers and Doctors of the Church (especially St. Thomas Aquinas), and the bishops in council and the popes to whom the Lord has entrusted his flock.

Please identify any course that every undergraduate student must take:

Because we have an integrated Great Books curriculum, all students take all courses; there are no majors, minors, or electives (although there are optional Latin reading groups and theology practica). Concretely, this means:

eight semesters of humanities (during the courses we cover the history of Western Civilization including: Ancient Greece; Ancient Rome; The Middle Ages; The Renaissance; Enlightenment and Post-Enlightenment; American Culture; Modernity);

eight semesters of theology (see above);

six semesters of philosophy (The Tools of Philosophy; Philosophy of Nature; Philosophy of the Soul; Ethics; Politics; Metaphysics & Modern Philosophy);

four semesters of fine arts (Classical and Byzantine Art; Medieval to Baroque Art; Music History and Theory I & II);

eight semesters of mathematics and natural science (Field Science I; Euclidean Geometry I & II; Mathematical Reasoning; Scientific Reasoning; Field Science II; Science and Natural Philosophy I & II);

six semesters of Trivium (over these semesters, students learn written and oral rhetoric, how to research, and complete their Senior Thesis and Oration);

four semesters of Latin (Elementary and Intermediate, I & II, and one Latin Reading Group during Junior and Senior years for maintenance and further study);

and two semesters of horsemanship. There are also Leadership Courses that require students to plan, prepare, and lead week long outdoor trips throughout Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah.

Please identity the courses that students may choose from in order to satisfy common curriculum distribution requirements:


How many credits are required for graduation and what percent are from core / distribution courses?

138 credits     100%  are required courses

Is every undergraduate student required to take one or more courses in which they are taught authentic Catholic doctrine and practice? (Yes/No)


If yes, please describe them generally and note how many courses are required?

All students are required to take a sequence of eight semesters of theology that build on each other in the proper order, with readings taken from the great sources of this science (Scripture, Tradition, Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the Magisterium). In addition, students may opt to take theology practica. For more details, see the earlier question on the theology curriculum.

Is every undergraduate student required to take one or more interdisciplinary courses relating theology or philosophy with other disciplines? (Yes/No)


Number of majors:


List the major, minor and special program areas that students may choose for specialization while pursuing an undergraduate degree:

WCC offers a single degree program, the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts—a total of 136 credits comprising imaginative literature, history, philosophy, theology, writing, reasoning, oratory, Latin, art history, music, mathematics, natural science, and outdoor leadership. WCC’s liberal arts program comes from a distinguished tradition and is reflected in a carefully designed, chronologically and disciplinarily integrated curriculum.

What are the three most popular majors or specialty disciplines for undergraduate students, and about what percentage of undergraduate students specialize in these disciplines?

Liberal Arts, 100%

Does each undergraduate degree program require Catholic ethical formation related to the student’s major field(s) of study?

Theology is woven so thoroughly into the rest of the curriculum and life of the College that theological considerations of the issues and problems raised in other disciplines happen regularly and by design within the required curriculum.

Does your institution regularly provide academic events to address theological questions related to specialized disciplines?

Yes – not only by means of the curriculum itself, as explained above, but also by means of the Distinguished Lecturer Series and the Faculty Lecture Series.

Does your institution require cooperation among faculty in different disciplines in teaching, research and other academic activities?


If yes, please describe.

All the faculty meet weekly to discuss how classes are going and to arrive at a more shared understanding of the curriculum and its immense potential for integration at all levels. Moreover, faculty in each disciplinary area meet regularly in Curriculum Committees to discuss readings, assessments, and strategies. Faculty often give informal lectures in which the results of their own research and reflection are shared and discussed by students and other faculty. And teachers take lunch together with students and colleagues many days of the week, which produces a rich culture of conversation.

Additional Programs of Study information, clarification or description:

The Theology Practica comprise optional courses in which students discuss classics of Catholic spirituality and important practical matters such as how to participate more fruitfully in the Mass and how to discern one’s vocation in life.

Does the institution have one or more priest chaplains on campus for the Sacraments and spiritual direction? (Yes/No)

Yes, two full-time chaplains are employed by the College

On average, how many hours per week is a priest chaplain on campus and available to students?


Please describe the priests who minister to students and celebrate the Sacraments on campus.

We have one Roman Rite chaplain who is on loan from a diocese and one Byzantine Rite chaplain who has settled in Lander.

Does the local bishop (or other competent ecclesiastical authority) select or approve the appointment of your priest chaplain(s)? (Yes/No)


Does the institution have one or more campus ministers on campus (lay or religious, but not priests) who are available to students for spiritual direction? (Yes/No)


Please describe the campus ministers who are not priests.


Does your institution offer Mass to students at least on Sundays and other days of obligation? (Yes/No)


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? (Yes/No)


On average, about how many undergraduate students attend daily Mass during the academic year?

Approximately 60%

Does your institution offer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to students? (Yes/No – if yes, when and how often?)

Yes. Three to four times per week.

Are all of the Masses celebrated on campus reverent and in accord with liturgical norms and directives? (Yes/No)


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.):

Monday-Friday 11:30 AM (Monday and Wednesday Extraordinary Form)

Sunday: 8AM (EF) 7pm (OF)

Byzantine Divine Liturgy: 1 Saturday per month

Does your institution offer Confession on campus at least weekly? (Yes/No)


List the schedule for Confession by day and time:

Mo 4-5 p.m.

We 4-5 p.m.

Th 4-5 p.m.

Fr 4-5 p.m.

Does your institution offer Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at least weekly? (Yes/No)


List the schedule for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by day and time:

Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Please identify regularly scheduled devotions on campus for students such as the Rosary and prayer groups:

Sunday Lauds: 7 a.m.

Sunday Vespers: 4:30 p.m.

Daily Compline: 8:30 p.m.

Daily Rosary: 8:10 p.m.

Does your institution offer retreat programs available to all Catholic students at least annually? (Yes/No)

Fall Retreat for freshmen
Annual Easter retreat for college community
Spring Retreat for Sophomores
Spring Retreat for Seniors

Please describe any formal programs to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life:

During the year, the College hosts visits from representatives of religious communities and dioceses who speak about vocational discernment (such talks have attracted up to 60 students). Annual trips are organized to visit religious houses or seminaries, and a reading rack of vocational materials is kept in a prominent place in the Library reading room.

If your institution has formal vocation programs, about how many students participate in them each year?

Vocational talks attract about half the student body; discernment trips and retreats garner 15-20 individuals.

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.

Since WCC is so new (with just six graduated classes), we do not yet have alumni who are ordained. Alumni vocations include nuns with the Norbertines in California, the Carmelites of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Nebraska, and Our Lady of the Rock in Washington State,; and one monk at Clear Creek Abbey in Oklahoma. Currently, about fifteen students are actively discerning a call to the priesthood and religious life.

Does your institution limit religious services and activities on campus (not including private prayer and devotions) to faithfully Catholic activities? (Yes/No)


Additional Chaplaincy information, clarification, or description (optional):

The sacred liturgy—and above all, the Holy Eucharist—is “the source and summit” of the Christian life. The class schedule at WCC is devised to allow all students, faculty, and staff to attend Mass every day. The Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, and other fixed or seasonal hymns and prayers are typically sung in Gregorian chant; both Forms of the Roman Rite are held in high regard. Marian devotion is plentiful, including a procession in October in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary. There are a number of processions during the year, including one to the local cemetery on All Souls Day. Groups of students recite or chant portions of the Divine Office on a regular basis. Eucharistic Adoration takes place all afternoon, every weekday. There are frequent opportunities for the Sacrament of Penance and spiritual direction. Each year features a Fall Retreat and an Easter Retreat. The Theology Practica delve into topics such as how to pray with Scripture (lectio divina), how to participate more fruitfully in the liturgy, and how to discern one’s vocation in life.

Please describe options for students to reside on and off campus:

Since learning takes place not only in the classroom but in many places on and off campus (including lessons learned through community life), WCC students are required to live in appointed residence halls on or near the interim campus in Lander. All residence halls are single-sex and intervisitation is not allowed. The College employs a full-time Director of Student Life and utilizes a Prefect system.

What percentage of students reside in housing offered by your institution?


Does your institution offer only single-sex residence halls? (Yes/No)


What percentage of students living on campus live in single-sex residence halls? 


If your institution offers co-ed residence halls, how are students of the opposite sex separated?


When are students of the opposite sex permitted to visit common areas of residence halls?

Never. This is an expellable offense.

Are students of the opposite sex ever permitted to visit students’ bedrooms? (Not including irregular “open house” events, once or twice a semester.) (Yes/No – if yes, when?)


If students of the opposite sex are visiting students’ bedrooms, does your institution require that doors are fully open and lights on? Please describe.


How does your institution foster sobriety and respond to substance abuse on campus, particularly in campus residences?

The Student Handbook at WCC, which all students are required to read, contains the following section: “The temperate use of alcoholic beverages is in no way opposed to Christian maturity, and can be a good in the service of leisure.  At the same time alcohol is a powerful substance that requires sufficient maturity if it is to be used well.  For this reason the state of Wyoming prohibits those under the age of twenty-one from consuming alcoholic beverages. In obedience to this law, the College forbids any use of alcoholic beverages by those under legal age.  As a result, underage drinking, even when off campus, or the providing of alcoholic beverages to underage persons, is punishable even to the point of expulsion.  In addition, the possession or use of alcoholic beverages by any student, regardless of age, is strictly forbidden on campus or on expeditions utilizing college resources (equipment, vouchers, vehicles, etc.), and will normally entail expulsion from the program. The possession or use of illegal drugs is strictly forbidden and will normally entail expulsion from the program.”

In pursuance of this clear policy, WCC has expelled students or placed them on disciplinary probation in the few cases where infractions have occurred. The Prefect system and the small size of the campus make infractions of the above policy difficult to hide, and we are happy to report that the campus has a reputation for sobriety.

How does your institution foster a student living environment that promotes and supports chastity, particularly in campus residences?

On campus the rules are strict, and the student body, which is made up almost entirely of seriously practicing Catholic students, are eager to keep the rules in order to reap their moral benefit. Further, no student is allowed to engage in public displays of affection with others, nor are men and women allowed in opposite sex dorms under any circumstances. Lastly the theology practica offer deep spiritual enrichment for students and real-world advice on chastity.

How does your institution foster Catholic prayer life and spirituality in campus residences?

In the dormitories the students come together right after curfew for common prayers. Since each dorm is dedicated to a particular saint, the residents of it celebrate that feast day in a particular way. Dorms are blessed twice a year, at the beginning of the fall semester and right after Easter. Students are encouraged to place crucifixes and other holy images in their rooms. The formal program for fostering the students’ prayer life and spirituality is, however, the theology practica.

Please identify and briefly describe officially recognized student clubs and activities at your institution that…

…foster spiritual development:

In addition to the activities already mentioned (Eucharistic Adoration, Vespers, Compline, Rosary, processions), spiritual “brotherhoods” and “sisterhoods” are encouraged and often guided by a staff or faculty member. Student dormitories are arranged into households for the fostering of a healthy community life.

…engage in corporal works of mercy:

Students on a regular basis go to visit the elderly in local nursing homes and visit local schools to teach classes.

…address sexual issues (including birth control, abortion, homosexuality):

Each year faculty and staff conduct discussions about dating and chastity in groups separated by sex and age. The theology of marriage and family, including Theology of the Body issues, are treated in various theology courses.

…address issues of social concern:

Students attend the Walk for Life West Coast and there is a Student’s for Life group on campus that organizes other pro-life activities.

A group of students meets regularly to discuss and learn more about political science and theory, often sending members to conferences with the Center for Ethics and Culture (Notre Dame), Edith Stein Conference (Notre Dame), and Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

…address particular academic interests:


…address particular cultural interests:

The College Choir sings regularly at liturgies and produces recordings; it has performed in places such as Cheyenne, Denver, and Washington State, and currently numbers about 40 students. The Opera Society organizes an annual live opera trip.

…provide opportunities for athletic pursuits:

Intramural sports every Wednesday: basketball, soccer, volleyball, flag football, ultimate frisbee; free membership to a full-service gymnasium including a climbing wall; free access to an Olympic-sized swimming pool; students also participate in athletic events and outings in the town of Lander.

…please list all student clubs not listed in the above categories:


If applicable, in which athletic Division and Conference does your institution compete? (Please specify NCAA, NAIA, etc. as well as Division level.)


What athletic teams are offered for men and women?


How do you help develop the mind, body, and soul of student-athletes?


Does your institution require all student clubs and activities, including those listed above, to operate in accord with Catholic teaching? (Yes/No)


How does your institution address student clubs and activities that may conflict with Catholic teaching?

Given our small size and the clear rules governing student clubs and activities, this problem is excluded.

Does your institution require student services like health care, counseling and guidance to conform to Catholic ethical and moral teaching and directives? (Yes/No)


How does your institution restrict student access to obscene and pornographic material, including computer and network access, the library, and the bookstore?

Our library and bookstore is actively managed by college employees.  The students’ internet access is limited to only those sites needed for student life and academics.

Additional Student Activities information, clarification, or description (optional):

While there are no official clubs, there are groups of students who do certain activities that interest them. The Dean of Student Life monitors such groups to ensure that they are in keeping with Catholic teaching.

Has your institution’s diocesan bishop (or other competent ecclesiastical authority) officially recognized the institution as Catholic? (Yes/No)


Do your institution’s governing documents include or reference the General Norms and Particular (United States) Norms of Ex Corde Ecclesiae? (Yes/No)


Do your institution’s governing documents or institutional policies require conformity to the General Norms and Particular (United States) Norms of Ex Corde Ecclesiae? (Yes/No)


What is your institution’s mission statement?

The College has published, in effect, three statements of its mission: a summary version (one sentence), a medium-length version (one page), and a long version (a booklet, the Philosophical Vision Statement, which is in fact part of our Articles of Incorporation). The medium-length version appears in our Catalog as follows:

Wyoming Catholic College is a four-year college committed to offering a liberal arts education that steeps its students in the awesome beauty of our created, natural world and imbues them with the best that has been thought and said in Western civilization, including the moral and intellectual heritage of the Catholic Church. The College strives to promote a love of learning, an understanding of natural order, and the quest for virtuous living so that its graduates will assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society.

The curriculum and campus are devoted to the formation of the whole person, i.e., the spiritual, physical, and intellectual dimensions. Studies include the classics of imaginative literature, history, mathematics, science, philosophy, fine arts, and theology. They employ Great Books as well as the natural created world, effecting a rich combination of intellectual and experiential-poetic knowledge. Students’ imaginations are enriched and their capacity for wonder deepened. Moreover, students and faculty share in a campus life that reflects the ideals taught directly and indirectly in the classroom.

In the Catholic tradition, emphasis is placed not on the dissemination of information but rather on the development and perfection of the intellect, the passions, and the will, enabling students to approach and embrace the good, the true, and the beautiful throughout their lives.

In addressing the whole person, the College contributes to the students’ spiritual and moral formation. This is done via Catholic culture, context, and traditions. The College is staunchly faithful to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church and the deposit of faith handed down over the past two thousand years.

Does your institution have a written policy prohibiting awards, honors, or speaking platforms for individuals or organizations that defy, by public action or statement, fundamental Catholic moral principles including the sacredness and dignity of human life and the sanctity of marriage? (See United States bishops, “Catholics in Political Life.”)(Yes/No) 


Please give or explain your campus speaker and honoree policy in light of Catholic moral teaching:

Given the clear rules governing the invitation of speakers and honorees, this problem has never arisen and will not arise.

Additional Institutional Identity information, clarification, or description (optional):

“Born in Wonder, Brought to Wisdom”: The Philosophical Vision Statement of Wyoming Catholic College was voted by the Board of Directors to be part of the Articles of Incorporation of the institution, so that fidelity to the detailed articulation of the mission would be an essential and unchangeable part of our very identity. Faculty and administrators are hired only if they have read and agreed with the Philosophical Vision Statement.

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: 187

Male: 50%  Female: 50%

Catholic: 98%  Other Christian: %
Jewish: %  Muslim: %  Other: 2%

Students are from 41 different states, 2 Canadian provinces, and the Netherlands.

66.3% Homeschool, 18.2% Catholic or Private school, 15.5% Public school

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? (Yes/No)


Are more than half of the current members of your institution’s governing board(s) practicing Catholics? (Yes/No)


Do Catholic members of your institution’s governing board(s) make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity? (Yes/No)


Is your institution’s president a practicing Catholic? (Yes/No)


Does your institution’s president make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity? (Yes/No)


Additional Leadership information, clarification, or description (optional):

In addition to all faculty, the president, and the Board of Directors making the Profession of Faith and the Oath of Fidelity, the College’s chaplains and Dean of Students do the same each year at the Convocation Mass.

A Message from the President

Dear Parents and Prospective Students,

Most colleges in America have “orientation sessions” for incoming freshmen. At Wyoming Catholic College, freshmen arrive a month before the start of classes, and after a week of preparation, they go in groups of eight or ten up into the mountains of Wyoming for a 21-day backpacking expedition, each group led by experienced leaders and accompanied by a chaplain. They come back down transformed by beauty, by adventure, and by bonds of community.

In his book The Restoration of Christian Culture, John Senior argues that no education can be genuine unless it acknowledges the existence of God not as a feeling but as a fact. As Dr. Senior writes, “This First Principle and Foundation sets up a new economy by which to measure schools, curricula, subjects, teachers, and students; if you accept it, not just something but everything will change.”

Wyoming Catholic College exists entirely within this “new economy.” We embody a departure from contemporary culture—a bold new education in which everything has changed, not from the ancient tradition of the Church or fidelity to the Magisterium, but from the spiritually aimless, skeptical, specialized practice of most colleges and universities today. After their 21-day trip, everything has already changed for our students, and the transformation will continue to deepen throughout their four years here, reinforced by outdoor trips and opportunities for service each semester.

No one else does what Wyoming Catholic College does. I say that having taught for the last 40 years at colleges in Houston and Dallas, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. What students learn here is rooted in wonder: the work of the intellect rests firmly upon the majestic reality of the created world, not the obsession-ridden virtual world of video games and devices. Liberated from cell phones, students grow through the experience of their senses in the clear Rocky Mountain West—and also through horsemanship, dance, field science, and stargazing.

In the classroom, students move into the sphere of thought and continue this ennobling formation of imagination and intellect through the matchless challenge of the Great Books. They climb the rugged trails of thought in theology, literature, philosophy, history, science, and mathematics. In our unique Latin classes, they learn the “language of the Church” with a living, spoken fluency. Throughout their four years, they get to know our excellent faculty as individuals and mentors, not only in classes, but in faculty homes, in the Junior Author project, and in the intensive tutorial sessions of the Senior Thesis and Oration.

What is our aim with this in education “so ancient and so new,” in St. Augustine’s words? When I gave my Inaugural Address last August, I said, “Our calling is to ennoble our students, to prepare them for the heroism and humility they will need in order to bear witness to the truth. Our task is to make the essential freshness of the tradition appear. Those in the culture who now drift into excesses and errors because of prevailing opinion need to be able to see the greatness of the alternative embodied in this education. The world needs young people who are firm in moral conviction, deeply sane, imaginative, articulate, compassionate, and touched by divine fire.”

Our students fit that description. We know that they will have a disproportionate impact in the world in the service of God. We hope that you will feel the call to join us.

In His Mercy,

Glenn C. Arbery, Ph.D.


Visit Campus

Get in touch with Wyoming Catholic College to schedule your campus visit:


306 Main Street
Lander, Wyoming 82520


Ave Maria University FacebookAve Maria University InstagramAve Maria University Youtube