A Tale of Five Liberal Arts Grads - Cardinal Newman Society

A Tale of Five Liberal Arts Grads

“But what will you do with your liberal arts degree?” If you’ve ever been asked this question—or if you’ve asked it of someone else—then this article is for you.

My roommates and I fielded that question from friends and family throughout college. We attended one of the faithful Catholic universities recommended in The Newman Guide, with a solid core curriculum including theology and philosophy.

We had a wide variety of majors to choose from—including computer science, biology and accounting—but my roommates and I studied philosophy, theology, English, economics, communication studies, or some combination of these as undergraduates. Now, five years after graduation, we can already see how our education helped prepare us for our vocations.

Let me tell you about my first roommate, Sarah. During one fall break in college, she participated in a university-led trip to a farm in rural Kentucky for a week of service and prayer. After college, Sarah decided to volunteer for a year on the farm. When she learned that the religious community that managed the farm needed to sell it, Sarah started her own nonprofit organization to buy the farm and continue its mission. Now, she is running the farm herself and hosting high school and college groups throughout the year!

My second roommate, also Sarah, would be the first to tell you that when she first arrived on campus, she was most interested in the “fun” at college. It was through the influence of strong Catholics on campus that she had a “reversion” to the Faith. Her belief was deepened by her professors, and she took advantage of the countless opportunities for spiritual growth on campus, such as Mass, Adoration and Confession. Now, she’s in formation with a vibrant order of religious sisters!

Now on to my third roommate, Katie. After studying theology and being active in campus ministry during college, she became a Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) missionary. It’s evident that missionaries are so greatly needed in our culture today—and Catholic education offers the best formation for missionaries! Katie met her husband through FOCUS, and they started a family together. Katie is sure to build a Catholic culture in her home that is second to none.

Finally, my fourth roommate, Caitlin, is continuing to build up Catholic education, even after completing her own. Caitlin was motivated by her philosophy studies, and she is now working in development for a Catholic school in New York. She’s secured grants that will help other students experience Catholic education for years to come.

Faithful Catholic colleges, like those recommended in The Newman Guide, are preparing students for a successful career in any field, with essential skills like critical thinking and effective communication. Even more important, they’re forming students for the rest of their lives—and very fulfilling ones, at that! Lives of asking God what he wants of us, and unfolding His great plan. Lives of developing skills and talents and continuing to study and learn. Lives of growing in virtue and becoming the very best versions of ourselves—for the good of our souls and those around us.

As for me, the fifth roommate: I’ll always be extremely grateful for my Catholic education. It was during college that I met my husband, competed on a Division I tennis team, and prepared for my career. I used The Newman Guide to find my alma mater… and now I serve as the editor of it!

So back to the original question: “What will you do with your liberal arts degree?” Especially if you attend a faithful Catholic college, you’ll be prepared to do whatever God calls you to do. And that promises to be the most exciting, worthwhile and fulfilling career and vocation you can possibly imagine.

KELLY SALOMON is director of education and advocacy for The Cardinal Newman Society, which promotes and defends faithful Catholic education.

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