Founded in 1993, the mission of The Cardinal Newman Society is to promote and defend faithful Catholic education.
The Society seeks to fulfill its mission in numerous ways, including supporting education that is faithful to the teaching and tradition of the Catholic Church; producing and disseminating research and publications on developments and best practices in Catholic education; and keeping Catholic leaders and families informed.
The Society is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit, Catholic organization for religious and educational purposes that is supported by individuals, businesses and foundations. Join the movement for faithful Catholic education today by making a donation or signing up for a no-cost membership.
Read about our origins and milestones.
The Need for Renewal:
In his 2008 address at The Catholic University of America, speaking to representatives of U.S. Catholic schools and colleges, Pope Benedict XVI observed the Catholic identity that is and must remain at the heart of Catholic education:
Education is integral to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News. First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God Who in Jesus Christ reveals His transforming love and truth (cf. Spe Salvi, 4). This relationship elicits a desire to grow in the knowledge and understanding of Christ and His teaching. In this way those who meet Him are drawn by the very power of the Gospel to lead a new life characterized by all that is beautiful, good, and true; a life of Christian witness nurtured and strengthened within the community of our Lord’s disciples, the Church.
This vision reflects what Pope John Paul II proposed nearly two decades earlier in the Apostolic Constitution for Catholic Universities, Ex corde Ecclesiae. Although it governs Catholic higher education, the constitution’s core principles are relevant to any Catholic school, which:
…as Catholic, informs and carries out its research, teaching, and all other activities with Catholic ideals, principles and attitudes. …Priority is to be given to those means which will facilitate the integration of human and professional education with religious values in the light of Catholic doctrine, in order to unite intellectual learning with the religious dimension of life.
Both popes had been Catholic educators, and both were inspired by the work of our patron, Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman. Blessed Newman was a lifelong advocate for education that teaches students to reason and discover truth. He came to realize that a genuine commitment to truth, including the Truth that is revealed by God, requires a strong Catholic foundation and adherence to the teachings of the Church.
Since the 1960s, Catholics have witnessed a creeping secularism in Catholic education that has often corrupted teachings and behaviors – both inside and outside the classroom – and replaced authentic Catholic identity with bland conformity to a declining culture. It is with this concern, but also with great hope in the Church’s vision for Catholic schools and colleges, that The Cardinal Newman Society was established in 1993 to promote and defend faithful Catholic education.
Statement of Fidelity and Excellence
The Cardinal Newman Society (the Society) strives for an organizational culture that best serves our mission of promoting and defending faithful Catholic Education. Those who are associated with the Society in any official capacity and therefore publicly represent the organization— including the staff, the Board of Directors, advisors, and volunteers— uphold and contribute to this organizational culture of fidelity and excellence.
The Society’s mission is positive and forward-looking, rooted in serious concern about the secularization of Catholic education. Society representatives share genuine hope for renewal and strive to ensure that their statements and actions move Catholic education toward greater fidelity and service to the Church and the world, while pointing out in sharp relief certain areas of concern. Society representatives have the best intentions for Catholic education, desiring the success of Catholic educators who are committed to faithful Catholic education and the renewal of those schools and colleges that do not yet share that commitment.
Essential to the Society’s mission is fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Just as the Society urges Catholic educators to obey the Church’s call to fidelity in all of their actions and commitments, so do Society representatives strive to ensure fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church in all Society-related activities and commitments.
Those who represent the Society strive to ensure that their public statements and actions, whether as part of their official duties or not, are consistent with the Society’s dedication to Catholic values and the promotion of strong Catholic identity. This includes deference to the revelation of God and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, emphasis on teaching by word and example, calling others to fidelity in a manner that is unafraid to speak the truth while respectful and charitable, and commitment to factual accuracy.
The Cardinal Newman Society’s representatives strive for the highest quality in all Society-related activities and commitments. Recognizing the great challenges the Society faces in pursuit of its mission, Society representatives strive to balance the need for increased activity with the importance of doing things well. Society representatives show great respect and appreciation to those who make the work of the Society possible by prayer and financial contributions.
Representatives of The Cardinal Newman Society recognize the importance of all associated with the Society to uphold the fullness of teachings of the Catholic Church, especially with regard to life, marriage and chastity, even in their private lives. Representatives must share the Church’s vision for Catholic Education and must witness to the Catholic faith and morals in their lives and work.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church and official teachings of Her Magisterium shall be the Society’s reference point on Catholic faith and morals, in consultation with the Society’s chaplain.