Christendom College - Cardinal Newman Society

Christendom College

Year Founded 1977
Number of Traditional Undergraduates 504
Location Front Royal, VA
Total Cost (Tuition, Room & Board) $37,880
Net Price (learn more) $22,500
Number of Majors 7
Catholic Students 99%
Catholic Faculty 100%
Median High School GPA 3.7

See the Q&A for more detailed information!

The two words that best describe Christendom College are Catholic and traditional, in the very best sense of both words. The College was founded in 1977 by the late historian, Warren Carroll to counter harmful trends in American higher education and return to an emphasis on serious study and student development. Today Christendom sets a standard for fidelity and traditional education against which other Catholic liberal arts colleges are measured.

“The College has a very clear vision,” says President Timothy O’Donnell. “We stress academics and Catholicism. …We end up attracting a person who hungers for what we are providing.”

Proudly proclaiming that Catholicism is “the air that we breathe,” the College’s vision statement proclaims, “Only an education which integrates the truths of the Catholic Faith throughout the curriculum is a fully Catholic education.” All professors are Catholic and teach all classes with a clear Catholic worldview. They annually make a Profession of Faith and take the Oath of Fidelity before the Bishop of Arlington. The 15-member governing board and Dr. O’Donnell also take the Oath of Fidelity annually.

Nestled in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Christendom is intentionally small, with an undergraduate program at Front Royal, Virginia, study abroad opportunities in Donegal, Ireland and Rome, Italy, and a graduate theology program in Alexandria, Virginia. 

Christendom undergraduates choose among seven major areas of study, with a traditional emphasis on the liberal arts. The 86-credit core curriculum constitutes about two-thirds of the four-year program, with emphasis on Catholic theology and philosophy. The study-abroad semester in Rome is popular among third-year students.

Dr. O’Donnell has taught at Christendom since 1985 and was named its third president seven years later. He has a doctoral-level degree in theology from the Angelicum in Rome, has been a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Family since 2002, authored two books, and has hosted numerous television programs for the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).

Christendom has been on a path of steady growth, building, and expansion, with recent enhancements including a remodeling of the college’s dining hall and a new state-of-the-art women’s residence hall. The College recently celebrated its 40th anniversary and concluded a successful campaign to raise money for its endowment and a beautiful new Christ the King Chapel featuring a commanding gothic tower, which will be completed in the next few years.

The tuition rate is below the average private college cost in Virginia, and the typical financial aid package at Christendom is generous. The College is wary of government entanglements and so does not participate in the federal student aid programs, but it provides scholarships, grants, a “price match” program, and loans from its own resources, as well offering debt forgiveness to students who enter religious life.

All courses in the freshman and sophomore years are prescribed and include four theology courses and four philosophy courses. Juniors and seniors must take two more theology courses and two additional philosophy courses. Two years of a foreign language—Latin, Greek, Spanish, or French—are required as are courses in English, history, math, science, and political science.

Students can select from seven majors and begin work in their concentration in the third and fourth years. The majors are classical and early Christian studies, English language and literature, history, mathematics, philosophy, political science, and theology. Students can also choose to minor in physics, economics, or liturgical music. An 86-credit hour Associate of Arts degree is given to undergraduates who choose to transfer elsewhere to major in disciplines other than the seven at Christendom.

Students have the opportunity to attend the Junior Semester in Rome either in the fall or spring. It is a rigorous semester that includes one course each in theology, art and architecture, philosophy, and interdisciplinary studies which includes Italian. Dr. O’Donnell said that in their senior exit interviews, most students talk about the transformative power of the Rome experience. There also is a shorter summer program available in Ireland called the St. Columcille Institute.

As a helpful complement to its academic program, Christendom has a full-time career development officer and has rolled out a series of classes and workshops to help students discern career vocations and prepare for job interviews. The Education for a Lifetime program (ELP) is required of all students and gives two credits over the course of four years. In these classes, students learn skills designed to help them be successful post-graduation, such as how to write resumes and cover letters and how to interview and network.

The Chapel of Christ the King is at the center of the campus and of campus life. The chapel bells ring several times each day, calling students to Mass and prayer. Time is set aside daily for Mass, which about 70 percent of the students attend. Masses are reverently celebrated in both the Latin and English Novus Ordo, with the Extraordinary Form also being offered on campus during the week.  The liturgies are celebrated with traditional sacred music. On Sundays, some students attend the 12:30 p.m. Extraordinary Form Mass at St. John the Baptist parish, just minutes from campus, in Front Royal.

Confessions are available daily. There is Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament each weekday and recitation of the Rosary and Evening Prayer. On the first Friday of each month, a special holy hour is offered in reparation to the Sacred Heart, followed by all-night Adoration ending at the 7:30 a.m. Mass on Saturday. 

All religious ministries at Christendom are specifically Catholic.

Emphasis is placed on both religious and married vocations. A vocational discernment weekend is held annually, and Christendom offers a debt forgiveness program for graduates entering religious life who take a vow of poverty. In a given year, about five percent of graduating students choose a religious vocation, with more than 160 men and women as priests, religious or in seminary formation, and Christendom has had more than 450 alumnus-to-alumna marriages. 

Campus housing is provided for full-time students. About 85 percent of students live on campus, while others may live at home and commute to campus.

All residence halls are single-sex and freshmen are mixed with upper-classmen. Inter-visitation is prohibited. 

Every floor in every hall has a resident assistant whose job it is to promote community life, enforce college behavior policy, and assist students. There are weekly room inspections. Neither television nor Internet access is available within the residence halls, but they are provided in campus centers. Freshmen and sophomores under the age of 21 have a curfew of midnight during the week and 1:00 a.m. on weekends.

Students eat all their meals at the St. Lawrence Commons. It is normal to see professors and staff eating and talking with students during lunch time.

Alcohol is prohibited in the college residences, but at some campus events, students over the age of 21 are allowed to consume a moderated number of alcoholic beverages.

The College has a part-time nurse for student medical care. If needed, Warren County Memorial Hospital is a 196-bed facility in Front Royal about 10 minutes from campus. There are also medical specialists and hospitals in the nearby Winchester, Virginia, and Washington, D.C, areas. The chaplaincy is available for individual spiritual direction. Additionally, Christendom provides access to an on-campus counselor during designated hours, and helps to arrange mental health support as needed.

The small town of Front Royal has a population of about 15,000. Downtown has quaint shops including a bakery, candy store, coffee shops, antique shop, boutiques, restaurants, and movie theater. There are newer hotels, restaurants, and retail stores nearby. 

Front Royal is easily reachable. Dulles International Airport is about an hour east of the campus, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport offers flights closer to the nation’s capital.

A professional dress code is maintained in the classroom—as well as at Mass, lunch, and special events. Usually this includes a dress shirt and necktie for men and a dress or blouse with skirt or dress slacks for women. A jacket is also required for men at Sunday Mass and for speakers’ presentations.

For a small school, Christendom offers many activities, with approximately 25 different clubs and organizations. The St. Lawrence Commons, where students dine, is the scene for dances and performances sponsored by the Student Activities Council. There are a variety of college activities, as well as Catholic cultural festivities and lectures. On average, the Student Activities Council puts on about 150 events each academic year.

Students in the Shield of Roses pray the Rosary and offer sidewalk counseling in front of an abortion clinic each Saturday morning. Participation in the annual March for Life, also in the nation’s capital, includes nearly the entire student body, with the College cancelling classes on that day.

The Corporal Works of Mercy group ministers to the poor in the Front Royal area by helping at soup kitchens, delivering meals, and visiting nursing homes.

Annual spring break and summer mission trips are offered to students. On average, 25-30 percent of the College’s student body participates in a spring break mission trip, with groups regularly going to Guatemala, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Costa Rica, and elsewhere.

The College has a student schola that provides music and Gregorian chant for Mass. There is also an active drama contingent on campus, called the Christendom Players, and there are many opportunities for students to participate in musical events, such as the annual St. Cecilia’s Eve, Coffee House, and various Pub Nights.

Cultural opportunities and lectures also exist through the Major Speakers Series and the Beato Fra Angelico Arts Program. In addition, the Chester-Belloc Debate Society helps students hone their argumentation and rhetorical skills. Swing ‘n’ Sundaes holds multiple swing dance events each semester at which dance instruction is followed by a dance and ice cream sundaes. Students can also write for the student journal, The Rambler, or other college publications.

The John Paul the Great Student Center is the locus for student activity after class. It houses the Student Life offices, a lounge, and student post office boxes, as well as St. Kilian’s Café, which often becomes a working pub. The lower level features a large-screen television, ping pong, foosball, pool, and air hockey tables. The St. Louis the Crusader Gym is also available for student use, which has a full-size basketball court, a weight room, an exercise room, and two racquetball courts, as well as a student lounge area.

Christendom is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association and the Shenandoah-Chesapeake Conference and has eight varsity teams and a robust intramural sports program.

The Blue Ridge Mountains provide a beautiful backdrop for Christendom, and outdoor opportunities include the Shenandoah River for canoeing, tubing, and fishing. Hiking is available at Shenandoah National Park and mountains. In addition, the nation’s capital is about 70 miles away and presents historical, cultural, artistic, and political opportunities for students.

For more than 40 years, Christendom College has made a vital contribution to American Catholic life through its solid spiritual formation and its liberal arts curriculum. What was once a tiny holdout against the decline of higher education is today a model for Catholic liberal arts colleges, with a well-deserved reputation even in Rome. 

“It is refreshing to see a Catholic college where the parents can send their children and not get worried whether they will get serious Catholic education—without discount—just as it is,” said Cardinal Francis Arinze, former Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, while visiting Christendom.

Students seem to appreciate Christendom’s commitment to the Catholic faith and its small size, friendliness, and close-knit community. On the key measures of Catholic identity and liberal arts education, few American colleges can compare.

Questions & Answers

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 hundreds 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.

Pope St. John Paul II said, “Christendom College is doing a great work for the Church.” 

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

SAT: 1300


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, gives many talks on the subject, and manages a popular blog: Bacon from Acorns. Dr. Christopher Shannon is a well-published author, whose forte is American history. Dr. Brendan McGuire and Dr. 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 Dr. Owen Vyner, Dr. Andrew Whitmore, Dr. Matthew Tsakanikas, Dr. Eric Jenislawski, Fr. Marcus Pollard, 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, Spanish

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


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, Classical & Early 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?

Philosophy, 26%

History, 25%

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?

Male only

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.):

Chapel schedule subject to change, for details visit:


8:30 AM (Latin-English) Ordinary Form   

10:00 AM (Latin-English) Ordinary Form 


7:30 AM (English) Ordinary Form 

11:30 AM (English) Ordinary Form  


7:30 AM (English) Ordinary Form
11:30 AM (Extraordinary form) 


7:30 AM (English) Ordinary Form  

11:30 AM (English) Ordinary Form 

Christ the King Chapel is open from 6:30 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.

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 12:30pm Sunday Mass, offered in the Extraordinary Form each week.  

Does your institution offer Confession on campus at least weekly?


List the schedule for Confession by day and time:

8:00-8:30 AM, 11:00 AM (confessor may have to assist with Holy Communion)

6:00-7:00 PM

9:30 AM (confessor may have to leave to celebrate or assist with Holy Communion)

Also by appointment anytime 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-Thursday, 6:00-7:00 PM (Simple Exposition)

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

First Friday Holy Hour
9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (followed by social/talk) 

First Friday all-night adoration begins with Holy Hour and ends before Sat. 7:30 a.m. Mass.

Night Prayer
9:00 PM

Stations of the Cross
(Occurs during Lenten Season)
7:00 pm 

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
No students
All freshmen (only if not “All students”)
Only freshmen

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 Political Action League 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 10 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, men’s baseball, 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: 504

Male: 45%  Female: 55%

Catholic: 99%  Other Christian: 1%
Jewish: 0%  Muslim: 0%  Other: 0%

Number of states represented: 45 (7 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?


President's Note

A message from the president.

Dear Friends:

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

Contact Christendom College


134 Christendom Drive
Front Royal, VA 22630

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