Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College - Cardinal Newman Society

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College

Year Founded 2000
Number of Traditional Undergraduates 105
Location Barry's Bay, Ontario
Total Cost (Tuition, Room & Board) $$10,334 USD (As of January 2019. $13,740.20 Canadian)
Net Price (learn more) $7,521 US ($10,000 Canadian)
Number of Majors 1
Catholic Students 100%
Catholic Faculty 100%
Median High School GPA

See the Q&A for more detailed information!

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College (SWC) is faithfully Catholic, offers a strong liberal arts curriculum, and is surprisingly affordable for American students.  It grew out of a dream of homeschooling families for faithful and affordable Catholic higher education in Ontario.

Since 2017 Seat of Wisdom College has granted a three-year Bachelor of Catholic Studies degree. The degree is recognized as a true bachelor’s degree, but in some cases, students may need extra courses for entry into a graduate program.

Christendom College will accept SWC graduates into its graduate programs, as do Newman Theological College in Edmonton, Canada, and Franciscan University of Steubenville, although prerequisite courses may be required.

In the coming years, Seat of Wisdom also plans to add a four-year Honours degree, which requires more credits in a major than a traditional undergraduate degree in the United States.  Students who earn a four-year Honours degree can typically earn their Master’s degree in just one additional year.

Seat of Wisdom College also offers students the option to earn a Basic Certificate after one year of study and an Associate Certificate after two years. At the end of three years, students have the option to be awarded a general Certificate in Christian Humanities or a Certificate in Christian Humanities with a concentration in philosophy, theology, history, literature, or Classical and Early Christian Studies, or to be awarded the Bachelor of Catholic Studies degree with or without one of these concentrations.

It is an exciting time at Seat of Wisdom.  The College recently added the Classical and Early Christian Studies concentration and is developing a sacred music concentration. In the fall of 2018, Seat of Wisdom added four sound-proof music rooms, four pianos, and an organ to its music facilities.  Seat of Wisdom expects to increase its enrollment numbers, build a new residence to house 60 students, and expand campus facilities in the next few years.

Currently, the College has six academic and administrative buildings, located immediately adjacent to St. Hedwig’s Parish, which overlooks a scenic lake. It also uses parish space for dining and for an extra classroom.

The enrollment for 2018-2019 is 105. More than one-third of the students have been homeschooled and about 15 percent are American.  Students live together in small households in three purpose-built residences and in other leased residences in the local community.

A 13-member board of directors governs SWC, assisted by an academic senate. The episcopal advisory board includes Thomas Cardinal Collins of Toronto, Archbishop J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., of Vancouver, and Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., of Ottawa. President Dr. Keith Cassidy retires at the end of June 2019, and the president-elect is Dr. Ryan Williams, a philosopher who has both taught and been a dean at seminaries in the United States. He earned two degrees from Newman Guide-recommended institutions: his doctorate in philosophy from The Catholic University of America and his Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the “Angelicum”).

The very low cost of SWC is appealing. Tuition, room and board, and the student activities fee in 2018-2019 cost students C$13,740.20, or about $10,334 USD. That can be further reduced by scholarships, “bursaries” (grants), and work-study opportunities.

In the first year, students take courses in Christian doctrine, Scripture, Western civilization, philosophy, essay writing, classical literature, Latin, and chorus. Upper-year students take a combination of electives and additional foundational courses, including Ethics, Survey of Literature, Shapers of Modern Thought, Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas, Introduction to Fine Arts, and Magisterial Thought, as well as introductions to lab sciences and mathematics.

Students may concentrate in any of five areas: classical and early Christian studies, literature, history, philosophy, and theology. A concentration in sacred music is being developed.

Catholic novelist and artist Michael D. O’Brien and his wife Sheila helped found Our Lady Seat of Wisdom. O’Brien serves as its artist- and writer-in-residence.

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom has had its credits accepted by a number of Newman Guide colleges, as well as some other universities in Canada. A growing list of graduate programs in the humanities are accepting graduates of Seat of Wisdom’s three-year Bachelor degree, although sometimes prerequisites are required. Graduates of Seat of Wisdom have successfully gone on to further study in a variety of fields such as the humanities, medicine, law, education, and the trades.

All full-time and part-time faculty members are faithful Catholics and voluntarily take the Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

Students are spiritually active at the vibrant St. Hedwig Parish, which is adjacent to campus, and in prayer on campus. Students are given opportunities to attend daily Mass at the parish. Some young men serve at the altar, while other students serve as readers and choir members. Many participate in Eucharistic Adoration and make use of the church for personal prayer timeA relic chapel room features a display from a collection of more than 100 first-class relics of saints.

Besides daily Mass, a weekly formal College Mass is celebrated by Seat of Wisdom’s chaplains, with music provided by the college choir. There are two Sunday Masses, one Saturday Vigil Mass, and Mass in the Extraordinary Form is provided at least once a month. Confession is available weekly at St. Hedwig’s and on campus.

Another Catholic parish is nearby, offering additional daily and Sunday Masses and Confession.  

Students are invited to join in a daily Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy. An annual Consecration to Jesus through Mary is made every fall. There are men’s and women’s retreats each year, two pilgrimages, a Christian formation speaker series, and an annual Day of Recollection held early in the fall for the entire college community. There is student-led praise and worship on Sunday evenings, and students are encouraged to foster their own spiritual practices individually and in groups.

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom’s chaplain is Fr. Blair Bernard, a member of the nearby Madonna House Apostolate, who is assisted by Fr. Joseph Hattie, O.M.I. Students have the opportunity to meet with these priests throughout the week for spiritual direction, counseling, and confession.

On-campus students live in single-sex residence houses. Each house has six to 15 students along with one residence assistant and a proctor, who are upper-class students.  Meals through the meal-plan are provided at St. Hedwig’s parish hall.

The households are an important part of the Student Life program. To build household community, the houses have monthly house nights and regular prayer time interwoven into their daily lives.

Chastity is fostered, and there are clear guidelines regarding times for opposite-sex visitations in the houses. Intervisitation in the bedrooms is always forbidden. “Modest” dress is always expected on campus, and a professional dress code applies for classes.

All students are assigned regular chores for three to four hours a week. These include helping with the dinner dishes, sweeping the floors, and cleaning classrooms and common areas.

St. Francis Memorial Hospital is located in the town. There are no significant airports nearby; Americans are likely to use Ottawa International Airport, a two and one-half-hour drive away, or Toronto Pearson International Airport, which is four hours away. Route 17, known as the Trans-Canada Highway, is an hour’s drive from the town.

Campus clubs include the Don Bosco Drama Club, the Frassati Outdoors Club, the Dance Club (swing), the Film-Making club, the Traditional Mass Club, and the Paul Sanders and Janine Lieu Pro-Life Club, named in memory of two former students. There is also an SWC Knights of Columbus Round Table.

Every year a large number of musically talented students come to campus. There are frequent informal musical events, as well as organized activities such as Schola, which includes members of the wider community.

Students elect a Student Activities Council every year to plan social events such as the Winter Formal and other dances, movie nights, coffee houses and field trips.  New organizations form each year based on interest, and many informal social activities are student-initiated.

Each household hosts a house-party usually on or around the patron of the household’s feast day. The whole College community is invited to join in these celebrations.

A few times a week there are spontaneous sporting activities. Every week there is a regular sports night at a local gym (which includes soccer, volleyball, basketball, and badminton), followed by a student-run hockey game at the local arena.

The college is situated just outside Algonquin Provincial Park, where students can go hiking, especially during the colorful fall season. Other outdoor activities like canoeing, fishing, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are available in the Ontario countryside surrounding the College.

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College is an affordable yet high-quality option for faithful Catholics. This small institution, committed to its motto of Veritas vos Liberabit (“The Truth will set you free”), provides a wonderful curriculum at a low cost. 

Seat of Wisdom’s new three-year bachelor’s degree is sure to propel the college forward toward its goal of having as many as 200 students. All that this college provides, including offering students the opportunity to grow in their faith, is enhanced by the beauty of studying in scenic rural Ontario. It’s an option worth serious consideration.

 

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?

In May 2017, SWC received official consent from the Province of Ontario to grant a three-year bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Catholic Studies). [Note: Canada doesn’t have accrediting associations, but instead has degree-granting status granted by the province, with periodic reviews conducted by a provincial body which is analogous to the reviews done by the accrediting bodies in the U.S.]

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

Graduates have gone on to do undergraduate degrees at universities and colleges in Canada, the United States and Australia. Many of those have gone on to do graduate work at universities such as Oxford, Notre Dame, CUA, UBC, McMaster, UNB, Waterloo, Toronto, Ottawa and Dalhousie, some with full-funding.

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:

ACT:

Are more than half of the current members of your faculty practicing Catholics?

Yes

Approximately what percentage of your current faculty members are practicing Catholics?

100%

Are members of your faculty officially informed of their responsibility for maintaining and strengthening the Catholic identity of the institution?

Yes

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?

Yes

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):

Our Artist and Writer in Residence is Michael D. O’Brien, a noted Catholic novelist, cultural critic and artist,who has had 28 books published, with translations into 14 languages. O’Brien’s articles have appeared in major periodicals such as Communio, Catholic World Report, The Chesterton Review, Inside the Vatican and many others. He has received various awards including the 2017 Phoenix Award in Literature, bestowed by the Association of Catholic Publishers in Warsaw, Poland. Dr. Richard Shaw was awarded the 2014 Eusebius Essay Prize by the Journal of Ecclesiastical History. His book The Gregorian Mission to Kent in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History: Methodology and Sourceswas published by Routledge in 2018, and he has signed contracts for two more academic books. Dr. Jordan Olver has had articles recently published in The Thomist and the Review of Metaphysics. Our Director of Counselling and Learning Support Services, Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy, is  a psychologist and co-author of Women’s Health After Abortion, a leading study of the damaging effects of abortion and the author of many articles on this topic.  Dr. Ky Heinze has presented conference papers in the area of patristics. Dr. David Beresford is the author of numerous scientific articles on entomology, and is also a prolific writer on Chesterton and related topics. Professor John Paul Meenan is the editor of Catholic Insight Magazine and has had articles published in Crisis Magazine andCatholic World Report. Professor Scott Nicholson has presented papers on Scripture and Liturgy. Professor Michael Schintgen has presented conference papers recently on Plato and Aristotle and on Pico della Mirandola. Dr. Christine Schintgenhas published a book of poetry with Justin Press entitled Canadian Sonnets, a collection of sonnets featuring the perspectives of individuals who have contributed significantly to the spiritual life of Canada, including St. Antoine Daniel and St. Kateri Tekakwitha; each poem is accompanied by a short biography and a beautiful oil portrait by Seat of Wisdom alumnus Joseph Ferrant. Christine Schintgen has also produced academic articles and presentations on Dante, Dickens, and George Eliot. Dr. Karl Persson has published and presented papers on Old English literature and biblical wisdom literature. All faculty are members of the FCS. 

Does the institution have a department of Catholic theology, distinct from “religious studies” and other disciplines?

Yes

Are courses in Catholic theology clearly identified and distinguished from other courses dealing with religion?

Yes

Do all faculty in the theological disciplines have a mandatum according to the procedures established by the local bishop or other competent ecclesiastical authority?

Each of our professors has requested the mandatum, but our bishop is clarifying the procedure for obtaining the mandatum. All professors take an Oath of Fidelity in its stead.

Do all faculty in the theological disciplines make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?

Yes

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

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

THE 100: Christian Doctrine (J. Meenan); THE 110: Introduction to Biblical Literature (S. Nicholson); THE 245: Magisterial Thought (J. Meenan); THE 273: Fundamentals of Moral Theology or THE 373 Spiritual Theology or THE 212: Survey of Scripture (S. Nicholson)

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

Theology at Seat of Wisdom imparts a solid foundation in Catholic theology while equipping students to further study the faith over the course of their lives.  The first year curriculum includes Christian Doctrine, a mandatory six-credit full-year course that covers the Catechism of the Catholic Church in its entirety in the light of Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica and the teaching of the Magisterium, as well as a one-semester course on Sacred Scripture which emphasizes Magisterial teaching on Scripture as well as the Catholic tradition of Scripture scholarship.  Further courses in the upper years of the program immerse students in the Church’s traditional teaching through the reading of Patristric and Magisterial documents and pronouncements on key issues of the day, and provide an integration of philosophy and theology in the teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas, with further courses on Sacred Scripture. Together this curriculum offers not only an impressive foundation of theological knowledge, but the tools necessary to increase and augment this knowledge as needed after university.  For students wishing to acquire a broader theological formation while at SWC, a wide variety of elective courses in theology which build upon the foundational theology and philosophy courses are also available.

Please identify any course that every undergraduate student must take:

LIT 203: Survey Literature I 

LIT 204: Survey Literature II

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

Three additional credits in theology satisfied by either  THE 273: Moral Theology or THE 373: Spiritual Theology 

Three additional credits in history

Three credits in mathematics

Three credits in science with a lab

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

Three-year Degree and Certificate: 92 credits (71% 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?

Yes

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

Christian Doctrine (THE 100) covers the teachings of the Church found in the Catechism explained in the light of the Church’s perennial theology, including practical application. In Intro to Biblical Literature (THE 110) students learn both how to read Scripture in the light of the Church’s interpretative authority and how to incorporate Scripture in their lives. Magisterial Thought (THE 245) teaches students how to read and understand a papal document intelligently, in the light of the Church’s Tradition. Intro to St. Thomas Aquinas (PHI 272) is intended to endow students with an appreciation for the contributions of St. Thomas to faith and the Western intellectual tradition. The theology distribution requirement builds on either students’ grasp of the interpretative issues raised in studying scripture in THE 212 Survey of Scripture or their understanding of development in the life of grace in Fundamentals of Moral Theology (THE 273) or Spiritual Theology (THE 373).

Is every undergraduate student required to take one or more interdisciplinary courses relating theology or philosophy with other disciplines?

Yes

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

Students may choose a concentration in Theology, Philosophy, Literature, History, or Classical and Early Christian Studies.

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: 31% 

Theology: 23% 

Literature: 20% 

History: 20% 

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

Yes

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

Yes

If yes, please describe:

Our academic speaker series features guest speakers several times a semester. The speakers are renowned experts in their respective fields and they address issues that are topical and/or controversial in their areas.

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

Our curriculum is intended to be coherent, and courses build on knowledge gained in previous courses. As such professors cooperate by providing complementary components of an integrated course of studies.

Additional Programs of Study information, clarification or description:

In May 2017, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College received official consent from the Province of Ontario to grant a three-year bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Catholic Studies). In the past 16 years, a good number of Catholic and Protestant degree-granting colleges have recognized our three-year Certificate for entrance into their four-year BA programs. 

Does the local bishop (or other competent ecclesiastical authority) select or approve the appointment of your chaplain?

Yes

Does your institution offer Mass on campus at least on Sundays and other days of obligation?

Yes

On average, about what percentage of undergraduate students attend Sunday Mass (including the Saturday vigil Mass) during the academic year? 

100%

Does your institution offer daily Mass to students?

Yes

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

Approximately 40%

Does your institution offer the Extraordinary Form of the Mass to students at least weekly?

No

Are all of the Masses celebrated on campus reverent and in accord with liturgical norms and directives?

Yes

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.):

Sunday 8am and 11am, monthly 9:15am Extraordinary Form 

Monday 8am and 4:30pm 

Tuesday 8am 

Wednesday 8am and 4:30pm 

Thursday 8am 

Friday 8am 

Saturday 9am, 5pm (vigil) 

Does your institution offer Confession on campus at least weekly?

Yes; both chaplains are available during their regular office hours for Confession as well as two local parishes.

List the schedule for Confession by day and time:

Mo By appointment

Tu By appointment

Wed By appointment

Th By appointment

Fr By appointment

Sa 8:15 a.m. – 8:45 a.m., 4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Other: There is a chaplain in his office Monday – Friday available for Confession

Does your institution offer Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at least weekly?

Yes

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

Mon – Thurs 9:00 a.m. -Tues 9:00 p.m.

First Friday 1:00 p.m. until 8:45 a.m. Saturday.

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

There is a daily community Rosary and a pro-life Rosary every Friday at noon; Divine Mercy Chaplet every day at 3 pm. Tuesday through Friday Lauds, Wednesday night compline, a weekly student Holy Hour, Praise and Worship every Sunday night, Friday evening Stations of the Cross during Lent. Every year, early in the first semester, there is a full Day of Recollection which is for all students. In the second semester, there are separate men’s and women’s retreats. A Consecration to Our Lady is made at the beginning of each academic year.

Does your institution offer retreat programs available to all Catholic students at least annually?

Yes

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. Four alumni are diocesan priests, two are religious priests, two are religious brothers (Franciscan and Carmelite), and seven are religious sisters (including two perpetually professed, two temporary professed, three in early formation).  We also have ten men in various stages of seminary formation.

 

Additional Chaplaincy information, clarification or description (optional):

The Extraordinary Form of the Mass is presently offered once a month on a scheduled basis, and on an ad hoc basis depending on the availability of a celebrant. 

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

All first- and second-year students must live in residence, unless given special exemption by the Student Life Committee. All third- and fourth-year students have the option of living on campus or finding housing in the community.

Does your institution offer only single-sex residence halls?

Yes

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
Other

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

100%

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

On Fridays and Saturdays, from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and on Sundays from Noon to 9:00 p.m.

Are students of the opposite sex permitted to visit students’ bedrooms? (Not including irregular (once or twice a semester), “open house” events.)

No

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

We seek to foster sobriety at our College by promoting a healthy respect for and enjoyment of alcohol. While our policy regarding alcohol does not allow for it to be stored on campus, students (of legal drinking age) are allowed to drink at events (special events on campus, or celebrations by a residence, club or society) where permission is granted by the Dean of Students. Despite the challenges posed by the extent of disorder in our society’s approach to alcohol, the College is determined to persevere in this area of moral life as with all others, promoting a positive ideal of moderation, sobriety, and non-dependency. Any and all abuses are dealt with by the Dean of Students with penalties and if necessary by dismissal.

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

There is a culture of chastity on campus and in student residence life. In residences, we strive to live and promote the virtues with the assistance of our Student Life Team. We encourage healthy and chaste friendships, through our formative policies which are rooted in respect for the human person and their dignity. Our policies include modesty in dress and speech. 

Our households are separate for men and women, and there are specific times for intervisitation in common spaces. This allows for the building of community and the fostering of healthy friendships between the sexes. There is internet on campus, but not in the households. 

Does your institution have formal programs to foster Catholic prayer life and spirituality in campus residences?

Yes

If yes, please describe:

Households, through the encouragement of the Student Life Team (more specifically Resident Assistants and Proctors) take part in daily prayer – either the Rosary, the Divine Office, or general intercessory prayer. 

Additional Residence Life information, clarification or description (optional):

Each residence is named after a given saint and the members of the household are encouraged to foster a special relationship with that saint. Households are also encouraged to organize their own household activities and trips and are given funds to do so.

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

foster spiritual development:

Traditional Mass Club 

This club provides information on the practices of the Traditional Latin Mass and organizes trips to attend Pontifical Masses by the FSSP in Ottawa (Fraternity of the Society of St. Peter).

engage in corporal works of mercy:

Through their residence households, students are encouraged to take part in corporal works of mercy in the larger community of Barry’s Bay. A number of students visit the two local seniors homes individually as volunteers and through organized group activities: e.g. our Schola entertains the seniors each semester. The SWC Knights of Columbus Round Table, associated with the local K of C council, assists with a variety of projects and events. The Pro-Life Club runs activities and raises funds, and collects food, and supplies to support a local pregnancy crisis centre. Some students assist local families with childcare and housekeeping. 

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

The Paul Sanders and Janine Lieu Pro-Life Club is a pro-life organization dedicated to promoting chastity and reverence for life and family on campus and in society. The Pro-Life Club usually sends a delegation of students to the March for Life in Washington, D.C. each year. SWC students often participate in the Crossroads Canada or U.S. Pro-Life Walk over the summer, as well as attend the Canadian March for Life 

address issues of social concern: 

The SWC Campus Conservative Club

address particular academic interests: 

The Tolkein Club. Under the guidance of one of our literature professors, the club meets biweekly to read and discuss JRR Tolkien’s lesser-known books, sponsors Tolkien-themed events /talks.

address particular cultural interests:

The Don Bosco Drama Club presents one major theatrical production each academic year.  

The Film-making club has produced a series of short videos. All acting, directing, filming, editing and producing is done by students.  

The Pysanky Club meets monthly in a workshop setting as students learn and do pysanky egg-dying. 

The Pier Giorgio Frassati outdoors club organizes trips and outings designed to allow students to enjoy the Canadian great outdoors.  

The Yearbook club creates the annual SWC yearbook. 

provide opportunities for athletic pursuits:

The Frassati Outdoors Club is a student club that organizes and facilitates excursions such as ski trips, hikes, camping, horseback riding, and dog sledding. 

There is a sports night every Friday night, volleyball and badminton nights are offered weekly and every 2nd week there is an additional sports night for games like dodge ball. Further, there are two official soccer teams representing SWC in the local soccer league.

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

Swing Dance Club

Does your institution require all student clubs and activities, including those listed above, to operate in accord with Catholic teaching?

Yes

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

Any clubs or activities that conflict with Catholic teaching would not receive official recognition by the student life office.

Does your institution require student services like health care, counseling and guidance to conform to Catholic ethical and moral teaching and directives?

Yes

Has your institution’s diocesan bishop (or other competent ecclesiastical authority) officially recognized the institution as Catholic?

Yes

Do your institution’s governing documents include or reference the General Norms and Particular (United States) Norms of Ex corde Ecclesiae?

Our governing documents are all drawn up in light of Ex corde Ecclesiae and our Mission Statement makes explicit reference to it.

Do your institution’s governing documents or institutional policies require conformity to the General Norms and Particular (United States) Norms of Ex corde Ecclesiae?

See above

What is your institution’s mission statement:

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College provides a post-secondary education in the liberal arts within the Catholic tradition. Faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and guided by Ex corde Ecclesiaethe college seeks to form the whole person, especially intellectually and spiritually, while respecting the freedom of the individual. Our curriculum offers a deep and wide-ranging understanding of Western civilization along with the traditions of the Church, and equips students to engage with and critique contemporary culture. 

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?”

See below

How does your institution address student and faculty invitations to speakers and honorees who have publicly opposed or acted contrary to Catholic moral teaching?

Speakers come to campus with the knowledge and approval of the President. It is expected that they will contribute to the mission of the institution.

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: 105 

Male: 42.0%  Female: 58.0%  

Catholic: 100%  Other Christian: %
Jewish: %  Muslim: %  Other: % 

Number of states represented: Students have come from 32 US states and 9 Canadian provinces.  

Top three states: Michigan (3.51%), Maryland (1.76%), AK, CA, IA, NY, OH, PA, VA, WI, WA (tied at 0.88%). [Canadian provinces: Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Quéec]  

Of student body: 60.53% from Ontario  

Public Catholic HS: 10.53% Homeschool: 44.74%
Private Catholic HS: 18.94% Public HS: 10.53%

Most up-to-date provided by the College

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

The majority of our students come from Canada. About 15% are American. The Canadians have come from 9 provinces (8 represented at present).  Over the years we have had American students from 32 of the states (states represented at present), and three foreign countries, including exchange students from Campion College Australia. 

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

Are more than half of the current members of your institution’s governing board(s) practicing Catholics?

Yes

Do Catholic members of your institution’s governing board(s) make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?

No

Is your institution’s president a practicing Catholic?

Yes

Does your institution’s president make the Catholic Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity?

Yes

President's Note

A message from the president.

Welcome to Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College.  This institution is one of the finest institutions of Catholic Higher Education in North America.  It is consistently recommended by the Newman Guide as the only faithfully Catholic College in Canada that offers its own degree, maintains the rigor of Academia, and adheres to Magisterial Authority with regards to matters of faith and morals.  In addition to this, it stands as the least expensive of such institutions on the continent which offer a full residential experience.

Here you will find scholars of remarkable acclaim and ability who have dedicated themselves to your education.  At this College, we do not train; we educate.  There is a great philosophical difference between those two terms, and here at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, we take that distinction seriously.  To be trained is to learn how to do one thing well; to be educated is to learn how to do well in all things. Here you will step into an academic tradition which goes back to the Ancients, with subjects such as Philosophy, Theology, Classics, Music, History, and Literature.  You will be expected to pursue academic excellence, which includes more than completing tests and writing papers; it means integrating your studies into a comprehensive world-view that will inform you for the rest of your life.

Employers routinely recognize our students to be dynamic and mature young innovators.  They bring value to any profession that they pursue and regularly excel at their places of work after their time with us.  Though we do not educate for the sake of employment, one becomes eminently employable once having been educated. Our students learn to discover their place in the world, both in work and their greater lives.  This capability permits them to master tasks quickly and draw insights across fields of study and other activities.

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College is not just an academic institution. We are also a faithful Catholic community that strives, both collectively and as individual members, for sanctity. Here you will find the opportunity to attend daily Mass, regular confession, adoration, an ever-growing collection of devotions and prayer groups, retreats, and quiet contemplation.  The College is surrounded by one of the great wildernesses of the world.  There are innumerable lakes, hiking trails, low mountains, and other natural environments in which to hear the call of Our Lord through the inspiration of creation.

As you view the information on this website, I encourage you to pray about what God is calling you to do, and who He has made you to be.  At Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, we pray and reflect upon that every day for each of our students.  We strive to cultivate an attitude of excellence within each of our students toward all of their actions.  Our Lady Seat of Wisdom wishes to accompany you as you learn and grow in the light of the Truth, and the Love of Our God.

God Bless,

Ryan M. Williams, Ph.D.
President
Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College

Contact Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College

1-877-369-6520, ext. 202

Box 249, 18 Karol Wojtyla Square
Barry's Bay, Ontario K0J 1B0

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