Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts

  • Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts

    Warner, NH

  • Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts

    Warner, NH

  • Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts

    Warner, NH

  • Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts

    Warner, NH

  • Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts

    Warner, NH




Catholic Faculty


Catholic Students


On-campus students in single-sex dorms


Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts is a small, residential, Catholic liberal arts college founded in 1973, as part of the new wave of renewal in American Catholic higher education. Over the last seven years, the College has transformed its approach to student life, expanded its Great Books curriculum to include five majors and a fine-arts concentration, and enhanced its career and discernment programs for students.

The College’s curriculum includes five majors and integrates the study of the Great Books with the classical liberal arts and fine arts (including music, drama, iconography, drawing, and painting).  The study of theology and an eight-semester series of seminars in philosophy and humanities are at the center of the integrated curriculum. In their junior and senior years, students build on their core studies and take up majors in theology, politics, philosophy, literature, or the Great Books.  Beginning with the incoming class of 2019, students will study in Rome, Krakow, and Norcia during the spring semester of their sophomore year and can choose to study in Oxford during the summer.

Magdalen College announced in January 2017 an exciting new partnership with Fr. Michael Gaitley and the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy, who were brought on campus to provide spiritual formation for the College’s students.  Students’ experience on campus will be enhanced through retreats, courses and service opportunities led by Fr. Gaitley and the Missionaries.

Through the College’s “Career Pathways Program,” Magdalen College researches and communicates internship opportunities, pre-professional programs, graduate school planning, and employment opportunities to its students and their families through a special website and electronic newsletter. Through its “New York Experience,” students can spend their spring break in Manhattan under the guidance of a faculty member, networking with Catholic leaders and exploring possible career paths.  The College also organizes a series of professional seminars for its students to help them develop the skills needed to find, keep, and advance in their first job after college. And the College also helps students understand employment in vocational terms and develop an integrated theology of work.

The College offers an Apostolic Catechetical Diploma following the completion of six semesters of theology and catechesis that cover the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as pivotal Church documents and key texts by the Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Through this program, students are prepared to be effective communicators of the Faith in their homes, parishes, and communities.

The faculty, chaplain, and student life staff annually take the Oath of Fidelity, and theologians have received the mandatum.

Magdalen College rests on the 3,500-foot Mount Kearsarge in Warner, New Hampshire, a quaint town of 2,800 residents in the Lakes Region. But students are also just 90 minutes from Boston, with numerous educational, cultural, and social opportunities.

Students come from across the United States and other countries, and 100 percent are Catholic.  A significant number of the students have gone on to graduate study, and about 10 percent of the graduates have become priests or other religious.

Magdalen College is fully accredited by The New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE, formerly NEASC).

The tuition is less than half the typical private-college tuition in New Hampshire. Magdalen College strives to help families who need financial aid, through its academic, need-based, and service scholarships as well as its home school and Catholic high school awards.


Magdalen College’s liberal arts education is built upon the careful reading, study, and discussion of the Great Books of the West, covering key texts from ancient Greece, Rome, the Church Fathers, medieval authors, modernity, and post-modernity. In its eight-semester “Philosophy and Humanities” sequence—team taught by the full-time faculty of the college—literature, theology, philosophy, political philosophy, and the fine arts are deeply integrated. The college’s emphasis on and integration of the fine arts is unique.

Five majors are available: theology, politics, literature, philosophy, and the Great Books, as well as a concentration in the fine arts (including music, iconography, drawing, painting, and drama).The core course of studies includes a four-year philosophy and humanities sequence of seminars, study abroad in Rome, Krakow, and Norcia in the sophomore year,  three years of theology leading to an Apostolic Catechetical Diploma, two years of Latin or Greek and additional courses in science, logic, geometry, writing, non-Western cultures, music, and art. Students complete a junior project based on their major and in their senior year complete comprehensive exams, with the option to write a senior thesis.

Freshmen take a writing course each semester in which they prepare essays based on Great Books. Classes include the oral presentation of those essays and practice in writing and editing.

In 1983, following the receipt of a Vatican rescript, the College began awarding an Apostolic Catechetical Diploma to students who complete the College’s six-semester theology and catechesis sequence with at least a 2.0 in each course and promise to teach the faith in accord with magisterial authority. For more than three decades, the College has developed its theology and catechetical program around the Catechism of the Catholic Church, other magisterial documents, the classics of theological and spiritual writing, and practical works in catechetics.

Students may elect to participate in the Honors Program, which was launched by College President Dr. George Harne—who earned his musicology doctorate from Princeton—in his previous role as academic dean. With form and content similar to graduate seminars, the honors colloquia explore a variety of topics such as cinema, Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” the classics of children’s literature, and ancient and modern tragedy and comedy. Honors students must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and complete six honors colloquia and an honors thesis.

The college’s new “Career Pathways Program” provides students with opportunity to explore their vocations through internships and the spring-break “New York Experience.”  Since the inception of this program in 2015, students have participated in internships nationally, including New York, Boston, and beyond.


The “Our Lady, Queen of Apostles Chapel” is the center of campus spiritual life. The chaplain offers Mass and Confession six days per week (with Mass available at a local Carmelite monastery on Saturday morning), marking Holy Days and the liturgical seasons with special observances. No classes are held during Mass times. Students gather for Morning and Evening Prayer and sing Compline in their residences. The Traditional Latin Mass is offered once per week, and the Melkite Divine Liturgy is offered once per semester.

Recently, Magdalen College took a large and unique step to help ensure that a deep and abiding Catholic identity imbues the life of students by forming a partnership with Fr. Michael Gaitley and the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy.

President Harne told the Newman Society that the partnership is designed to help “educate our students in a way that includes and complements evangelization” and forms both the mind and the heart.

“The partnership,” President Harne continued, “will be fundamentally relational and rooted in mentoring relationships. Students will not only learn directly from Fr. Gaitley and other MIC [Marians of the Immaculate Conception] priests, but will also study, worship and grow alongside slightly older (but still young) Catholics who are animated by a lively faith.”

The spiritual lives of students are also nourished through the Confraternity of Saint Joseph and the Solidarity of Mary, groups that meet bi-weekly for prayer, spiritual reading, and a home-cooked meal. There is also a discernment program led by the college’s chaplain. On important feast days such as the Immaculate Conception and the feast of St. John Paul II (the College’s patron), Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts closes its offices and celebrates both through the liturgy and with feasts, dances, and other cultural celebrations.

The Rosary is prayed daily in the Chapel or residence halls, and exposition and Adoration are offered twice a week. Both the men’s and women’s residences have chapels in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved.

The College places a special emphasis on reverence and beauty in campus liturgy, with a strong commitment to liturgical renewal.  Dr. Harne says it was the beauty of the liturgy that initiated his conversion to the Catholic Church, entering “through the door of the beautiful.” The student choir sings chant, motets, polyphony, and traditional hymns.

In 2011, Magdalen College announced that students would chant the Propers of the Mass in newly composed English settings. Dr. Harne explained: “The introit, offertory, and communion chants of the Graduale Romanum have largely disappeared from the celebration of Mass.  These chants have remained the ideal, being advocated in all magisterial documents concerning the liturgy in the past one hundred years, including those following the Second Vatican Council.  Restoring the singing of these chants to our celebration of the Mass is another step toward fulfilling [Pope Benedict’s] call for a reform of the reform.”

All Masses are celebrated ad orientem, facing East as was traditional for much of the Church’s history, and students kneel to receive the Eucharist. Mass is celebrated in both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms.

Additionally, the Tridentine Form of the Mass is offered each Sunday at a nearby parish, which is staffed by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter.  A shuttle is available for students who wish to attend a Tridentine Mass on Sundays.

The College also provides retreats at the beginning of each academic year.  The 2018 retreat was led by Fr. Michael Gaitley.


Built with clapboard siding, brick, and shuttered windows, the residences are a “home away from home” for students enrolled at the College.  Both residences—St. Mary’s for the women and St. Joseph’s for the men—have a large living room, a chapel where Christ resides in the Blessed Sacrament, study areas, and laundry facilities. Each spacious bedroom accommodates several students with bunk beds, wardrobes, storage spaces, and a private bathroom.

Magdalen College’s policies are similar to other faithful Catholic colleges, allowing students independence while strongly encouraging moral development and growth in the virtues. The College’s student handbook is available online. Opposite-sex visitation is not permitted in the campus residences.

All students participate in the Campus Service Program by working in the library, serving in the administrative offices, or helping maintain campus facilities. All students also serve in the kitchen in some capacity. These programs help defray the cost of tuition and promote responsible stewardship of the campus buildings and grounds.


Students may choose from a variety of on-campus activities, and the College’s location in beautiful New Hampshire offers students access to Boston and the beauty of the Atlantic Coast.  The College recently announced a new partnership with a nearby skiing resort giving students access to free passes.

Rowing, skiing, hiking, running, and soccer are among the clubs and co-curricular activities available to athletically-minded students.

Through the College’s new “Arts of the Beautiful” program, students integrate courses in music, the visual arts, and aesthetics with participation in the robust cultural life available on campus and in New England, particularly in Boston, Concord, and Hanover.  Activities for those in this program include concerts, ballets, the theater, and museums.  Opportunities to study iconography, drawing, and painting are also offered.

On campus, the initiative of the students and the efforts of the student life staff combine to provide activities for students year-round. These include New England bonfires, plays, dances, special dinners, intramural sports, several film series, concerts, the pro-life club, the hiking club, the St. Joseph’s Confraternity, the Sodality of Mary, polyphony choir—which tours New England each December—a Knights of Columbus council, dance clubs, and the art club.

The St. Genesius Players, the College’s drama club, has performed works by Shakespeare, Sophocles, Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, as well as popular musicals.  In 2018, on the feast of Saint John Paul II, the college performed his play, The Jeweler’s Shop.

Members of the college choir sing at daily Mass, Sunday Mass, and on Feast Days. Smaller ensembles, such as the Polyphony Choir, and the chant schola, require an audition. The choirs of the College sing at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Manchester and at various other venues, including the Shrine for Divine Mercy in Stockbridge on Divine Mercy Sunday.  In recent years, the Polyphony Choir has toured New England in the week following the fall semester.  The College made its fifth cd of sacred music in 2018.  Music also finds a prominent place around campus in a variety of settings, such as the Academic Convocation, parents’ weekend, coffee houses, visitor weekend, the annual Feast of Saint Nicholas celebration (following the “Lessons and Carols” service), and more.

Pro-life activities are another important component of student life, with well-over half the student body participating in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. and many participating in the New Hampshire March for Life.  Many students also participate in local pro-life activities, attending marches and vigils in Concord, and supporting the national “40 Days for Life.”  Four organizations on campus—Spes Vitae, the World Youth Alliance chapter, the Dignitas Scholars, and the Knights of Columbus—are all active in pro-life work in different ways.

Through the College’s new “Dignitas Scholars” program, students carry out the corporal works of mercy both locally and in the Dominican Republic.  These scholars are also pro-life leaders on campus and receive formation through the writings and spirituality of St. Mother Teresa, St. John Paul II, and the Church’s magisterial teaching on the social doctrine of the Church.

Annual traditions include also include formal and swing dances, retreat weekends, the Fall Festival, the Spring Art Show, play productions, attending Boston Ballet performances, as well as canoeing, apple picking, and hiking trips.  Students also visit New York in the fall or spring and make an annual pilgrimage to Montreal.

The locale provides ample opportunities for outdoor and winter activities both on and off campus.

Bottom Line

Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts offers an education of the whole person—both in and beyond the classroom. With joy, the College proudly proclaims its fidelity to the Church, its commitment to intellectual excellence, and its determination to prepare Catholic leaders who will fearlessly renew the culture for Christ.

Students attending Magdalen College find themselves in a small community that is serious about the liberal arts and the Catholic faith, finding expression in the beautiful and reverent liturgies and music.

Magdalen College offers students an idyllic setting and the opportunity to freely participate in a small community seeking to know the Truth, love the Faith, and transform the world.

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 Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts.

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.

The college is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE,formerly NEASC), which is approved by the U.S Department of Education.

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

Graduates from the College have gone on to over forty-five different graduate school programs.  According to a recent alumni survey, 18% of graduates go into education, 12% into business, sales, or finance-related fields, and 10% enter the priesthood or religious lifeGraduates also go to law school and medical school, run for public officebecome journalistsIT professionals, and novelists.  Others become Church musicians and still others lead non-profits.

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

In 2019, the American Council of Trustees and alumni awarded the college an “A” rating for its academic program. This places within a group of four Catholic institutions in the country.

The renewal of the Catholic Great Books curriculum at the College in 2010 has received attention both regionally and nationally and in 2015 the college’s Great Books program was recognized as one of the top programs in the nation.  For the last four years, from 2015 to 2018, members of the faculty of the college were invited by the journal “First Things” to develop and lead Great Books seminars in New York City for professionals from around the country.  The Napa Institute has done the same for its programs in California and New York. 

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: 1240


Additional Academic Quality information, clarification or description (optional)

Building on the foundation established by the college’s founding Dean, Dr. George Stanciuthe College renewed its Catholic Great Books Program in 2010 by integrating a wider range of authors into the conversation spanning from Homer to Pope Benedict XVI.  Complementing its Great Books Program with the study of theology, and the fine arts, the renewed curriculum has set standard for Catholic Great Books education in the 21st century. 

The addition of majors in Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Theology, and the Great Books in 2015—with a fine artsconcentration added in 2017sets this prograapart among the greatbooks colleges.  These developments are further complemented by the Junior Project and Senior Thesis. 

In 2018, the college’s Philosophy and Humanities Sequence and Writing Workshop underwent further developments, drawing inspiration from earlier work done by two of its faculty members, Dr. Peter Sampo—the college’s founding president—and Dr. Mary Mumbach (as well as the latters teacher, Dr. Louise Cowan.)  These included the addition of new texts to the sequencethe integration of the Humanities across the college within a single cycle, and an accent on literature.  These respected tutors also inspired the creation of a study abroad program in Rome in the sophomore year, whichincorporating the college’s other traditionsalso includes study in Krakow and Norcia.  The “Writing Workshop” was also expanded from two to four semesters and Greek was added to the Program of Studies.  

Dialogue exists at the heart of the college, within its DNA.  Through close reading, lively presentation, and disciplined discussion, students strive to perfect their intellect and imagination while clarifying the principles that structure all of reality.   

Taking the complementarity of Faith and Reason as their starting point, students and teachers order their learning to human flourishing in this life and to the beatific vision in the next 

Together, all the members of the collegiate community “seek wisdom.” 

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. Anthony Esolen is a nationally renowned scholar and translator of literature—including works of Dante, Lucretius, and Tasso—as well as a prolific essayist, poet, and author of works on contemporary matters.  Dr. Esolen is invited speaker nationally.

Brian FitzGerald is a scholar of medieval history whose first book, Inspiration and Authority in the Middle Ages: Prophets and their Critics from Scholasticism to Humanism, has recently been published by Oxford University Press.

Dr. Mary Mumbach is an expert on Shakespeare, Faulkner, and Flannery O’Connor.  In 2011 she was awarded the Russell Kirk Paideia Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. George Harne, the College’s president, earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University, and has expertise in the field of medieval music.

Dr. Peter Sampo is the recipient of the New England Higher Education Excellence Award.

Additional Faculty information, clarification or description (optional):

All of our Catholic faculty take the Oath of Fidelity in the presence of the bishop at the beginning of each academic year at the Academic Mass of the Holy Spirit.  All hiring is carried out according to the principles outlined in Blessed John Paul II’s Ex corde Ecclesiae.

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

Yes. In the College’s Great Books Program, each student takes at least six semesters of theology that cover all of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other key magisterial and theological documents.  Students may also earn a major in Theology that requires an additional eight courses of theology.  Theological works ranging from Scripture and writings of the Church Fathers through the encyclicals of Pope Benedict are also included in our Philosophy and Humanities courses.

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


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


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?


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

Theology 101:   Prayer and the Sacraments

Theology 102:  The Creed

Theology 201:  Sacred Scripture I

Theology 202:  Sacred Scripture II

Theology 301:  Life in Christ (Moral Theology)

Theology 302:  The Theology of Love

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

Our unique six-semester theology sequence required of all students aims to ensure that our students develop a complete grasp of the Deposit of Faith. This is done through the careful study of magisterial documents, classical theological texts, and Sacred Scripture. To these works are added more recent theological studies (such as encyclicals and writings of Benedict XVI) which conduct their work in a hermeneutic of continuity. Through our theology sequence, our graduates are then prepared to pass the fullness of the faith on to others in their families, parishes, and communities.

Additional Theology information, clarification or description (optional):

Undergraduates who complete the Theology sequence with a minimum GPA of 2.0 and promise to teach the faith in accord with magisterial authority, qualify to receive an Apostolic Catechetical Diploma.

Please identify any course that every undergraduate student must take:

Fall Semester Freshman Year:  Theology: Prayer and the Sacraments Philosophy & Humanities Seminar: The Ancient World I,  Freshman Seminar I: “The Nature of Man, Writing Workshop I, Latin or Greek I, Choir 

Spring Semester Freshman Year: Philosophy & Humanities Seminar: The Ancient World II, Freshman Seminar II on the Nature of Man, Writing Workshop II, Latin or Greek IIEuclidean Geometry, Choir 

Fall Semester Sophomore Year: Theology: Sacred Scripture I, Philosophy & Humanities Seminar: Greece, Rome & the Birth of Christianity, Latin or Greek IIIChoir 

Spring Semester Sophomore Year (in Rome, Krakow, and Norcia):  Philosophy & Humanities Seminar: The Middle AgesTheology: Sacred Scripture II, Intermediate Latin or Greek IV, Astronomy, Art & Architecture of Rome 

Fall Semester Junior Year:  Philosophy & Humanities Seminar: Renaissance, Reformation, & Catholic RenewalTheology: The Creed, Choir, Junior Project, major courses in Politics, Theology, Literature, Philosophy, or Great Books 

Spring Semester Junior Year:  Philosophy & Humanities Seminar: The Dialectics of Enlightenment, Theology: Life in Christ (Moral Theology)Natural Science (Astronomy and Physics), Choir, major courses in Politics, Theology, Literature, Philosophy, or Great Books 

Fall Semester Senior Year: Philosophy & Humanities Seminar: Late Modernity & Postmodernity I, Theology: The Theology of LoveBiology IChoir, major courses in Politics, Theology, Literature, Philosophy, or Great Books 

Spring Semester Senior Year: Philosophy & Humanities Seminar: Late Modernity & Postmodernity II, Biology IIComprehensive Exams, major courses in Politics, Theology, Literature, Philosophy, or Great Books

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

In the Junior and Senior years, each student takes a series of major courses.  They may choose from courses arranged according to the five majors:  Theology, Politics, Philosophy, Literature, and the Great Books: 


The Gospels 

Patristic Theology 

Medieval Theology and Philosophy 

Medieval Law, Political Theory, and Ecclesiology 

Ascetic Theology 

Nineteenth & Twentieth-Century Theology 


Saints in Art & Icons 




Modern & Contemporary Philosophy 

Philosophy of Law 

Moral Philosophy 

Philosophy of Religion 

Philosophy of Art 

Bioethics and Life Issues 

Medieval Theology and Philosophy 

Philosophy of History 



Southern Literature 

The Russian Novel 


Literary Criticism 

The English Poetic Tradition 


Governments of Western Europe 

International Relations 

Modern Ideologies 

State and Local Government 

Medieval Law, Political Theory, and Ecclesiology 

Philosophy of History 

Political Economy 


Great Books majors select eight of the courses above. 

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

129 credits, 88% from the core

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 at least six semesters of theology that are devoted to the basic Deposit of Faith and Sacred Scripture.  These courses are based upon the Biblegreat works of theology, the Catechism of the Catholic Churchand other magisterial documents.  Students may also concentrate in Theology, continuing their studies with courses that are in harmony with the mind of the Church. 

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


Additional Core Curriculum information, clarification or description (optional):

The College’s Great Books curriculum reflects a deep integration of the humanities, the traditional liberal arts, the fine arts, and classic disciplines of literature, philosophy, political philosophy, and theology beginning with the origins of Western civilization and continuing through the present. It represents the integration of Faith and Reason, the cultivation of the poetic imagination, and attention to the traditionaltriviumandquadriviumordered to the pursuit of wisdom.  The sequence of readings and descriptions of each of these courses are available on the College’s website.

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

Students may choose to major in Theology, Politics, Philosophy, Literature, or the Great Books. Students may also earn a concentration in Fine Arts in addition to one of these 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?

Theology- 32%

Philosophy- 24%

Politics- 19%

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?


If yes, please describe:

The College regularly hosts academic speakers on topics that pertain to theology, liturgy, or the spiritual life.  The College’s integrated vision of the intellectual and spiritual life encourages speakers on other topics to treat their subjects—even when they are not specifically theological—against the background of a fully integrated Faith and Reason. A list of recent lectures is available on the college’s website.

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


If yes, please describe:

Our faculty teach in a highly integrated and coherent curriculum which requires that they cooperate and collaborate across disciplines to assist students in their pursuit of wisdom. They affirm the unity of Faith and Reason and a common Catholic understanding of the human person.  This cooperation is fostered through regular conversations and colloquia among the faculty.

Additional Programs of Study information, clarification or description:

In 2010, the College undertook a thorough renewal of its Great Books curriculum, seeking to create the strongest Catholic Great Books Program in the nation. A further integration across the college took place in 2018, one that would allow the full-time faculty to teach in the unified Humanities sequence.

The faculty meet regularly to consider a variety of matters, including the integration of Faith and Reason within courses and the nature of Catholic liberal education.

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?


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


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.):

Mo 11:20 a.m., Ordinary Form English, chant and traditional hymns 

Tu 11:20 a.m., Ordinary Form English, chant and traditional hymns 

We 11:20 a.m., Ordinary Form English, chant and traditional hymns 

Th 11:20 a.m., Ordinary Form English, chant and traditional hymns 

Fr 11:20 a.m., Extraordinary Form Latin, High Mass (Missa Cantata) 

Sa 9:00 a.m., Ordinary Form English, hymns (at a local Carmelite monastery) 

Su 4:45 p.m., Ordinary Form English, chant, traditional hymns, and polyphony 

Mass is normally celebratedad orientem.  Communion is normally received kneeling and on the tongue. 

Holy Week liturgies are celebrated on campus with great splendor, beauty and reverence, including chant and polyphony. Once per semester our chaplain celebrates Mass according to the Melkite Rite. 

Does your institution offer Confession on campus at least weekly?


List the schedule for Confession by day and time:

Mo 11:05 a.m.

Tu 11:05 a.m.

We 11:05 a.m.

Th 11:05 a.m.

Fr 11:05 a.m.

Sa 8:15 a.m.

Su 4:30 p.m.

Other: Confession and spiritual direction are also available by appointment

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:

Adoration is available and encouraged throughout the year.  Days and times vary each semester but is offered at least twice per week, including on Sunday when it concludes with sung Compline and Benediction.  Adoration is further encouraged through the main chapel’s central location on campus and the two chapels in the residences in which the Blessed Sacrament is reposed. 

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

In 2018, the College formed a unique partnership with Fr. Michael Gaitley and the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy.  The partnership brings Fr. Gaitley and the Missionaries to campus for retreats and other occasions, including hiking, recreation, confession, and spiritual direction.  This partnership is also expressed through regular Marian Consecration (“33 Days to Morning Glory”)weekly conferences through the “Hearts Afire Program, service trips to Boston, and visits to the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge. 

The Rosary, Morning Prayer, and Evening Prayer are prayed in the College chapel daily.  Night Prayer (Compline) is sung in the residence chapels on a regular basis.  The Angelus and St. Michael Prayer are prayed following Mass each day as appropriate.  Novenas are prayed informally throughout the year. There is also a group devoted to the study of the practice of prayer that reads and discusses the Mass readings of the day and other theological texts. The College chaplain also provides the opportunity for the veneration of relics on special feasts.  Each class begins and ends with prayer.  The Stations of the Cross and Advent prayers are also part of community life. Through the Confraternity of Saint Joseph and the Sodality of Mary, students participate in special devotions andLectio Divina. 

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:

At Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts, each student is encouraged to carefully discern his or her vocation over the course of four years. The entire spiritual life of the college functions as an integrated discernment program for all students. Key features include:

A vibrant liturgical life that includes Mass, Morning and Evening Prayer, and Compline.

A liturgical life that accents beauty, reverence, and the transcendent through sacred music, visual beauty, ad orientem celebration of the Mass, and kneeling to receive communion.

Experience of the liturgy in its Ordinary, Extraordinary, and Melkite forms.

Six-semesters of academic theology that is faithful to magisterial teaching and that covers the established deposit of faith and sacred scripture.

Spiritual formation and retreats led by Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, and the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy.

A close-knit community life centered on faith and the Eucharist.

Regular Adoration and Benediction.

A lively Marian piety within the student culture, expressed through regular Marian consecration, walking rosaries, and more.

A strong devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  (The college was consecrated to the Sacred Heart in 2011.)

The opportunity to major in philosophy or theology.

“Orantes,” a group devoted to the cultivation of a life of prayer and reflection on each Sunday’s readings.

Opportunities to develop a “sacramental imagination” through the college’s Humanities sequence and its “Arts of the Beautiful” program.

Frequent opportunities for spiritual direction and guidance with a variety of priests.

Retreats and days of recollection.

A residential life conducive to discernment, including chapels in each residence in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved and single-sex residences without inter-visitation.

Many opportunities for service through the corporal works of mercy and pro-life activities, particularly through Spes Vitae (our pro-life club), the Dignitas Scholars, and the state and national March for Life.

A campus-wide, common-sense approach to digital and other media.

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


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. In its forty-year history, approximately 10% of the College’s graduates have entered the priesthood or religious life.  We believe this has been the fruit of the College’s integrated program of liberal arts and Great Books that includes eight semesters of the Theology.   This is also the result of the common student life that unfolds throughout the year according to the rhythms of the liturgical year and that places the sacraments at the center of its existence.  The College also offers special financial arrangements for students considering the priesthood or religious life through which the college can assume outstanding student loans for those who are ordained or take final vows. 

Additional Chaplaincy information, clarification or description (optional):

The College’s resident chaplain has several decades of pastoral experience. In addition to his liturgical duties, he also teaches in the theology sequence, provides spiritual direction, devotes himself to maintaining a strong Catholic culture at the College, frequently dines with students, offers retreats, assists in selecting speakers, and occasionally leads students off campus for pilgrimages and other events.  A second priest teaches in the theology sequence and celebrates Mass.  The students also receive spiritual formation from Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC and other Marian priests through the college’s partnership with the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy.  The college also has a close relationship with the FSSP parish, St. Stanislaus, in Nashua, New Hampshire, where students frequently sing and serve.

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

Students normally reside on campus in one of the single-sex residences. 

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?


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?

We have a “dry campus.” At the College, sobriety is the cultural norm that is expected and maintained on campus.  If such a problem does arise, the situation is immediately addressed.

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

The College cultivates an ethos animated by a joyful acceptance of the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and its context within a Catholic philosophical anthropology. The challenges faced by young people are addressed in a commonsense and positive way: personal affirmation of human dignity and beauty,  single-sex residences, and the absence of inter-visitation within the residences. Through the Sodality of Mary and the Confraternity of Saint Joseph, as well as through other means, the College addresses questions of modesty and virtue. 

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


If yes, please describe:

A chapel containing the Blessed Sacrament is at the center of each residence.  Daily Rosary, Morning Prayer, and Evening Prayer are scheduled in the campus chapel but also occasionally take place in the residences. Compline takes place in the both residences each evening. There is a shrine to St. Joseph near the men’s residence and a shrine to Our Lady near the women’s residence. Through a student-led group, “Orantes,” students explore the rich tradition of prayer and receive encouragement to cultivate deep personal prayer lives. 

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

The College’s student life staff includes a Dean of Students (supervising all of student life)a Dean of Men and Dean of Women, and residence assistants in each residence.  Social, educational, and spiritual events are scheduled for students throughout the year. 

The Student Handbook is available on the College’s website. The student life policies of the College were thoroughly updated in 2010 and are consistent with other Newman Guide schools. 

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

foster spiritual development:

In 2018 the college formed a partnership with Fr. Michael Gaitley (author “33 Days to Morning Glory”) and the Marian Missionaries of Divine Mercy. This partnership involves retreats, spiritual direction, Marian Consecration, Fr. Gaitley’s “Hearts Afire Program, and more. 

The college has a close relationship with the FSSP parish, St. Stanislaus, in Nashua New Hampshire.  Students frequently sing and serve at this parish and its pastor offered the retreat for the college in the fall of 2017.   

The Confraternity of Saint Joseph.  This confraternity meets bi-weekly for a common meal and spiritual reading and discussion.  The Confraternity requires its members to follow a common rule of life that is ordered to study, prayer, the sacraments, and sanctification.  Members of the Confraternity also cultivate a devotion to St. Joseph. 

In the 2012-2013 academic year the Sodality of Mary was established. In the Sodality of Mary, young women from the College gather bi-weekly for a time of food, prayer, fellowship, and mutual encouragement.  Each gathering begins with prayer (often including lectio divina) and is followed by discussions of topics that affect Catholic women at the beginning of the twenty-first century. 

In the academic year 2011-2012, the young men of the College organized a new Knights of Columbus council that includes students, faculty, and staff. 

In 2015, students created a group devoted to the study and practice of prayer.  This group, called “Orantes,” has studied and discussed the writings of Fr. Jacques Phillippe among others.  Members of this group have also offered complete readings of books of Sacred Scripture (e.g., Apocalypse, and Ecclesiastes) at key points in the liturgical calendar. 

Students and the student life staff also organize special reading groups, Bible studies, Marian Consecration, and other spiritual activities. 

engage in corporal works of mercy:

In 2015, the College’s president and five students spent seven days working in the Dominican Republic at a children’s home through Nuestros Pequenos Hermaños.  This was the beginning of the “Dignitas Scholars” program that unites a pro-life witness to the corporal works of mercy (both locally and in the Dominican Republic) in the spirit of St. Teresa of Calcutta.  Since then students have returned to the Dominican Republic but also served in Guatemala 

Students also gather food once per month from the community through our monthly fish fries.  These canned goods are given to the local food bank. 

Each year, students participate in a clothing drive as well. 

The college hosts speakers that discuss topics related to the corporal works of mercy.

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

The College—including students, the president, and other staff—gives a public witness to the culture of life by participating in the National March for Life in Washington D.C. The primary pro-life club, “Spes Vitae,”one of four organizations on campus that devote themselves to pro-life activitiesis also active throughout the year.

address issues of social concern:

In addition to engagement in pro-life activities, students also serve the community in a variety of ways as the opportunity arises, including visits to a local retirement community, service to the local food pantrycollaboration with Catholic Charities, and support for persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

address particular academic interests:

The College hosts an Academic Speaker Series and encourages special discussion groups devoted to academic topics and interests. 

Students have recently been awarded fellowships with the John Jay Institute and the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.

address particular cultural interests:

Students have participated in a conference at Princeton University on “Love and Fidelity”  As well as in the “Emerging Leaders Conference” in New York City, hosted by the World Youth Alliance.  (These trips provide students with access to the cultural treasures of New York.)  WYA also welcomes applications for international internships from Magdalen College’s students. 

Beginning in 2018, the college has also introduced students to New York through the Career Pathway’s “New York Experience,” through which students meet Catholic leaders in the city and experience its cultural riches.   

The College welcomes cultural speakers to campus, plans trips to Boston and greater New England art galleries and concerts.  It also organizes a film-series and there is an active drama club, the St. Genesius Players. 

Students of the college also host an art exhibit each spring and there is an active art club on campus. 

Through the college’s “Arts of the Beautiful Program,” students have the opportunity to enjoy concerts, plays, galleries, films, and other cultural treasures in New England.  Through this program, students also have the opportunity to study directly with practicing artists who visit campus. 

provide opportunities for athletic pursuits:

The college encourages an integrated approach to human flourishing—one consistent with a Catholic understanding of the incarnation as well as the Greek model of education—that cares for the mind, body, and spirit.  For this reason, students have ample opportunities to play on various teams (see below) and experience the beautiful New England outdoors through skiing and hiking. 

Rowing, hiking, soccer, basketball, and martial arts are all available through student clubs and co-curricular activities.  

Students also regularly enjoy winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating during the winter months. 

All students receive free ski passes through a local ski resort. 

Students also enjoy the benefits of a full gymnasium and exercise rooms in the residence halls.

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

The College has an active student government in the form of the “Student Activities Board,” and the “President’s Advisory Council.”

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?

All clubs and activities on campus must have a faculty or staff advisor whose responsibilities include making sure that all of the club activities are in agreement with traditions and magisterium of the Catholic Church.

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


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

The College’s student handbook is available online.

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:

Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts seeks to serve her students, their families, the Church, and society by providing a premier Catholic, Great Books, liberal arts education that is faithful to the magisterium and rooted in a vibrant liturgical and sacramental culture, calling all within her collegiate community to a life of intellectual excellence, service, and faithful discipleship.

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:

Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts welcomes speakers to the college that will enable us to grow as a collegiate community.  Though the college welcomes the opportunity to pursue the truth in dialogue with those with whom we may disagree, the college will not—in accordance with the directives of the document “Catholics in Political Life,” issued by the USCCB–honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles or provide platforms that suggest support for their actions.

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

The College seeks to guard and strengthen its Catholic identity at every level and in every sphere of its activity.  Inside the classroom, Faith and Reason are integrated.  Outside the classroom, the teachings of the faith guide students, faculty, and staff in their conduct.  The authentic, traditional Catholic identity of the College is non-negotiable.

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: 86

Male: 50%  Female: 50%

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

Number of states represented: 20
Top three states: New Hampshire, California, Massachusetts
Students from top three states: 49

Catholic HS: 15% Homeschool: 70%
Private HS: 5% Public HS:  10%

Most up-to-date information as of 11/1/18

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

One of the strengths of the College is the closeness of the student body.  Through a variety of means, the College seeks to promote a common life conducive to intellectual and moral flourishing and that promotes social and spiritual maturity.  Graduates consistently report that the closeness of the student community is one of the most important parts of their undergraduate experience.

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?


The president is required by our bylaws to be Catholic. 

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


Additional Leadership information, clarification or description (optional):

All members of the board and president must be faithful and practicing Catholics.  Virtually all of the College’s senior staff are faithful Catholics.

A Message from the President

Dr. George Harne resigned from his position as president at the end of July, 2020. Dr. Eric Buck is currently serving as interim president.

Visit Campus

Get in touch with Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts to schedule your campus visit:


511 Kearsarge Mountain Rd
Warner, NH 03278

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