Benedictine College Named as One of the Top 20 Catholic Colleges in America

Benedictine College Named as One of the Top 20 Catholic Colleges in America

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Atchison, Kan. Following closely on the heels of the U.S. News & World Report announcement of Benedictine College’s rise into the top 20 schools in their Midwest rankings, the Cardinal Newman Society has named Benedictine to its list of recommended Catholic colleges. The 2015 edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College has recommended Benedictine College as one of the top 20 Catholic colleges, universities and higher education programs in the United States.

According to Benedictine President Stephen D. Minnis, a focus on the mission has been a key to success.

“Everything we do focuses on a community of faith and scholarship,” he said. “And our vision is to become one of the great Catholic colleges in America.”

That vision and the direction of the mission led to Benedictine College being named to the firstNewman Guide list, published in 2007.  Since then, Benedictine has grown dramatically, rising from an enrollment of 1,292 in 2007 to 1,824 in 2014, an increase of nearly 30%. The college has just opened two new residence halls — the 10th and 11th since 2000. One is named Our Lady of Guadalupe Hall and the other is named Lemke Hall after Father Henry Lemke, a founder of St. Benedict’s Abbey in Atchison.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Hall was dedicated Oct. 4 on campus. (Click here for more information.)

Benedictine chooses a theme for each academic year and this year, it is “You are the one I have chosen.” It ties directly to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

“Our new theme emphasizes that Benedictine College is a chosen place with a special mission,” said Minnis. “It is our hope that students will see in Our Lady’s words to Juan Diego the call to each of them to the tasks of the New Evangelization.”

As a testament to its strong Catholic identity, Benedictine College consecrated itself to Jesus through the Blessed Virgin in 2013 and unveiled a new Our Lady of Grace statue and fountain in the academic quad. In January, the college sent eight buses to Washington, D.C. to lead the annual March for Life.

This past April the Student Union was renamed the St. John Paul II Student Center on the occasion of his canonization and the new clock tower associated with the Dining Hall carries the name of St. John XXIII. In 2013 and 2014, Benedictine College was one of only a few Catholic colleges in the United States to be chosen to participate in the Vatican’s Ecclesia in America conference, which focused on Our Lady of Guadalupe. On top of that, over 800 students go on approximately 40 mission trips to places around the world to serve others each year. (See how the Church is looking to Benedictine College.)

The Newman Guide recommends 20 U.S. Catholic colleges and universities and seven international and online programs for their faithful Catholic identity.  Its companion full-color magazine, My Future, My Faith, helps students navigate the transition from high school to college with advice on important topics like how to know which college is right for you, tips for getting accepted, writing the best application essay, keeping your faith in college and even rules for campus dating.

The book version of the Guide provides in-depth narratives exploring the uniqueness of each institution, questions and answers with the colleges, financial and career development information, and much more.  The free online version at includes all the content from the book plus more than 400 pages of additional information, videos, social media links, photographs, news and more.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.