I went into this school last month in an overview of Picking A Catholic College, but wanted to get you a more in-depth insight into the colleges mentioned:
Two universities overseas have made it into the latest edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. One is the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain and the other is Holy Angel University in Angeles City, Philippines. Both of these institutions offer international experiences that are faithfully Catholic and are accessible to students who only speak English.
Within the past year, the Cardinal Newman Society visited both of these campuses to get an inside look at how they work. The society analyzed each university’s dedication to Catholic identity and conducted a number of interviews with university professors and staff. The society is happy to recommend these universities to any Catholic families who are looking for a university where their child can get a faithful higher education. Here’s the inside scoop of University of Navarra.
The University of Navarra was founded in 1952 as a corporate work of Opus Dei. It started out as a law school with only 48 students and four professors. It has since expanded into a contemporary institution that has over 10,000 students and offers dozens of majors. Throughout these years of growth, the University of Navarra has remained dedicated to its founding principles.
The University has an impressive main administrative building with heavy and richly-carved double doors. A few years after the school was founded, Saint Josemaria Escriva constructed a formal meeting room, despite the university’s pressing financial needs. St. Josemaria stated that since this room would be the location for many contract-signing ceremonies of new faculty members, the point of the room was to show the crucial importance of giving new professors a share of the Christian mission. Currently, 85 percent of the university’s professors are practicing Catholics and 60 percent are Opus Dei members. These are impressive numbers for a university of this size.
In the Spring of 2016, University of Navarra had 25 American students enrolled. The University is hoping to draw many more in the upcoming years. The American students spoke highly of the University and its dedication to the Catholic faith. They stated that the University’s focus on quality career formation comes from Opus Dei’s mission for Christians to sanctify their work. While the University states that its high-quality academic programs are the main attraction of the university, there are other benefits too. Students who are entering the workforce can get a leg up on the competition if they are fluent in Spanish and have international experience.
The first two years of the educational experience include “Catholic Worldview” courses in anthropology and ethics. The students also get to choose two “Cultural Keys” courses from a series of options like recent Papal thought, Biblical literature, and Church history. Courses taught in English can be taken in the first two years in the University of Navarra’s schools of communications, economics, humanities and social sciences, engineering, and sciences.
Navarra is home to a number of academic options that not all Catholic universities offer. Pre-medicine students can acquire first-hand experience at the University’s research hospital and communications students can gain the most highly ranked journalism and audio-visual communications degrees in Spain. Philosophy and theology students can learn from an ecclesiastical faculty approved by the Vatican.
On-campus housing is only available for approximately 15 percent of students, so the majority of students live in the flats and apartments that surround campus. Outside of class, many students immerse themselves in Pamplona’s nightlife.
The Catholic faith is a large part of the way the school functions. There is a chapel in nearly every building on campus, and every meal taken in the colegios begins and ends with prayer. The University also offers a number of spiritual opportunities for English-speakers, including Theology on Tap and weekly Mass and confession.
There is a lot to love about University of Navarra. American students enjoy their experience there and develop a large skill set while practicing their faith. It would not be surprising if more American students started heading to University of Navarra for this one-of-a-kind experience.