Best College Reviews, an independent college review journal that provides information on schools, ranks the Diocese of Knoxville’s St. John XXIII University Parish and Catholic Center as the 14th best Newman Center in the United States.
A Pew Research study found that Christianity makes up 70 percent of the total population, with about 21 percent of the total identifying as Catholic. Many college campuses incorporate Christian organizations and centers into campus life, which prompted Best College Reviews to rank Catholic Newman Centers.
These centers are named after the famous 19th-century English intellectual and convert, John Henry Newman, whose work The Idea of a University is still studied in schools around the world. Newman Centers function as a place for young Catholics to further religious ideals and goals through prayer, study, religious service, community service, and relationship-building activities. The information used for the ranking is taken from each school’s Newman Center website and The Newman Connection, an online institute dedicated to helping educate and encourage young Catholics in their faith.
Statistics on student populations were gathered from The Newman Connection.
The Newman Centers on this list were chosen based on the following criteria:
■ The Newman Center offers regular Mass times during the week;
■ The Newman Center regularly offers eucharistic adoration, confession, and other opportunities for spiritual growth;
■ The Newman Center offers regular community-building events;
■ The college must have a Catholic population of greater than 100 students;
■ Percentage of Catholic students, relationship with the local parish, and specific site amenities were also taken into account.
Campuses with the top Newman Centers in the nation, according to the review, were the University of Illinois-Champaign, Bowling Green State University, Montclair State University, University of North Dakota, University of Southern California, North Dakota State University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Washington, Nicholls State University, Ohio State University, University of Oregon, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, University of South Dakota, George Washington University, University of Akron, Florida State University, University of Utah, and Ball State University. ■