John Paul the Great Catholic University

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John Paul the Great Catholic University


John Paul the Great Catholic University Logo.png
Motto Impact Culture for Christ
Established 2003
Type Private, Catholic
President Derry Connolly
Undergraduates 140
Postgraduates 70
Location Escondido, California, U.S.
Campus Urban
Mascot Pelicans

John Paul the Great Catholic University is located in Escondido, California, United States. It currently offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Communications Media and Business, each with several concentrations offered, a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Film Producing, and a Master of Arts in Biblical Theology. JP Catholic—the university's shortened nickname—emphasizes its loyalty to the Catholic Church, and lists "impacting the culture for Christ" as one of its main goals. The university was named one of North America's "21 Catholic colleges and universities which most faithfully live their Catholic identity" by the Cardinal Newman Society and has consistently been listed in the Newman Society's "Guide to Choosing a Catholic College".[1][2][3] In May 2013, the University purchased a building in Escondido, a city north of San Diego, and relocated during the summer of 2013.[4] It is endorsed The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.


John Paul the Great Catholic University was founded in 2003 under the name "New Catholic University." After the death of Pope John Paul II in April 2005, the Board of Trustees decided to change the name to honor the late Pope, while retaining the word "Catholic" in the official name to emphasize the priorities of the school.[5] JP Catholic officially opened its doors with its first classes on September 21, 2006 with a temporary campus in Scripps Ranch.[6] The University moved to a permanent campus in Escondido in 2013, holding its first classes there at the start of the Fall 2013 academic quarter.[7]


John Paul the Great Catholic University's main classroom building

JP Catholic is located in downtown Escondido, a city immediately north of San Diego, California and approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of downtown San Diego.[8] Classrooms, sound stage, and chapel are located in a former art museum on Grand Avenue, the heart of Escondido's historic downtown, while administrative offices are housed in a building across the street. Additional office space is leased at two other buildings on Grand Avenue. Students live "on campus" at an apartment complex approximately 0.5 miles (0.80 km) away from the classrooms.[9]


JP Catholic operates on a non-traditional year-round schedule, with three 10-week quarters per academic year and four quarters per calendar year. The school decided to move away from the traditional "agricultural model" of fall and spring studies with an extended summer break, after finding that a lengthy break caused "a major disruption to the student business creation process."[10] Students graduate in three years, beginning the program at the start of a fall quarter and graduating at the end of their third summer quarter. Consequently, there are never more than three classes of students on campus at any given time.

Calendar Year Fall Quarter Winter Quarter Spring Quarter Summer Quarter
Year 1 Freshman, Q1 Freshman, Q2 Freshman, Q3 Sophomore, Q1
Year 2 Sophomore, Q2 Sophomore, Q3 Junior, Q1 Junior, Q2
Year 3 Junior, Q3 Senior, Q1 Senior, Q2 Senior, Q3

Undergraduate Degrees[edit]

JP Catholic currently offers two Bachelors of Science degrees: Business, with concentrations in Entrepreneurship, Sales & Marketing, Leadership & Management; and Communications Media, with concentrations in Screenwriting, Producing, Production/Directing, Acting, Animation, Video Game Design, and New Evangelization, which, according to the university website, will teach students "to bring the light of the Gospel to all nations by passionately articulating the faith using new forms of communication."[11][12] Undergraduate students also take core curriculum classes in philosophy, art, literature, and science, with a heavy emphasis on Catholic theology.[13]

Senior Business Plan[edit]

JP Catholic is noted for its focus on business entrepreneurship, and offers an educational track and resource hub for entrepreneurial students, called the Do.School. Seniors and MBA students work with business-experienced faculty to develop viable business plans, and use University resources to launch a company.[14]

Graduate Degrees[edit]

The school offers a Master of Business Administration degree with concentration Film Producing,[15] and a Master of Arts in Biblical Theology.[16] The MA in Biblical Theology is offered on-campus or online.[17]


  1. ^ Life Site News, Oct. 3, 2007
  2. ^ The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College,
  3. ^
  4. ^ Roger Showley, San Diego Union Tribune, "Catholic film school moving to Escondido," May 14, 2013;
  5. ^,
  6. ^ Sandi Dolbee, San Diego Union-Tribune, "University wants students to take their inner faith to outside world," Sept. 22, 2006;
  7. ^ JP Catholic Press Release, September 25, 2013, accessed October 23, 2013;
  8. ^ Roger Showley, San Diego Union Tribune, "Catholic film school moving to Escondido," May 14, 2013;
  9. ^ JP Catholic website, 'Student Housing at JP Catholic'
  10. ^ JP Catholic Website, "Year Round Structure for Degree Programs to start July 2008,"
  11. ^ JP Catholic Official Site,
  12. ^ JP Catholic News, "JP Catholic launches New Evangelization Program," Jan. 22, 2010;
  13. ^ JP Catholic Official Site: General Education,
  14. ^ JP Catholic Official Site,
  15. ^ MBA,
  16. ^ MA Theology,
  17. ^ MA Theology,

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°53′59″N 117°06′31″W / 32.899590°N 117.108541°W / 32.899590; -117.108541