Thomas Aquinas College

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Thomas Aquinas College
MottoFides Quaerens Intellectum
Motto in English
(Faith Seeking Understanding)
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic
PresidentMichael F. McLean
  • John Goyette (California)
  • Thomas J. Kaiser (New England)
Location, ,
United States

Thomas Aquinas College is a private Roman Catholic liberal arts college with its main campus in Ventura County, California. A second campus opened in Northfield, Massachusetts in 2018.[1] Its education is based on the Great Books and seminar method. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.[2] It is endorsed by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

In December 2017 the Thomas wildfire, the largest of the season's wildfires, started near, and was named after, the college.[3]


The Chapel

Thomas Aquinas offers one degree program: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts.[4]

As a matter of principle, to ensure the institution's autonomy, the school does not accept any direct government funding; neither does it receive funding from the Catholic Church. Rather, it offers need-based scholarships funded by the private donations of individuals and foundations.[5]

In 2012, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni included Thomas Aquinas College in its What Will They Learn? study, which assigns a letter grade to 1,070 universities based on how many of the following seven core subjects are required, according to its specific criteria : composition, literature, foreign language, American history, economics, mathematics, and science. Thomas Aquinas College was one of 21 schools to receive an "A" grade, a grade assigned to schools that include at least six of the seven subjects.[6][7]


Thomas Aquinas offers one degree, a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts. This is an integrated liberal arts curriculum made up primarily of the Great Books of the Western Tradition, with order of learning emphasized in the structure of the curriculum. Much of the first two years of the four-year program is devoted to the Trivium (logic, rhetoric, and grammar) and the Quadrivium (geometry, astronomy, arithmetic, and music.)[8] Natural science, philosophy, and theology are studied all four years. Over the first three years, a total of eleven papers are assigned in the various subject areas throughout the year—"Five essays are written in  freshman year, four sophomore year, and two lengthier essays are written in junior year."[9] In their fourth-year, students produce a senior thesis and defend it before a panel of faculty members.

The college replaces textbooks with original sources, the seminal works in all the major disciplines.[10] Thomas Aquinas College acknowledges that not all texts in their program are of equal weight. They regard some as masterworks and others as sources of opinions that "either lead students to the truth, or make the truth more evident by opposition to it."[8] Students read some texts in their entirety and only excerpts from others.[8]

The college's St. Vincent de Paul Lecture and Concert Series complements its regular academic program, providing events at least once a month during the academic year.

Student life[edit]

Four chaplain-priests live on campus. They provide the sacraments and spiritual direction.[11]

The school has a club soccer team that plays in a Ventura County league.[citation needed] There is also an intramural sports program offering soccer, tennis, football, and volleyball on the school's courts.[citation needed]

The St. Genesius players produce one play a year, commonly a selection from Shakespeare.[12] The College Choir presents an annual concert and a spring musical, often a production of Gilbert and Sullivan.[citation needed] It sings at Sunday Mass and special events. Another student choir and various instrumentalists and vocalists in the student body provide informal recitals throughout the year, at formal and informal events.

Unmarried students are housed on-campus in six dormitories. Married students may live off-campus. Men's and women's residence halls are off-limits to members of the opposite sex.[13]

The possession or use of alcohol or illegal drugs on campus or in the dormitories is not allowed and may entail expulsion from the college.[13]


The Chapel

As the “crown jewel” of the Thomas Aquinas College campus, Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel was dedicated on March 7, 2009.[14] The design for this 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2), $23 million building employs Early Christian, Renaissance, and Spanish Mission styles.[15] Designed by the New Classical architect Duncan Stroik, it is cruciform in shape and features both a 135-foot (41 m) bell tower and an 89-foot (27 m) dome.[16] Pope John Paul II blessed the chapel's plans in 2003, and in 2008, Pope Benedict XVI blessed its cornerstone. Adoremus Bulletin has called Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel “A Triumph of Sacred Architecture.”[17]


The ceiling of the college's Saint Bernardine of Siena Library has been constructed with a 17th-century Spanish monastery Spanish ceiling. The library has a collection of rarities, including thousands-year old Hittite seals, and devotional and sacred objects of saints.[citation needed][18]

New England Campus[edit]

Beginning in the Fall 2019 semester, Thomas Aquinas College has operated on an additional campus in Northfield, Massachusetts. Both campuses are under the authority of the same governing board and follow the same curriculum, but each campus has its own unique cultures due to their geography. The New England campus formerly belonged to Northfield Mount Hermon School, a preparatory school that moved to another campus in 2005 and was given to Thomas Aquinas College in 2017 by the National Christian Foundation.[19] The campus is located near the Connecticut River, and includes 100 acres of land, residence halls, a library, gymnasium, a chapel, and plenty of classroom and administrative space.[20]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beale, Stephen. "Thomas Aquinas College to Open East Coast Campus". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Accreditation". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  3. ^ "California Thomas Fire: No end in sight for week-long wildfire". BBC News. 2017-12-12. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  4. ^ "Degree". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  5. ^ "Financial Aid". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  6. ^ "Thomas Aquinas College". What Will They Learn?. American Council of Trustees and Alumni. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  7. ^ Czupor, Z.J. (Oct 11, 2012). "National study ranks Colorado Christian in top 2% of colleges". Denver Post. Archived from the original on 15 February 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  8. ^ a b c "Curriculum". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
  9. ^ "Syllabus". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
  10. ^ "Great Books". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
  11. ^ "Chaplains". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  12. ^ "Theater". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  13. ^ a b "Rules of Residence". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2016-02-05.
  14. ^ "News". Ventura County Star. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2010-01-13.
  15. ^ "Chapel". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
  16. ^ "A Sign of Contradiction". Inside the Vatican. Archived from the original on 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2010-01-13.
  17. ^ "Chapel". Adoremus Bulletin. Retrieved 2010-01-14.
  18. ^ "St. Bernardine of Siena Library". Thomas Aquinas College. 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  19. ^ "Thomas Aquinas College gets green light for New England campus". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  20. ^ "College Receives Approval for New England Campus!". Thomas Aquinas College. 2018-10-17. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  21. ^ "Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense: Thomas A. Alexander ('99)".
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Marie I. George". Retrieved 2022-07-01.
  24. ^ "Mary Bridget Neumayr ('86) Confirmed to top White House Environmental Post".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°25′47″N 119°05′14″W / 34.4296°N 119.0871°W / 34.4296; -119.0871