Thomas More College of Liberal Arts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts seal.png
Seal of Thomas More College of Liberal Arts
Latin: Thomae Morae Societas Artium Liberalium
MottoCaritas congaudet veritati
Motto in English
Charity rejoices in the truth
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic
PresidentWilliam Fahey
Location, ,
United States

Coordinates: 42°48′30″N 71°29′00″W / 42.80833°N 71.48333°W / 42.80833; -71.48333
CampusHistoric Colonial
AffiliationsThe Center for the Restoration of Christian Culture

The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts is a private Roman Catholic liberal arts college in Merrimack, New Hampshire. It emphasizes classical education in the Catholic intellectual tradition and is named after Saint Thomas More. It is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.[1] It is endorsed by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.



Dr. Peter Sampo Teaching at the Warren Memorial Library on the Thomas More College campus.

Thomas More College was founded in 1978, with political science professor Peter Sampo as its first president. Sampo had been a co-founder and president of both Cardinal Newman College in St. Louis[2] and Magdalen College, also in New Hampshire.[3] The curriculum, designed by educators Donald and Louise Cowan, associated with the University of Dallas, centered on the direct reading of foundational works of Western culture.[4]

Since 2009[edit]

In 2009, the curriculum was revised under president William Fahey to improve its chronological approach to topics and strengthen the presentation of Catholic themes.[5] Distinct majors in literature, political science, and philosophy were phased out in favor of a unified liberal arts major, great books program.[6]

In the same year regional accrediting body the New England Association of Schools and Colleges placed the college on probation for two years on the ground that it was not meeting NEASC's standards for financial resources. The college improved its financial position, and the period of probation ended in 2011.[7][8][9]

In late 2013, the college bought a 1908 mansion in the Nashville Historic District of Nashua. College president William Fahey indicated plans to use the historic house, originally built by shoe manufacturer Frank Anderson and later the home of Mount Saint Mary Seminary, a girls' high school, as an educational site and eventually also a dormitory.[10][11]


  1. Peter V. Sampo, 1978–2006
  2. Jeffrey Nelson, 2006–2009
  3. William Fahey, 2009–present


The college's multi-use building.

Thomas More College of Liberal Arts offers one degree program: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts. The college is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.[12] In 2010, the college started a program of teaching students practical skills in art and music, using the medieval guild system as a model.[13]

For admissions, Thomas More College accepts the Classic Learning Test (CLT) as alternatives to the SAT and ACT.

Since 2012, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni included Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in its What Will They Learn? study. The study 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 More 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—Thomas More College includes all seven subjects.[14]


Thomas More College offers one degree, B.A. degree in Liberal Arts without a major concentration. The core curriculum is a Great Books program,[15] and the program of studies is shaped according the traditional order of learning. The first two years of the four-year program are dedicated to the Trivium (logic, rhetoric, and grammar) and the Quadrivium (geometry, astronomy, arithmetic, and music).[16] Students read great works of Western literature, philosophy, and political science instead of textbooks.[17] Not all texts are considered to be of equal importance as some are masterworks and others are opinion pieces—because of this students read some texts in their entirety and excerpts from others. Students are also required to study a semester in Rome; this is done in the second semester of sophomore year.[18]

Natural science, philosophy, scripture, and theology are all required courses. Over the four years, a Thomas More student might write upward of sixty papers assigned in the various subject areas. In their third year, students must present a junior project in front of a panel of three faculty members; in their fourth year, students produce a senior thesis and defend it before faculty and student peers.[19]


The Center for the Restoration of Christian Culture[edit]

Mercy Hall, the location for the Center for the Restoration of Christian Culture.

In 2017, Thomas More College of Liberal Arts launched the Center for the Restoration of Christian Culture.[24] In order to restore Christian culture in New England,[25] the center has hosted several lectures and online webinars. Dr. Robert Royal, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Faith and Reason Institute, said the center is "one of the most promising new initiatives in decades."[26]


The college has sponsored the Centre for Faith and Culture at Oxford, England, publisher of Second Spring, a journal on faith and culture, since 2007.

In April 2011, Thomas More College, together with Holy Spirit College in Atlanta, reached an agreement with the non-profit publisher Sophia Institute Press, which became the publishing division of the two colleges. The two colleges, in turn, appoint representatives to the board of directors of Sophia Institute.[27][28]

In 2016, the college began its own publishing initiative, called the Thomas More College Press. To date the Thomas More College Press publishes the major works of Aristotle, as translated by Hippocrates Apostle, as well as books by Romano Guardini, John Senior, and Heinrich Rommen.

Notable faculty[edit]

Current notable faculty

Former faculty[edit]

  • Louise Cowan (1916–2015), professor of English
  • Anthony Esolen, professor of English Renaissance and classical literature, translator of Dante
  • Robert Royal, Catholic author and the president of the Faith & Reason Institute
  • Peter V. Sampo (1931–2020), political science professor and first president of the college

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pit Stop #7: Thomas More College of Liberal Arts". NECHE on the Road. 2020-11-02. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  2. ^ Donald Berns (December 11, 1977). "College Enrollment Easily Fits Into Pizza Parlor". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved July 7, 2011.
  3. ^ John Whitson (September 19, 2006). "Thomas More College head has big plans". New Hampshire Union Leader. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
  4. ^ "The Newman Guide to Catholic Colleges". Cardinal Newman Society.
  5. ^ John Zmirak (December 6, 2011). "Where Theology Keeps Her Crown: Thomas More College". Retrieved December 10, 2018. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ "Thomas More College's new president inspired by Pope Benedict". Catholic News Agency (ACI Prensa). March 31, 2010.
  7. ^ "Public Statement on Thomas More College of Liberal Arts" (PDF). New England Association of Schools and Colleges. December 10, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 20, 2011.
  8. ^ Michael Brindley (February 26, 2010). "Rivier gets top rating". Nashua Telegraph.
  9. ^ Art Campbell (February 15, 2011). "More College, More or Less, for Groton". The Groton Line.
  10. ^ Kimberly Houghton (February 12, 2014). "Thomas More College buys Nashua property". New Hampshire Union Leader. Archived from the original on 10 August 2016. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Sheryl Rich-Kern (December 12, 2013). "Nashua's Historic Mansion Sold". New Hampshire Public Radio. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  12. ^ "Thomas More College of Liberal Arts". New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
  13. ^ "Catholic college resurrects 'guilds' to teach craftsmanship, artistry and charity". EWTN News. July 27, 2010.
  14. ^ "What Will They Learn? - Thomas More College of Liberal Arts". Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  15. ^ "The 25 Best Great Books Programs - Best College Reviews". Retrieved 2019-08-08.
  16. ^ "Curriculum | Thomas More College of Liberal Arts".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ Thomas More's curriculum page
  18. ^ David Kerr (2011-10-07). "U.S. College Students Celebrate Our Lady of the Rosary in Rome". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  19. ^ "Junior Project and Senior Thesis". Thomas More College. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
  20. ^ What will they Learn 2012-12 (PDF). American Council of Trustees and Alumni. 2021. p. 77.
  21. ^ "Thomas More College of Liberal Arts - What Will They Learn?". Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  22. ^ "Thomas More College of Liberal Arts". Students. Retrieved 2018-12-06.
  23. ^ "The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts". Cardinal Newman Society. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  24. ^ "Thomas More College launches Center for the Restoration of Christian Culture". Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  25. ^ "Thomas More College Launches new initiative with Phil Lawler, Anthony Esolen | News Headlines". Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  26. ^ West, Perry. "Virtual conference to promote fatherhood as boon to society". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2020-09-21.
  27. ^ "Sophia Institute Press names new President". Catholic News Agency. November 14, 2012.
  28. ^ "After acquisition, Crisis Magazine re-launches website". Catholic News Agency. February 10, 2012. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  29. ^ "Start Your Academic Year Off with Joseph Pearce". Thomas More College. 2022-09-08. Retrieved 2022-09-14.

External links[edit]