Wyoming Catholic College

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Wyoming Catholic College
Seal of Wyoming Catholic College.jpg
MottoWisdom in God's Country; Born in Wonder, Brought to Wisdom
EstablishedJuly 11, 2005
FounderBishop Dabid Ricken, Fr. Robert Cook, and Dr. Robert Carlson
PresidentGlenn Arbery, Ph.D.
DeanJason Baxter, Ph.D.
Academic staff
Students~ 180 (2018)
Location, ,
CampusRural Town
LanguageEnglish, Latin
AffiliationsRoman Catholic (Ex Corde Ecclesiae), Higher Learning Commission
Logo of Wyoming Catholic College.png
The Church of the Holy Rosary that the college uses in conjunction with the parish.

Wyoming Catholic College is a private, Catholic liberal arts college in Lander, Wyoming. It uses the town's sole Catholic church and accompanying facilities as an interim campus. WCC is the only private four-year institution of higher education in the state. It is endorsed by The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College.

The college takes no federal aid money.[1] Because the college refuses federal funds, it is exempt from many federal guidelines that prevent sex-based and other forms of discrimination (e.g., Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972), regulate investigations into accusations of sexual abuse, require the collecting and sharing of information about crimes on campus (Clery Act), and set standards for disciplinary proceedings (Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act).[2] As The New York Times reported, "Students who are openly gay and dating, active gay-rights supporters or transgender “would be contravening church teaching just by being here,” Dr. Roberts [college President] said."[3]

In 2012, the college dismissed a chaplain for a “pattern of misbehavior” around students, including "excess drinking."[4]

In 2016, Campus Pride, an LGBT activist group, included the college in its "Shame List," writing "Families and young people deserve to know that this list of schools are the worst for LGBTQ youth. They are not loving, welcoming, safe spaces to live, learn and grow — and nobody wants to go to a college that openly discriminates against anyone."[5]


WCC is one of the newest colleges in the United States, admitting its first class in 2007 and graduating them in the spring of 2011. WCC was granted Institutional Preaccreditation status by the American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) on September 1, 2010, and achieved candidate status by the Higher Learning Commission.[6] WCC received final accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission on November 15, 2018.[7]


Because it offers a four-year, integrated, Great Books curriculum, Wyoming Catholic College has no majors, minors, specialized degrees or graduate programs; it awards graduating students the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts. As of spring of 2018, there were over 160 students enrolled.

In the spring of 2016, Wyoming Catholic College became the second college in the nation to accept the Classic Learning Test (CLT) as an alternative to the SAT and ACT for college admissions.

The curriculum was designed to give students a general liberal arts education through a study of the Great Books. Courses include Humanities, Theology, Philosophy, Math/Science, Fine Arts, Latin, Trivium, and Leadership.[8] Much of the college's vision comes from the Integrated Humanities Program founded by John Senior at the University of Kansas.

The school's Outdoor Leadership Program supplements the curriculum by taking students into the nearby Wind River Mountains (among other locations in the Wyoming/Utah area) to help them form their memories and imaginations through sense experience of the created world. In addition, the program teaches leadership and decision-making skills all while aiming to help the students grow in the Cardinal Virtues.[citation needed] All of the Freshmen go on a three week backpacking course in the Rocky mountains before beginning the school year.

Freshmen hike through a meadow in the Teton Mountains during their three week backpacking course.


  1. ^ Healy, Jack (April 11, 2015). "To keep free of federal reins, Wyoming Catholic College rejects student aid". New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  2. ^ See Ibby Caputo and Jon Marcus, "The Controversial Reason Some Religious Colleges Forgo Federal Funding," The Atlantic, July 7, 2016, accessed online at https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/07/the-controversial-reason-some-religious-colleges-forgo-federal-funding/490253/
  3. ^ See reference 1.
  4. ^ Kevin J. Jones," Wyoming Catholic College dismisses chaplain for misbehavior," Catholic News Agency, December 6, 2012, https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/wyoming-catholic-college-dismisses-chaplain-for-misbehavior
  5. ^ https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/four-catholic-colleges-make-lgbt-shame-list
  6. ^ FAQs at wyomingcatholiccollege.com. Accessed 2011-10-13. "The conferral of this status “signifies institutional integrity and a strong commitment to undergraduate education,” according to AALE’s Standards and Criteria for Program Accreditation. This status of accreditation allows Wyoming Catholic College to operate in an accredited manner until it receives full Institutional Accreditation in the next few months.
  7. ^ "College Receives Formal Notice of Accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) - Wyoming Catholic College". Wyoming Catholic College. 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  8. ^ "Academics". Wyoming Catholic College Website. Retrieved 2018-06-12.

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Coordinates: 42°49′11″N 108°44′26″W / 42.81972°N 108.74056°W / 42.81972; -108.74056