Is Wheaton College the Top School in America? A Leading Catholic Journal Thinks So

The formula is so convoluted I couldn’t begin to explain it to you or tell you if is any good, but the results are still fascinating.

To my surprise, the latest issue of First Things, which is more than a little changed since its founder Richard John Neuhaus passed away, includes a survey of America’s colleges and universities. Everyone loves a good ranking.

I wish I could link to the article, but you have to be a subscriber to get access. I wish I could summarize their snapshots of Calvin, Hope, Wheaton, Grove City, Union, Biola, and Taylor, but there are too many summaries to give. But have no fear, I can always pass on the rankings (and encourage you to check out the November issue at the library or buy your own copy).

First Things collected data on 2063 colleges and universities. Through polling data, government-collected information, other published guides and reports, and input from the experts, First Things “measured” the academic, social, and religious dimensions of American institutions of higher education. Putting it altogether, here’s some of what they came up with:

Top Schools in America

1. Wheaton College
2. Thomas Aquinas College (CA)
3. Princeton University
4. United States Air Force Academy
5. Brigham Young University
6. Yeshiva University
7. University of Virginia
8. Duke University
9. University of Chicago
10. Franciscan University of Steubenville

Other Notables: Hillsdale College (11), Calvin College (13), Baylor University (17), Grove City College (20), Taylor University (21).

Least Unfriendly to Faith Among Top Secular Schools
1. Princeton University
2. Duke University
3. University of Virginia
4. University of Chicago
5. Stanford University

Best Seriously Protestant Schools
1. Wheaton College
2. Calvin College
3. Taylor University
4. Gordon College
5. George Fox University
6. Westmont College
7. Seattle Pacific University
8. Houghton College
9. Grove City College
10. Whitworth College

Others Mentioned: Union University (TN), Covenant College, Messiah College, Northwestern College (MN)

Schools on the Rise, Filled with Excitement
1. Belmont Abbey College
2. Wake Forest University
3. Houston Baptist University
4. The King’s College
5. Concordia University Wisconsin

There are other rankings I didn’t include, like “Most Catholic Catholic Schools,” but I’ll leave you with this humdinger of a category:

Schools in Decline, Filled with Gloom
1. Valparaiso University
2. Gonzaga University
3. Darmouth College
4. Azusa Pacific University
5. College of Notre Dame of Maryland

Phew, at least Michigan State stayed off that list.