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Thomas Aquinas College: Wikis


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Thomas Aquinas College
Thomas Aquinas College1.jpg
Motto Verum • Bonum • Pulchrum (The True • The Good • The Beautiful)
Established 1971
Type Private
Dean Dr. Michael McLean
Students 359
Location Santa Paula, California, USA
Affiliations Roman Catholic

Thomas Aquinas College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college offering a single integrated academic program. It is located in Santa Paula, California north of Los Angeles. It offers a unique education with courses based on the Great Books and seminar method. It has school accreditation from the American Academy for Liberal Education, a national accrediting agency, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a regional accrediting board for California and Guam.[1]



Thomas Aquinas offers one degree program: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts.[2] The coursework is the same for all students throughout the program. Classes are small and taught by the Socratic method. Hence, all members of each class are expected to contribute. Courses are in seminar format with professors—called tutors—leading the discussions in subjects ranging from grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy, science, and philosophy. All subjects are connected through the overarching study of Catholic theology.[3]

Currently the school does not accept state or church funding. They offer academic and needs based scholarships funded by private donation.[4]


Thomas Aquinas is based on an integrated liberal arts curriculum made up primarily of the Great Books of the Western Tradition. Studies are divided throughout the 4-year program into the Trivium (Freshman & Sophomore years) and the Quadrivium (Junior & Senior years). The Trivium study encompasses the subjects of Logic, Rhetoric and Grammar while the Quadrivium encompasses the study of Geometry, Astronomy, Arithmetic, Music.[5]

The college rejects the use of textbooks in favor of going directly to the original source.[6] 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."[5] Students read some texts in their entirety and only excerpts from others. Thomas Aquinas lists all books used in their curriculum on their official website.[5]

Student life

Thomas Aquinas College sponsors formal dances and banquets designed to complement the academic program.[3] At the dances, students present musical acts and comedy skits. The school also fields a club soccer team that plays in a Ventura County league. Additionally, students play soccer, tennis, and volleyball on the school's courts.

The St. Genesius players produce one play a year, commonly a selection from Shakespeare. The school also presents a spring musical, often a production of Gilbert and Sullivan. There is also a choir which sings at Sunday Mass and special 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.[7]

The possession or use of alcohol or illegal drugs on campus or in the dormitories is not allowed and may entail expulsion from the program.[7]


Designated as the “crown jewel” of the Thomas Aquinas College campus, Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel was dedicated on March 7, 2009.[8] The design for this 15,000-square-foot, $23 million building employs Early Christian, Renaissance, and Spanish Mission styles.[9] Designed by University of Notre Dame architect Duncan Stroik, it is cruciform in shape and features both a 135-foot bell tower and an 89-foot dome.[10] 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”. [11]

Notable alumni

  • Very Rev. John Berg, Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter


See also


  1. ^ "Accreditation". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2009-04-01.  
  2. ^ "Degree". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2009-04-01.  
  3. ^ a b "100 Best Value Colleges for 2009", The Princeton Review (USA Today), Jan. 15, 2009,  
  4. ^ "Financial Aid". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2009-04-01.  
  5. ^ a b c "Curriculum". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2009-04-03.  
  6. ^ "Great Books". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2009-04-03.  
  7. ^ a b "Dormitories". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2009-04-01.  
  8. ^ "News". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 2010-01-13.  
  9. ^ "Chapel". Thomas Aquinas College. Retrieved 2010-01-12.  
  10. ^ "A Sign of Contradiction". Inside the Vatican. Retrieved 2010-01-13.  
  11. ^ "Chapel". Adoremus Bulletin. Retrieved 201o-01-014.  

External links

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



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