Welcome to the Newman Guide Application Process!
The application is a 3-stage process.
Stage 1 is a self-review of the school’s curriculum, policies, and practices in light of The Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Curriculum Standards and Policy standards.
Stage 2 is a short application where the school provides basic demographic and academic data, uploads documents and artifacts, and affirms it supports, has studied, and substantially implements The Cardinal Newman Society’s standards.
Once all the requirements for Stage 1 and Stage 2 are complete and the Submit button is clicked, the application will automatically move to Stage 3 Review.
Applicants should not make affirmations to The Cardinal Newman Society based on intent but on actual practice.
As Newman Guide expectations are based on guidance from Church documents, there is likely already significant alignment between your school’s efforts and the program’s requirements. Nevertheless, tightening up policy, introducing additional curricular standards, and ensuring best practices, may take significant time. So, while the application process is short, preparation for the application may take months, or even years, as your school aligns its practices with The Cardinal Newman Society.
If selected, the school will be required to provide a link on its website to a list of specific affirmations it has agreed to. The Cardinal Newman Society, at its sole discretion, reserves the right at any time to revoke recognition status for any reason, including concerns about a school’s faithful application of the Cardinal Newman Society standards and guidance, or if the school’s continued status as a Newman Guide school might detract from the reputation of the Society or other Newman Guide schools.
Curriculum, Policy, and Practice Review
Newman Guide recognition relies primarily on a school’s institutional integrity, public affirmation, and the self-supervision of the educational community in affirming its commitment to:
a) Catholic Identity in Education
b) Catholic Curriculum Standards
c) Literature and the Arts Standards
d) Use of Secular Materials Standards
e) Human Sexuality Program Standards
f) Human Sexuality Standards
g) Employee Morality Standards
h) Admissions Standards
i) Athletics Standards
j) Mission, Philosophy, and Faith Standards
k) Additional Operational Requirement
Each is outlined below and linked to specific policy documents and learning resources.
Do not seek application if there is a disconnect between your school’s policies, practices, values and culture and these standards to which you will publicly commit.
The Newman Guide does allow for some flexibility in implementing these standards for schools. Contact NewmanGuide@cardinalnewmansociety.org should you have any concerns or anticipate the need for an exemption.
Newman Guide schools embrace these elements of Catholic identity. A Newman Guide school’s public presentation emphasizes these elements clearly and explicitly highlighting them throughout its publications, policies, website, and facilities, and takes them into account in all programming and strategic planning.
- Principle 1: Catholic education is inspired by and rooted in the divine, salvific mission of the Catholic Church.
- The school is unabashedly and publicly Catholic, through and through, and leads with this commitment to a strong Catholic identity in is public presentation.
- The school is committed to evangelizing its students and preparing them to evangelize the culture.
- The school prioritizes the sanctification and salvation of its students.
- Principle 2: Catholic education models Christian communion and Catholic identity.
- The school’s teachings and activities are in complete fidelity to the magisterium of the Catholic Church, including the Code of Canon Law, Catechism of the Catholic Church, and other magisterial teachings.
- The school avoids scandal in all respects. It responds in clarity and public faithfulness to the moral teaching of the Church in response to any scandal that might be thrust upon it.
- The school does not partner with or support groups of movements at odds or partially at odds with Catholic teaching either directly (e.g., material or speakers supporting non_Catholic positions, LGBTQ focused clubs) or indirectly (e.g., through display of flags or symbols supporting Marxist, or other anti-Catholic worldviews).
- The school’s employee policies and practices require all employees to demonstrate commitment to the mission and Catholic identity of the school and faithful witness to Catholic moral standards in school and out of school.
- The school provides a loving, engaging, and compelling ecclesial experience to all members of the community.
- The school partners with parents and recognizes them as the primary educators of their children.
- The school builds and models community with its students, through sincere and loving engagement with them and strong personal witness of the Christian faith.
- The school intentionally builds community among the faculty and staff, as friends and colleagues working in the Lord’s vineyard.
- The head of school is a practicing Catholic.
- Eighty percent (80%) or more of the teaching faculty members are practicing Catholic.
- Principle 3: Catholic education teaches students to encounter Christ in prayer, Scripture, and Sacrament.
- The school prioritizes opportunities in its schedule for Catholic prayer, liturgy, and sacraments which follow Catholic liturgical norms and traditions and show reverence and awareness of the mystery and holiness of the liturgy.
- Students attend Mass at least once a week (preferably more), unless precluded by insurmountable challenges outside of school control.
- The school provides the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least twice a year, preferably more (unless precluded by outside circumstances).
- The school provides rich experiences of Catholic prayer, including daily prayer, the Rosary, and Eucharistic adoration at least twice a year, preferably more (unless precluded). Processions, retreats, devotions, and other communal expressions of the faith are practiced as appropriate.
- The school is richly adorned with Catholic sacred art and Christian images that encourage prayer and teach the Catholic faith (including crucifixes, icons, images of saints, prayers, etc.) and provides clear visual evidence that it is a place where the Catholic faith is first and foremost and greatly prized.
- Principle 4: Catholic education integrally forms students as physical, intellectual, and spiritual beings called to perfect humanity in the fullness of Christ.
- The school emphasizes, cultivates, and integrates faith and reason throughout the curriculum.
- The school requires all students to participate in daily Catholic theology classes.
- Catechesis is consistent with the U.S. bishops’ National Directory for Catechesis and Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework for the Development of Catechetical Materials for Young People of High School Age.
- The school teaches love and mercy, respect for human dignity, sanctity of human life from conception to natural death, constancy between biological sex and gender expression, and chastity according to one’s vocation.
- The school’s discipline program cultivates virtue and helps eliminate vice.
- The school’s expectations for student and employee dress, language, and behavior, and its policies regarding literature, music, audio-visual, dance, performing arts, and other forms of expression and communication cultivate modesty and Christian virtue in students by practice and example.
- Principle 5: Catholic education imparts a “Christian vision of the world, of life, of culture, and of history,” ordering “the whole of human culture to the news of salvation.”
- Particular elements are included in The Cardinal Newman Society’s curriculum and policy standards.
For more information and resources related to the Principles of Catholic Identity in Education, click here.
Newman Guide schools consult the Catholic Curriculum Standards to help drive instruction. Those responsible for selecting and guiding the school’s curriculum are fully versed in the Standards, which need not be universally applied, but should be significantly evident.
In implementing the Curriculum Standards, Newman Guide schools ensure the curriculum:
- provides for the integral formation of the whole person, body, mind, and spirit, in light of his or her ultimate end and the good of society;
- presents all branches of knowledge as being connected, complementing each other, and ultimately connected to God, the sources of them all;
- helps students know and understand objective reality, including transcendent Truth, which is knowable by reason and faith and finds its origin, unity, and end in God;
- illumines with the light of faith everything the students learn about the world, life, and the human person;
- cultivates in students not only the intellectual but also the creative and aesthetic faculties;
- encourages a synthesis of the Catholic faith, life, and culture; and
- develops a Catholic worldview and enables a deeper incorporation of the student into the heart of the Catholic Church.
For more information and resources related to the Catholic Curriculum Standards, click here.
Newman Guide schools prioritize outstanding literature and the arts. At the grade school level, they do not simply replicate the literature and readings found in secular boxed or computer-based programs, but curate their works to promote a healthy imagination and Catholic worldview. They screen texts for anti-Catholic presentations of the human person, especially works that promote sexual exploration, homosexuality, gender ideology, critical race theory, relativism, cynicism, despair, the occult, disdain of one’s parents, etc. Young adult fiction is especially scrutinized. At the high school level, students encounter more complex topics but typically in timeless literature and always with the aid of a well-formed teacher and through a Catholic lens.
In implementing the Policy Standards on Literature and the Arts in Catholic Education, Newman Guide schools ensure that:
- literature and the arts are selected to make known the proper nature of humanity and help students perfect themselves and the world in accord with Catholic virtues and values;
- literature and the arts are carefully selected to systematically transmit culture and uncover authentic reality through the light of the Catholic faith and a Catholic worldview;
- literature and the arts do not lead students to sin, despair, or confusion about basic human goods or the Catholic faith and contain no shocking or significant profanity, descriptions of sexual activity or sexual fantasy, blasphemy, or other content which might diminish the student’s faith, purity, or innocence, with appropriate attention to the age of students and their preparation for complex or false material;
- literature and art selections assist in the development and fulfillment of students’ aesthetic capabilities as people who “share” in God’s creative work;
- literature and art selections enable students to move from the world of senses to the world of the Spirit: to that of the transcendent and invisible God; and
- library and bookstore/bookfair materials are selected in accord with the principles and priorities of faithful Catholic education, with emphasis on materials that are of substantial quality and educational value, including Catholic spiritual formation.
For more information and resources related to the Policy Standards on Literature and Arts in Catholic Education, click here.
Newman Guide schools are not successful simply because they provide better secular education than other private or government schools (e.g., higher standardized test scores or higher AP or IB exam pass rates). Rather, they always promote and never compromise their Catholic identity in the pursuit of higher excellence in academics. At times they may richly and deliberately adapt and supplement the best secular offerings to provide for a Catholic worldview and make way for the transcendent. They screen for programs tainted by highly charged political or social movements – such as Marxism, critical race theory, sex or gender ideology, and radical DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) agendas – and errors including relativism, universalism or materialism.
In implementing the Policy Standards on Secular Materials and Programs in Catholic Education, Newman Guide schools ensure:
- as educational communities of evangelization, schools clearly and specifically promote the salvation of students and service to the common good;
- staff and leadership remain fully committed to faithful Catholic education and do not substantially substitute a secular educational program for a comprehensive Catholic education;
- Catholic materials and programs remain a priority over secular options, whenever possible, and with consideration of the unique and more expansive mission and objectives of Catholic education;
- fidelity to a Catholic worldview and the Catholic faith is maintained in all lessons, activities, and programs, whatever their source;
- secular materials or programs do not cause scandal, conflict with Catholic teaching, or cause confusion about the truth of Catholic teaching and expose and counter any secular assumptions about atheism, agnosticism, relativism, materialism, or false ideology about the human person;
- secular materials and programs help students develop their intellectual, moral, emotional, physical, and spiritual talents harmoniously without contradiction to Catholic teaching and Christian anthropology;
- the school makes specific curricular efforts whenever possible to unite faith and reason and synthesizing faith with life and culture;
- secular materials and programs are adapted or richly augmented as necessary with resources and opportunities to integrate Catholic teaching and practice and transmit a Catholic understanding of the human person and the world;
- the school does not by such programs seem to collaborate or join cause with organizations directly in conflict with Church-so as to avoid scandal or call into question faithful commitment to the mission of Catholic education.
For more information and resources related to the Policy Standards on Secular Academic Materials and Programs in Catholic Education, click here.
Newman Guide schools recognize the parents as primary educators in all things, and most especially in topics of human sexuality. Some schools leave sexuality instruction entirely to parents: The Cardinal Newman Society respects that approach and has no recommendation or requirement for such instruction. Other schools perceive a need for instruction as part of the school curriculum, and such instruction has been approved by the Church as long as they are undertaken within its parameters. If offered at a Newman Guide school, all sexuality instruction is transparent to the parents and respects a child’s level of personal development, innocence, and natural latency period, and it does not offend modesty, chastity, or purity.
The school’s policies and practices involving instruction in human sexuality ensure:
- teaching is grounded in a clear and convincing Christian anthropology that respects man’s God-given nature as a body/soul unity which cannot be manipulated at will;
- materials fully reflect, without ambiguity or reservation, the moral precepts of the Church regarding human sexuality throughout the program, especially as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church;
- materials address and negate (at an appropriate age and in the appropriate context) practices and behaviors contrary to Catholic morality, including sexual activity outside of marriage (and same-sex activity), contraception, abortion, transgender ideology, masturbation, and pornography;
- materials present the sacramentality of marriage as between a man and a woman and ordained by God;
- teaching promotes a Catholic worldview of the beauty and dignity of the marital act and its use only within the confines of marriage for the procreation of children and the bonding of the spouses;
- any carefully screened secular materials are fully supplemented with Catholic moral principles and a rich Christian anthropology and they teach the saving power of Christ and the grace of the Holy Spirit;
- chastity is specifically and clearly promoted, as well as self-control, modesty, temperance, fortitude, and respect for self and others;
- teaching counters harmful and false information students receive from mass media, social networking, and peer groups which may be beyond their comprehension, or which may lead them to premature assumptions about their sexuality;
- information is presented at an age-appropriate developmental level, carefully protecting a child’s natural latency period, and prudently introducing relevant material during adolescence to guide a child through development and change;
- students are separated by gender, if possible, when directly teaching on matters of human sexuality;
- sexually explicit materials, images, or language and anything that might create emotional disorientation in students or unhealthy curiosity leading to sin are excluded;
- teachers protect student modesty and purity by avoiding any flippant, cynical, ambiguous, or indecent approaches to the topic;
- instruction is delivered under the attentive guidance of a student’s parents with their knowledge, collaboration, and approval; and
- instruction is delivered by well-trained, well-formed, faithful staff in the proper environment.
For more information and resources related to the Policy Standards on Human Sexuality Programs in Catholic Education, click here.
Newman Guide schools teach that sex and gender can be distinguished but not disaggregated. They interface with students according to their biological sex. They hold that sexual intimacy is only appropriate between one man and one woman in the context of marriage and directed towards the twin ends of love and life. In this context schools promotes chastity and modesty among students. Toward this end student promotion of or public expression of unrepented sexual activity or same-sex attraction is prohibited.
In implementing the Policy Standards on Human Sexuality in Catholic Education, Newman Guide schools ensure that:
- clear Catholic teaching on human sexuality is upheld in teaching, policy, and programming throughout the school, according to the magisterium of the Catholic Church and especially as articulated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church;
- all members of the Catholic school community strive for a life of chastity in keeping with their particular state of life, which precludes the promotion or expression of same sex-attraction;
- the school relates to members according to their biological sex at birth and maintains appropriate distinctions between males and females, especially in issues of facilities use, athletic teams, uniforms, and nomenclature;
- bullying is prohibited and the dignity of all is respected;
- arts, movies, and literature on campus or in the curriculum are not an affront to a student’s purity or a proximate cause of sinful thoughts or actions;
- age and developmentally appropriate supports for living chastely are provided (e.g., dress expectations, single-sex housing, and presentations by faithful speakers on topics such as pornography addiction, chastity, and courtship); and
- there is no advocacy for (including display of symbols such as rainbow or LGBTQI+ flags, stickers, and pins) or the celebration of immoral behavior or ideologies which distort the Catholic understanding of the human person or human sexuality, and gender, including the presence of ally or advocacy groups or the display of symbols, such as LGBTQI+ flags, stickers, and pins.
For more information and resources related to the Policy Standards on Human Sexuality in Catholic Education, click here.
Newman Guide schools hold all employees to the highest standards of moral and personal witness to the Catholic faith in and out of school.
In implementing the Policy Standards on Faith and Moral Expectations for Employees in Catholic Education, Newman Guide schools ensure that:
- all employees serves its academic, formational, religious, and evangelical mission and recognize and respect the school’s distinct Catholic identity;
- employment documents, evaluations, and trainings establish clear and detailed moral expectations consistent with Church teaching, with special attention to legal and moral flashpoints in the culture; and
- all employees are required to avoid instances of public scandal or engaging in any conduct, lifestyle (e.g., cohabitation, same-sex relationship, adultery, illegal drug use) or public commentary (e.g., promotion of abortion, same-sex marriage, violence, anti-Catholic sentiment) opposed to Catholic moral teaching.
For more information and resources related to the Policy Standards on Faith and Moral Expectations for Employees in Catholic Education, click here.
Newman Guide schools welcome students who are properly prepared and disposed to benefit from the school’s academic and religious mission. Students who are not academically prepared, whose moral behavior is significantly off mission, and students or their families living lifestyles counter to Church teaching (e.g., same-sex unions or identifying as a gender opposite to one’s biological sex, etc.) may need academic remediation, pastoral guidance, or amendment of life prior to admission to the school’s particularly sensitive and susceptible faith-based community.
In implementing the Policy Standards on Admissions in Catholic Education, Newman Guide schools ensure that:
- students and families understand they are entering a faith-based Catholic community which they have an obligation to support or, at the very least, not to oppose;
- there is a match between student and family need and school resources and culture. (e.g., in academics, language, disability, morals and behavior);
- admission is denied if student or parent public statements, standing, or behavior might disrupt or confuse the spiritual or moral formation of students or the school’s Catholic culture and reputation; and
- students are aware, even if struggling with Catholic social and moral norms, they will be held to those norms in interactions with the school, especially in matters of human sexuality and gender.
For more information and resources related to Policy Standards on Admissions in Catholic Education, click here.
Athletic programs at Newman Guide schools help students grow in faith and virtue and serve the school’s academic and religious mission.
In implementing the Policy Standards on Formation of the Human Person in Catholic School and College Sports, Newman Guide schools ensure that:
- athletics complement and extend the school’s Catholic and academic mission;
- academic and spiritual priorities take precedence over athletics;
- athletics assist in the holistic and integral formation and flourishing of the human person, thereby helping the athlete to give glory and praise to the Creator;
- there is specific provision for the spiritual development of student-athletes through prayer and, if possible, the services of a chaplain;
- there is a Christian and virtue-based approach to sport, especially highlighting justice, temperance, modesty, and self-control, and that staff and students receive specific training in this area;
- the athletics program protects against exploitation or idolatry related to the body and protects the student-athlete from both physical injury and any attacks on physical, spiritual, and psychological integrity and unity; and
- the common good is promoted through self-sacrifice and seeking the good of others including both teammates and competitors
For more information and resources related to the Policy Standards on Formation of the Human Person in Catholic School and College Sports, click here.
Newman Guide Schools review their Mission, Philosophy, and Faith Statements to ensure:
- they include aspects that set them apart from secular and non-Catholic educational organizations such as Christ-centered, Sacraments, evangelization, service, integral formation, in union with parents, and an apostolate of the Catholic Church.
- all programs and personnel are faithfully adhering to them and advancing them (e.g., the instructional program, sacramental program, community groups and outreach, etc.).
- the mission, philosophy, and faith statements are included in the organization’s by-laws.
- they have considered including in their Statement of Faith
- the organization’s Catholic foundation and beliefs as expressed in the Nicene or Apostle’s Creed;
- the sources of the Catholic faith embraced by the organization, including Sacred Scripture and teachings of the Magisterium, specifically Canon Law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church;
- how the Catholic faith informs daily operations, instructional practices, programs, long-term planning, and personnel decision;
- how fulfilling the Catholic mission requires all employees to maintain and protect that religious purpose and mission, and the consequences for teaching or behavior in opposition of Church teaching;
- categorization of employees and detail describing the religious duties and commitment required for each category;
- reference to who in the organization makes decisions regarding religious matters and employment matters;
- Catholic teachings in areas of current cultural controversy (including references to Scripture, Church documents, or the Catechism of the Catholic Church) that should not be publicly advocated against, including areas of human sexuality such as chastity as based upon one’s vocation in life, homosexual activity, gender identity/dysphoria, contraception, sterilization, in-vitro fertilization, abortion, and the sanctity of all life; and
- A residual clause for all beliefs taught by the Church but which are not articulated.
For more information and resources related to the Policy Standards on Mission, Philosophy, and Faith Statements click here.
- The school has been in operation for 3 or more years.
- The school is academically strong and sound.
Questions or concerns about the Newman Guide program or its process can be sent to NewmanGuide@cardinalnewmansociety.org.
If you would like to continue forward with the application, please provide your initials to each of the 5 Principles of Catholic Identity in Education in the first drop-down tab.
After a careful review of the above requirements, if you would like to continue forward with the Honor Roll application please complete this form.