Newman’s Core Values Lived Out


Today, 90 years after the university was established, Newman’s core values are not merely words on a page, but rather a way of life for students and graduates.

Newman graduates continue to powerfully live out the university’s core values of Catholic identity, academic excellence, culture of service and global perspective. The shared mission to “empower graduates to transform society” is the legacy of Newman University, and will continue to make lasting impacts on generations to come.

Around 2008, a faculty task force was formed to fully define Newman’s core values. When Jamey Findling, associate professor of philosophy, and the team discovered that Newman’s core values perfectly aligned with Aristotle’s four causes, he described the coincidence as nothing short of “providential.”

Professor Jamey Findling
Professor Jamey Findling

“According to Aristotle, in order to fully understand something, such as a statue, we need to know four things: What it was made of (the material), its shape or how it is formed (the formal), how it was produced (the efficient) and why it was produced (the final),” he said.

Findling said the core values serve as a fundamental expression of “who we are” at Newman University.

“Our core values are existentially important to us,” he said. “To lose sight of them would be to lose sight of who we are, where we came from and why we are here.”

What we’re made of: Catholic identity (“We are a Catholic university…”)

Catholic identity permeates every area of campus, from daily Mass and quiet prayer spaces to classroom crucifixes and statues of holy figures like the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. Maria De Mattias, St. Newman and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. St. John’s Chapel is a sacred space that serves as a reminder of the university’s Catholic roots — founded by the ASC and named for theologian St. John Henry Newman.

How we were formed: Academic excellence (“…named for St. John Henry Newman…”)

The education provided at Newman is built to prepare its students for whatever challenges they may encounter — not only through academics but also moral and spiritual development. Students learn to value the learning process, leadership opportunities and participation in campus clubs, athletics, theater, art and music — all of which play a part in educating the whole person.

How Newman was produced: Culture of service (“…and founded by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ…”)

For both Newman and the ASC congregation, the mission of living a life of service is deeply ingrained in the hearts of its members. By engaging in humanitarian experiences, students and alumni alike learn the importance of sharing their time, talents and treasures for the betterment of their communities and those in need.

“The ways to serve are endless,” President Kathleen S. Jagger, Ph.D., MPH, said, “and this culture is something members of the Newman community weave into the fabric of their lives.”

Why Newman was made: Global perspective (“…for the purpose of empowering graduates to transform society.”)

Newman helps its students develop critical consciousness and a hunger for justice and peace. Students can further develop their sense of self and expand their knowledge of different cultures through international travel, study abroad opportunities and interactions with international students who attend Newman.

“Developing a global perspective may also happen when a student from a larger urban environment befriends a student from a small farm community and they compare their family histories, wisdom and values,” Jagger shared. “It means genuinely listening and understanding people with vastly different life experiences.”