College-Bound Catholics



How Do I Stay Catholic in College?

5 Tips for Staying Catholic in College

Source: Mary Thierfelder for Get Fed

1 – Get Involved

Take part in at least one weekly activity or commitment that is faith-centered. This could be a service project, lectoring at Mass. Find a small faith-sharing group so you can surround yourself with others in the same boat as you and can hold you to the standards you set for yourself. A great place to start in with your school’s campus ministry or Catholic student organization. The contact info for Iowa campus ministries is at the bottom of this page.

2 – Pray

When you get to college, your lifestyle and schedule are going to change quite a bit. You may find yourself staying up until dawn finishing a paper or waking up early to do some last-minute studying for a big exam. Don’t let your prayer life get pushed aside. Schedule some time to pray, to go to Mass, to go to adoration and to go to confession. If your school doesn’t have a place on campus to go to Mass or the Mass times don’t fit your schedule, check out some of the nearby local parishes for their Mass times.

3 – Express Your Faith

Being Catholic is a huge part for who you are. Don’t hide it! Hiding your faith not only weakens it, but also stops your friends from knowing the real you. Don’t be afraid to pray before meals in the dining hall. If you want to put a Crucifix in your dorm, go for it. Being open about your faith will help you be more comfortable with who you are and will help you make friends who share your values and what you believe.

4 – Make Good Friends

Surround yourself with people who will be good influences on you and can give you support in your faith. You’ll meet a lot of new and different people in college. You likely won’t agree with all of them on everything. Getting to know people different from yourself is a great way to grow as a person, to grow as a disciple and to share your faith with others. But make sure some of your closest friends are people with strong values who you want to be like spiritually. And, if you date someone, make sure they are a positive influence on your soul.

5 – Enjoy Life

Live responsibly, but do it joyfully! College is going to be one of your biggest opportunities to learn and grow. Take advantage of it! Yes, you will learn a lot academically, but you will also learn a lot about yourself, about others and about life. Live with purpose and trust in God! You’ll be amazed what you can do.

What Can Parents Do?

Encouraging Growth in the Faith

Source: Waterloo Catholics

The most important thing parents can do to help a college-bound son or daughter continue growing in their faith is to encourage them to find and participate in a Catholic faith community on or near campus.

All Catholic colleges or universities and larger public universities have a Catholic Campus Ministry which functions as the local faith community for Catholic students. Nearby parishes usually serve this function at smaller private colleges or universities.

Campus ministers are attuned to the social, personal and spiritual needs of young adult Catholics and can provide a variety of opportunities to help young Catholics understand and practice their faith.

Catholic parents who are concerned about their college son or daughter’s faith formation should:

  • Locate the campus ministry office or nearby parish where their young adult is attending school.
  • Explain the nature and role of campus ministry to their son or daughter.
  • Encourage them to become involved in the campus ministry community or in a nearby parish.
  • Visit the campus ministry center or nearby parish with their son or daughter during orientation, homecoming, or parent weekends.
  • Contact campus ministry or a nearby parish when the fall semester begins. Provide the student’s name, campus address, cell phone number and/or campus email address so that someone from the campus ministry staff can contact their son or daughter and invite them to become involved in Sunday Mass and other campus ministry activities.

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Contact Info for Catholic Campus Ministries in Iowa

Allen College, Waterloo.

St. Stephen the Witness Catholic Student Center
1019 W. 23rd Street, Cedar Falls, IA 50613
Phone: 319-266-9863
Email: dbq303sec@dbqarch.org
www.ststephenuni.org

Briar Cliff University, Sioux City

Campus Ministry Office
3303 Rebecca Street, Sioux City, IA 51104
Phone: 712-279-5227
Email: Janet.May@briarcliff.edu
www.briarcliff.edu/student-life/campus-ministry

Buena Vista University, Storm Lake

St. Mary Parish
300 E. Third Street, Storm Lake, IA 50588
Phone: 712-732-3110
Email: parish@stormlakecatholic.com
www.stormlakbecatholic.com

Central College, Pella

St. Mary Parish
726 218th Place, Pella, IA 50219
Phone: 641-628-3078
Email: stmarypella@iowatelecom.net
stmarypella.org

Clarke University, Dubuque

Campus Ministry Office
1550 Clarke Drive, Dubuque, IA 52001
Phone: 563-588-6364
Email: campusministry@clarke.edu
www.clarke.edu/campus-life/spiritual-life/campus-ministry

Coe College, Cedar Rapids

Mount Mercy University Campus Ministry Office
1330 Elmhurst Drive NE, Cedar Rapids, IA  52402
Phone: 319-363-1323
Email: lbechen@mtmercy.edu
www.mtmercy.edu/campus-ministry

Cornell College, Mount Vernon

St. John the Baptist Parish
212 7th Street SE, Mt. Vernon, IA  52314
Phone: 319-895-6246
Email: dbq137sec@dbqarch.org
www.dbqarch.org/stjohnmv

Dordt College, Sioux Center

Christ the King Parish
501 2nd Avenue SW, Sioux Center, IA  51250
Phone: 712-722-3011
Email: smrv@premieronline.net
www.christthekingsc.org

Drake University, Des Moines

St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Student Center
1150 28th Street, Des Moines, IA  50311
Phone: 515-271-4747
Email: office@stcatherinedrake.org
stcatherinedrake.org

Ellsworth Community College, Iowa Falls

St. Mark Parish
415 Main Street, Iowa Falls, IA  50126
Phone: 641-648-9547
Email:  dbq108ym@dbqarch.org
franklinhardincatholic.org

Grinnel College, Grinnell

St. Mary Parish
1002 Broad Street, Grinnell, IA  50112
Phone: 641-236-7486
Email: grinnellstmaryDRE@diodav.org
www.stmarygrinnell.com

Iowa State University, Ames

St. Thomas Aquinas Parish and Catholic Student Center
2210 Lincoln Way, Ames IA  50014
Phone: 515-292-3810
Email: shari@staparish.net
staparish.net

Hawkeye Community College, Waterloo

St. Stephen the Witness Catholic Student Center
1019 W. 23rd Street, Cedar Falls, IA 50613
Phone: 319-266-9863
Email: dbq303sec@dbqarch.org
www.ststephenuni.org

Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids

Mount Mercy University Campus Ministry Office
1330 Elmhurst Drive NE, Cedar Rapids, IA  52402
Phone: 319-363-1323
Email: lbechen@mtmercy.edu
www.mtmercy.edu/campus-ministry

Loras College, Dubuque

Campus Ministry Office
1450 Alta Vista Street, Dubuque, IA  52001
Phone: 563-588-7463
Email: anastacia.mcdermott@loras.edu
www.loras.edu/spiritual-life

Luther College, Decorah

St. Benedict Parish
307 West Main Street, Decorah, IA  52101
Phone: 563-382-963
Email: dbq049re@dbqarch.org
www.stbenedictcc.com

Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids

Campus Ministry Office
1330 Elmhurst Drive NE, Cedar Rapids, IA  52402
Phone: 319-363-1323
Email: lbechen@mtmercy.edu
www.mtmercy.edu/campus-ministry

North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City

Epiphany Parish
300 Fifth Street SE, Mason City, IA  50401
Phone: 641-423-5001
Email: dbq130sec@dbqarch.org
www.epiphanyparish.org

Northeast Iowa Community College, Calmar

St. Aloysius Parish
304 S. Maryville Street, Calmar, IA  52132
Phone: 563-562-3603
Email: dbq019sec@dbqarch.org
www.dbqarch.org/cfosparishes/st-aloysius

Northeast Iowa Community College, Peosta

Loras College Campus Ministry Office
1450 Alta Vista Street, Dubuque, IA  52001
Phone: 563-588-7463
Email: anastacia.mcdermott@loras.edu
www.loras.edu/spiritual-life

Northwestern College, Orange City

St. Mary Parish
609 10th Street, Alton, IA  51003
Phone: 712-756-4224
Email: altonsmc@midlands.net
pilgrimcluster.org/st-mary-alton

St. Ambrose University, Davenport

Campus Ministry Office
518 W. Locust Street, Davenport, IA  52722
Phone: 563-333-6151
Email:  ministry@sau.edu
www.sau.edu/student-life/campus-ministry

Simpson College, Indianola

St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
210 R63 Hwy, Indianola, IA  50125
Phone: 515-961-3026
Email: jsayredre@gmail.com
stthomasindianola.com

University of Dubuque, Dubuque

Loras College Campus Ministry Office
1450 Alta Vista Street, Dubuque, IA  52001
Phone: 563-588-7463
Email: anastacia.mcdermott@loras.edu
www.loras.edu/spiritual-life

University of Iowa, Iowa City

Newman Catholic Student Center
104 E. Jefferson Street, Iowa City, IA  52245
Phone: 319-337-3107
Email: christine@newman-ic.org
www.iowacatholic.org

University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls

St. Stephen the Witness Catholic Student Center
1019 W. 23rd Street, Cedar Falls, IA 50613
Phone: 319-266-9863
Email: dbq303sec@dbqarch.org
www.ststephenuni.org

Wartburg College, Waverly

St. Mary Parish
2700 Horton Road, Waverly, IA  50677
Phone: 319-352-2493
Email: Office@stmarysfamily.com
www.stmarysfamily.com

Catholic Campus Ministries
in Other States

Click Here to find info about Catholic Campus Ministry locations in other states.