August 17, 2022

Do I Need to be Catholic to Attend a Catholic High School?

Written by Paraclete High School

What comes to mind when you think about the ideal high school experience?

While the answer to that question is different for everyone, chances are that you see images of achieving your academic dreams, playing sports, hanging out with friends, or participating in fun after-school clubs.

But one aspect of the ideal high school experience is the same for everyone—you want to emerge as a better person after graduation. You want to learn, change, and grow.

What comes to mind when you think about the ideal high school experience?

Catholic high schools are well-known for providing all that. Luckily, in most cases, you do not need to be Catholic to attend a Catholic high school.

Are Catholic Schools Only for Catholics?

According to the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), one-fifth of Catholic secondary school students are not Catholic. At Paraclete High School, 40% of our student body identifies as non-Catholic.

What do you need to attend a Catholic high school? The best experience will be had by students who share similar Christian morals and values or are open to receiving the church’s teachings.

Families from different faiths often choose Catholic schools for reasons beyond academic reputation or class sizes. They seek something more, which they can’t always find in public schools. Non-Catholic families choose Catholic high schools because they want students to be exposed to morals and values in the classroom every day.

3 Ways to Determine if a Catholic High School is Right for You

1. You Value a School Environment that Instills Morals and Builds Character

Catholic high schools have long been known for providing high-quality academic education. But high school can be so much more than that. In Catholic high schools, religious courses are not only part of each student’s requirements, but the ideals of the faith are lived and practiced daily. Surrounding yourself with an environment that nurtures your spirit and mind is rewarding in many ways.

2. You Seek out Positive Role Models

Students need positive role models to imitate, learn from, and influence them to do better in their academic, spiritual, and social endeavors. A positive role model inspires students to pursue their passions and accomplish their goals by demonstrating discipline and hard work. Whether it’s adults who model positive behavior or a peer group that shares your values, Catholic high schools are great places to find role models.

3. You Want to Deepen Your Worldview and Faith

As a non-Catholic, you may wonder what the emphasis on Catholic teachings and traditions can offer you. Whatever your faith, learning through a Catholic perspective can deepen your understanding of your religion and broaden your worldview.

> Learn what non-Catholic families need to know about attending a Catholic high school.

Achieve Sustained Academic Excellence at a Catholic High School

In most Catholic high schools, identifying as Catholic is not a requirement to attend. Many schools are happy to welcome a diverse student body and spread the values of the Catholic Church. Have more questions about Catholic education? Contact us at Paraclete High School.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 5, 2017, and has been updated for accuracy and current best practices.