John Paul the Great Catholic University (nicknamed "JPCatholic") is located in Escondido, California, United States. It currently offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Communications Media and Business, each with several concentrations offered, a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Film Producing, and a Master of Arts in Biblical Theology. JPCatholic emphasizes its loyalty to the Catholic Church, and lists "impacting the culture for Christ" as one of its main goals. The University was named one of North America's "21 Catholic colleges and universities which most faithfully live their Catholic identity" by the Cardinal Newman Society and has consistently been listed in the Newman Society's "Guide to Choosing a Catholic College".[1][2][3] In May 2013, the University purchased a building in Escondido, a city north of San Diego, and relocated during the summer of 2013.[4]


John Paul the Great Catholic University was founded in 2003 under the name "New Catholic University." After the death of Pope John Paul II in April 2005, the Board of Trustees decided to change the name to honor the late Pope, while retaining the word "Catholic" in the official name to emphasize the priorities of the school.[5] JPCatholic officially opened its doors with its first classes on September 21, 2006 with a temporary campus in Scripps Ranch.[6] The University moved to a permanent campus in Escondido in 2013, holding its first classes there at the start of the Fall 2013 academic quarter.[7] In the spring of 2016, John Paul the Great University became the third University in America to adopt the Classic Learning Test (CLT) as an alternative to the SAT and ACT.


John Paul the Great Catholic University's main classroom building

JPCatholic is located in downtown Escondido, a city immediately north of San Diego, California and approximately 30 miles (48 km) north of downtown San Diego.[8] Classrooms, sound stage, and chapel are located in a former Mingei art museum on Grand Avenue, the heart of Escondido's historic downtown, while administrative offices are housed in a building across the street. In early 2016, the University purchased a long-vacant furniture store with the intent to renovate the space "to house a huge sound stage, a library and an auditorium."[9] The school has also purchased the campus of the defunct Center City High School to serve as the campus chapel.[10] Students live "on campus" at the latitude33 apartment complex approximately 0.5 miles (0.80 km) away from the classrooms.[11]


JPCatholic operates on a non-traditional year-round schedule, with three 10-week quarters per academic year and four quarters per calendar year.[12] Students graduate in three years, beginning the program at the start of a fall quarter and graduating at the end of their third summer quarter. Consequently, there are never more than three "academic classes" of students on campus at any given time.

Calendar Year Fall Quarter Winter Quarter Spring Quarter Summer Quarter
Year 1 Freshman, Q1 Freshman, Q2 Freshman, Q3 Sophomore, Q1
Year 2 Sophomore, Q2 Sophomore, Q3 Junior, Q1 Junior, Q2
Year 3 Junior, Q3 Senior, Q1 Senior, Q2 Senior, Q3

Undergraduate Degrees

JPCatholic currently offers two Bachelor of Science degrees: Business, with concentrations in Entrepreneurship, Sales & Marketing, Leadership & Management; and Communications Media, with concentrations in Screenwriting, Producing, Production/Directing, Acting, Animation, Game Art & Design, and its unique New Evangelization emphasis, which the University calls a "practical theology degree"[13][14] Undergraduate students also take core curriculum classes in philosophy, art, literature, and science, with a heavy emphasis on Scripture and Catholic theology.[15]

Senior Business Plan

JPCatholic is noted for its focus on business entrepreneurship, and offers an educational track and resource hub for entrepreneurial students, called the Business Launchpad. Seniors business students work with business-experienced faculty to develop viable business plans, and use University resources to launch a company.[16]

Graduate Degrees

The school offers a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Film Producing,.[17] In 2017, the school announced it would be phasing out its Master of Arts in Biblical Theology due to changes in state authorization regulations under the Federal Higher Education Act.[18]

Red Line (2013 film)

JPCatholic's media programs provide a focus on applied learning, with an effort to create opportunities for students to get experience on real-world projects. Red Line was a 2013 feature film directed by professor Rob Kirbyson that incorporated 60-70% of the student body in production.[19] The film was created with a budget of $220,000 and achieved distribution in both domestic and international markets.[20]


JPCatholic is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.[21] The University was notified of Initial Accreditation in a letter from the Commission dated March 6, 2015.[22]


  1. ^ Life Site News, Oct. 3, 2007 http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2007/oct/07100305.html
  2. ^ The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, http://www.catholichighered.org/TheNewmanGuide/tabid/356/Default.aspx
  3. ^ http://thenewmanguide.com/SearchResults/JohnPaultheGreatCatholicUniversity/tabid/531/Default.aspx
  4. ^ Roger Showley, San Diego Union Tribune, "Catholic film school moving to Escondido," May 14, 2013; http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/may/14/film-school-john-paul-catholic-scripps-escondido/
  5. ^ Catholic.org, http://www.catholic.org/prwire/headline.php?ID=1494
  6. ^ Sandi Dolbee, San Diego Union-Tribune, "University wants students to take their inner faith to outside world," Sept. 22, 2006; http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/education/20060922-9999-2m22catholic.html
  7. ^ JP Catholic Press Release, September 25, 2013, accessed October 23, 2013; http://www.jpcatholic.com/news_press/Escondido.php
  8. ^ Roger Showley, San Diego Union Tribune, "Catholic film school moving to Escondido," May 14, 2013; http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/may/14/film-school-john-paul-catholic-scripps-escondido/
  9. ^ Jones, J. Harry. "Catholic university revitalizing downtown Escondido". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 15 October 2016. 
  10. ^ JP Catholic website, 'Chapel,' https://jpcatholic.edu/chapel/
  11. ^ JP Catholic website, 'Student Housing at JP Catholic' http://www.jpcatholic.com/studentlife/housing.php
  12. ^ JP Catholic Website, "Year Round Structure for Degree Programs to start July 2008," http://www.jpcatholic.com/yearround.php
  13. ^ JP Catholic Official Site, http://www.jpcatholic.com/academics/academics.php
  14. ^ JP Catholic News, "JP Catholic launches New Evangelization Program," Jan. 22, 2010; http://www.jpcatholic.com/news_press/new_evangelization.php
  15. ^ JPCatholic Official Site: General Education, http://www.jpcatholic.com/academics/general.php
  16. ^ "The Launch Pad & Incubator on Grand". JPCatholic.com. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  17. ^ MBA, http://www.jpcatholic.com/academics/degree/MBA_Producing.php
  18. ^ https://jpcatholic.edu/academics/NC-SARA.php
  19. ^ Real, Andrea. "Tara Stone, "Red Line" Screenplay Writer Talks About Colorado, Women in Hollywood". Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  20. ^ Verrier, Richard. "Class project yields a feature film with commercial distributors". LA Times. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  21. ^ "Statement of Accreditation Status - John Paul the Great Catholic University". wascsenior.org. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  22. ^ Petrisko, Mary Ellen. "Commission Action Letter - John Paul the Great Catholic University" (PDF). www.jpcatholic.com. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 

External links

Coordinates: 33°07′15″N 117°04′57″W / 33.120858°N 117.082379°W / 33.120858; -117.082379