The permanent section of this website draws almost entirely from The ‘making of men’: the Idea and reality of Newman’s university in Oxford and Dublin (Gracewing, 2014). Since this volume turned out longer than anticipated, and since some have found the length off-putting, I thought that the medium of a website would encourage others to dip into the thought of this Christian humanist. No-one has written about the nature and function of a university like Newman has, and few have helped reform one great university and found another as Newman did. His words and actions have a timeless quality about them.

I am grateful to Jonathan, who has acted as my webmaster.

Paul Shrimpton


If you have a suggestion to make about the content or layout of the website, please send an email to the webmaster.

Layout of the website


Its fame

Its genesis

Why read the Idea?

Criticisms of the Idea

Failure of the Catholic University

Reading the Idea

          Rise and progress of universities

Some celebrated themes

          Direct end of the university

          Culture of the intellect

          A trained intellect

          Enlargement of the mind

          Knowledge and the university


                    The role of research

          A famous paradox

          A superficial omniscience

          Knowledge, an end in itself

          University training

          The gentleman

                    What the gentleman is not


John Henry Newman

Newman and education

His educational writings

Newman in action

A broad conception of education

Why listen to Newman?

Is his vision relevant today?


University entrance examination

The purpose of education

What is a university?

The ‘virtual’ university

University days, dangerous times

From home to university

          Ten letters introductory to college residence

          Tom Wolfe’s warning

Beware league tables

Higher education at risk?

          The meaning of life

Undergraduate education an end in itself

Educating in virtue

          Muddled thinking

          Tamworth reading room

Newman and secularism


An Aristotelian tradition

University education ‘makes men’

Neglect at Newman’s Oxford

The ‘problem’ of freedom

          An education in freedom

Training for life

A flourishing university

Genius loci

          Scholarships and the genius loci

Extracurricular activities and social life

          Newman the schoolboy

          Newman the Oxford student

          Newman the university rector

                   The L&H

          Newman the school founder

Mutual education

Acquiring the social virtues

          Adventures of Mr Verdant Green

Gaining a view of life

          Loss and Gain


The practical Newman: adapting theory

Study techniques

          Academic distractions

Advice on writing essays

Written work

Books and teachers


Newman and the internet

Newman and science

Medicine in Dublin


The compatibility of faith and reason

The fusion of the secular and religious in education

Gratia perfecit naturam

A flourishing faith

          Newman the undergraduate

          Newman the tutor

          Newman the rector

                      Religious instruction at Newman’s University

                      Being well versed in one’s religion

                      University Church, Dublin

                      Three vital principles of the Christian student

What makes a Catholic university?

          A Catholic university today?

Attending a faith-based university

Attending a secular or non-denominational university


Residential living: a corrective to care-free living

Residential living: an apologia

The importance of a residential university

The question of domicile

Collegiate living

Newman’s collegiate plan for Dublin

          Collegiate house: role of the dean

                    Newman as dean of a collegiate house

          Collegiate house: spiritual training

Championing the tutorial system

          Tutor at Oriel

          Newman’s scheme for Dublin

          Tutors at collegiate houses in Dublin

                      Newman as tutor

          The role of the college tutor


Running a university

          Newman as rector

Pastoral oversight

Dealing with the young

          Dealing with the young in Dublin

Personal influence in education

Professorial system

Professorial and collegiate universities

          The university–college principle

Testing and exams

The university as a business

The fallacy of excluding theology

Student residences overseeing them

          How to manage a university residence


A preparation for this world

Planning for a career

An antidote to the media



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