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Juan Vélez writes for students who are forming their mind and will, seeking a liberal arts education within the current context of great American universities and colleges. Vélez writes in the tradition of James Schall, Allan Bloom, Mark Henrie and, preeminently, his spiritual mentor, John Henry Newman.  The book is a readable guide for the student who will ultimately need to create his own curriculum in the Western tradition, following some aspects of the traditional seven liberal arts.”

Robert T. Constable DSW
Professor Emeritus
Loyola University Chicago


 A University Education for the 21st Century is a wonderfully sane and invaluable guide for parents and students on the value of a liberal arts education and how to access it in an increasingly secular and scientific academy. Father Juan Vélez’s experience with students as a chaplain in American universities deepens and enriches a beautifully clear, concise and compelling text.”

Anthony Adamthwaite
Professor, Department of History
University of California at Berkeley


In my view, A University Education for the 21st Century is a persuasive invitation to students to enrich their intellectual life by paying attention to the humanities, learning each day from the intellectual giants of mankind. In words of Sir William Osler, these students should strive “to get the education if not of a scholar, at least of a gentleman.”

Gonzalo Herranz
Professor Emeritus, Pathology and Medical Ethics
University of Navarre


A compelling and spirited defense of a liberal arts education, A University Education for the 21st Century by Father Juan Vélez beautifully transmits the values at the core of academia. This book will enrich the thinking of humanists and scientists alike”.

Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe
James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Princeton University


Juan Vélez’s little book should be of interest to anyone concerned about the state of higher education, but it is particularly useful as a vade mecum for the serious high school graduate who is about to make the exciting but perilous choice of a college. This in an era that is unsure even of the purpose of a higher education and the liberal arts tradition that remains precariously its core. Guided by the spirit of John Henry Newman, Father Juan combines a history of liberal education and the university with a lively critique of its contemporary failings, whether the politicization of the classroom, tireless debunking of the West, contempt for idealism, or abject careerism.  There follows a strong argument for fundamental reform as well as abundant practical advice for choosing colleges and courses that cultivate true learning. There has never been a greater need for academic (and spiritual) mentoring, and this book serves that purpose well.

John Hulsman
Emeritus Professor of English
Rider College


A University Education for the 21st Century answers questions that should be on the minds of all reflective young people: why study the liberal arts?  Where would it be best for me to do so?  And how, once in college or university, should I go about seeking an education that will shape both my intellect and will?  Many high schools and universities do not provide sound guidance for young men and women asking these questions; Fr. Vélez’s book will be welcome and essential reading for them.

Christopher Tollefsen
Professor of Philosophy
University of South Carolina


After reading A University Education for the 21st Century even those seeking an education in science and engineering will be convinced of the need for a liberal arts curriculum.  Now more than ever, it is critical that those on the front lines of discovery and innovation with great potential for lasting and widespread impact seek an authentic humanistic formation.  Fr Juan Vélez’s experience as a physician, priest and university chaplain make him especially suited to provide both the philosophical motivation as well as practical advice for achieving this formation.  This book will inspire students and their parents.

Katheen M. Schmainda PhD
Professor, Radiology & Biophysics
Medical College of Wisconsin


Fr. Juan Vélez’s A University Education for the 21st Century, presents a concise and substantive argument for the perennial value of a liberal arts education and its importance to Catholic higher education. It is essential reading for Catholic educators and for prospective college students and their parents who value the rich tradition of the Church.

Cornelia A. Tsakiridou, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Philosophy
Director, Diplomat-In-Residence Program
La Salle University, Philadelphia