Grounded in the rich traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, St. Thomas is alive and thriving.
Founded in 1937 as the “Newman Club,” Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Arkansas has transformed over time to become St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish and Student Center. St. Thomas has a unique mission is to serve all undergraduate, graduate and terminal degree students, faculty, and staff at the University of Arkansas.
Built in 1959, St. Thomas’s facility serves as a spiritual home away from home for students to attend for mass, programs, meals and activities. St. Thomas exists to provide a safe and welcoming community of students, and today over 600 students attend each week for mass, programs, meals and activities. Our location provides us optimal access to the university campus and helps us fulfill our central purpose: to serve university students.
On Sundays, we exceed our capacity for each mass in our church built for 250 people. Over 500 students attend mass each Sunday, along with University faculty, staff, and other parishioners. Additionally, more than 75 students regularly join us for Sunday dinner.
Throughout the semester, we provide ministry services through the Sacraments, vocation talks, spiritual direction, weekly programming, service days (10 a year), Bible studies (men’s, women’s, co-ed, and freshman), social events, mission trips (both domestic and international), and FOCUS conferences. Additionally, new programs like Theology on Tap and a new Freshman ministry have been developed due to student demand for apologetics and theology. Formation also happens at RCIA, where more than 25 young people have become Catholic in the last three years!
The importance of involvement in campus ministry is undeniable. It is during these formative years that young adults explore their self-identity, world views and spirituality.
Fr. Jason Sharbaugh
A Letter from Our Pastor
Previous Campus Ministers
Sr. Norbert Hoelting, OSB
Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB
Vera Langanke Zawislak
Anna Paige Frein Umhoefer
Sr. Mary Adams, OSB
Sr. Therese Moreno, OSB