The Breitbach Catholic Thinkers & Leaders Program is a unique and vibrant four-year experience. Its goal is to challenge and engage the whole student, helping you to develop academically, spiritually, personally and socially while learning what it means to be a Catholic thinker and leader in today’s modern world. Made possible by a generous $15-million donation from Paul (’60) and Frances Breitbach, students have made a big impact at Loras and beyond since the first class of Breitbach scholars entered in the fall of 2007.

Directed by Amanda Osheim, Ph.D., the program is intended to put Catholic teachings into action. Enrolled students take part in special versions of a Modes of Inquiry (MOI) course and a Catholic Traditions course. They study some of the key thinkers of the Catholic intellectual tradition like Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and Teresa of Avila, investigating ideas about the meaning of life and how one makes a significant contribution to the world.

  • $17,000 scholarship is awarded to 15 selected applicants.
  • Students must be Catholic to apply.
  • Breitbach Catholic Thinkers & Leaders application materials and essay must  be received by December 21.
  • Email or send in your 1,000 word essay describing your faith development and how you hope to live a life of faith and leadership, and a detailed list of your activities and involvements while in high school.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from two non-family members who can speak to your faith development and leadership qualities.
  • Selected students will be invited to be interviewed on campus in February.
Apply Now!

Email all application materials to or mail your materials to: 

Loras College Office of Admission
1450 Alta Vista Street
Dubuque, IA 52001-4327

The Breitbach Catholic Thinkers & Leaders Program is comprised of 60 like-minded, but very diverse students, engaging in service leadership and academic work. You can major in anything from Media Studies and Education to Theology and Neuroscience. All participants have a shared experience by taking certain courses together as a cohort of 15 and receive a Catholic studies minor as they graduate. You will investigate Catholic thinkers and leaders such as Augustine, Francis of Assisi, Dorothy Day and John Paul II and their ideas about the meaning of life and how you can make a significant contribution to the world in your own way.

Included in the program are athletes, musicians and comedians; some students attended Catholic high schools while others
attended public; there are first-generation college students and others who have had a whole string of family members attend
Loras. You will have the opportunity to participate in monthly dinners with all Breitbach scholars, plan and attend events and
retreats, serve the community, attend speakers and complete a Catholic Thinkers & Leaders portfolio project.

One of the greatest benefits of the program? An all-expense paid January term trip to Rome, Italy, your junior year.

Deadline for scholarship is December 21 - all application materials and essay must  be received by December 21.

Apply Now!

For more information, contact Amanda Osheim at, or call the Loras College Admission office at 563.588.7236.
© LORAS COLLEGE  800.245.6727
Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission