News Detail
Jake Espinosa with his daughter, a student at Veritas Christi.
Nation’s First Catholic Online High School for Special Needs Students Teaches the Ignatian Method

July 27, 2015 — Veritas Christi, the nation’s first Catholic online high school for students with special needs, has teamed up with the Jesuit Virtual Learning Academy (JVLA) to provide online access to the same theology courses taught at Catholic high schools across the country to teenagers with special needs.

“This is a first in the field of Catholic special education online,” said Jesuit Father Don Vettese, a member of the Veritas Christi board of directors. “Veritas Christi joins an impressive list of Catholic high schools nationwide already using JVLA’s excellent curriculum. But Veritas Christi is the first and only Catholic high school to make it available online to kids everywhere with special needs.”

Launched in spring 2011 with online classes for grades 7-12, the independent Catholic school was founded by Richard Nye and Chip Clearwater, who is the principal of the school. In addition to the theology material, the standard, non-religious coursework, including math, science and English, is provided online as well. Veritas Christi will also open a brick-and-mortar school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, this fall.

For Nye, who serves as president of the board of directors for Veritas Christi, opening the doors to the school will be a dream come true. A special needs student himself throughout his academic life, he was a teacher for many years in both public and Christian schools. He had always wanted to open a school to serve students with learning challenges.

"My own high school guidance counselor told me not to go to college because I’d never make it — ‘I want to save you from embarrassment,' he said — but I worked my butt off and ended up going to graduate school and becoming a teacher myself," Nye said.

Under the guidance of the local bishop, the school hopes to serve a wide range of students with special needs through both online classes and the campus experience. Acceptance is based on a series of interviews with administration and faculty.

“We are providing kids everywhere who struggle with special needs — and for whom a classroom setting is just not feasible — the same chance every other child has to earn a diploma from a Catholic high school,” Nye said. “We’re happy to announce the opening of a unique Catholic high school for a special group of vulnerable kids.”

The fall online semester at Veritas Christi begins on September 10, 2015. [Sources: Veritas Christi,]

Recent News

May 27, 2020 — Shannon K. Evans, a writer and mother of five, chronicles moments of grace in her daily life.

Many Jesuit social ministries are providing essential services to communities impacted by COVID-19. Support their work.

May 20, 2020 – Being stuck at home might just set us on the path to sainthood.

May 19, 2020 — A new report released today from Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and the Jesuit Conference brings to life the real and often heart breaking consequences of US asylum policies.

May 18, 2020 — May marks the fifth anniversary of the publication of Laudato Si’. Through this landmark encyclical, Pope Francis called the Church and all people to transform our relationship with creation.

May 18, 2020 — Fr. Garanzini succeeds Fr. Michael J. Sheeran, SJ, beginning July 1.

May 18, 2020 — Ignatian spirituality gives us tools for navigating the gig economy during the pandemic and beyond.

view all news

Search news

Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 10/14/19

America 9/30/19

America 9/16/19

Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House
Located on the shores of Lewisville Lake in Lake Dallas, Texas, Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House is situated on an inviting 37-acre campus less than an hour north of Dallas.