Bishop Dwenger High School is a four-year Roman Catholic high school owned and operated by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Established in 1963, the school began as a vision of the Most Rev. Leo A. Pursley, D.D. Bishop Pursley, anticipating the growing educational needs of Fort Wayne area Catholics, launched an effort to construct a series of high schools throughout the diocese, one of which became Bishop Dwenger High School.
Since opening its doors to 210 freshmen in the fall of 1963, the school has witnessed a number of changes. One of the biggest changes has been the tremendous growth in enrollment over the years. Dwenger is now one of the three largest Catholic high schools in the state of Indiana with an enrollment of nearly 1000 students.
Bishop Dwenger would not be what it is today, however, without the dedicated faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and friends who work closely together to ensure the success of today's students. It is only through the efforts of many, that Bishop Dwenger earned a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award from the United States Department of Education in 2004. We were also named to the Catholic High School Honor Roll in 2006.
Bishop Dwenger High School continues to look forward in an effort to maintain an atmosphere where students "Learn for Life." The administration and school board are focusing on the future as we look to the ever-changing needs of a growing school. We are confident that for generations to come, Bishop Dwenger High School will provide the quality of academic excellence that our parents have come to expect by teaching the whole person in the Catholic tradition. We will always look forward to ensure that Dwenger's future remains bright.
In 1995, due to continued growth, a capital campaign was launched in order to add a new media center/library, cafeteria, five classrooms, and an auxiliary gym with two locker rooms, and a weight room. The school's second campaign, One Family Committed to the Future which began in 2005, concentrated its efforts on the fine arts, classrooms, the Alumni & Development Office and support space. For the first time in the school's history, band and choir each had their own respective classrooms and rehearsal space. Growing needs in visual arts led to construction of three new art classrooms. The school added eight new classrooms and created new space to accommodate the guidance offices. The school also renovated each of the school's six science labs and installed new lighting and air conditioning throughout the building.
During the 2013-2014 academic year we celebrated our 50th anniversary and launched our Golden Traditions Capital Campaign. This $8.5 million campaign resulted in many significant improvements to the school. All 36 classrooms (original to the construction in 1963) were renovated from top-to-bottom. The gymnasium and its support space (locker rooms and offices) received a complete overhaul: flooring, bleachers, ceiling, sound system, lighting, scoreboard, team accolades, and improvement to the stage. With the addition of a new 5,000 square foot multi-purpose room on the northeast end of the building, we generated more practice, meeting, and classroom space. This feature allowed us to create a new strength and conditioning facility. Sequentially, we transformed the previous weight room into a cardio room.
The most important outcome of The Golden Traditions Capital Campaign was the addition of Our Lady Queen of All Saints Chapel. This 284-seat chapel is a blessing to our school and community. Its presence, both from the outside and inside, is a beacon for all.
In the early months of 2019, we received a general financial gift which was donor-directed to build a stadium around Shields Field, located on the school’s campus. The stadium, a total investment of $3 million, provides home seating for 2,600 fans and 600 seats for visitors. There is an impressive gated entrance with two ticket booths, spacious press box, and a user friendly and welcome concourse included restrooms, team rooms, concessions and a pavilion area. Our first home game was in August of 2019. It was so good to be HOME! Click here for more information.
For years, the Administrative team at BDHS has been thinking about the vacant movie theatre in the North Crest Shopping Center (just south of campus on Clinton) and how it might be utilized as potential expansion of our campus. At the end of 2019, a generous 1982 alumnus purchased this building and gifted it to the school. This Saint has also pledged $2 million to renovate this building into a Performing Arts Center. When completed, the entire facility will be 34,000 square feet and include a 700-seat auditorium with ample support space. Additionally, there will be a spacious lobby to serve as a Gathering Space and Art Gallery, as well as a 8,500 square foot multi-purpose facility, and another 3,500 square foot space for a year-round Saints Alive! workshop. The early estimates for the new addition and renovation of this building came in around $8 million. The goal for completions of this facility is by the end of 2023. Click here to learn more about this beautiful facility and how you can help.
Vision, Mission, and Philosophy
The Bishop Dwenger community assists students in becoming "Citizens of Two Worlds."
Bishop Dwenger High School, a Diocesan Catholic high school founded in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, provides a faith-centered community dedicated to academic excellence, growth in the spiritual life, a Christ-centered active life outside of class, and a Christian life of service to the community.
This is Bishop Dwenger
Let peace dwell here
Let our school be full of contentment
Let love abide here
Love of God
Love of mankind
And love of life itself
Let us remember that
Just as many hands built a house
So many hearts make a school
Our Four Pillars:
Academic Life; Spiritual Life; An Active Life; A Life of Service.
Learning to live as "Citizens of Two Worlds"
Established as a community of believers around the person of Christ Himself, our faculty, administration, staff, students, and parents share knowledge enlightened and enlivened by faith in an atmosphere of freedom and love. We emphasize the total growth of each student in an atmosphere of academic challenges and accomplishments. Based on the Judeo-Christian heritage, we are committed to social awareness through service to others.
We at Bishop Dwenger are working as a community:
- Of students, faculty, and staff, with parents, Board of Education, and alumni in the shared project of human growth, with each member offering a personal contribution.
- Of educators, working to provide for the spiritual, intellectual, psychological, social and physical needs of each student.
- Of Christian educators who desire to provide an authentic and genuine charity among our members in a setting where each person can function with responsible freedom.
- Within a society. The interaction of the Bishop Dwenger academic community encourages each student to develop the ability to participate in civic affairs and influence the larger world.
Our primary goal is to assist young men and women to become "Citizens of Two Worlds".
The Four Pillars
Bishop Dwenger offers a rich curriculum with nearly 100 courses. We understand that it takes more than academics to guide our students for life in school or prepare them for life after graduation. Mind, body, soul, and spiritual components make up a total, well-balanced person. We address each facet in full at BDHS.
Academic Life at Bishop Dwenger is designed to inspire a lifetime of learning. Our curriculum is challenging. Our teaching staff is well-educated: BD faculty averages 14 years' teaching experience and 42% have earned Master's Degrees. The student/teacher ratio is 16:1. We reward academic excellence. Qualifying students receive a letter and jacket – many the semester before junior year. One of three diplomas can be earned: Core 40, Core 40 Academic Honors, or Technical Honors. 91% of our graduates attend post-secondary schools.
Spiritual Life at Bishop Dwenger integrates classroom studies and personal growth to foster “Citizens of Two Worlds.” Our Pastoral Ministry and Guidance Departments offer support, encouragement and direction to our students, teachers and parents. The Pastoral Ministry team includes a lay minister and a diocesan priest assigned by our Bishop to oversee/prepare school Masses, Sacraments, retreats, and offer confidential pastoral counseling. The Guidance Department's licensed counselors help students with academic, vocational, postsecondary education and personal matters.
An Active Life is highly encouraged at Bishop Dwenger. These outside-of-school endeavors are so important that we refer to them as co-curricular activities. BD is consistently successful in Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Conference sports. Our Saints also place competitively in state-wide music ensembles, academic teams, and play on local sport clubs, and in city vocal and instrumental ensembles. These activities teach our students teamwork, dedication, commitment, and how to best represent their school, self, and faith.
A Life of Service is Catholic social teaching in action. The Church recognizes that the human person is both sacred and social, that we mature and achieve fulfillment in community. In the words of the late Bishop John D'Arcy, "No one can find himself until he learns to make a gift of himself to others." At Bishop Dwenger we provide service opportunities in a wide variety of settings. Our students are required to perform ten service hours each semester as part of their Theology class.