Why Patrick Henry College Requires All Students to Complete Such a Broad Core Curriculum

Broad Core Curriculum at Patrick Henry College

The Loss of Traditional Values

            We live in a time in which traditional Christian values are derided because they are traditional, especially in academia. News stories abound with professors denouncing Christianity as the main cause of America’s social woes while the less militant choose to quietly suppress traditional Christianity as “intolerant.” Tradition prevents us from repeating the mistakes of the past along with helping us maintain important values. In the past, it also was effective in influencing the lives of those who were not even Christians in the regular sense. Many traditional biblical values were accepted as societal norms, even among non-Christians. As history has demonstrated, traditional Christianity cannot be thrown away without a distressing change in society, therefore, Broad Core Curriculum at Patrick Henry College is necessary.

            Patrick Henry College understands the power and importance of traditional values. Accordingly, it seeks to teach these values through its intensive core curriculum, covering a broad array of topics such as history, music, mathematics, rhetoric, science, law, theology, and even economics. All of these are taught from a traditional biblical perspective and all students take the core, regardless of their major. These classes are all difficult as well and require actual effort to be completed, unlike many core classes at other schools. What these various and seemingly unrelated subjects do in the core is give the Patrick Henry College student a vast understanding of how biblical values apply to every field of life.

The Decline of Education

            Along with preserving Christian values, there is another major gap that Patrick Henry College’s core seeks to fill. It is the marked decline in American educational standards and success, even though college enrollment and graduation are higher than ever. While it is not easy to pinpoint a central cause for this decline, one main reason is the loss of focus on the students’ development. Public education has turned into a battlefield in which conservatives and liberals are fighting over what the students should be taught along with skirmishes between teacher’s unions, parents, and many other groups. This ideological battle has spread into the colleges as well, leading to politics becoming generally more important than education. Hence, it seems that the main goal is not to have brilliant students anymore but is, in fact, something different for every group. Observing the precedent of success that traditional classical education has had, Patrick Henry College chose to develop its core curriculum accordingly to combat the decay of American education. There are many reasons why a core curriculum is effective and important to Patrick Henry College.

Preparation for a Career

            There is a fundamental problem in assuming, as many colleges do that a core curriculum is outdated and not useful for a student’s future career. Granted, Patrick Henry College alum is not going to use his expertise in classical music history to become a sports journalist. imagine the advantage the journalist has when he is experienced in researching things unfamiliar to him such as classical music. There are many other areas in which skills from the Patrick Henry College core curriculum cross over to completely separate subjects. Modern academia has become pragmatic by focusing all of its attention on narrow areas of interest. This practice creates students who can do their job but know little else and do not have a broad base of knowledge or experience to rely on should they need it. Patrick Henry College solves this problem by having the extensive core curriculum along with a strong emphasis on internships.

How to Think

            Another reason to use a Broad Core Curriculum at Patrick Henry College is that it teaches one to think. Because of the previously mentioned crossover that the subjects give, a student acquires the ability to reason in many different ways. This skill is tremendously useful even outside of the workplace since one can use his skills to make life choices effectively. The brain is much like an athlete in that it benefits more from varied types of training rather than endless hours of one, known as cross-training sports. Football players get better at football by doing jump rope, swimming, lifting weights, and even ballet, not by solely playing football. The brain also gets better at one task by being challenged by other dissimilar tasks. It has been estimated that there are nine main kinds of intelligence humans can have including spatial intelligence, mathematical intelligence, and factual intelligence that involves remembering historical events. All of these types of intelligence are completely separate from each other and can be trained independently. Thus, Patrick Henry College’s core helps train students to be more powerful thinkers overall.

Leaders and Culture-Changers

            The most important reason for the employment of a Broad Core Curriculum at Patrick Henry College is to bring glory to God by cultivating leaders and culture-changers who will transform society. The best adversaries to combat well-educated enemies of Christianity are Christians who know worldly matters, as well as their opponents, do, if not better. Many Christian colleges do correctly in seeking to build leadership qualities in their students yet fall short in giving their students excellent education for the real world. And, though not every Patrick Henry College student will end up being one, the college’s robust education gives them the broadness in perspective great leaders need.

Filling in the Gaps

            Patrick Henry College is a very small school, and new as well. However, its goals are anything but immature. Its founders observed the lack in America of schools that taught firm biblical values along with producing brilliant students. So, they committed to create an intense core curriculum that would reaffirm God’s undying word while simultaneously giving students a deep aspect on the world. While it is imperfect as all man’s creations are, it has been tremendously successful in the short time Patrick Henry College has been in existence.

Author Bio

Jackson Katanic is currently studying Economics and Business Analytics at Patrick Henry College; a classical Christian liberal arts college in Purcellville, VA. He plans to attend law school and work in corporate management. Katanic has lived in seven different states and enjoys songwriting and boxing.

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What Makes Patrick Henry College so Remarkable?

People often ask what makes Patrick Henry College so remarkable.

For me, the answer is easy: it’s the people, our students and alumni become.

I spent much of my career as an executive in the corporate banking world and over the years I discovered something about success and potential. Time and again, I saw our company bring in young, talented professionals, many coming from Ivy League schools with prestigious pedigrees. Yet, so few possessed the three critical elements that are needed for long-term success: character, communication skills, and critical thinking. These essential qualities not only make all the difference in lives and careers, they are also the qualities that our nation desperately needs in its leaders.

To put it simply, Patrick Henry College, exists to equip a generation of leaders for Christ to reclaim our nation for liberty.

Too often, students and families are told they must choose between an exceptional academic education and a Christ-centered education. At Patrick Henry College, no such dichotomy exists. This is a college for students who want something more –to aim higher, dig deeper, dare greater, and challenge the status quo. Students who know deep down inside that God has made them for a purpose. Throughout the Bible, God called His people – those like David, Esther, and Nehemiah –to great moments. We believe God is calling young people across this country to great moments as well. And I am fully convinced that our students will be ready when their moment comes to step to the center stage.

If there is a common refrain I hear time and again, it is that Patrick Henry College or Patrick Henry College students quickly distinguish themselves wherever they go; whether it’s our Strategic Intelligence graduates rising through the ranks of the FBI and CIA, or our Government majors winning coveted White House internships and Supreme Court clerkships, or our Economics and Business Analytics alumni making an early name for themselves at Fortune 500 companies. Patrick Henry College students understand how to think clearly, communicate convincingly, and do so with the character and conviction that only comes from a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.

Our alumni walk on to many different stages, from the highest levels of government to their local churches. You’ll see many of their stories here in these pages, and I think you’ll see a common thread. As Proverbs tells us, “See a man skillful in his work? He shall stand before kings.” Similarly, David reminds us in the Psalms, “I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and I shall not be put to shame.” I believe there will be Supreme Court justices, presidents, and CEO’s that come from these halls, as well as faithful fathers and mothers, pastors, and teachers. In any and every sphere, our alumni will be the kind of people equipped to stand before kings.

That is the very heartbeat of Patrick Henry College. Wherever they go, whatever they do, our alumni are equipped to be difference makers – and the very best at that –for Christ and for Liberty.

Jack W. Haye
Patrick Henry College

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A Generation of Young Leaders for Christ

A generation of young leaders for Christ, reclaiming a nation for liberty – that is the vision of Patrick Henry College

That fact is not only why Patrick Henry College exists, but it’s also what makes us so remarkable. We now have over 800 alumni working around the world and if there is a common refrain I hear, it’s that they excel wherever they choose to go. Whether it’s our Strategic Intelligence majors rising quickly through the ranks of the FBI and CIA, or our Government majors grabbing coveted White House and Capitol Hill internships, or our business majors making an early name for themselves at Fortune 500 companies, Patrick Henry College students understand how to think clearly, communicate convincingly, and do so with the character and conviction that only comes from a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.

In higher education today, students are often told they must either pursue an elite, exceptional education from the Ivy Leagues, or a Biblically rooted education from a Christian college. Patrick Henry College was founded to challenge that status quo and I believe we’ve done so convincingly. Patrick Henry College is a place for students with a deep desire for excellence, who want to reach higher and dig deeper.

Our students take their degrees in many different places, from the chambers of the Supreme Court to the whiteboard at the front of a classroom.

If there’s one thing I hear time and again, it’s that Patrick Henry College students stand out from the crowd.

So special. After all, for a college that began less than two decades ago, we’ve seen a remarkable amount of success – from national and international debate championships to regular White House and even Supreme Court placements. Over the years, I’ve learned much about what makes.

Before coming to Patrick Henry College, I spent over 30 years of my career in the fast-paced, high-pressure corporate banking world. And in my role as an executive, I often interacted with recent graduates and young talented professionals that our company brought onboard. Despite the fact that many came from top universities or had letters at the end of their names, I found a common and consistent weakness: too few knew how to think critically and communicate convincingly.


Jack W. Haye
Patrick Henry College

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