International Politics and Policy Major at Patrick Henry College

By Rachel Cochran

Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected. Access to other parts of the world and cultures is more common today than it ever has been. As such, there is an ever-increasing need for globally aware Christian leaders, professionals, and policymakers grounded in the fundamentals of faith and freedom.

Patrick Henry College’s International Politics and Policy (IPP) major is a response to that need.

The purpose of the IPP track at Patrick Henry College is to prepare Christian leaders for success in international policy, law, business, and humanitarian work. The track educates students in the contending theories, prominent actors, pressing problems, varying approaches, and current opportunities in foreign policy and international affairs.


IPP students learn from professors at Patrick Henry College who are experts in international policy, theory, and research.

Patrick Henry College requires IPP students to complete classes in a wide variety of subjects beginning with International Relations, Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice, and Comparative Politics. However, it also forces students to think about the ethical conversation of international affairs in Theory and Ethics of International Relations, Ideologies and Revolutions, and International Law.

Students get a deeper insight into different cultures and countries through European Politics, Politics of Developing Nations, and Area Studies where students can spend a semester abroad through Patrick Henry College’s Global Studies Program.

Electives at Patrick Henry College may include International Economics, Comparative Economic Systems, Modern Chinese History, African History, and more.

Students in the IPP track can explore a specific global issue like globalization and global governance, religious conflict, human trafficking, economic development, family deterioration, resource scarcity, free trade, ethnic violence, genocide, environmental degradation, etc. through researching primary and secondary sources.

Students at PHC are then required to draft a policy report articulating a strategy for US involvement that would ultimately be forwarded to relevant government officials.

Apprenticeships at Patrick Henry College

Patrick Henry College holds to a unique apprenticeship methodology that focuses more on guiding students to their ideal vocation. Apprenticeships in the IPP track offers students practical experience, through internships and other apprenticeship opportunities, some in foreign settings.

The IPP Practicum at Patrick Henry College provides students with the opportunity to become involved in practical issues of current salience. This is a vital part of training them to be international leaders.

In recent years students have assisted in editing the International Journal for Religious Freedom and joined other projects involving religious freedom and persecution, and others have participated in conferences at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The Patrick Henry College IPP Practicum also allows students who participate in PHC’s award-winning National Model United Nations team to earn credit while they undertake role-playing as a foreign diplomat, learn how the UN operates, and connect with students from around the world at the culminating national conference in New York City.

Students may also earn credit by writing for the Patrick Henry College student peer-reviewed Journal of International Social Affairs, which affords them further opportunity to hone their analytical skills and knowledge in a field of international politics that is of direct interest to Christians but which seldom receives the attention it deserves.

Patrick Henry College students and graduates have worked at high-level internship positions in the White House, the US Department of State, the Department of Defense, Heritage Foundation, Sysco, The Atlantic Council, and the Project for National Security Reform, as well as at embassies and other venues abroad. This provides a great launching pad for students wanting to get real experience in their field.

Patrick Henry College also offers opportunities for students to study abroad with its Global Studies program. This program allows students to spend an entire semester in a foreign country, where they can learn about other cultures and gain an unforgettable experience.

Why Study International Politics and Policy?

Patrick Henry College encourages an effort on the part of Christians to actively participate and positively influence other nations. PHC seeks to equip its students to apply biblical principles to the study of politics and connected affairs globally, thereby furthering God’s Kingdom throughout the world.

This is not only to fulfill the Great Commission but to help students assume positions of biblical leaders at the forefront of international affairs and to shape global trends. This world is in need of Christian leaders who are instructed in the ethics of international politics and have a deep understanding of the international situation.

As a part of Patrick Henry College’s classical, Christian, liberal arts education, the IPP track offers a rounded curriculum in international affairs.  Considering the interests of many PHC students and families, we give special emphasis to the study of religious and social affairs internationally, where we aspire to exercise leadership.  The machinery of global governance, such as the United Nations, European Union, and other intergovernmental and transnational organizations are subjects of both interest and scrutiny.

Without neglecting the traditional issues and questions of global politics, we have found that issues such as family integrity, religious freedom, marriage and sexuality are either ignored in their increasingly important international dimensions or are addressed largely within narrow ideological limitations. Patrick Henry College is committed to an unwavering biblical worldview and desires to remedy this deficiency and offer balanced perspectives on these trends.

An IPP degree from Patrick Henry College is awarded within the context of the Government major, but it can equip students to enter a variety of globally important professions, including diplomacy, law, business, government, missionary and humanitarian work, and work with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

Patrick Henry College is committed to excellence and providing a high-quality education, lifting high both faith and reason. Which is why the school seeks to offer a comprehensive liberal arts education that challenges students with high academic rigor.

Patrick Henry College’s faculty are active globally as well, participating in and leading international research efforts such as the Institute of World Politics, the Global Home Education Conference, the World Congress of Families, Fulbright Scholars, Christian Concern (London), the Ordo Iuris Institute for Legal Culture (Warsaw), the European Parliament, the European Christian Political Movement, Russian Society of Political Scientists, and more.

Patrick Henry College wants to equip students to overcome the challenges and opportunities that are unfolding before Christians internationally. For those who love studying the world of international affairs and defending justice, PHC’s IPP Track is for you.


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Equipped for the Pursuit at Patrick Henry College

By Beckett Millhouse

 Confronting the Important Questions

You can often tell a person’s priorities by examining the way they spend their time. In a world in which a thousand things vie for our attention, it’s essential to identify that which is most important to our lives and vigilantly defend the time we save for it. We often manage to carve out time for jobs, family, and studies, but if our lives are truly dedicated to glorifying the Lord in all that we do, we must take the time to equip ourselves for the study of his Holy Word.

As someone who grew up in a Christian household, I learned the correct answers to biblical questions at a young age. But I wholly lacked the tools with which to search God’s Word for the answers I didn’t have—the answers to questions that didn’t fit within the cookie cutter mold of Sunday-school theology.

Patrick Henry College refuses to allow those questions to go unanswered.  At Patrick Henry College, students are not only encouraged to wrestle with the deep questions of their faith, they are given the tools they need to find real answers.

The Biblical Studies Minor at Patrick Henry College

The Biblical Studies minor is an opportunity for Patrick Henry College students to pursue a more full understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ. While some may consider this sort of minor a waste of time given its minimal impact on a career, Patrick Henry College stands for so much more.

Certainly, preparing our students for their future careers is a priority, but that preparation involves far more than just technical training for the sake of a promotion. At Patrick Henry College, we believe in holistic education—education that goes beyond a specific major and truly prepares students for life. It’s because there is nothing more important than a walk with Christ that fields of studies like the Biblical Studies Minor exists.

In order to live our lives well, we must recognize its deeper purpose and pursue that wholly. We all need foundations upon which to build up our faith. What better than to learn how to study God’s word?

A Rare Opportunity during your time at Patrick Henry College

Biblical Studies at Patrick Henry College isn’t just important, it’s a golden opportunity. As any Biblical Studies Minor will tell you, the quality of this program far surpasses any like it. If you ever ask them what the big deal is, the first thing they will mention is Dr. Darrel Cox. Dr. Cox is the director of the minor and teaches almost all of the upper division classes that make up its core curriculum. As Patrick Henry College Senior in the Biblical Studies Minor put it,

Dr. Cox is by far the best part of the BS minor at Patrick Henry College. His great knowledge of the subject matter is only rivaled by his unbelievably humble attitude and approachable demeanor. Class time with Dr. Cox feels a lot more like a bible study with friends than an actual class, and yet most the time, we are receiving graduate-level seminars with constant search and discussion of the Word.

He seamlessly blends casual conversation with incredibly wise insight and really brings the Bible to life in a way I have never seen before.

Dr. Cox is also a firm believer in students starting from square one at Patrick Henry College and building their faith themselves rather than depending on others to do it for them. Biblical Studies classes at Patrick Henry College uses an inductive approach, giving students the building blocks with which to build their faith, and allowing them to come to their own conclusions through a guided pursuit of truth. While other programs may train students what to think and do, Biblical Studies trains students how to think and allows them to explore God’s word for themselves.

An Impact for Everyone

The Patrick Henry College Biblical Studies Minor isn’t just for those called to pastor churches or work full time missions, it’s for every believer. While interviewing a Patrick Henry College Sophomore, I was struck by the way in which she described her experience with her Biblical Studies classes. She said,

I think it has impacted me so greatly because these classes more than any others cut to the heart of who we are. I’m not planning to go into ministry or even considering attending seminary later on, but studying the Bible in such a full way really opens your eyes to approach everything in your life from a biblical perspective.

Since I joined the program, I’m beginning to see the connections around me that I used to be blind to—the biblical issues of our world that are really more important than anything else. These aren’t just extra classes I have to take, they are a discipleship that has tremendously impacted my spiritual health. Every semester, the material we covered seems to end up being incredibly impactful to where I was spiritually, and I feel like God really spoke to me through my study.

Studying here at Patrick Henry College has fundamentally reshaped the way I approach my life.

A Calling for All while at Patrick Henry College

For anyone considering a college education, the things you choose to invest in are what shape your passions and desires. At Patrick Henry College, you have the opportunity to spiritually grow, to open your eyes to the spiritual truths that surround you, and to open your ears to God’s calling for your life—whether that be preaching from a pulpit, raising children with your spouse, or even flipping burgers at McDonalds.

Whoever you are and wherever you are going, the Biblical Studies is for you because it’s for everyone. As it is written in Proverbs 3: 1-2, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.” As believers we take Christ in our hearts wherever we go, why then shouldn’t we equip ourselves to study the bible well regardless of where we think we will end up?

This is our calling: to pursue God in all that we say and do. Let us then seek to run life’s race well—continually resting the word of the Lord and seeking His heart through our study of His holy scriptures.


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One-of-A-Kind Political Philosophy Program at Patrick Henry College: and it’s unique internships

By Carrie Durning

How is the Political Philosophy program at Patrick Henry College Unique?

A Superior Approach

Patrick Henry College (PHC) is currently one of the top Christian collages in the country, located in Loudoun County, North of Washington D.C. PHC offers numerous majors working in unison to add a classical approach to the excellence in every BA-level program offered. A unique formula builds the Patrick Henry College courses, creating numerous unique majors, Political Philosophy included.

What makes the academic program at Patrick Henry College and the Political Philosophy major so unique and superior? The core and Political Philosophy program at Patrick Henry College is very classical in its approach, American in its presentation, with a Christian worldview. Here is a small description of each integrated into the Political Philosophy major.

Patrick Henry College Broad and Rich Distinctions

The classical core at Patrick Henry College is fundamental to all programs, with an emphasis on reading the great texts of Western Civilization, implementing strong analytical and reasoning skills, and producing excellent communicators. The PHC core also prioritizes the understanding the spirit of the American Founding, implementing history of the United States, Western Civilization, and Freedom’s Foundations.

The academics at Patrick Henry College is an education implements the deep and rich thinking of our Founding Fathers. PHC also holds to an unwavering commitment to the Christian worldview. Every course, from science to government to history and the humanities are taught through the thought of God’s revealed truth. PHC holds high the implementing of God’s world, work, the Bible, and through whom the Word became flesh: Jesus Christ.

With an academic rigor, commitment to America’s founding principles, and an unwavering worldview, Patrick Henry College teaches students to achieve the excellence they applied for – with the reputation that the college has earned nationally in the 20 years of its founding.

Engaging Foundational Questions

Studying Political Philosophy at Patrick Henry College is a track studied within the government major. The Political Philosophy track at PHC provides an idea opportunity for students to pursue studies which combine politics and philosophy. Political Philosophy students are taught to engage fundamental questions that exist at the heart of the political life.

The Political Philosophy track at Patrick Henry College is specifically geared toward students who want to engage philosophical ideas at a high level and apply those ideas to current problems. PHC students who desire to continue on to graduate school in political theory, political philosophy, or philosophy will be well served by the program, as will any student seeking a deeper understanding of the world we live in.

Political Philosophy students at PHC are equipped and taught to engage in fundamental questions that lie at the heart of the political life. Students at Patrick Henry College seek to understand the history of the political and philosophical ideas so they can better grapple with today’s challenges. PHC Political Philosophy students seek to better understand the nature of justice, the relationship between human nature and the good, and the characteristics of a healthy society. They also seek to understand and know the conditions necessary for human flourishing, to better themselves and the world around them.

Political Philosophy Internships: Communicating Truth

The apprenticeship component of Political Philosophy is geared primarily toward writing: either a thesis or shorter papers, to be used as writing samples. Also, depending on the career or future the student is gearing for, the Apprenticeship is often teaching. Patrick Henry College senior Mikael Good is majoring in Political Philosophy, and is completing an apprenticeship teaching at both the Loudoun County Classical School and Providence Prep.

Good came into contact with the headmaster of Loudoun Classical School through a class he taught at Patrick Henry College, and was asked to intern for the classical school. “This internship kind of fell into my lap, but that is what tends to happen when you have a personal relationship with your professors,” said Good. “My professors at PHC – especially the ones that teach my upper-levels, which usually consist of 4-10 students – know me as a person, know my work, and know my strengths and weaknesses. I’ve gotten a lot of cool opportunities from them, and I’m very grateful for that.”

At her apprenticeship, Good teaches Poetics & Progym II, making and executing 3 lesson plans a week, while also posting and grading assignments. “As I continue to teach, I hope to keep improving my ability to communicate the truth I know in a way that is understandable, compelling, and inspiring to others,” said Good. “Teaching has forced me to go beyond my own private understanding of ideas and recognize the aspects of those ideas that are profitable for all people.”

The Importance of Studying Philosophy at Patrick Henry College

Patrick Henry College students studying Political Philosophy will have the opportunity to work closely with three PHC professors: Dr. Bayer, Ph. D, Dr. Mitchell, Ph. D, and Dr. Roberts, Ph. D, as well as numerous others who will teach and implement the PHC core. Each of these professors have interests and specializations that provide Political Philosophy students at Patrick Henry College with a wide latitude for perusing areas of a particular interest with excellence.

Why should a PHC student study Philosophy? Philosophy implements highly remarkable, transferable skills. If a student’s ideal career includes thinking, talking, or writing, then philosophy will help that student prepare with the best of their abilities. Philosophy information is easy to acquire, and will soon be obsolete. What is valuable is not the content of the major, but instead it is the ability to think with and through the information a philosophy student is taught.

Patrick Henry College’s philosophy courses teaches and disciplines students to think clearly, which is a gift that can be applied in any line of work. With a liberal arts degree, students are more likely to be in demand than students who receive a BA degree in finance or accounting. In a time where chronic unemployment seems to demand hard skills, students are studying philosophy to prepare them for multiple jobs that they expect to succeed at in their lifetime, equipped with the skills they learned in studying philosophy.

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Seek Truth and Transcend Meaning: Patrick Henry College’s Literature Minor

Do you love to read the great books, write stories, and study famous authors? No need to change your major, simply add a Literature Minor. Part of what makes Patrick Henry College (PHC) distinct is its ability to provide students with a broad liberal arts education that allows them flexibility in what they can study.

Literature Program

The Literature minor at Patrick Henry College touches on a variety of historical, philosophical, and artistic perspectives. It has a flexible 15-credit requirement that is divided between nine credits of Literature Electives, Genre, and Major Author classes as well as six chosen credits from the courses Literary Theory & Criticism, American Literature, and English Literature I and II.

The objectives of a minor in Literature at Patrick Henry College are to be able to identify great works of European and American Literature, apply important statements of literary theory and criticism in the Western tradition, enhance writing skills through critical and imaginative responses to literary texts, and integrate the aesthetic, moral, and philosophical principles of literary works into a Biblical worldview.

Why Do a Minor at Patrick Henry College?

Patrick Henry College’s minor in literature presents a lot more flexibility of credits and subject material than a major is able to afford. Because of PHC’s classical christian liberal arts education, students can study a wide variety of subjects that provide them flexibility in their chosen areas of interest.

Students in the Government major might love politics and policy, but also have an interest in C.S. Lewis. By adding a literature minor, students are able to have the unique benefits of taking an in-depth class on specific authors while getting credit for it and learning in their subject area of interest.

Patrick Henry College uniquely designs its educational model to give students in-depth knowledge on a broad range of topics and allow them flexibility in specializing in their respective fields of interest. This is a key component of PHC’s tradition of a high-quality liberal arts education.

Learn to Seek Truth

Why is studying literature important? The answer is tied to Patrick Henry College’s philosophy of education. As articulated by Robert Littlejohn and Charles Evans: The purpose of Christian education is always twofold…We want our students to grow spiritually, intellectually, and socially, and we want them to foster similar growth in society.

But what is the most conducive environment for growth? The narrative of history points to wisdom and knowledge as pillars of human flourishing. But how does one acquire these? Patrick Henry College believes that knowledge can be found in reading the Great Books of Western Civilization in order to understand truth from varying perspectives and better support one’s understanding of the world. According to Littlejohn and Evans:

To be of any earthly good, a person must understand the world around him and recognize what it needs. He must be capable of discerning between what is true and good and beautiful in society and what is not, and he must be empowered to make a difference through perpetuating the former. In short, he requires wisdom and eloquence. Our activist must understand himself to be the inheritor of a dependable tradition of wisdom (rooted in a transcendent, authoritative source) that he has the responsibility to steward and to articulate to his contemporary world.

Literature transcends meaning. The goal of reading a book is not to be merely entertained, but enriched. The Great Books are designed to take the reader on a journey—by the end of which their perception of the world will be more complete. If books are read merely for entertainment, their purpose is diminished into a test of boredom. If meaning is an ocean, literature is how one navigates it.

Patrick Henry College seeks to raise-up individuals who will lead our nation and shape our culture with timeless biblical values and fidelity to the spirit of the American founding. Thus, literature is crucial to the education of students because of its relevance and vital impact on informing one’s mind, body, and soul. Through its rigorous liberal arts curriculum, PHC seeks to provide academically excellent baccalaureate-level higher education with a biblical worldview.

A Unique Perspective to Patrick Henry College

Literature minors are not solely unique to Patrick Henry College. While other schools tend to lean toward Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) career paths, nearly every college and university offers a Literature program.

There are even some high-ranking schools that pursue the classical liberal arts model that Patrick Henry College seeks to imitate. The University of Chicago, which is famed for its liberal arts core, has a 45-credit core. The National Endowment for the Humanities, in a project designed to promote liberal education, proposed 50.

Patrick Henry College has an extensive core curriculum of 63 credits, this is what makes it distinct.

As to the spiritual element of PHC’s mission, there are other Christian schools that offer an education taught from a Christian worldview. However, few Christian colleges fully embrace a rigorous study of Western Civilization and what can be classified as “pagan works” to the degree that Patrick Henry College does.

Patrick Henry College was founded specifically to serve the best and the brightest of Christian homeschooled young people. Thus, the classical christian liberal arts education is at the heart of PHC’s educational philosophy and influences how students engage with literature.

Instead of merely reading from the greatest texts in Western Civilization, students can analyze, understand, and engage truth by having the benefit of an intentionally Christian approach to education. To learn how to be a great writer is to have read great writing.

Patrick Henry College seeks to present students with the opportunity to pursue knowledge through a wide variety of disciplines. However, engaging with great literature through a uniquely Christian perspective is the full realization of knowledge of the good, true, and beautiful.

Patrick Henry College’s motto is “for Christ and for Liberty,” and it seeks to embrace both imperatives through its literature minor by providing students with the opportunity to engage important texts with the benefit of a Christian worldview.

The study of literature unites all of Patrick Henry College’s objectives by exposing students to excellent writers, teaching them how to critically analyze works, and then cultivate their talents in a way that glorifies God with their words.



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Understanding the Past to Inform the Future: Patrick Henry College’s History Major

What does it mean to study history at Patrick Henry College?

What does it mean to study history? It means unraveling the narrative of humanity to understand who we are, where we have been, and where we are going. In order to understand anything about the current era, it is important to understand the significant events and figures of the past.

But what does it mean to study history from a Christian perspective? Patrick Henry College’s history program provides an answer. Students are challenged to master the tools of first-class scholarship to analyze historical topics in depth and to defend their conclusions with rigor and intellectual honesty.

Patrick Henry College seeks to equip students to lead the world for Christ and for Liberty through a classical, Christian, liberal arts education. The History major provides students with a thorough understanding of western civilization through an unwavering biblical worldview.

Patrick Henry Major Requirements

All History majors at Patrick Henry College are required to take core courses in U.S. history, the history of Western civilization, and the philosophy and methodology of history. For students interested in historical topics outside of the U.S. and the West, there are electives in the history of Russia, China and the Middle East. Patrick Henry College also offers history electives on thematic topics like Islam. In the senior year, a major project caps a History major’s curriculum:  a year-long senior thesis based upon primary source research.

In addition to major-specific courses, Patrick Henry College students are required to complete an extensive 63-credit core that demands high academic rigor. The core consists of courses in logic, rhetoric, mathematics, geometry, music, science, history, literature, theology, apologetics, economics, foreign languages, constitutional law, and political theory. It is designed with the purpose of laying a common foundation for advanced learning in each major.

Having a 63-credit core can be seen as a disadvantage because it would lead to more broad courses and less specialized major courses. However, since Patrick Henry College includes rigorous academic programs and employs an intense apprenticeship methodology, this is not the case.

The goal of studying history is to learn about significant cultural movements, study the greatest minds of Western civilization, and understand one’s place in it today. Students with this depth of knowledge are able to go into a wide variety of successful career paths.

Why Study History at Patrick Henry College?

History is an underrated area of society today. The common misconception is that the only career path for historians are museum curators or half-broke writers. But having the depth of knowledge that Patrick Henry College’s History major provides gives students so much more—it prepares them for life after college and beyond by giving them a look at history from a uniquely Christian perspective.

“If you do what I do for a living—if you’re a Christian and a college professor—PHC is the Promised Land. My students are smart, but more than that they are curious and want to learn. They make it possible for me to teach via Socratic Method; I couldn’t do that at my previous college positions. My students are also fabulously kind to me, so much so that I end up regarding them as both friends and partners in the academic process,” Professor of History Dr. Robert Spinney said.

If you are looking for a place to learn about the foundations of Western civilization from a Christian perspective and be prepared to teach, write, or a wide variety of other careers after graduation, Patrick Henry College is the ideal school.

Fidelity to the Spirit of the American Founding

Part of what makes Patrick Henry College unique is that it focuses on three important distinctives where most schools only have one of two. These distinctives are high academic rigor, fidelity to the spirit of the American founding, and a commitment to an unwavering biblical worldview. Patrick Henry College is the only college in the nation dedicated to all three distinctives.

The founders of Patrick Henry College recognized a significant lack of biblical principles in higher education as well as an underdeveloped knowledge of the important values of America’s founding. They decided that this was an unacceptable status quo in higher education and desired to fill the void. Patrick Henry College was their solution.

As a Christian, liberal arts institution, Patrick Henry College endeavors to not only preserve the important values of freedom and liberty articulated during America’s founding, but it also desires to foster an environment where students are able to learn how to think about the world around them by understanding the past while lifting high both faith and reason.

Unwavering Biblical Worldview

Because of Patrick Henry College’s unwavering biblical worldview, it would seem that a study of Western civilization’s roots or America’s founding would present moral conflicts. After all, what is Christian about the pagan literature of the Greeks and Romans who were polytheists, or the trends of humanism prevalent throughout numerous civilizations?

Patrick Henry College believes that through a complete and comprehensive study of Greek and Roman culture is crucial to understanding Christianity in its entirety. Understanding other contexts and important philosophical ideas is a vital part of strengthening one’s faith.

Patrick Henry College seeks to provide a classical, Christian, liberal arts education that gives students a complete and comprehensive look at history so they are best informed. Understanding the importance of biblical values throughout history is vital to understanding them today.

The focus of Patrick Henry College is to make God the focus and pursuing His truth the end of education, be it spiritual, moral, philosophical, or scientific. Will students encounter dark moments in history, non-Christian thinkers, and man-centered cultures? Yes, but a quality education is not dogmatically focused on one perspective, instead God’s truth can be found in the interwoven threads of history.

The Christian faith and a high-quality liberal arts education cannot be separated. Instead, our Christian faith precedes and informs all that we at Patrick Henry College study, teach, and learn. History is the study of man’s past, but it is also the study of God’s narrative of creation, fall, redemption, restoration.

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Patrick Henry College is Educating Leaders for Preserving America’s Future

Preserving America’s Future

Patrick Henry College prepares Christian men and women who will lead our nation and shape our culture with timeless biblical values and fidelity to the spirit of the American founding. Cultural trends focused away from a faith-based biblical worldview indicate that there has been a significant shift away from the essential values of our nation’s founding generation.

The Need to Preserve Liberty

Preserving liberty means preserving certain fundamental notions about what it means to live and what it means to be free. The concept of liberty articulated in the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence comes from the understanding that all men have unalienable rights that are rooted in a transcendent Creator.

Founding Fathers Believed in Transcendent Truth

The framers of the Philosophy of Education at Patrick Henry College believe that a thorough understanding of an unwavering, biblical worldview is crucial to being a leader of integrity and committed to pursuing God’s truth. Unfortunately, as more and more national leaders glean their education from secular undergraduate institutions, higher education has been reduced to a body deficient in leadership. There is a void in higher education for producing well-trained, but also biblically-faithful minds. Patrick Henry College is filling the void and training men and women who can lead at the highest levels with a commitment to a biblical worldview—something that America is in desperate of.

Patrick Henry College and the classical model of education are some of the best answers to filling this void.

Patrick Henry College’s Comprehensive Core Curriculum

Patrick Henry College’s broad, 63-credit classical liberal arts core seeks to interconnect a wide-array of disciplines based-upon the trivium and quadrivium. The trivium consists of grammar, logic, and rhetoric; the quadrivium consists of arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy.

The idea at Patrick Henry College is to educate students in a broad variety of disciplines and specialize minimally within majors. Students will have the benefit of having an in-depth and comprehensive education while being able to gain the specific skills needed for their respective fields while getting hands-on experience through Patrick Henry College internships or taking one of the major-specific classes.

The Classical Core at Patrick Henry College is designed to not only prepare students for the job market, but more importantly, prepare them for life. The liberal arts curriculum connects history with philosophy, literature with theology, economics with government, and more. Ultimately, students learn how to think about the world as well as their place in it.

Understanding the Past while at Patrick Henry College

A key element of Patrick Henry College’s Classical Core is that it draws its inspiration from the past. In order to best understand the world now, one must understand the values, events, and lessons of the past. A comprehensive liberal arts education achieves just that.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans saw education in two categories: pragmatic and liberal (from liberalis meaning “worthy of a free man”). Those who were slaves had a “servile” education in which the focus was technical and job-oriented. The technical education is one focused on survival, not flourishing. However, free citizens were given a liberal education. The free man was able to contemplate the most fundamental questions of life such as “Who am I?” or “Where did I come from?” The thread of liberty is traced back to the origins of a classical liberal arts education.

In the 6th century, the church of Cassiodoras first systematized the seven liberal arts previously mentioned as the trivium and quadrivium. Medieval theologians added theological science as a liberal art because theology was considered integral to education.

The character of classical liberal arts changed during the Renaissance when the rhetoric so highly esteemed from the Greeks became a major focus, as well as a heavy emphasis on the Bible. Reformation leaders Luther and Melanchthon planted schools that were specifically designed to enable all Christians to read the Bible. These schools were not only for the elite but also for the masses in an attempt for Christians from all classes to receive a liberal arts education.

Luther’s doctrine of vocation became an integral part of classical education. He maintained that cultivating one’s God-given talents by means of the liberal arts can equip Christians for whatever arena of love and service to the neighbor that God calls them to.

The American founders believed strongly in liberty, virtue, and self-government. They maintained that people who are to be free must be given an education that equips them for freedom. “Liberal” education, for the founders, was essential for “liberty.”

Patrick Henry College is committed to educating students in the biblical principles that framed America’s founding.

Informing the Future at Patrick Henry College

Unfortunately, the concept of providing an extensive and quality classical liberal arts education has been all but lost in today’s world. More often than not, prestigious secular undergraduate colleges focus on preparing citizens for the job market and having a working mindset rather than learning to live fully and knowing how to think deeply.

Patrick Henry College seeks to draw its students upwards. It seeks to bring a full awareness of the biblical worldview—the worldview that widely shaped the thinking of our Founding Fathers. When students read Aristotle, they read about Ancient Greece, they more importantly read about the thoughts and ideals of the time. They understand virtue through an Aristotelian framework: that it is an end unto itself.

Today, nearly 300 private Christian day schools are members of the Association of Classical & Christian Schools (ACCS), following a classical model of education. In addition, there are likely that many more classical Christian schools unaffiliated with ACCS, such as those connected to the Society of Classical Learning and various denominational institutions. These young scholars are graduating from high school with stronger mental chops and grounding in philosophy, theology, fine art, US History, world history, grammar, logic, and rhetoric than their peers. They do­—and will continue to—shape the future of America.

Patrick Henry College Classical Learning and Homeschool Education

Classical Christian education has also become a major curricular model for homeschoolers. Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (1999) has become a bestseller for W. W. Norton, a major secular publisher. Other widely-used classical resources have become widely-accepted in the homeschool community such as the online tutorials SCHOLA, Escondido Tutorial Service, and the Great Books Academy. Classical Conversations, comprising 300,000 American families and growing strong, is a national network of homeschool co-ops and seminars. Not surprisingly, more than 70% of the students entering Patrick Henry College come from a homeschool background.

Our nation needs an education revival. More than an infusion of Christian principles, the preservation of liberty requires an influx of virtuous and principled leaders. A comprehensive and extensive liberal arts education that is built on a Christian worldview is vital to raising-up a new generation of leaders. Such an education, that was available to the world-changing minds of the past, is now increasingly hard to find.

Patrick Henry College educates students by looking at the cultural movements, the leaders that shaped Western Civilization, and the leaders that shaped the system of government in order to preserve America for future generations. A true and Christian education informs the leaders of tomorrow by keeping alive the virtues that had all too often been left in the past.

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All about Patrick Henry College’s Journalism Minor

by Marjorie Pratt

Developing a Crystal-Clear World Map

Journalism at Patrick Henry College means seeing the world clearly and being able to convey it clearly to others. Patrick Henry College’s mission is to cultivate young leaders for Christ. Leaders must not only have a vision for the future, but also the ability to see the current state of their surroundings. This is what Dr. Sillars, Professor of Journalism at Patrick Henry College, calls a “clear world map.” He uses this term to describe the level of understanding journalists have of the world around them. Journalists who let their biases affect their work have foggy world maps, journalists who do not do all the research they should for stories have limited world maps, and journalists who do their best to understand every side of an argument have clear world maps. Leaders, like journalists, must have clear world maps. That’s why the Journalism Minor is a great option for any Patrick Henry College student.

Be Flexible, and See the World Clearly

Students who participate in the Journalism Minor at Patrick Henry College can benefit from the Journalism Department’s mission to create storytellers, even if journalism is not their first love. Whether they’re studying Economics and Business Analytics with the goal of going into business, Government with the goal of heading to Washington, D. C., or Literature, hoping to do one of the many things open to Literature graduates, any student can learn to see the world clearly under the direction of Dr. Sillars.

The Journalism Minor at Patrick Henry College prepares students of any major to write for news and other non-fiction publications. Students will develop basic writing and reporting skills and be introduced to key concepts that will help them develop a biblically-based understanding of journalism. The minor also prepares students to work in related fields such as communications and public relations.

Hone Your Skills, Step by Step

To do this, Patrick Henry College journalism minors will take two semesters of Introduction to Journalism, one semester of Media law, three credits of internship hours, and five credits of minor elective hours. In Introduction to Journalism, Dr. Sillars teaches students the story-telling process from drawing board to publication. He introduces young journalism students to the idea of finding a story and following leads, he teaches them how to conduct interviews and turn interviews into copy, and shows them how to best edit their own stories as well as others’ stories. In Media Law, students learn the legal and ethical requirements of journalists and publishers. They learn the specifics of the First Amendment and how to avoid libel suits. The internship gives students the opportunity to put the things they’re learning to the test. With an internship under their belt, they’ll graduate with first-hand publication experience.

Apply Your Skills while at Patrick Henry College 

A long list of Minor Electives gives Patrick Henry College students the freedom to take courses within the field. Options include: Print Media Graphics, Journalism History, Multi-media Skills, Narrative Non-fiction, and Political Journalism.

Print Media Graphics gives students the skills they need to tackle any graphic design challenge with an introductory knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign. With this class they can tackle other projects inside or outside Patrick Henry College.

Patrick Henry College Journalism History takes students through American history, pointing out all of the methods of journalism even before the term “journalism” was coined or the practice was officially recognized. This gives students the context they need to understand how the world of journalism has evolved over time, how it has grown more and less biased as years pass, and how the culture has grown away from Christ.

Multi-Media skills gives Patrick Henry College students an introduction to audio and visual reporting and editing. From this class, students will learn the basics of Adobe Audacity and Adobe Premier. Like Print Media Graphics, this class gives students the stepping stones they need to tackle projects inside or outside Patrick Henry College.

Narrative Non-fiction dives deep into how to tell true stories. This is one of the most popular elective courses, and every Journalism student looks forward to the opportunity to take it. From Dr. Sillars, students learn how to gather true stories and tell them in a compelling way. They study biographies and books written by journalists in order to understand this specific medium. Throughout the semester, students will also have opportunities to try their hand at writing their own non-fiction narratives.

In Political Journalism, students can learn just what it means to be a political journalist. In this class they can come to understand how writing about the political sphere is different than writing on any other topic. They learn ethical principles and best practices. It is an interesting course, even for students who do not intend on going into political journalism when they leave Patrick Henry College.

The Final Product

Patrick Henry College students will gain the skills, knowledge, and experience they will need to compete effectively for positions with news media in local, regional, and national markets. Students also develop a strong sense of professionalism, a respect for the institution of journalism and its role in maintaining a free society, and the ability to understand and evaluate trends and practices in contemporary journalism. Most importantly, they will develop a biblically-based philosophy of journalism to guide them as they seek truth as the ultimate goal in all that they investigate and report.

Through this program, Patrick Henry College students can develop biblical principles and a Christian worldview of the role of a Christian journalist in society and how these principles apply to Christian and non-Christian publications. They can demonstrate professional competency in the core practical journalistic tasks by finding, reporting, and writing publishable news stories for local, regional, and national markets. Finally, they can understand the major principles of media law that apply to print journalism.

The most important part of this program and any Patrick Henry College program is the Christ-centeredness. Patrick Henry College’s goal is not just to create leaders, but to create leaders for Christ, and the only way to do this is by focusing whole-heartedly on our loving Creator and learning to use words to point back to Him.

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The Future of Business is Here: Economics & Business Analytics at Patrick Henry College

(Transcript of Video)

When Patrick Henry College crafted the Economics & Business Analytics (EBA) program we really believe that there was a hole in the higher education world that needed to be filled.  When Patrick Henry College faculty looked at business degrees in general in America, we believe that there was a bit of commoditization that had taken place.   When that happens sometimes the academic rigor becomes less important, it’s just about volume.

The faculty at Patrick Henry College took a close look by talking to business leaders and they told us what they were seeing from traditional business programs.  It was not really what they were looking for in today’s fast be based, technology oriented, and data driven business environment. Where leadership, innovation, good communications skills and thinking quantitatively were highly valued. They weren’t finding those kind of skills coming from the students, from the traditional business programs.  So Patrick Henry College crafted something different to meet those needs.

Economics is the foundation of the program, but if that we’re all we were doing it would be just an economics degree.  We wanted to make sure that our students could handle big data and big data requires some skills that are typically not emphasized in other business programs.  So we made sure that we were giving the application of these two fundamental tools, economics and mathematics, a very strong to focus on Business.

Patrick Henry College has included MBA leveled business courses at the undergraduate level in combination with the foundations of economics and mathematics. That combination gives a strong base to build a career, a future and we think our EBA program is absolutely unique in that regard.

Many business programs are really training middle level managers.  We’d like to think that at Patrick Henry College we training leaders and making sure that they’re a cut above those who are just being trained for middle  level management.

It’s not necessary for student coming to Patrick Henry College for the EBA program to just want to be a business executive.  You’ve got so many opportunities when you graduate with this degree, so many fields that have open to you, so many paths that you can pursue.  Our students are prepared to move in any of those directions with an EBA degree from Patrick Henry College.

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Core Mission of Patrick Henry College

Dean of Academic Affairs Speaks on the Core Mission of Patrick Henry College

Purpose Behind Patrick Henry College

All the publicity would seem to indicate that Patrick Henry College exists so that the best and brightest students can have a change to prepare themselves for whatever God has planned for them in life. That’s done with the hope so that with that education they can turn around and positively influence the culture. So that they, as American citizens, can have a chance to positively influence the country.

That’s why Patrick Henry College exists.

Part of Dr. Mike Farris’ dream for the college was that Patrick Henry College would be a place where students could become grounded in their faith. Farris had seen gifted Christian friends go to universities and colleges and come back without any of their convictions, never having had the chance to ground themselves in their faith. They had been challenged by their peers and by their professors. No one will challenge you at Patrick Henry College for being a Christian. Maybe they would disagree with you on your sciences, on his views of history, on his political opinions. But at Patrick Henry College, it’s a community that’s not going to attack you just because you’re Christian. It’s a college experience that’s going to come within the Christian family and provide you with an opportunity to flourish from the start of your college career. It’s also going to make your faith stronger. We teach you to defend your beliefs. And, while supplying the grounding for belief, Patrick Henry College gives students that rigorous and challenging education that’s as much like an ivy league as we can make it.


Patrick Henry College achieves this mission by doing some outstanding things. Unlike most colleges where the general program is being taken up by major hours, Patrick Henry College firmly believes and makes use of a common, classical core curriculum. It used to be that 60 credit-hours of general education was something that everyone had. Now at most colleges, it’s suddenly gone down to 31 hours. Now, what that means is that there’s less and less shared knowledge when they go into their jobs in towns and cities. There’s less shared knowledge in science in literature and in history. It makes it hard, not only to have an educated conversation, but also difficult to know where people are coming from when conversations do happen.

Every student at Patrick Henry College takes the same courses. At many state colleges, students are required to take a number of literature courses, a number of humanity courses, a number of history courses, and a few government classes. Mostly, students chose what classes they’ll take from these larger categories. But, for the most part, they just have to make sure they’ve checked the boxes. At Patrick Henry College, every student is taking the same classes and comes from a shared experience and a shared source of knowledge. This ensures that each student gets a rounded education and that we won’t change unless the core mission of the school changes.

There’s another way in which Patrick Henry College uniquely quips its students, and that’s our internship programs. The beauty of PHC is that we are 40 mins from D.C. we have cultivated a number of internships that simply aren’t open to a lot of school unless they imbed a professor in DC and have him teach full time there. For many students, it’s simply not an option. But here, connections and open opportunities provide Patrick Henry College with ample room to take full advantage of D.C.’s professional environment.

In this way, Patrick Henry College makes use of the apprentice teaching model. Classes will teach students material in class that students can then take them and apply them in an internship so that they can leave and hit the ground running.Mock Trial and Moot Court teams are also ways we make use of the apprenticeship model. So between the apprentice-model programs, between internships, between excellent majors, and because of the core, these are the ways that PHC achieves that larger mission.


Here’s the kind of student that should come to Patrick Henry College. The kind of student that comes to PHC should be the one who feels called to come. Once they have an understanding the mission of what we are trying to accomplish and have an idea of some of the unique methodologies here, the student has to decide—this is a place where I want to be.

I don’t know that the kids that come to Patrick Henry College are the smartest kids in the country, but I wouldn’t trade them for the ones that go to Stanford or Yale, Harvard or any place else. We are also interested in students who—at their core—are people who believe and have committed their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. Between people who aren’t that smart and who are more grounded in their faith; I would rather have the latter. What we will do is give them the best education we can and provide them with opportunities to be in moot court and mock trial to be in debate to be in journalism, things which are associated with strategic intelligence—so that they can develop the gifts and talents that the Lord has given them.

I believe that Patrick Henry College is one of the ways Christians can be outstanding American citizens.

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