Christendom students are making waves in the conservative movement, thanks to the college’s Cincinnatus League. Sponsored by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), the Cincinnatus League bolsters the intellectual lives of students each year through readings, discussions, special lectures, and conferences, leading many to successful careers in conservative organizations following graduation.
The Cincinnatus League, named after the famous Roman farmer and political figure, has existed at Christendom for nearly a decade, under the advisement of political science and economics chair Dr. Bracy Bersnak. Its mission: to promote the intellectual life outside the context of the classroom, thereby forming the “shock troops” of the conservative movement, according to current league president Jacob Hiserman.
“Here at Christendom, we have a grounding in the liberal arts that sets so many standards for us, and really gives us a leg up over more secular colleges and universities. We start our education with common, conservative principles, while other colleges need to inculcate this in the student body via their own ISI societies. This distinguishes us, and so we can, in a sense, go deeper than other colleges into the works of the conservative movement, both in our discussions and in our readings,” says Hiserman, a senior at Christendom. “This allows us to really form the shock troops of the conservative movement here, preparing students to go out and bring conservative principles into the wider political arena.”
The league, which is typically comprised of eighteen to twenty members each year, meets once a week to discuss a reading by an important political thinker, such as Romano Guardini or Josef Pieper. In addition to these weekly readings and discussions, the league also sponsors at least one special lecture each semester, bringing a conservative intellectual of great note, such as Dr. Ryan T. Anderson or Dr. David Corey, to campus to speak to students and answer their questions. These lectures not only further the intellectual life of the league’s members, but also heighten the intellectual life of the entire campus in a more direct way.
In addition to these lectures and discussions, the Cincinnatus League also helps students attend conferences each year, particularly ones sponsored by ISI. According to Hiserman, ISI is consistently impressed by Christendom students at these conferences, calling Christendom a “fantastic” school with “an excellent academic program and a prestigious faculty.”
The deeper understanding of conservative thought experienced in the Cincinnatus League, combined with Christendom’s liberal arts education, has led many of its graduates to success in conservative organizations after leaving Christendom. Former president, and 2015 salutatorian, Melody Wood now works as a research assistant at the Heritage Foundation, while 2011 alumna Tyler Lowe is now the director of online education at the Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies.
“Many former members now working in conservative organizations gained their political-mindedness from the Cincinnatus League, taking what they learned in the intellectual realm into practical reality after graduation. The education here is a wonderful preparation for taking part in the conservative movement, making students that much more prepared for life after graduation, and more conversant in the conservative movement than graduates of other schools that lack a liberal arts tradition,” says Hiserman.
Christendom’s liberal arts education has been preparing students for success in the political realm for nearly forty years, leading many graduates to careers in town councils, conservative organizations, and more. For more information on the college’s political science and economic offerings, please visit here.