40th Anniversary
Christendom College

Taking College Out of the Ashes

February 14, 2017

World-renowned author and college professor Anthony Esolen has been taking a lot of heat recently from members of his own community at Providence College. He recently penned an article critiquing the modern-day understanding of “diversity,” which has driven some Providence students and faculty to label him a bigot and to marginalize him for commenting on modern topics from an orthodox, Catholic viewpoint.

But throughout all of this, and amidst the encroaching secularized atmosphere that is affecting his Catholic college, Esolen still sees hope for Catholic higher education, and he sees Christendom College as part of the solution.

Dr. Anthony Esolen has been teaching for decades. Only in recent times has he come under attack for his espousing of Catholic orthodoxy.

“The first time I visited Christendom…I thought that I would learn for the first time what a genuinely Catholic College was like. I did, but I learned something else too, something I never expected. I learned what a college is like,” he wrote in his new book, Out of the Ashes.

“Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, is a small school of about four hundred [and seventy-five] students, bravely and cheerfully Catholic and unapologetic in its commitment to the liberal arts,” writes Esolen. “There is a course of study shared by everyone. Professors and students eat lunch together every day, the same food, at the same tables, during an hour when no classes or appointments are scheduled. They hear the daily announcements together. They pray together — for classes are also not scheduled during the hour for daily Mass.”

Esolen visited Christendom to deliver a lecture back in 2011. After he was finished, students packed near the front of St. Lawrence Commons to speak with him one-on-one.

Esolen summarizes the entire educational experience by focusing on the sense of community found at Christendom.

“If you go to Christendom, you are ushered into a genuine community in every sense of the word. People know one another, care for one another, laugh or quarrel or celebrate with one another, study the same thousands of years of history, art, poetry, philosophy, theology, and science, get to know one another’s families, and set down roots in that humble place at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There is a ring of the sane and the salutary around it, and though every professor and student is a sinner, their eyes look to the hills whence cometh their help,” concludes Esolen.

Higher education taught right could change the culture. It could change the world. If more people create colleges like Christendom, colleges that will not succumb to secularism, there can truly be hope for the future.

To check out Esolen’s new book for yourself, please visit here.

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