This story appears in the Winter 2016 issue of Instaurare. Subscribe today!
How the College’s Media Changed a Life.
While working at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, graduate school alumnus Adam Arehart would be seen with his Discman, listening to music. This outdated device was noticed by his co-workers, and it wasn’t long before one of them offered him an old iPod.
“I almost didn’t take it,” said Arehart, who was going through a reversion to the Catholic Faith. “I thought it would be just another unnecessary distraction.”
He did take it, though, and the little piece of technology launched his life in a totally new direction.
“Shortly after receiving the iPod, I found iTunes and started searching for Catholic lectures or Catholic theology or Catholic speakers,” Arehart said. “This led me to look into iTunes U, wherein I found many good resources which had a more scholarly bent. Obviously, some were better than others.”
Arehart discovered that many, in fact, were “downright heterodox.” He realized that he needed to seek out speakers that he knew were orthodox in their teaching and their intentions, trustworthy, faithful, and truly in love with Catholicism. His search led him to Christendom College’s Major Speaker Series.
“There, I found many of my favorite theologians and philosophers—and many more whom I had never heard of before—speaking on behalf of the Church,” he said. “All of these speakers in one way or another had championed the cause of Christendom—its values and its integrity as an institution. There was a stunning continuity among all that I heard on the channel. All speakers seemed to do a great service to the Church through their work and research.”
Over time, Arehart became convinced that Christendom College was more than an institution of higher education. He knew that Christendom College was on a mission, and he wanted to be a part of that mission.
Arehart recalled that after his reversion to the Catholic faith, he could not get enough of what the Church taught. He read widely and voraciously, soon realizing that his appetite for the Truth was not going to dissipate. He decided to take advantage of his GI Bill and pursue a master’s degree in theology. He tried a local Catholic university in Philadelphia, but soon discovered that while rigorous, it was Catholic only in name. Leaving there, he enrolled in classes at his local seminary, which while orthodox, lacked the academic rigor for which he was looking.
“There was a stunning continuity among all that I heard on the channel. All speakers seemed to do a great service to the Church through their work and research,”
“It had become clear to me that I needed an education experience that could offer me both a firm foundation in solidly orthodox Catholic theology and an academically rigorous curriculum,” Arehart said. “Christendom College stood out as uniquely suited to fulfill both of these needs.”
Arehart enrolled in Christendom’s Graduate Online Program, where he felt “embraced and led.”
“Even being up in Philadelphia, I had an amazing sense of being part of a thriving and joyful community,” he said.
“Each professor that I had, all the way up to the dean of the Graduate School, welcomed, encouraged, and guided me throughout my whole experience as a student there.”
Beyond the community, Arehart discovered a program that was rooted in Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium.
“The coursework was challenging and clear-sighted, and it has equipped me with the ability to discern the will of God in everyday life as a husband, father, and layman, as well as His will for our Church today,” he said.
Arehart received his master of arts diploma from Christendom College in July 2016 and shortly thereafter was offered a job at St. Mary’s Catholic Center in College Station, Texas. There, he joined a team that supports the spiritual development of over 13,000+ college students at Texas A&M.
“After 11 years of working in highly technical and specialized fields, I thought that I had pretty much pigeonholed my potential into being adequate only in a mechanical or production-oriented position,” he said. “Over the years, I had become more and more resigned to the idea that I would never be given the chance to work in any other field—let alone ministry or work in any pastoral setting. Christendom College opened a door for me into campus ministry.”