Student Profile

Cecilia Heisler

Age: 19
Year: Sophomore
From: Gibsonia, Pa
Major: (Most likely) Philosophy
Hobbies? I enjoy piano and singing, though those will remain solely as hobbies. I also spend a good amount of free time exercising and look forward to the occasional pick-up game of basketball, frisbee, etc. My favorite pass time though, honestly, is sleeping.
What's your favorite class/professor? Ethics with Dr. John Cuddeback holds a prized place in my heart. Not only do his lectures capture my attention during class, but also they follow me well after, helping me analyze each of my actions. This class, more than others—in my opinion—teaches me how to live.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? During the last two semesters, I played basketball, took part in the Mystery Dinner Theater, and sang in the choir. This semester, however, I was offered two jobs in student life and in admissions. Between work and study, all I have had time for this semester is the occasional intramural. Oh, and I gave one embarrassing performance at the Senior Concert.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? Oy vey, that is a tough one. The reason I am at Christendom is to receive an education that reveals important truths. I believe our academic program cannot be matched by any other college, on account of our rigor and Christ centered teaching. While the education I am getting is extremely important, I cannot ignore the joy I have found in my friends here. I have had more fun than I've had my entire life, and I know this sounds cheesy, but I know that the friends I've made here will last a lifetime.
What has surprised you the most about Christendom? Definitely the people. I think I had a few preconceived notions, so I was pleasantly surprised by the normalcy of the friends I made.
Plans after graduation? Get to heaven!
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Christendom is a place where one is really able to thrive. If you're not sure about applying, just do it. Literally no harm will come from applying—it's free!

Student Life

Blood Drive

Last Thursday, the Red Cross came to the Crusader Gymnasium for its annual blood drive. Students, faculty, and staff were all given the opportunity to donate blood, and there was a very good turnout of people willing to donate this year. Because there is always a need for blood donations in the United States, the blood drives truly make a difference, and the Red Cross was very grateful that there were so many people ready to help save lives on Christendom's campus.

"It was really great to see how many people showed up to support such a great cause," says senior Colleen Anderson, head of the Blood Drive Committee. "A big 'thank you' to all involved for making this semester's blood drive such a success!"

Senior Colleen Anderson volunteered to escort and assist the blood donors.

Donors enjoy pizza and snacks to fight off the post-donation fatigue.

Marie Miller in Concert at Coeli!

On Friday evening, Christendom welcomed Marie Miller and L'Angelus to campus for an amazing concert performance behind Regina Coeli Hall. L'Angelus is a Catholic band from New Orleans who have a unique, Cajun sound, and who play a wide variety of instruments. They performed a mixture of music, ranging from Cajun fiddle tunes to 80's pop to Catholic hymns. Christendom alumna, Marie Miller, a recent breakout artist on music charts, joined L'Angelus on stage, and together they played a combination of her original songs, the band's songs, and crowd favorites.

"I had such a fabulous time at the concert on Friday, and I especially loved how everyone was singing and dancing along with the band the whole time," senior Anna Van Hecke said. "They were all extremely talented and entertaining, and I am so happy that Christendom threw such a fun event!"

The concert was a very unique and exciting event for Christendom, and all students, faculty, and staff members who attended agreed that it was definitely a highlight of this year. The Student Activities Council did a wonderful job putting on the concert and providing lots of snacks and refreshments as well.

Find out more about Marie Miller's music here.

Students dance and sway with the tunes.

Find our more about L'Angelus here.

The fun tunes had everyone dancing.

Students chat with performer, Marie Miller, and local pastor, Fr. Jerome Fasano.



Last Saturday evening the college community gathered together to celebrate Christendom's 30th Annual Oktoberfest. Complete with authentic food, festive music, and German flags galore, the event was enjoyed by students, faculty, and their families. Though the Oktoberfest is a yearly event, this year's festival was special in that the weather allowed for the participants to eat outside, reveling in good company and entertainment.

The evening was full of fun events, beginning with a Root Beer Chugging competition, in which students competed to see who could drain their stein the fastest, followed by a timed race to roll a barrel around a circuit the fastest. A yodeling competition ended the outdoor activities, and everyone moved inside for Polka dancing, and a contest to see which couple could Polka the longest.

"I had never celebrated Oktoberfest before,"freshman Emily Gary said. "I had such a wonderful time. It was fun to see how many people dressed up, attended, and participated in all of the unique and exciting events".

New and returning students alike had an amazing evening, and are already looking forward to next year's German celebration

Christendom Fräuleins.

German gents sport old-world-style mustaches.

Prost! Professor Emeritus Dr. Robert Rice offers a toast in German.

All enjoyed dining in the Indian summer weather.

Bottoms up! Root beer drinking contest.

Barrel rolling race!

Students enjoyed weisswurst, pretzels, and more.

The Contra club hosted the dance that evening where they learned traditional Austrian and German dances.

They enjoyed dancing some old folk favorites as well.

Seniors Hannah Ethridge and Matt Speer enjoy a dance.

Waltzing the evening away.


Controlling the Passions

Fr. Donald Planty, head chaplain at Christendom College, has been holding a series of talks this semester entitled "Dealing with the Passions." Every week he focuses special emphasis on one specific passion, and this past Tuesday, Fr. Planty held his third talk in this series, focusing on the sin of gluttony and its opposite, temperance. In discussing the passions, he explains them in their context, and gives concrete advice and guidance on how to govern emotions and overcome vices.

"I am very thankful that Fr. Planty is offering this talk series to students this semester," says sophomore Nick Jaroma. "I learn a lot at his talks and I'm looking forward to attending the rest."

There is always a very good turnout for Fr. Planty's talk series, and this past Wednesday was no exception.


Rome Report

with Maria Bonvisutto

New and Amazing Places


Slowly but surely, we’re getting to know Rome. Although this past week was extremely busy, especially with Intensive Italian, we’ve spent plenty of hours roaming around the Eternal City and discovering new and amazing places.

There’s nothing like learning how to navigate a city than by doing a good old scavenger hunt. So on Monday, our group split into teams and set off on a mission to conquer the Roman transportation system. Needless to say, this was easier said than done! Each team literally raced across Rome, hopping on and off the underground, squeezing into packed buses, and sprinting down streets to accomplish all the tasks of the scavenger hunt and arrive back at Candia in the shortest time. Some of the stopping points included the Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona. Despite having almost knocked down a few innocent bystanders and being completely breathless and sweaty by the end, everyone finished strong and had a great time.

We’ve also been experiencing countless new churches around every corner. Fr. Planty introduced us to a beautiful gem of a church called Chiesa Nuova. This is where St. Philip Neri, Apostle to Rome, is buried. The rooms where he lived and celebrated Mass are upstairs, and we were able to visit those and see many artifacts from St. Philip’s life. Besides our scheduled tours of Rome’s many churches, we’ve been discovering many on our own.  Many of us are making it a goal to get to a different church for Mass each Sunday, and some of the places we went to this past week included Sant’Agostino (where St. Monica is buried), San Agnese in Agone (the head of St. Agnes is located here), Santo Spirito (where St. Faustina’s heart is) and the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary Major).  It’s so exciting to be able to get to know this aspect of Rome just by going to Mass every Sunday. The possibilities are endless!

In case you didn’t know, Rome is an absolute maze of piazzas (city squares).  It’s impossible to go for a walk around the city and not stumble upon one. As we’ve been rambling around Rome more and more, we’re becoming more familiar with at least some of these piazzas. Each one has its own unique characteristics, and it’s always fun to pop out onto one that you had no idea existed. Some that we’ve gotten to know pretty well are Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Rotunda (the location of the Pantheon) and Piazza di Spagna (Spanish steps), although there are many  more.

 Exploring Rome at night has been a great adventure too. A favorite for a lot of students has been visiting the Coliseum at night, which is a truly spectacular sight. Although we’ll be visiting many of these spots again for our Art and Architecture classes, it’s been a blast getting a taste of Rome on our own time first.

Getting to know the Roman Metro system.

Bella Roma at night.


Crusader Sports Center

Close Sets for Lady Crusader Volleyball

The women’s volleyball team was back in action yesterday, as they took on a very talented Penn State Mont Alto team for the second time this season.  After a tough loss to them earlier on in the season, the Lady Crusaders had made some adjustments under the direction of Coach Josh Petersen, and were ready to beat them—this time, in front of a very enthusiastic crowd of Christendom Crazies.

The whole team played very well together and won the first set with particularly good performances from Junior, Mary Barbale, and freshman, Lindsey Harmon. Included in the win was a phenomenal serving stretch by Bridget Vander Woude who cranked out eight service points and turned the score from 13-16 to 21-16. The momentum led the team to a 25-20 victory.

Heading into the second set the ladies were eager for another win, but lost the set 21-25. After the third set, which Penn State won as well (25-21), the fourth game started with all the momentum in Penn State’s favor.  Penn State won 25-7.

 “Tonight’s game really reflected how the team improved as a whole,” team captain Gabi Muskett said. “We put up a much better fight than the last time we played them.”

Despite the tough loss, the Lady Crusaders played extremely well together and are preparing for their last two games of the season, which will both be played at home. The team hosts Trinity University on Thursday at 7 p.m. before their season finale next Wednesday, when they host Washington Adventist at 7:30 p.m.



Special Report

Robust Financial Aid

The College delivers a high-quality education at an affordable price. That's why Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine ranks us as the #3 private school in the nation that provides both academic quality and affordability. Find out what our students are saying about it in the video below...


Tom McFaddenAsk the Director

Why does Christendom have its students study the same subjects in a core curriculum for two years before allowing them to pick a major? Wouldn't it be better to just start off studying in the subject matter of your intended major?

This is a great question and I hopefully will be able to sum up for you the main reasons we do what we do in this area.

First, we believe that it is very important for college-aged students to be well educated, rather than simply well trained. And this is a very important distinction that I will come back to in a bit.

Second, we think that far too many students go off to college, pick a major as freshmen, and then change their majors a number of times before graduating 5 or 6 years later. So our system certainly helps with these types of problems.

Here's Christendom's view of education and why we offer our students a two and half year core curriculum before they select of one of our 6 majors. We believe it is essential to their well-being and broad understanding of the world that they be immersed in the variety of subject matters and academic disciplines that we offer: Theology, Philosophy, History, Political Science & Economics, Math, Science, Modern and Classical Languages, and English Language & Literature. This way, they are exercising many parts and areas of their brains, rather than one area, as happens when someone studies only one subject matter, and this enables them to think more clearly, analyze more deeply, and evaluate better. Because of their exposure to the many academic disciplines, they delve deep into subject matters that they may have otherwise never known about, or sometimes, even cared about. But once our faculty uncovers the hidden meanings to this or that theory, or this or that piece of literature, then it opens our students' eyes to a whole new world of thoughts and ideas. [Read more about our educational principles here.]

And this is what a college education is, or at least should be, yet unfortunately, happens all too rarely at colleges and universities across the nation. People sometimes just want to get a job in this or that field, so they pick a school that has a major in the field in which they hope to get a job, and that's it. But what many fail to realize is that the majority, the vast majority, of people do not work in the field in which they studied. Yes, only 27% do, which means 73% do not. 73% went to college to get trained in order to work in a specific field. And now, they are not doing what they thought they were going to do.

Christendom alumni, on the other hand, are not generally interested in finding a job in their field because they didn't major in the subject for that purpose. They know that they received a deep and lasting education, and that they are educated to work in any field. And this is evidenced by what our alumni do. You should check out this page for the proof of the matter.

So, back to the core curriculum. Let me tell you a couple little stories about the "usefulness" of our core curriculum, which may not be very apparent at this moment to you. These are all real stories and I am sure there are many others I could have told.

  1. When I came to Christendom, I was a math guy. My math score was 200 points higher than my verbal score. At the time, it was required that every student take 5 semesters of English as part of the core. This was pretty much the worst news ever to someone like me - a math guy - because it was very difficult for me to try and come to a deeper understanding of literature and what the writers actually meant when they wrote. Anyways, I had 5 semesters of English, and I never got above a C in any English class, if I recall properly. So, what's the point of this story? The point is that I am now the editor of just about anything that you ever see or read about Christendom College. Yep, I'm the English language and literature flunky who now has the responsibility of crafting advertisements, news releases, stories for our magazine and internet, editing fundraising letters and articles, and the like, including writing a weekly column for The Chronicler each week. Most math guys can't write anything because when they studied in college, they did not do anything other than math and science related subjects. But, although I didn't necessarily enjoy my English classes, because my mind had to be stretched in that direction, I benefitted from the exposure I received to great literature and writing. If I hadn't had to take these classes in the core, I never would have, and I would be less of a person for it.

  2. My friend, James, is a computer programmer for a large inspection/relocation company in the Washington, DC, area. James came to Christendom and majored in political science and economics before immediately joining the company he now works for. He told me once that he learned everything he ever needed to learn about computer programming from the class that we all take here called "Metaphysics." Some of you may be wondering what it is, and why anyone would ever, on their own, choose to take such a class. The answer is that it is a type of philosophy class and that pretty much nobody would ever choose to take such a class if it were simply one of the possible classes to take. And that would be a real problem because, along with teaching James everything he needed to know about programming, it teaches us what it means to be, and answers some of the most fundamental questions that we have as humans. And without it being in the core, many would have a misunderstanding of these important matters.

Hopefully this gives you a little insight into why we do what we do and maybe you can see that you never really know what is going to be useful in the future, so it is best to get as broad an education as possible. And besides, just about everyone here graduates in 4 (or less) years, so there's none of that mess of picking a major then changing it, and then changing it again, and then graduating more in debt after spending 6 years in college to major in something that you probably won't end up doing anything with.

So, learn more about our awesome core curriculum and what our alumni don't do with their majors. :)