High school seniors Aiden Miller and Shannon Wagner have been named the winners of Christendom College’s 2016 Padre Pio Full-Tuition Scholarship Competition.

miller-pioAfter a rigorous selection process, including a special essay and an interview with a faculty panel, both contestants distinguished themselves as two of the best and brightest applicants to Christendom for this upcoming fall.

Miller, a student at Phillipsburg High School in Stewartsville, N.J., is a passionate debater, whose skills led him to becoming the champion of the Allentown Diocese Forensic League Lincoln-Douglas Debate. He is president of the academic team at his school, competed in the NCFL Nationals twice, and qualified and competed in the National History Bowl in 2015. Miller discovered Christendom at the Experience Christendom Summer Program in 2014 — an experience that eventually led him to choose Christendom as his college of choice.

For Miller, Christendom stands in contrast to the rest of the higher education field, thanks to its Catholic, liberal arts education — an education that offers him the chance at intellectual betterment, and the strength to pursue any calling after graduation.

“To be a strong, vibrant Catholic in the modern world, one requires an equally rigorous and vibrant education that places God in His rightful place as the source of wisdom. A Catholic liberal arts education frames the crucial subject of the humanities, synonymous with the liberal arts, in the proper human light. With the assault on reason and faith propounded by the contemporary academies found in most colleges, in liberal arts colleges, even in fellow Catholic liberal arts colleges, Christendom stands in contrast as a unique opportunity to pursue the truth,” says Miller.

wagner-pio“It can help ready me for pursuing a law degree, for investing, for writing, or for any of the many possibilities that I currently consider as a career at the young age of seventeen. Going forward, whatever God’s plan for me, I know the education and culture of Christendom will strengthen me,” says Miller.

Wagner is a senior at the Willows Academy in Chicago, Ill, a prestigious college preparatory school run by Opus Dei. When she’s not enjoying her passion for music through participating in the choir, or playing the oboe, Irish Whistle, or the handbells, Wagner is busy with her school’s swim team and pro-life group. In her junior year, Wagner traveled across the country to various other Catholic college summer programs, before attending the Experience Christendom Summer Program. After just one week, Wagner fell in love with the school, thanks to its liberal arts education and vibrant Catholic culture.

“Those with specified educations have very few job options which they can pursue. Liberal arts students, on the other hand, have a wide range of employment from which they can choose. They have the freedom to choose what direction their lives should take, with the help of the tools given to them through the liberal arts, as well as God’s guidance,” says Wagner. “Christendom College encompasses the goodness of a Catholic liberal arts education. This is evident through the teachers they employ and the students they produce. Through their engaging classes and intelligent teachers, Christendom gives its students the tools they need to take on the world, as well as the confidence to use them.”

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