The Christendom educational experience has never been confined to just the classroom. From the very beginning, the size of the school and the generosity of the professors meant that conversations between students and faculty sprung up throughout a typical day, whether that be over lunch or walking to Mass. That spirit of “always learning” was taken a step further a few years ago, with the creation of “Thomistic Tuesdays” and “Quodlibets” — academic events that challenge students to be better in every aspect of their lives.
These academic events have only grown more popular as time has gone on, with Thomistic Tuesdays as a prime example. Started by philosophy professor Mike Brown, the idea for them began quite simply: he wanted to bring students and faculty together over a lunch to discuss St. Thomas Aquinas. Brown, an accomplished caterer, would provide the meal, while students and faculty read and argued over a work of Aquinas. Now, a few years later, Brown has had to expand Thomistic Tuesdays to Wednesdays as well to accommodate all the students who are interested.
This hunger to learn more and more is what draws many students to Christendom in the first place. The college’s rigorous liberal arts education encourages students to think in new ways that often run counter to what today’s culture is telling them to do. Something like a lunch spent discussing Aquinas in a community setting is so far outside the cultural norm, but it can be something that can save the culture at the same time. The scores of students who fill St. Kilian’s Café whenever a Thomistic Tuesday or Wednesday is held will be the same students who will go out into the world after college, carrying with them this spirit of always learning.
That spirit extends to the college’s “Quodlibets” as well, another Brown creation. Held less frequently, but just as popular, the quodlibets are inspired by a similar activity that occurred in the medieval universities: a faculty panel takes and answers any academic questions from students. Turns out, Christendom students have many questions to ask outside the classroom, covering a variety of topics that can make even the faculty pause. The quodlibets become a mutual learning experience for students and faculty alike, with the discussions taking everyone involved deeper into theology, philosophy, history, and more.
Education cannot be confined within four walls, but must extend into every moment. Christendom’s faculty have latched onto that spirit, resulting in an enriched educational experience for the entire college community, and one that can only have positive effects on the world at large.