Just a few short months ago, Georgia Atkins and Trevor Scott were feeling frustrated with their college educations. In the South, Atkins was feeling isolated at a secular state university where her faith was marginalized. Over on the East Coast, Scott was disappointed in the watered-down Catholicism he was experiencing at his Catholic college. Both needed a change, and both transferred and found a solution in the vibrant Catholicism and robust liberal arts education offered at Christendom College.
The dangers of secular college educations are real for young Catholics throughout the United States, with more and more young people losing their faith in college. Rather than become a part of this trend, Atkins and Scott took matters into their own hands. In the case of Atkins, she was feeling run down by the end of her first semester of college in Kentucky. A native of Paris, Tennessee, Atkins thought she would be able to excel at her college, but quickly ran into a harsh reality: professors who only allowed a single viewpoint in the classroom and the encouragement of going against her faith and morals for better grades.
“I wanted to transfer to a Catholic college because of the worldliness of the college I was attending,” says Atkins. “I had two professors in particular who had very strong liberal views, and they taught in such a way that if you disagreed with them on certain moral issues, you were wrong. I even had a few assignments that were pushing me to state things I thought were wrong or untrue in order to get a good grade.”
The experience took a toll on Atkins’ mental and physical wellbeing, and she began praying to God for help. In the midst of her prayers, she rediscovered Christendom — a college she had found online in the past but that she had brushed aside because of its smaller size. Now, she saw Christendom, size and all, as the alternative she needed.
“Catholic education is important to me because, as a convert especially, I want to learn as much as I can about the faith, which is still relatively new to me. There’s always more to know about the Catholic Church, which is so rich and deep. I want to learn everything from a Catholic viewpoint, because then I will see everything in a clear and truthful light — I want to share this knowledge and truth with others, as much and as well as I can,” says Atkins.
She initially thought that going in the fall of 2021 was the only possibility available to her, until she realized she could transfer as soon as the spring. Right before Christmas, Atkins quickly gathered all her necessary materials together, applied, and was accepted.
That “sprint to the finish” transfer process was similar to Scott’s experience as well, after he applied and was accepted to Christendom with just a week to go until the start of classes. In his case, Scott was studying at another Catholic college but was disappointed over the course of the fall semester with the sacramental life and the general education as a whole. The college’s lack on in-person education options during the fall semester due to COVID-19 protocols proved to be disheartening as well.
Hailing from the Bronx, Scott originally wanted a college with a strong theological department. Not finding it at his first college, he began the search for an alternative.
“I looked up a list of traditional Catholic colleges and [Christendom] was actually the second one on the list,” recalls Scott. “My guardian angel urged me to click on Christendom first, and it’s actually the only one from the list I looked at and applied to. Seeing as my application and acceptance was so recent — one week before classes — I never saw the campus or met the administration before making my decision. However, as I thought would be the case, I have found that I’ve made the right choice.”
Scott, like Atkins, was attracted most of all to the rich Catholicism of Christendom, which permeates the education and culture of the entire college.
“I feel that all education should be Catholic education, because Catholicism is where one finds the fullness of truth,” says Scott.
Both are just a few weeks into their new lives at Christendom, but they feel the college has more than met their expectations upon transferring. Christendom’s in-person education offers a stark contrast to other colleges, giving Scott and Atkins a refreshing classroom and residential life experience this spring.
“I absolutely love this school so far,” concludes Scott. “The environment is so authentically Catholic, and the people here are so wonderful that it’s summed up to be a simply incredible experience for the first four weeks.”