In the midst of colleges closing across the country, Christendom College has been highlighted for being an exception to that trend by The American Conservative in a new article titled “How Small Colleges Can Thrive.” Pointing to Christendom’s record applications for next academic year, The American Conservative emphasizes the college’s traditional education as a “path of stability” worth emulating in today’s rapidly shifting educational landscape.
“Even before the pandemic, as many as six out of ten colleges missed their enrollment goals for 2020. Everybody knows that the little colleges that dot the nation are in trouble. Except, Christendom College reports record applications and campus visits ahead of the next academic year,” writes The American Conservative. “These are early signs of coming success for colleges that are willing to double down on their identity as liberal arts institutions unashamedly teaching the Western tradition. It may seem counterintuitive to some, but the path to stability and even growth for small colleges is the road less traveled of traditionalism.”
Christendom set fall and spring student enrollment records in the 2020-21 academic year, even during the COVID-19 crisis. With more and more colleges either going online or offering increasingly watered-down educations, Christendom instead experienced a boom in interest, thanks in part to the college’s continued emphasis on teaching Western tradition — in person.
“Almost every little college or university in the country is telling potential students that their indistinguishable institution is the path to a great career, an exciting social life, and self-fulfillment. Any college with the courage to offer students an opportunity to be part of something bigger than themselves will stand out,” writes The American Conservative.
The article further points out that, while liberal arts schools are cutting their core offerings in favor of appealing to a wider range of students, there is little evidence that students are willing to pay the extra money associated with private liberal arts colleges for “the same watered-down education they can get at state universities or online.”
Rather than making a broad education that will appeal to the masses, liberal arts colleges will only survive if they recommit to their traditional values and offer students what lies at the heart of a liberal arts education — meaning and depth. Such a commitment has helped Christendom stand apart since its founding in 1977.
Rather than offering simply the same as other schools, Christendom set out to offer students a rigorous, liberal arts education, rooted in the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. By emphasizing the humanities, such as history, philosophy, literature, and theology, Christendom’s education is sharing in the commitment to human dignity that can be found in an authentic liberal arts education.
“In today’s increasingly secularized culture, it is clear that Christendom’s liberal arts education—grounded in the Truth—is more needed and relevant than ever before,” says Christendom’s Director of Admissions Sam Phillips. “Students desire more from life. They want a challenging and meaningful curriculum informed by the perennial truths of the Faith and they recognize the importance of an in-person education.”
Over the next few months, it is clear that more colleges will announce that they are closing their doors. Others, like Christendom, will continue to thrive, as noted by The American Conservative. Why is this the case? Because Christendom will continue offering students something unique in both today’s educational landscape and the culture at large: reasons for hope.