What is Christendom?

An Article by Dr. Warren H. Carroll, the Founding President of Christendom College

Our college takes its name from the word which embodies the Christian social and political ideal: a society, a culture, a government in which Christ the King reigns. To help extend His reign, insofar as His grace strengthens us to do so, is the heart of our mission.

We prepare ourselves, first of all, by learning, study and practice. We investigate the character of Christendom in past ages, the enduring principles which must undergird any Christian society, and the particular new applications of these principles for our age in the area of society and government, which have been set forth by the recent Vicars of Christ in their social encyclicals. We learn the Christian and Catholic foundations for every field of study we enter and every action we undertake. Above all, we try to build in our own lives, and in our work with fellow Christians, a mini-Christendom, a society, however small, in which Christ does truly reign.

Christendom College aims to be such a Christian society, a microcosm of the social reign of Christ. As such, it will strive to be an example and a model, as well as a center of study on what Christendom is and how it might be built anew even in our secularized age. The education Christendom College provides, primarily for laymen who will spend their lives in the world, will prepare and strengthen them both to maintain themselves and their families in that world, and for the better service to God within it.

There is no wider Christendom today. The very word, once commonly used to designate our Western civilization, is going out of style and even out of knowledge. Many have never heard it, cannot pronounce it, much less explain and serve what it stands for. At this moment of history, Christendom can exist only in small and self-contained places. But the Christian in such a place never settles for it, never hides in it, for he has a message to bring to the world.