Student Profile


Danielle Lemieux

Age: 19
Year: Sophomore
From: Ottawa, Canada
Major: Theology
Extracurriculars: I have participated in the pro-life group's weekly Shield of Roses, and I also work in the Admissions Office, which has been an amazing experience so far!

What do you find unique about our academic program?
Having transferred to Christendom this semester from a secular university of over 20,000 students in my hometown, the small class sizes and the authentically Catholic professors have stood out to me as some of Christendom's most valuable qualities. The professors know each student by name, and are invested in seeing us excel not only in academics, but also in our personal and spiritual lives.

Give us a highlight from your Christendom experience?
One of the highlights for me so far was Laudamus Te Holy Hour, which takes place every first Friday of the month. It was so beautiful to see the church filled with students, faculty, and staff coming together and uniting in prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Christendom College has an extremely rich spiritual life, providing countless opportunities for spiritual growth with daily rosaries, adoration, confession, and Holy Mass.

Any parting words of advice for prospective students?
Come visit! I had always heard that Christendom College was an amazing school, yet it was my visit to the College this past fall that helped me see just what a wonderful and unique place it truly is! During my visit, I was approached by so many people, both students and faculty, who made me feel right at home the moment I stepped foot on the campus. I sat in on several classes, attended daily Mass, participated in multiple extra-curricular activities, and had the opportunity to experience dorm life. Visiting Christendom was one of the best decisions I ever made (second to transferring here!), and even if you are unsure as to whether God is calling you to study at Christendom or not, I still encourage you to visit, and I can guarantee it will be an amazing experience you will never forget!

Core Knowledge

      with Rachel Hoover ('17)

Solving Mysteries

Greetings from Core Knowledge! This week has been full of answers, but even more full of questions—some of which we’ll answer in the course of the semester, and others that will probably remain mysteries forever, at least to some extent. Still, I’ll give you the clues we’ve gathered and see what you make of it!

In theology, we started the semester by reviewing the five Old Testament covenants between God and His people—Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, and Davidic—and now we’ve started to study how Jesus fulfilled all the covenants in one perfect New Covenant. We started by reading the infancy narratives, found in two of the synoptic Gospels, Matthew and Luke, and took note of how the language used by the authors reflects the language of the Old Testament prophets prefiguring Christ. These men were writing to an audience that knew the Old Testament well, and knew it well themselves, and so they were able to call to mind the ideas of the covenants in their narration of Jesus’ birth and infancy. Matthew’s genealogy makes it clear that Jesus is descended from David in a direct line, and that David was descended from Abraham, so that He is the fulfillment of the promise of God that through Abraham all nations would find blessing, and that from David would come a king to reign forever as God’s Son. Read more »


The Week in Photos

Students, faculty, and staff gathered for the First Friday Laudamus Te Holy Hour, with a Rosary led by President O'Donnell. Adoration continued throughout the night, with students signing up to keep watch with Jesus until Mass the next morning.
Music was performed by the choir, conducted by senior Alexis Witiak.
Fr. Searby of the Diocese of Arlington speaks to students at the social following the Holy Hour. A guest priest is invited for every Laudamus Te, giving students the opportunity to speak with and learn from priests across the diocese.
Students enjoy dressing up for the many themed dances the college hosts each year. The Sadie Hawkins dance is a popular one where the ladies ask the men to the dance.

The entire student body embraced the "Hollywood" theme, dressing up in elaborate costumes and dancing the night away - Popeye and Olive Oil were a real hit, and who doesn't love a Disney Beauty come to life?

Swing dancing is very popular at Christendom!
Freshmen Kieran O'Donnell and Alexandra Di Falco went with Muppets themed costumes.
The line-up of costume contest nominees - Bert and Mary Poppins won!
Byzantine Catholic priest, Fr. David E. Anderson, gave a series of talks, including one on Friday to over fifty students entitled "A Walk Through the Byzantine Divine Liturgy." Here, he shows students an example of prosfora, the leavened bread used for the Eucharist.
Fr. Anderson celebrated the Byzantine Divine Liturgy in Christ the King Chapel on Saturday morning — the first time an Eastern Rite liturgy has been celebrated in the chapel. Over 100 students, faculty, and staff came for the Liturgy.

Senior Andre Moreau (left) helped serve in front of four beautiful icons which functioned as a temporary iconostasis, which seniors Philip Gilbert and Stephen Treacy constructed for the liturgy.

A small group of student volunteers practiced the music ahead of time and sang as a choir for the liturgy.

The liturgy was the climax of Fr. Anderson's week at Christendom, which was spent giving Christendom a taste of the "Eastern Lung" of the Church.

Ladies of the College enjoyed the opporunity to mingle with staff members Amanda Graf and Caitlin Bowers during the "At the Well" event held in Kilians Cafe Monday night.

Freshmen chatted with alumna Jan Akers who was at the talk as well.

Peter Tapsak joined the Chester-Belloc Debate Society on Sunday night in discussing whether the focus of a Catholic liberal arts education is moral formation at Sunday night's meeting. Chester-Belloc allows students to learn how to debate well, and to better defend Catholic positions when confronted by other beliefs.

Many students, faculty, and staff came and enjoyed the rousing debate, partaking in the refreshments offered as well.
All are invited to join in the debates, whether they be freshmen, alumni, or even visitors.

Alumni Brian Hadro ('04) and Brandon Vaughan ('05) returned to campus for the latest "Life on Tap" newtworking event on Tuesday night, relating to over forty students, faculty, and staff how their liberal arts education helps them excel as web developers.
Hadro and Vaughan stayed afterwards for Q & A with students. The "Life on Tap" events give students ample opportunity to learn and network with the alumni.
Senior Elizabeth Slaten played hard in her last home game as a Lady Crusader on Tuesday night.

Senior Mary Barbale (left), who was the first recipient of the Thomas S. Vander Woude Scholar-Athlete Scholarship her freshman year, finished strong in her last home game. Freshman Dylan Burgess (right) continued her solid first season as well, against Division III rival Trinity University.
Christendom showed up in force to support the Lady Crusaders in their last home game of the season.
Honoring the seniors during their final home games is a tradition at Christendom which Coach Katy Vander Woude continued, congratulating the senior girls for all of their hard work during their collegiate careers, before passing the mic off to the parents of the seniors to say a few words.
Elizabeth Slaten receives an embrace from her father after the game.
Christendom's Lady Crusaders seniors for 2015: Elizabeth Slaten (left), Clare Duda (middle), and Mary Barbale (right).
The men's basketball team played their last two home games as well, one last Friday, and the final on Wednesday night.
The Christendom Crazies lived up to their name, filling Crusader Gymnasium with cheers for the men's team in their last home games.

Sophomore Mike McMahon made an incredible basket last Friday night (left), while senior Micah Davis played his last home game as a Crusader on Wednesday night.
Davis embraces Head Basketball Coach Chris Vander Woude after the game. He congratulated Davis for his constant, selfless work as a teammate during his 4 years at Christendom.
The Crusaders all celebrated Davis' Senior Night after the game. MORE PICS HERE.

High chool Summer Program

Alumni in Action


Jake Meza
Director of Urgent Care & Occupational Health at Valley Health Hospital System
Class of 2005

Major: Political Science & Economics

"Everything I learned at Christendom helped me differentiate myself from other job applicants, giving me a crucial edge in the business world. The liberal arts education I received here, where I was taught to think and to question, to be self-motivated and energetic, gave me a unique foundation that allows me to reason better than my peers. That being said, don’t expect to have a high-paying job right away. You need to be patient, persevering, and open to learning—all things I learned while I was at Christendom. Be principled, and trust that the rest will follow."


Did You Know?

Chamber Orchestra Launches on Campus

The Crusader Chamber Orchestra, Christendom’s first ever student body orchestra, just debuted this month. This musical ensemble, founded by freshman John Martz, senior Rebecca Willen, and alumnus/conductor Luke Tillotson, opens a door of opportunity for students seeking an outlet to perform and practice their instruments. This one ensemble will break up into different genres, eventually extending from classical to swing and cinema-themed music, and will hold a full length concert on May 10.

Interested in joining? The orchestra is still looking for musicians, especially percussionists, so talk to Mr. Martz, Ms. Willen, or Mr. Tillotson for more information!


open house

sam phillipsDirector's Cut

 with Sam Philips

        Director of Admissions

Why a Core Curriculum?

A question I sometimes receive is, “Why does Christendom have a core curriculum? Why can’t I just pick all my own classes or specialize from the get go?”

Here’s why. In striving to prepare our students for greatness, we have all of our students complete an 86 credit hour core curriculum which weaves together key areas of broadened knowledge, enabling our students to engage their major, and later the business world, with a well-rounded, comprehensive intellectual background. In short, it exercises their minds in such a way to give them all of the critical thinking and analytical skills they need, as well as an ability to see the big picture - which are traits that every employer is searching for in new employees.

Though core courses were previously ubiquitous on the campuses of well-respected universities, today most colleges and universities have their students specialize at the very beginning of their education-- encouraging them to choose classes that fit their desired major while sprinkling in a few general education classes simply to fulfill requirements. On the opposite spectrum, other college programs boast the fact that they allow their freshman to “design” their own curriculum. The result is that the students’ selected course work resembles more of a smorgasbord of random and unrelated novelties rather than a structured and integrated curriculum. Here at Christendom we realize the importance of forming one’s mind in all areas to foster critical thinking skills and adaptability to various challenging situations

Our broadened foundation begins early at Christendom. All freshmen take the same courses in History, Philosophy, Theology, Literature, a language, and a Math and Science class throughout their first year. Sophomores follow a similar set, adding in Political Science in place of the minimum one Math and one Science course the year prior. The Core Curriculum is completed Junior year, after students take two more semesters of Philosophy and Theology, though History remains a regular theme throughout all the courses, which weave together to form a rich fabric of knowledge and awareness by relating each subject to the other. By drawing from primary sources and original texts, students have a whole world of scholarship opened up before them as the constant current of history flowing through the various books read and discussed sheds light on the origins of philosophic ideas, how those grew into political theories, which reflected shifts in the language, all embodied and showcased in each time period’s works of literature, framed by and later revolting against the teachings of the Catholic Church. Each age is illumined because of the Core Curriculum’s building structure, which draws parallels between the various subjects by historically lining up the time periods. Freshman see how the glory and fall of the ancients inspired the classical epics, while Sophomores watch the opinions of their political activists from Political Science 201 affect the world around them in History 202. Juniors learn to defend the faith against the heresies in Theology 302, many of which were started by the philosophers whose history they are tracing in Philosophy 302.

When our students reach their senior year, they pull all their integrated knowledge, historical perspective, and writing abilities together to research, write, and defend their Thesis, thus graduating with a vivid image of the complexity and depth of the liberal arts woven together clearly in their minds. This is why Christendom graduates rise to the top, excelling in graduate school and securing better jobs than their peers who graduated from the nation’s “big name” universities, because the rich liberal arts background they received at Christendom has trained their minds to think beyond what is right in front of them, to dig deeper, and to find the solutions to the problems they face. To learn more about how our unique core curriculum prepares you to be a leader, visit us at one of our Spring Open Houses, or schedule a visit to sit in on classes and preview the world of knowledge waiting to unfold before you when you start here!

God bless,
800.877.5456 ext 1290

P.S. If you want to learn more about our core curriculum and its broader academic program, watch the video below, delivered by history professor Dr. Brendan McGuire.


Issue 2/13/2015