Student Profile


Laura Cermak

Year: Sophomore / From: McLean, Va. / Major: Undecided

Extracurriculars: Music is one of my greatest passions. I’ve sung in the choir, I play clarinet in the club orchestra, and on the piano I’m just now picking up jazz and working on organizing a jazz group on campus. I’m a member of the Cincinnatus League, the Christendom chapter of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, where we read and discuss a different book each semester under the guidance of Dr. Bersnak, our Chairman of Political Science. I am also an Ambassador and Academic Success Mentor.

What is unique about the academic program at Christendom? I had a bit of doubt about the core curriculum when I was a prospective student. I have since wised up, and it is one of the greatest things about Christendom. Knowledge cannot be sorted and shoved in a drawer like a bunch of different colored socks. True, each subject area deserves its own study and can be rewarding on its own. But study them all together, see how they are interwoven, and develop the philosophical habit of mind promoted by Cardinal Newman—that’s the best kind of education, because your world comes into focus and expands at the same time. I’ll also mention that when Christ is the center of the academic life, it’s like having a great chandelier that reveals the true beauty of the masterpieces on the wall, which were fascinating to begin with, but only dimly seen.

Give us a highlight from your Christendom experience? One of the most spiritually enriching experiences I've ever had was the mission trip to the Dominican Republic over spring break last year. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better opportunity for prayer, work, and adventure. I also can't recommend enough the St. Columcille Institute, Christendom’s three-week summer program in Ireland.

Any parting words of advice for prospective students? When you visit, be sure to meet as many of the professors as you can. They give of themselves so generously, talking with students at lunch, meeting with them in office hours, and even cheering on the rugby team. Soak up as much of their wisdom as you can, and then imagine what it’s like getting to do that all the time—it’s no wonder there’s such an excitement for learning here at Christendom.


The Week in Photos

The Lady Crusaders defeated Trinity University at home 3-0 this past week. The volleyball team has been cruising through the competition as of late, with the Trinity University win marking their fourth straight win.
With midterms in full swing, students are hitting the library to finish study guides, do reading for classes and tests, and more.
In between studies, students are finding time to recuperate and relax.
In the classroom this week, students who have Dr. Kevin Tracy for Latin 101 went over translations and more from their recent readings, going deeper into the writing, reading, and speaking of the Latin language.
On Saturday morning, Christendom students participated in the Front Royal Pregnancy Center's annual Walk for Life.
Christendom College's faculty, staff, and students generally bring in a lot of money for this event, by asking their friends and relatives to sponsor them on the walk.
On Sunday afternoon, students traveled to nearby King's Dominion amusement park for a day of rides, games, and fun at one of the East Coast's most popular attractions. More pictures here!
Students came together for another successful Swing n' Sundaes event this week, learning new swing dance moves and enjoying ice cream as well.
Editor of First Things magazine Dr. Rusty Reno visited campus for the first Major Speaker talk of the academic year, delivering a lecture titled "Christianity in the Public Life."
After his talk, Dr. Reno stayed to answer questions from students, faculty, and staff. Download or listen to his talk at the link below!
iTunes U
Christendom's rugby team hit the field for practice, keeping sharp after winning two straight games on the road. The team is currently at the top of their rugby division, with one game left in the fall season before tournament play begins in November.
Students who work in the operations department with Special Event Manager Theresa Francis learn valuable skills in event planning and management, which they execute at the college's major events (such as graduation, homecoming, and more).
The education continues outside the classroom at Christendom, as students encounter and speak with professors all around campus during the day, especially after Mass in Christ the King Chapel.
Students in the college's Cincinnatus League — a student-run political discussion group —continued their reading of "On The Unseriousness of Human Affairs," by James V. Schall, exploring its themes and how they can relate to today's political landscape.
Brick is steadily going up on the back of the new St. Clare's Residence Hall, with the entire exterior of the residence hall almost finished. The residence hall is expected to be open for students in 2017.
The Lady Crusaders took to home court again on Tuesday, playing Lord Fairfax Community College. Christendom won yet again, extending their winning streak to five games.
A beautiful fall day on campus with views of Dr. Carroll's grave overlooking the Shenandoah River.
On Tuesday, students gathered in St. Kilian's Cafe for Thomistic Tuesday — a chance to delve deeper into the thought of St. Thomas during lunch. The talk and discussion was conducted by theology professor Joseph Arias.
Paul Jalsevac, vice president of advancement, and college president Dr. Timothy O'Donnell discuss the future plans for Christendom, while overlooking the Shenandoah River.
Classics and early Christian studies professor Andrew Beer held study sessions in his office before students' Latin midterms this past week, generously giving them the valuable time to ask questions before the test.

See more photos at the link above!

Don't let money stand in the way of you and Christendom College. Find out more!

Alumni in Action

Daniel McGuire
Attorney, McDermott Will & Emery
Major: Classical and Early Christian Studies
Class of 2003

“In my professional life, as an attorney at one of the country’s largest law firms, I am frequently called upon to read and understand documents, sometimes relating to industries or sectors of the business world to which I have no prior exposure, and offer a professional opinion as to the significance of the material to a client’s case. Our clients are some of the largest and most successful companies in the world, and they depend on us to have the excellent professional judgment and skill required to represent their interests; there is no room for error. I have no doubt that my education at Christendom College was critical in preparing me to meet this high standard of excellence as a lawyer today.”

Did You Know?

You Can Earn a Full-Tuition Scholarship!

Christendom College offers two main avenues for prospective students to earn a full-tuition scholarship to the college. The first is by becoming a National Merit Scholarship Finalist. This fall, Christendom will be offering up to five full tuition scholarships to freshmen that are named national merit scholarship finalists. Becoming a national merit scholarship finalist is a remarkable achievement, and the college wants to reward these high performing students through a full tuition scholarship. If you are currently a national merit semi-finalist, be sure to apply to Christendom this fall, and should you be named a finalist in the spring, send in a copy of your national merit finalist notification and you will receive a full-tuition here at Christendom!

The second avenue to earning a full tuition scholarship is through the Padre Pio Full Tuition Scholarship Competition. This scholarship opportunity has been offered at the college for several years now, with two Padre Pio Full-Tuition Scholarships awarded each year. The college awards them through an annual competition, from which our two winners are selected. To qualify for the competition, prospective students must first apply for Early Action and meet certain academic criteria.

Those who meet the listed requirements (see here) may then submit a scholarship application and essay. Out of all those who submit scholarship applications and essays, 18 will be selected by a scholarship committee as finalists and they will be invited to come to campus on Monday, February 27, to interview with a faculty panel. While on campus, finalists will also have the chance to meet faculty members from the different departments and hear presentations on the specific academic, spiritual, athletic, cultural, and leadership opportunities at the college. From those 18 finalists, two winners will then be named as the Padre Pio Full-Tuition Scholars for Fall 2017.

If either of these options are appealing to you, be sure to apply for Christendom ASAP, and you might earn one of the full tuition scholarships to Christendom (like Laura Cermak, profiled above, did last year)!

Rome Report

 with Bridget Gaffney

Assisi to Siena to Rome

Salve, Christendom! From Assisi to Siena and then back to Rome, oh, what a fun week it has been!

Before departing from the beautiful Assisi valley, we enjoyed a tour of one of its historical wineries, SAIO. Here we were brought through the process of how wine is made and kept and even got to taste and pair the wine with some delicious Italian food. We then departed for Siena, the home of much beautiful art, rich culture, and relics. In Siena, we were privileged to both visit and have Mass at the home of St. Catherine of Siena. What a dream come true! On top of all of that, we also had the fantastic opportunity of having Adoration at the sight of a Eucharistic miracle. As one would expect, we also took delight in many of Siena’s beautiful masterpieces such as touring the strikingly decorated Duomo (Cathedral). Likewise, we got the chance to take part in its fascinating culture by trying some renowned cow stomach at a traditional Tuscan restaurant. We even got to attend a music concert at the famous Piazza del Campo on our last night in Siena!

When eventually made our way back to Rome, and had a lovely weekend of cooking some Italian meals and exploring the many churches of the eternal city. Then on Monday, we attended Mass at the tomb of St. Peter! After Mass, we toured the Medieval churches of Rome such as Basilica of Saint Prassede and Santa Pudenziana with Prof. Scoditti. Until next time, amici. Arrivederci!

Before departing Assisi, students enjoyed a tour of one of its historical wineries, SAIO. Here they were brought through the process of how wine is made and kept and even got to taste and pair the wine with some delicious Italian food.
Upon arriving in Siena, students wasted no time in getting photos taken in front of its famous landmarks, especially the Il Duomo.
Students received a tour of various famous landmarks while in Siena, including the Basilica of San Domenico, which contains the head of St. Catherine of Siena.
Students spent evenings in the famous Piazza del Campo, enjoying the historic nature and culture of the location.
While on pilgrimage, students were joined by alumnus Fr. Matthew Rensch, who offered evening reflections for them. Fr. Rensch will also be teaching philosophy to students while in Rome.
Upon their return to Rome, students received a tour of the Roman Forum from their art and architecture professor Elizabeth Lev.
Students attended Mass next to the Tomb of St. Peter in St. Peter's Basilica, celebrated by Fr. Rensch.
Students are able to witness and visit many incredible historical items while in Rome — including a remnant of the pillar that Christ was scourged on.
Visiting the Coliseum is a must for anybody who comes to Rome — and Christendom students didn't pass up the opportunity to tour the historic site.

sam phillipsDirector's Cut

 with Sam Phillips

        Director of Admissions


An Immersion in Great Literature

Q: Christendom seems to have a lot of required literature in its core curriculum. If I'm not planning on being on English literature major, why read all those works??

A: G.K. Chesterton once wrote that, “the highest use of the great masters of literature is not literary; it is apart from their superb style and even from their emotional inspiration. The first use of good literature is that it prevents a man from being merely modern. To be merely modern is to condemn oneself to an ultimate narrowness.”

So, regardless of one’s eventual major or professional endeavor, there is a great benefit and, indeed, a real necessity to immerse oneself in the rich tradition of great literature and grapple with these great writers. As Chesterton argues, great literature should be studied, if for no other reason than that it keeps one from becoming an unthinking slave to the changing whims and fancies of our current age — what some might term a “passive consumer.”

Studying the humanities draws people out from the limited view of the particular ideas and opinions of their own time and helps them to develop a broadened world-view that is time-less. Ultimately, to know the great literature of humanity is to be more human. It is to understand human nature. And human nature is the same now as it was during the time of Homer.

At a time when most universities have dramatically stripped the literature coursework required of its students and have, oftentimes, done away entirely with the likes of Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, and other authors who have shaped Western thought and culture, Christendom continues its commitment to forming the moral imagination of its students through the study of the seminal literary works of the Western Canon.

No matter the intended major, all Christendom students will spend four semesters reading, discussing, and writing about such classics as The Iliad, The Aeneid, Beowulf, The Inferno, Macbeth, Crime and Punishment, and many more. These works offer an example not only of masterful literary expression and beautiful storytelling, but also of a universality that makes their story as relevant and compelling today as when it was first written.

Through the engagement with these great authors and through the extensive reading and writing program offered in Christendom’s literature courses, our students graduate with the ability to formulate and express their thoughts in a clear and cogent manner. More than this, however, they enter their professional careers with a broadened perspective and thus avoid that “ultimate narrowness” against which Chesterton warns.

Dare to join us. Dare to be great.

God bless,
800.877.5456 ext 1290


Issue 10/7/16