Authentic Community

Jacob Meza
Raymond Hain
Loretta Scheetz

Throughout history, many saints have described Lent as an apprenticeship under Jesus in the desert. We go with the Lord into the wilderness; we watch Him closely and we imitate Him. Often, we learn best through observation and imitation.

Providence College professor and Christendom alum, Dr. Raymond Hain, experienced a similar immersive experience at Christendom. “You had a community of like-minded people, both faculty and students, who were all engaged in a common project with a common mission and goal. It was evident that students, professors, and staff knew and cared for one another, which is very rare, even at religious colleges.”

And Dr. Hain would know. Only in his mid-thirties, he has already taught at the University of Notre Dame, Xavier University, and the Catholic University of America. After achieving a perfect score on his SAT in high school, he was courted by some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the nation, eventually choosing to attend Christendom. “I wanted to attend a college that was fully committed to the Catholic faith and the intellectual tradition of the Church, a place rich in community life, and one that could offer a rigorous liberal arts education,” Dr. Hain explained. “The heart of a liberal arts education is not merely the transmission of knowledge and information but the transformation of human beings, and that is what Christendom College does.”

After earning his doctorate at the University of Notre Dame, Dr. Hain was appointed to a tenured position as Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Providence College in Rhode Island. He is passing on his Christendom experience by creating space for similar interactions with his students and staff.

“Christendom offers a model for what I seek as an educator. I want to help show others the power and beauty of the Catholic intellectual tradition in the context of authentic community.”

One way Dr. Hain does this is by reaching out to his teaching peers. He began organizing reading seminars to bring together several faculty members across numerous disciplines to read great texts from the Western canon. These reading seminars are now into their third year and are offered several times per year.

Another project Dr. Hain has initiated is the Humanities Forum. Each week, students and faculty give major presentations, musical performances, and share film projects that bring the college community together to form a common intellectual life. “It’s been exciting to see students, faculty, and administrators getting to know one another on a deeper level, eating meals together, and sharing life both on and off campus on a regular basis. It’s starting to remind me of an amazing school in Front Royal, Virginia!”


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