Patrick Henry College: “For Christ & For Liberty”
Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia (about 50 miles from Washington, DC) is named in honor of the great American patriot and revolutionary war hero who said “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” This college was established in 2000 by Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association. About 75 percent of the students who enroll in Patrick Henry College are homeschoolers.
The mission of Patrick Henry College is “to train Christian men and women who will lead our nation and shape our culture with timeless biblical values and fidelity to the spirit of the American founding. In order to accomplish this mission, the College provides academically excellent higher education with a biblical worldview using classical liberal arts core curriculum and apprenticeship methodology.” The College’s vision is “to aid in the transformation of American society by training Christian students to serve God and mankind with a passion for righteousness, justice and mercy, through careers of public service and cultural influence.”
Patrick Henry is not your average American university. Students must obey a curfew, wear their hair neatly, dress modestly, and attend chapel every morning. Students may not show public displays of affection, nor are they allowed to use alcohol or tobacco. Men and women are forbidden from entering each others’ dorms. Dancing is not permitted on campus, but they do have an annual fall hoedown and spring Liberty Ball which is usually held at an historic Civil War era manor or plantation.
Students at the school can specialize within one of two tracks of study: Government or Classical Liberal Arts. The Government department offers majors in Government and the option to specialize in Domestic Policy, International Policy, Political Theory, Strategic Intelligence, or an “undeclared general” government track. Patrick Henry College also offers a degree in Journalism, while the Classical Liberal Arts department grants degrees in Classical Liberal Arts Education, History, and Literature.
Debate is one of Patrick Henry College’s primary extracurricular activities. The college also has an intercollegiate athletic program. Students are active in multiple campus clubs including the College Republicans, several philosophical and literary societies, Eden Troupe (which produces regular stage dramas), and the Streaming Media Network (which produces student films). The Advent Film Group works closely with Patrick Henry College, using the campus as a training ground for aspiring Christian filmmakers interested in shaping our culture through media.
Patrick Henry College students are encouraged to participate in the school’s student government. All students are required to do an internship in their final year. Many spend time working on Capitol Hill, in the White House, in other branches of the government, in conservative think tanks and advocacy groups. Patrick Henry is a private, independent college that does not accept any form of direct or indirect government funding, does not borrow money, and is supported solely through student tuition and the generous gifts of friends and supporters.