I welcome you to Patrick Henry College as we embark on a critical new chapter in our history. Entering this new phase in our mission to train Christian men and women to lead our nation and impact the culture for Christ, it is hard to express my excitement at the recent changes we’ve seen. First, we have a new President, Dr. Graham Walker, an evangelical Christian educator and leader with extensive academic credentials, who has written eloquently about the trend of Christian colleges drifting from their biblical roots. Dr. Walker is a man who has devoted his life to higher education, and who understands that no matter how excellent the education, if hearts and minds are not constantly submitted in humility to the Lordship of Jesus, men can be tempted to seek the world’s acceptance on intellectual or philosophical terms and too often lose sight of spiritual truth. Just as importantly, our new President understands, through his own sincere walk of faith, that the facts are always on God’s side and that Truth has nothing to fear from genuine learning.
I am also excited about our new Provost, Dr. Gene Edward Veith, formerly the cultural editor of World and a long-time educator and proponent of classical learning. To his new post Dr. Veith brings 25 years of experience as a professor and administrator in both Christian and secular colleges, as well a catalog of books he has authored critiquing American culture and higher education. In his systematic documentation of the need for a strong Christian influence in all aspects of society, Dr. Veith promotes a vision shared by President Walker and myself for Christian higher education grounded in Scripture and honoring the traditions of classical education that undergird western civilization. With their extensive academic and theological credentials, both of these fine men are alert to the threat of philosophical error and biblical compromise wherever it may occur. Their keen insights will help ensure that PHC stays true to its mission of rigorous academic inquiry balanced by fidelity to the Word of God.
Among PHC’s faculty and staff are many new faces as well, high-caliber Christians and academics who embrace the mission of the College and understand the importance of properly balancing faith and reason in the classroom. Ultimately, it is our faculty who equips our students and who must strike the proper balance by teaching all subjects from a biblical worldview. The College is now operating with its largest faculty to date, and I am confident that, together, we will continue to build on PHC’s exceptional academic program.
I am also eager to begin my new role as Chancellor of Patrick Henry College. After six years of running PHC, this position will free me to spend my time building and promoting the College through writing, speaking, and fundraising. It is a role I relish and eagerly anticipate, more so as I assess the quality of leadership now assembled. I am blessed to play a part in what I consider truly to be a dream team of Christian higher education, and I have no doubt that top faculty and students will continue to be drawn to PHC’s exacting classical learning in a campus setting that fosters spiritual growth and discipleship. In this capacity, I see PHC’s influence in the world of higher education – and in advancing the mission of Christ – only growing.
Now more than ever, Patrick Henry College is poised to carry out its stated mission. Whatever changes or challenges we face, our new leadership is committed to fostering an environment of academic excellence and attesting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and authority of the Bible. Through our leadership, faculty and staff, we seek to accomplish God’s greater glory in the broader mission of the College and to always build on the foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the students we serve.
I am thankful to all for joining us in this important year, and for choosing Patrick Henry College.
Michael Farris, J.D.