Mission & History

One-of-a-kind College



The Mission of Patrick Henry College is to prepare 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. Educating students according to a classical liberal arts curriculum and training them with apprenticeship methodology, the College provides academically excellent baccalaureate-level higher education with a biblical worldview.


Patrick Henry College is a unique academic community where students are challenged to grow spiritually, intellectually, and socially. Our rigorous education is built upon a robust classical liberal arts curriculum, and the centrality of the Bible reflects our commitment to the core tenets of the Protestant expression of orthodox Christianity. Additionally, the PHC curriculum features an apprenticeship component that provides students with professional experience in their chosen fields. Farris_Smith

The College was founded in 2000 with a vision to preserve America by educating the best and brightest Christian young people to take their place as future leaders of the nation and its culture. The founder of the College, constitutional attorney Michael Farris, had established the Home School Legal Defense Association in the 1980s. Home-school parents frequently asked him about colleges: Where was a college they could trust for Biblical teaching, academic rigor, and a nurturing spiritual environment for their gifted young students? In the late 1990s Farris concluded that there was both a need and an opportunity for a college like Patrick Henry College.

With initial funding provided by the HSLDA and a handful of generous individual donors, Patrick Henry College opened its doors in the fall of 2000 with 8 faculty members and 87 students. Dr. Farris was the president, and government was the only major offered, taking advantage of the many internships and other apprenticeship opportunities in the nation’s capital, which is within commuting distance from the campus at Purcellville, Virginia.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) granted Patrick Henry College the authority to grant Bachelor of Arts degrees, and in the years ahead approved additional academic programs from both the Department of Government and the Department of Classical Liberal Arts. The college began attracting national attention for the quality of its academic programs, its Moot Court championships, and the reputation of its interns on Capitol Hill.

First Day Classes 2017 Students Studying-2

In April 2006, Dr. Farris assumed the office of Chancellor, and Graham Walker was named the college’s second president. In April 2007, the college received accreditation by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).

The Barbara Hodel Center—featuring dining commons, coffee house,  gymnasium, exercise facilities, classrooms, and offices—was opened in the Fall of 2009, greatly enhancing the Student Life offerings on campus. This also allowed for a major library expansion when the former dining hall was converted into a second floor of the library.  In 2015, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to appoint Jack W. Haye as the College's third president.

In June 2022, Patrick Henry College earned regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate-level degrees. Patrick Henry College continues its track record of giving high-achieving Christian students a stellar education, equipping them, in the words of the College Mission statement, to “lead the nation and shape the culture,” not in a quest for power, but in a spirit of service that is motivated by the love of Christ.

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