Truth comes as a whole. We don’t approach reality as chopped up into little pieces. The education that helped shape the thinking of the American founding fathers has essentially gone missing from higher education today.
The liberal arts articulates a thorough integration of faith and learning that ties together all academic disciplines. Literature, philosophy, theology, economy, history, logic, math—they're all interrelated.
In the Classical Liberal Arts major at Patrick Henry College, students are enriched with a broad base of understanding. Sam, a PHC graduate, put it this way:
The exciting thing about studying from a classical liberal arts perspective is to see truth start to fit together. It’s enriching to see the connections between one discipline and another discipline happening almost without you intending them.
The Classical Liberal Arts major propels students into writing and researching effectively, recognizing central themes that define intellectual traditions, and understanding the historical development and cultural influences of the classical liberal arts that allow them to excel in a myriad of careers after receiving their degree.
This has an impact not only on student's professional lives but on their personal ones as well.
You will know where we’ve come from through our history, so you’ll have a road map to where we’re headed. This is not something that you learn on the job. You learn it during your study in college, and when you enter the world of ideas, you either know it or you don’t.
Ethan Chapman, a 2021 alumnus with PHC's CLA degree, said that the CLA program prioritizes both breadth and depth of study in a broad range of subjects.
“My pursuit of studying philosophy has prepared me [to look] at ideas in a holistic manner,” he said.
Chapman is preparing to attend graduate school next month, and said that the CLA major helped him think about the world differently—to see the connections in different areas of inquiry.
“Literature, philosophy, theology, and history are not all distinct disciplines,” he said, “but rather they intersect and build on one another’s findings.”
Pictured above: a quote from Dr. Hake from
his essay "My Hope For You at Patrick Henry College"
Dr. Steve Hake is part professor, part minister/disciple-maker, and part prayer warrior. For many years Dr. Hake has been an inspiration to hundreds in the PHC family. He teaches several courses in the Classical Liberal Arts Department with this passion: that his students would grow in personal evangelism and discipleship during their time at Patrick Henry.
“I began to pray specifically for ‘a culture of discipleship, disciple-making, and outreach’ at PHC,” Dr. Hake said. “I am seeing God answer that prayer in some pretty dramatic ways.”
In an essay called "My Hope For You at Patrick Henry College," Dr. Hake warns future students about being guided by the wayward leanings of society.
We live in an indulgent and decadent culture, shares Dr. Hake, and this is one big reason that very little true learning is taking place.
Turn off your TV ... and get serious about digging into "the Book" and books. Many in the world today are drifting because they have nothing to live for and no reason to exert themselves. As Christians, we serve a great King and have every reason to be all that He wants us to be.
My hope is that you will internalize the external disciplines of your coursework here and run with this knowledge and these skills as far as the Lord enables you.”
Heading off to college soon, but not certain where the Lord is calling you to serve? Get that bachelor's degree in classical liberal arts. You’ll be entering into a great conversation. You’ll be entering into a history of thought that’s been going on for centuries and centuries!