How Classical Christian Liberal Arts Education Empowers Students With a Love of Learning

Posted by Patrick Henry College on 5/28/21 9:29 AM

Love of Learning

Tragically, only 2% of institutions of higher education in the United States, including liberal arts colleges and universities, require courses of all of its students in all of the classical liberal arts areas of study.* Patrick Henry College is one of these endangered colleges.  *See page 13 of this report by ACTA.

Part of the beauty of a classical Christian liberal arts education is the love of learning it instills in its students. After concluding their four years here, graduates from Patrick Henry College might stop attending classes, doing college projects, and writing reading reports. But graduation isn’t the end of an education. On the contrary, for many of PHC’s alumni, it’s just the beginning.

The liberal arts give students a platform on which to build. Every student at PHC takes classes in logic/rhetoric, math, philosophy, economics, history, politics, literature, sciences, music history, foreign language, and theology, casting a wide net over a variety of disciplines.

Where many colleges and universities focus on equipping their graduates along a very narrow field of study, Patrick Henry College wants its students to develop a hunger for learning and a deep-seated curiosity about the world around them in all areas of study.

This model of education is drawn from the Greek concept of a “liberal” education: the education a man would need in order to live freely. 

This empowers graduates to study their interests—in whatever form they might take. Chances are, it's’ going to be a subject they’ve already touched on.

One of the hardest parts of learning any new skill is having building block with which to construct an idea. Without a sense of the relevant vocabulary or significant terms, entering a new field of study can feel like searching around for something solid in a dark room. But with the benefit of a classical liberal arts education, students with a wide background can quickly pick up on new subjects quickly, having already been exposed to the basics of most fields.

In addition to having a strong base to work from, PHC students also know how to learn among their peers and with their teachers. By having small class sizes and encouraging one-on-one interactions in the classroom, PHC trains its graduates to learn actively—by debating, conversing, and thinking with those in community around them.

At Patrick Henry College, classes teach students to confront the questions that mankind is asking, whether theological, scientific, political, economic, or social in nature, graduates have the wherewithal to dig for the answers to those inquiries—regardless of their size.

At Patrick Henry College, we believe that by giving graduates the building blocks for lifelong learning, such as critical thinking skills and a love of learning, they are best prepared to serve God faithfully. 

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The formula

 

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