Why Minor in Classics at Patrick Henry College?

Patrick Henry College

By Rachel Cochran

Do you or someone you know fully understand our past and are therefore better informed about the present?

Patrick Henry College takes its classical, Christian, liberal arts education seriously. It seeks to train godly men and women to influence culture for Christ, and it provides a wide variety of majors and minors for students to choose from. Ultimately, the goal is to provide both a rigorous classical education and deep spiritual foundation, lifting high both faith and reason.

One of the minors at Patrick Henry College is the Classics Minor. This minor is designed for students who have a fascination with the roots of western civilization and want to have an in-depth knowledge of classical texts. Students will be able to analyze Ancient Greek and Roman texts in their languages and fully understand our past in order to be better informed about the present.

Students at Patrick Henry College emerge from the Classics minor thoroughly trained in Greek, Latin, and Greek and Roman history, art, and literature. The Classics Minor prepares students for graduate school in Classics, or simply to possess a traditional classical education that has dominated Western civilization for thousands of years.

At Patrick Henry College, opportunities abound. Students who are interested in studying Greek and Latin are able to do so without attending seminary or dedicating a major to it. They can major in economics and business analytics at Patrick Henry College but still be able to have a Classics Minor.

Students in the Classics minor also have a unique opportunity to experience history with annual trips led by Dr. Doug Favelo to Greece and Rome for an immersive experience.

The Program

Part of Patrick Henry College’s rigorous academics and standard of excellence is it’s flexible major and minor structure. Because it is committed to academic rigor, Patrick Henry College requires its students to take a comprehensive 63-credit liberal arts core. This is to give them a broad range of knowledge. Students are then able to specialize within their major and minor programs.

The Classics Minor at Patrick Henry College works to give students interested in studying Ancient Greece and Rome the ability to do so while still majoring in a different subject area. This minor demonstrates one of the perks of a liberal arts education.

The curriculum requirements for the minor consists of Latin V, Latin VI, Greek 1, Greek 2, Greek Civilization, and Roman Civilization. A lot of these courses are taught by Dr. Stephen McRoberts, who is a classics scholar and teaches both Latin and Greek and PHC.

The Learning objectives for the Classics Minor at PHC are to read classical Latin at an advanced level, and Attic Greek at a basic level. Additionally, students will be able to understand Greek and Roman literature, art, architecture, and history from the Bronze Age to the fall of the Western Empire.

Opportunities

For those who want to get more hands-on experience in the Classics, there are many opportunities to do immersive study abroad, teach, or go into a specific field upon graduation. The skills students learn in Patrick Henry College’s Classics Minor have a broad range of application.

One unique skill set students learn is how to analyze history and have a deep knowledge of western civilization’s roots. This is applicable in every field. Knowing where we’ve come from is important to knowing where we’re going.

Another unique skill set is that students will have advanced knowledge in Latin and basic knowledge of Greek. Latin is very much the foundation of all language, and being very familiar with its structure and function is very important for learning other languages and being able to study classical texts in their original form.

Some students have done Oxford study programs or spent a summer learning more about history and language. Teaching high school or elementary classes are also an option for Patrick Henry College students with a Classics Minor.

Significance

It is tempting to think that a Classics Minor at Patrick Henry College is only a fun avenue of study with little applicable skills in the job market. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Classics Minor is helpful for any major at Patrick Henry College – students studying literature will have a firm foundation in classical education. Students in the pre-law advising track will have a knowledge of the history of society and a firm grasp of Latin and language. Students wanting to go into international politics will have a deep understanding of other cultures and their heritage while also having a solid grasp of language.

Students shouldn’t back away from a Classics Minor because they feel that there are no real-world applications for it.

Part of what makes Patrick Henry College special is its insistence on a classical, Christian liberal arts education. It sets a standard for excellence because the founders of the school recognized that there was a void in higher education – a lack of biblical perspective.

In answer to this unacceptable status quo in higher education, the founders of Patrick Henry College established a school with three distinctives. This unique fusion of three distinctives sets Patrick Henry College apart from any other college in the world.

They are high academic rigor, fidelity to the spirit of the American founding, and an unwavering biblical worldview. Patrick Henry College is the only college in the nation dedicated to all three distinctives.

The education that Patrick Henry College seeks to give its students is one of excellence and preserving for posterity the ideals behind the “noble experiment in ordered liberty”. A very needed trait in today’s world is a firm understanding of history and an ability to be visionaries for the future—this is what a classical, Christian, liberal arts education fosters in students at Patrick Henry College.

While the school is dedicated to being an institution for Christ and for liberty, the students also benefit from faculty and an experience that does not exclude the element of biblical worldview from education. Through chapels and class discussions, students are better equipped in their faith and education. This is the spirit of Patrick Henry College in its mission of lifting high both faith and reason.

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