The Home School Court Report
Vol. XXV
No. 5

In This Issue


About Campus Previous Page Next Page
by J. Michael Smith
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In Ninth year, Patrick Henry College Making an Impact

Another school year has passed, and Patrick Henry College (PHC), located near Washington, D.C. in Purcellville, Virginia, continues to distinguish itself as a potent academic and ideological player in Christian higher education. With 76 seniors receiving diplomas on May 16, the college launched another crop of Christian-leaders-in-waiting into the public square.

Patrick Henry College students are shaping the culture.
PHC/Jennifer Olmstead
Patrick Henry College Students are being trained to lead the nation and shape our culture.

The college, about to enter its tenth year, attracts high-achieving Christian students from all backgrounds with a rigorous academic program, world-class apprenticeships, and its steely commitment to genuine discipleship.

This past fall saw another stellar class of freshmen arrive. Among them were best-selling authors of Do Hard Things, Brett and Alex Harris, who co-founded the Rebelution website connecting thousands of teens rebelling against the low expectations of youth. National test results for this incoming class at PHC bolstered findings that the best homeschooled students routinely outperform the best non-homeschooled students—as well as many Ivy League seniors—in civic literacy and general academic proficiency.

Reflective of its mission to infiltrate the public square with exceptional Christian speakers, jurists, and apologists, PHC’s debate teams once again dominated. The college won its third ACMA National Moot Court Championship in five years while sweeping first-, second-, and third-place team trophies at Chapman Law School in Orange, California.

The college’s bursting trophy case highlights a campus-wide emphasis on public speaking, critical thinking, research, and writing as skills that both underscore and beautifully express PHC’s mission to impact the nation. Its moot court alumni annually go on to attend the nation’s top law schools and graduate programs, including three presently enrolled at Harvard Law School.

The college and its championship legal debate program were showcased this year in the full-length feature film, Come What May. Released nationally on DVD by Provident Films, the movie by Purcellville-based Advent Films candidly portrayed PHC as a legal debate powerhouse and delivered pointed commentary on the sanctity of life, marriage, and sexual purity. Several PHC students and homeschooled kids from across the nation acted in and helped produce the movie, which delighted audiences and won the Redemptive Storyteller Award presented by Regent University.

On the international stage, the college won the Outstanding Delegation award at the Model UN conference in New York City. This academic simulation of the United Nations brought students from across the planet to engage in multilateral diplomacy on issues ranging from nuclear proliferation to human trafficking. Out of 300 participating schools, PHC earned the highest award given.

Generally, PHC students undertook a host of creative outreach opportunities, including long-standing work for national political campaigns, producing Christian-themed independent films, writing plays and novels, or simply serving the local community as EMTs, tutors, employees, and church youth leaders. In the case of PHC senior Joseph Alm, who founded a pro-life ministry known as Life Roots, he and a group of PHC students advocated door-to-door for the unborn at the national grass roots level.

The college’s emerging legacy suggests that its mission is beginning to bear fruit, says PHC’s founder and chancellor, Dr. Michael Farris, who himself launched this past year to help protect American families from intrusion by international law.

“To preserve its liberty,” says Farris, “America needs able advocates who have a deep understanding and commitment to the importance of American sovereignty, yet who can effectively communicate that message in the international arena. PHC students have demonstrated that they have this absolutely unique set of skills that America so desperately needs.”

Patrick Henry College’s uncommon profile—that of a classical liberal arts college with Ivy League-caliber scholastics paired with a distinctly Christian worldview—has produced graduates who are both serving and making an impact at the highest levels of government, business, media, and even secular academic institutions. PHC grads presently hold positions in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court, the FBI, National Geographic, and Fox News, as well as throughout the intelligence community. The glowing testimonies and growing list of employers for whom they work provide ample evidence of the students’ disciplined work ethic, critical thinking skills, and eager, plainspoken humility. It’s also evidence that a young Christian college on the outskirts of D.C. is doing the work for which it was created.

About the author

Based on J. Michael Smith’s editorial “Patrick Henry College Continues to Excel,” published in the Washington Times, on June 7, 2009.