Journalist Hanna Rosin has actually written God’s Harvard, a terrific book about Patrick Henry College, a Christian school that its chancellor calls “a Harvard for the home-schooled.”
Rosin, who has covered faith and politics for the Washington Post, has actually crafted an insightful– a few of more moderate or liberal political persuasions might find frightening– story of a fairly new organization, one that has a mission of preparing an “evangelical elite” for political management.
Up until I check out God’s Harvard, I had actually not understood of a consistently oriented school so driven in this mission. Historically religious organizations, including national universities such as Notre Dame were founded to train spiritual leaders. While they still take spiritual management seriously, such schools have long embraced a much more comprehensive scholastic program, including pre-professional training. Teachers do not need to be of the same faith as the order that leads the school. Notre Dame, for instance, boasts extremely concerned organization and law schools that welcome men and women of all faiths, so do sis organizations such as Boston College and Georgetown.
Patrick Henry College places literal interpretation of the Bible and approved classical literature front and center in its scholastic curricula. The organization seeks faculty who agree, in writing, to make that dedication. That does not make it different from the 105 schools in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities– of which Patrick Henry and well-publicized Christian institutions such as Bob Jones University and Liberty University are not members. The school embraces discipline, to keep youths from temptation, however so do other Christian schools. The drive to put trainees and alumni into the upper reaches of political and media power sets Patrick Henry apart.
Founded in 2000, Patrick Henry College is a really small school, just 300 full-time trainees, and very selective. SAT ratings of enrolled students vary just listed below Ivy Leaguers. Their trainees, it appears from checking out God’s Harvard, are no less bright and inquisitive as their peers at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
For curiosity’s sake, I check out Rosin’s book back to back with Quality Without A Soul, a critical reflection of undergraduate education at Harvard, composed by Harry R. Lewis, former Dean of Harvard College. While Rosin is a reporter and Lewis is a mathematician and college administrator, they both presented some interesting contrast between God’s Harvard and the country’s oldest, and most likely most academically acknowledged university.
Harvard, in Massachusetts, was remarkably enough, established as a divinity school for the function of training ministers. Students who did not desire to end up being spiritual leaders took the very same classes as those who did. While Harvard has such roots, it has long been thought to be a secular organization.
Dean Lewis touches on a number of issues for Harvard: a battle to define the school’s intellectual and moral function in a consumerist college marketplace; professors are worked with for their academic achievements, and not to be coaches to the young and baffled, while the school embraces otherwise, and, he includes that “colleges no longer do an excellent job of helping trainees grow-up” due to the fact that they have needed to end up being surrogate parents. He also talks about the need to include civic values in undergraduate education.
Going on the stories in Rosin’s book, I ‘d state that Patrick Henry College has no such problems.
Harvard’s undergraduate school is a liberal arts school; there is significant liberty to pick courses and distribution requirements are not extremely restricting. Dean Lewis appears to think in the liberal arts and general education requirements that form “part of the student’s entire education which looks initially to all his life as an accountable person and resident.”
Lewis appears, in his book, to state that a liberal arts education is no longer appreciated by Harvard trainees, or their families, although the value of the reputation of Harvard is still appreciated. He talks of hovering or “helicopter parents” who anticipate complete satisfaction for their money and their kid, and question the university’s practices and judgment, in name of value, to protect their financial investment.
Lewis also speaks of liberal education as “a period in which young people can be devoid of the anticipations and prejudices with which they were once raised, released by the power of concepts to pursue their own path in life.” Going on his writing, I need to be more pleased by Harvard trainees and alumni than I had been before I opened this book. They are intense, motivated and successful, even in a setting where there has actually been grade inflation and couple of pats on the back from the professors.
By contrast, Patrick Henry, an institution that targets brilliant home-schooled trainees has little choice however to reach out to moms and dads; their kids have not been taught along with peers in more conventional public and private schools. If I were a father who had actually home-schooled my kids for numerous years, I would wish to know about the academic program and student life of the potential college that my child may attend. I would also want to know if my worths would be continued far from home.
Harvard and Patrick Henry do share similar intentions: to pick trainees who will make a difference. However, Patrick Henry advises them that they will; their faculty and administration will give their trainees a pat on the back, or a start the toukis when required.
I did business with institution of higher learnings for nearly a decade, at a time of excellent technological change and values-driven politics– both household values and monetary values. I am impressed by the institutions that discover their specific niche and persevere rather of trying to be all things to all students.
You ‘d be surprised which organizations succeed to stay with their knitting. I can call names, and I can inform you that Harvard is not one of those institutions, but based upon Rosin’s book, I’ll add Patrick Henry on my list.
I might not agree with the politics of the institution, but I can not reject that their students, moms and dads, professors and administrators are participated a common objective. Evangelical political management is not going away; those who served the leaving administration will lie in wait as legal aides, reporters, researchers and lobbyists until they have a brand-new leader in the White House.
That does not suggest that Harvard is not a great university– that has actually been proven statistically and otherwise, time and time again– and its community has actually been the incentive for its greatness. However, conventional institution of higher learnings have frequently aimed to Harvard as a standard or a design, even when it has actually not been Harvard’s mission to set the objectives for other schools to follow.
That makes little sense; you may be able to replicate the Harvard’s academic pressure, but you can not replicate the Harvard neighborhood. It’s much better for colleges to find their own way, as Patrick Henry has done, and let Harvard be Harvard.