|Motto||Pro Christo et Libertate|
Motto in English
|For Christ and for Liberty|
|Chancellor||Michael Farris (emeritus)|
|Provost||Gene Edward Veith (emeritus)|
|Dean||Mark Mitchell (Academic affairs)|
One Patrick Henry Circle,
|Campus||Suburban 100+ acres (400,000 m²)|
|Colors||Blue and Gold|
Patrick Henry College (PHC) is a private classical liberal arts non-denominational Christian college that teaches Classical Liberal Arts, Government, Strategic Intelligence in National Security, Economics and Business Analytics, History, Journalism, Environmental Science & Stewardship, and Literature located in Purcellville, Virginia. PHC is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, a national faith-related accrediting organization.
Patrick Henry College was incorporated in 1998 by Michael Farris, founder and chairman of the board of the Home School Legal Defense Association, with which PHC is still closely connected. It officially opened September 20, 2000, with a class of 92 students. The college eschews federal financial aid and is therefore relieved from United States Department of Education reporting requirements on demographic makeup and other information. The school does not ask for race on applications.
PHC receives all of its funding from tuition fees or donations. The college states that it does not accept any money from the government or any other source that includes terms that supersede the authority of its Board of Trustees or conflict with its foundational statements. PHC adds new facilities and programs only as funds are available.
Patrick Henry College received accreditation in 2007 from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, a national accrediting organization for Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries created by the Institute for Creation Research. The College had previously been denied accreditation by the American Academy for Liberal Education in the spring of 2002 because creationism was part of the curriculum. On June 30, 2005, the school was officially recognized by the United States Department of Education as an institution eligible for DOE programs. It also allowed students to use more scholarships and grants and made donors and students eligible for various tax benefits. On April 3, 2012, the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools reaffirmed Patrick Henry College's accreditation for a period of ten years.
All students must sign a "Statement of Faith" before they enroll, affirming belief in what the college considers core Christian doctrines. For example, students are asked to acknowledge "Satan exists as a personal, malevolent being who acts as tempter and accuser, for whom Hell, the place of eternal punishment, was prepared, where all who die outside of Christ shall be confined in conscious torment for eternity.... Man is by nature sinful and is inherently in need of salvation, which is exclusively found by faith alone in Jesus Christ and His shed blood.... Christ's death provides substitutionary atonement for our sins." The college professes non-denominational Christian beliefs, informed by Evangelical Protestantism.
Teaching faculty must also sign the Statement of Faith and a more detailed Statement of Biblical Worldview, which represents the college's requirements for what should be taught. For example, the Biblical Worldview Applications states, "Any biology, Bible, or other courses at PHC dealing with creation will teach creation from the understanding of Scripture that God's creative work, as described in Genesis 1:1–31, was completed in six twenty-four-hour days."
In 2006, PHC founder Farris commented that the college held the view that its faith was the only true faith ("we believe that there is truth and there is error") and expressed disapproval of religious and social toleration. "Tolerance cannot coexist with liberty" because "the crowd of tolerance wants to ban speech."
On April 12, 2007, LGBT rights group Soulforce selected PHC as one of the targets of its annual "Equality Ride," to protest the stance of conservative Christian colleges concerning homosexuality. Like many other Christian colleges, Patrick Henry did not allow Soulforce to enter the university premises, but the college proposed for student representatives to engage in a formal debate at a neutral location on the merits of the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment to the US Constitution. Soulforce organizers declined and notified the college of their intent to enter the campus to speak directly with students. After being refused entry, Soulforce formed a picket line outside the entrance to the campus and protested for approximately five hours.
PHC does not receive federal funding: "In order to safeguard our distinctly Christian worldview, we do not accept or participate in government funding. In consequence, PHC is not required to follow federal guidelines, like most other institutions, concerning sex-based and other forms of discrimination, the reporting of on-campus crimes, and investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct.
Patrick Henry College is located in the town of Purcellville in rural northern Virginia, approximately 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Washington D.C. The campus currently consists of seven buildings arranged around a retention pond popularly called "Lake Bob", as well as several athletic fields. The oldest structure, Founders Hall, opened in 2000 and contains three classrooms, the college library, and various administrative and faculty offices. It is also home to the offices of the Home School Legal Defense Association. Hanna Rosin, author of God's Harvard, described the campus as "tiny, less like an Ivy League college than like a Hollywood set of an old Ivy League school." The buildings are of Colonial Revival architecture. The artwork in Founders Hall consists of copies of portraits of the Founding Fathers placed along a staircase, leading to a picture of Patrick Henry at the second Virginia convention which features a light from heaven guiding Henry's speech. The artwork is designed to, in the words of Hanna Rosin, "remind the students that America was founded as a Christian nation."
The school's residential village is composed of five residence halls located along the edges of the lake. There are two men's dormitories (Oak Hill and Red Hill) and three women's dormitories (Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Montpelier). The four smaller dormitories opened in 2001, while the largest residence hall, Red Hill, opened in 2003. In addition to student housing, Red Hill also contains three classrooms and an office suite on its basement level. Located in the basement of Mount Vernon is an auditorium referred to as Town Hall, where the school's daily chapel sessions and other special events are held. The residence halls are set up in an arc shape around the lake.
In August 2009 the college opened a $32 million, 106,000-square-foot (9,800 m2) student life center, which significantly expanded dining, classroom, recreational, and athletic facilities. Construction began in December 2006 and was completed during the summer of 2009. On October 10, 2009 the college held a dedication ceremony for the new building which was attended by approximately 1,000 people and featured evangelical leader James Dobson of Focus on the Family as the keynote speaker.
The college's founder, Mike Farris, announced his resignation as president of the college on March 6, 2006, to become chancellor. Graham Walker, formerly of Oklahoma Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania, served as the second president of the college, from 2006-2014. Dr. Graham Walker announced his resignation as President of Patrick Henry College on October 15, 2014. During the search process to select a new President, Provost and the educator and cultural editor of World, Dr. Gene Edward Veith served as Interim President. Jack Haye became the third President of Patrick Henry College in 2015 after thirty years in the banking world.
On August 3, 2015, the College announced that Jack Haye had been selected to serve as the third President of Patrick Henry College. During the period from Walker's resignation through the summer of 2016, multiple organizations changes and reorganizations took place. In the Fall of 2016, the executive leadership of Patrick Henry College consisted of the Dean of Student Affairs, Dean of Academic Affairs, Director of Admissions and Communications, Vice President of Advancement, Vice President of Finance and Administration, and Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning.
Students at the College can choose their major from within seven fields of study. The Government Department offers majors in Government, Journalism, Economics & Business Analytics, and Strategic Intelligence in National Security. The Government major provides an option to specialize in American Politics and Policy, International Politics and Policy, Political Theory, Strategic Intelligence, or a General Government track. The Classical Liberal Arts Department offer degrees in Classical Liberal Arts, History, and Literature and Minors in Biblical Studies, Classics, History, Journalism, Music, and Philosophy.
In 2008, PHC's website listed twenty-five full-time professors, of which twenty-one had at least one doctorate; one professor had a D.M.A., and another held an Ed.D. making it such that 24 of the 25 have a terminal degree in their field. In 2011, PHC also listed 24 part-time faculty, all of whom have received a master's degree or higher. Chancellor Emeritus Mike Farris has a J.D., has authored several novels and critiques of constitutional law, and has argued numerous cases before federal and state high courts, as well as the United States Supreme Court.
In 2005, a library clerk was forced to resign for promoting the idea that baptism is essential for salvation, considered a violation of the Statement of Faith. Further, in March 2006, five of the college's sixteen faculty members—Erik Root, Robert Stacey, Kevin Culberson, Todd Bates, and David Noe—resigned in protest, saying that the President's interpretation of the Biblical Worldview Policy restricted academic freedom.
The resignations led to questions about the compatibility of a strong liberal arts education along with its conservative biblical beliefs. David C. Noe, assistant professor of Classics departed after finding that classical works by non-Christian authors were sometimes considered suspect at PHC, and there was an increasingly narrow view of Christianity. Root criticized the autocratic lack of faculty participation in the ideas and governing of the school, saying "if [PHC] continues down this road, will end up being more an 'illiberal arts education'."
PHC has many rules of behavior typical of conservative, religious colleges. Students may not have sex outside of marriage, or use alcohol or tobacco while under the authority of the college, which is defined as any time during a semester while enrolled, on or off campus. Men and women are not allowed in each other's dorm rooms except during open dorm days, and underclassmen are subject to a curfew. Firearms are prohibited on campus. The college has a number of traditions rooted in dorm life, including "bobtisms" — a portmanteau of Baptism and "Lake Bob", in which newly engaged males are dunked.
In the 2000s Hanna Rosin, author of God's Harvard, said that "never would you find a group of better-behaved teenagers than on the campus of Patrick Henry." During that period many Patrick Henry students made fun of Bob Jones University, which Rosin described as having "the gold standard of vice patrol." Rosin commented that "by most people's standards," Patrick Henry "was not far behind" Bob Jones.
Students are involved in the community, and PHC requires its Government students to fulfill up to 24 credits of apprenticeship projects, which include internships, research and writing projects, and extracurricular activities such as moot court, Model United Nations, and Mock Trial. Students currently serve as interns in a wide variety of political organizations, such as the White House, a variety of government agencies, congressional offices and think-tanks. Students are active in local and national politics, and members of the Patrick Henry College Republicans chapter often work with local political action groups to lobby for conservative issues at the federal and state levels. Classes are canceled the day of the national elections and the day before, so that students may volunteer on political campaigns; and many students act as Student Action Team leaders for Generation Joshua, leading groups of usually homeschooled high school students volunteering on campaigns across the United States.
Patrick Henry College competes as the Sentinels, fielding teams in men's and women's intercollegiate soccer and basketball, and is a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) and the Shenandoah-Chesapeake Conference.
Since 2003, PHC's moot court program has placed in the top two slots 14 out of 16 years and won 11 times in the National American Moot Court Association Competition. The American Moot Court Association ranks them as number one in their "Top Programs in Intercollegiate Moot Court". In 2016, the team won the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition.
In 2019, Dean of Academic Affairs, Pre-Law Advisory, and the college's Moot Court and Mock Trial coach, Dr. Frank Guliuzza, passed away after coaching the Moot Court team through 8 of its 11 championship titles.