HA note: The author’s name has been changed to ensure anonymity. “Dante Alighieri” is a pseudonym chosen specifically by the author.
Patrick Henry College is an interesting pressure cooker that gets quite a bit of flack for being dogmatic or overly conservative. From my experience, here are the pros and the cons.
This disclaimer must go before my analysis however, as I am speaking from personal experience. Small schools are not for everyone. No one school is for everyone – so to say that PHC is for everyone or no one is a complete fallacy. Thus trying to discredit PHC entirely is unproductive and as much a waste of time as trying to prove it is the best school in the world. Subjectively however – I think that PHC is the best school in the world for me.
So let’s get the cons out of the way. Patrick Henry is first and foremost a rumor mill. Too few students can keep their mouth shut. Major kudos to those mature students I know, who can exercise self control in this area. That said, things that are private get around pretty dang fast. This is a problem for a few reasons:
1) Just like at any college, we live together as a student body, so interactions that sometimes take a week in the real world, take a day at PHC.
2) The difference is that PHC students are taught to communicate well, and deal with conflict, so it speeds up the normal process. However this one con does make life at PHC problematic and sometimes frustrating.
There are several other things that PHC struggles with, but all of those are comparatively very very small when other colleges/universities are brought to light. The above problem is what I saw as a unique PHC problem. I am sure others will add to the cons of PHC. I’ll address issues and advantages of the the school administration in the pros.
Ok – now onto the good stuff – which I believe is much more interesting.
Bar none, PHC students (I would contend) are best equipped to succeed and live godly lives when compared to contemporary and even secular colleges. The student body displays unrivaled maturity in dealing with conflict, both small and large. Even issues such as the piano, that came up earlier this year, was taken care of with marginal Facebook fighting. I had the opportunity to visit and see multiple colleges ( Liberty, Hillsdale, Masters, Point Loma, Azusa, Yale, and a few others.)
At all the colleges, Masters aside, I saw a student body that was inferior to PHC based on maturity and spiritual prowess.
Again, this is just my viewpoint, but I was able to interact with the student body with all of the aforementioned colleges. I may not have been able to tell how the student body was truly by only one visit to the colleges I mentioned, but I received a superior vibe from PHC with only one visit.
The next pro is the extremely challenging education. I would argue (believe it or not) that the rigor of academics at PHC is equivalent to the graduate school of any Ivy League colleges. Anyone who has taken a Spinney class can testify to this. If you have not taken a Spinney class, then talk to someone who has. And it is not limited to Dr. Spinney either. There are a few of my friends who attend Ivy League schools (and who were homeschoolers with 3.8 or 4.0 gpa’s), and their comment is that the undergrad [of their school] is about as hard as a state school or university.
This is all the evidence I have to prove this point, and again this is just my own deduction.
I could go on for much longer but I think I am more effective when I am succinct. Thank you for allowing the opportunity for people to give both sides. That is much appreciated!