To those it may concern,
Hi! My name is Mallory, and I’m a Sophomore at PHC. A friend forwarded me your request for stories about experiences with the college, so I thought I’d tell you mine.
My experience with PHC has honestly been wonderful.
I’ve wanted to come to this school since I was 14. In 2011 and 2012, I was lucky enough to be able to come to TeenCamps and had an absolutely amazing time. I had always been a weird unhappy outcast in conservative Christian homeschool circles, even being raised in said circles. I got to PHC and was instantly welcomed and loved and made to feel as though I was a member of a family, orange hair and feminist leanings and all.
I am a self-identified feminist with a tendency for crazy hair colors, rock music, inappropriate humor, and combat boots. I was a little apprehensive about being a full time student at PHC, especially with the dress code. I knew it was what God wanted me to do, though, so I went and found out I was completely wrong. I tend to keep my hair a bit more conservative at school in the interest of being professional but I’ve found friends who like music even louder and harder than mine, people from all walks of life who share my faith and sense of humor and still get good grades. I’ve been blessed enough to find friend who share my views and ones who will challenge them as well.
PHC has been accused of being narrow minded and a bubble environment. Some of that is true.
PHC can be a bit of a bubble and we all share a common Christian background but it’s surprising how much diversity there is within that. The faculty and staff have worked very hard to create an environment where students are allowed to discuss, think through, and hold many different views. Dr. Spinney, for instance, teaches History of the United States 1 and 2. He spends a lot of his class time moderating student discussions on various moral issues including Aztec sacrifices, women’s roles throughout history, and policy questions like the Mexican War. He usually states his views on the debates and what he believes to be the truth at the end of class but allows students to discuss whatever they’d like. He, above all, never insists in any way that students agree with him.
All of the professors try to strike a balance between expressing their views of truth and allowing for other ways of thought.
They make mistakes sometimes, of course, but they’re very good at striking that balance. My experience has been that, many times, Dr. Favelo, who teaches History of Western Civilization 1 and 2, goes out of his way to make students consider points of view other than their own. Our Theology professor, Dr. Cox, is especially good at giving an even handed overview of all points of view on any given subject – even subjects of theology that are rather controversial such as speaking in tongues.
This is getting long so I’ll wrap it up.
I really can’t sum up my time at PHC in one email. There have been so many moments where I’ve been challenged academically, emotionally, and spiritually. My time there has stretched and grown me in some ways I could never imagine. PHC has also given me a loving community and a family that accept me just the way I am. None of us are perfect, and PHC has it’s share of frustrating bureaucracy and the growing pains that come with a new and expanding community. However, these people know my quirks and they respect me, worship with me, challenge me, and encourage me on a daily basis.
My time at the college has been some of the best of my life.
Thank you for your insight. I understand that many Christian Colleges get some times a bad wrap, (note: some times justly given), but to through out the baby with the bath water is never a good thing. I too went a private christian college (Blue Mountain College) for my BA, and had a positive experience, but I did see also some of the bad while I was there as well. I also was blessed with Professors who wanted to see all sides of an argument.
Too bad NONE of this is accredited….
PHC has national accreditation through the Department of Education but not regional accreditation. Graduate schools like Harvard, Yale, the University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins, and Duke accept our graduates and their transcripts.
PHC may not be, but not all Christian colleges are and since the one I went too happen was founded in 1872, for the education of women and has been fully accredited since the 1950s. Again do not throw the baby out with the bath water.
What I’m getting from all these stories on PHC is that if you conform to what they want (like toning down your sense of style voluntarily rather than feeling forced to), and don’t mind the restrictiveness, then you’re fine. Some people don’t mind bending to arbitrary rules or not being allowed to express various views. That’s ok, but while they may not mind that or even enjoy it, it’s going to be horribly traumatizing to someone who can’t fit in with that and receives backlash simply because of their personality. I think that it goes without saying about anything that if you fit into the mold they want, then of course you’ll be happy there. But if you don’t fit in that mold naturally, you’re screwed, and you’ve wasted time and money, and emotional trauma, and on a non-accredited college at that.
So they should not be allowed to mislead others on the rules, on what campus life will be like, and on how different they treat the adults that go there than adults are treated at a state school. If they’re going to be so restrictive and controlling, that’s fine if that’s what you as an adult sign up for, but they need to be 100% transparent about how it really is and emphasize that it’s not for everyone. I personally wouldn’t have a problem if PHC or other strict religious colleges were marketed as being good for young adults with goals similar to theirs and with personalities who like structure, rules, all encompassing religion in life, etc. I have a problem with it being sold as the best place for all homeschoolers, when this is far from the truth. If they started focusing on making sure their recruits knew exactly what they were getting into and ensuring their recruits were a good fit for the culture before encouraging them to go there, I’d still dislike the idea of it on a personal level, but at least it’d be a well informed choice that a young adult has a right to make.
Personally, I think you’re looking at it as if all of these stories were happening at the same time. Personally, what I’m seeing is that the school had some serious problems in the earlier 2000’s, but has become a much different place. The school was previously more restrictive on what views could be discussed, but now it is encouraging different views to be discussed. What I’m seeing from these stories is a massive growth in the character of the school.