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Summer Study Abroad

Walk with history. Live the culture. Experience another world.

The vision of the Study Abroad Program is inspired by the seminal work of the Catholic historian, Christopher Dawson, who wrote this in The Historic Reality of Christian Culture:

The tradition [of Christian culture] exists today, for though the Church no longer inspires and dominates the external culture of the modern world, it still remains the guardian of all the riches of its own inner life. . . . If society were once again Christian . . . this sacred tradition would once more flow out into the world and fertilize the culture of societies yet unborn. Thus the movement toward Christian culture is at one and the same time a voyage into the unknown, in the course of which new worlds of human experience will be discovered, and a return to our own fatherland and to the sacred tradition of the Christian past which flows underneath the streets and cinemas and skyscrapers of the new Babylon as the tradition of patriarchs and prophets flowed beneath the palaces and amphitheaters of Imperial Rome.

Inaugurated in 1992, the Christendom College Summer Study Abroad Program offers three weeks of intensive study during which students achieve an integrated understanding of Catholic culture in the Catholic regions of Europe. As part of the program, two courses totaling six semester hours of college credit are offered. The program begins with one week of introductory orientation lectures on the Christendom College campus at Front Royal, followed by two weeks of travel and immersion in the European Catholic culture.

In the coming years, the Summer Study Abroad Program plans to travel to Spain, France, Bohemia and the Catholic Alpine regions of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Italy. Christendom in Europe will examine the development of Catholic culture in Western Europe, with special emphasis on the monastic foundations of the Catholic Faith in the early Middle Ages, the flowering of Romanesque and Gothic art and architecture before the Protestant Revolt, and of Baroque art and architecture following the Counter-Reformation, as well as the continuity of a Catholic musical culture from Gregorian Chant to Renaissance Polyphony, Baroque, Classical, and Modern sacred music.