Student Profile


Daniel Snyman

Ages: 20
Year: Freshman
From: Oklahoma
Major: Not sure, but probably Philosophy
Rugby, Intramural sports, Shield of Roses & Christendom Crazies

What do you find unique about our academic program?
I find it wonderful that in all my classes I can see the overlap in all that I am studying. Especially coming towards the end of the semester, I see that all my classes are coming together and pointing towards God from different perspectives. This is the awesome part of what the integrated core program here offers.

Give us a highlight from your Christendom experience?
It is hard to pinpoint just one highlight, but among the many I would have to say that Philosophy with Mr. Brown has definitely been one of them. There are so many times in class that I literally feel like a veil has been lifted from my eyes and I can finally see, only to find that I have merely caught a glimpse of what is yet to come. There are plenty of other highlights as well, most of which involve all the amazing friends I have made here, and our random adventures.

Any parting words of advice for prospective students?
This is a wonderful place, but, like almost anywhere, you get out of it what you put into it. If you want the most out of Christendom, then you have to be ready to put in your all. If there is any place worth doing that though, it is at Christendom!

Core Knowledge

      with Rachel Hoover ('17)

What’s the Point? (Or is there one?)

Welcome back! It’s been another week full of the beautiful and the profound, leading up to Thanksgiving break and then the end of the semester!

In literature we’ve finished our readings of Shakespeare’s "Macbeth" and "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," and moved on to reading John Milton’s "Paradise Lost." All three of these works are masterpieces of English literature which were recognized as such at the time and have been studied ever since, but they also speak volumes about the philosophical, political, and religious views of their time. One theme running through all three works which I find particularly interesting is the idea of hierarchy and the different views of it that are displayed in the works. In "Macbeth," the importance of natural hierarchy is shown by the fact that when "Macbeth" murders the rightful king, his own body and mind, as well as his entire country, start to degenerate into madness and chaos. Killing the king was seen as killing one’s natural leader, so the consequences of such a thing were gravely unnatural. In Paradise Lost, the idea of natural hierarchy is shown in a more extreme case, with Satan rising up against God, and trying to place himself as equal to or even higher than the Son of God. Although Milton and Shakespeare had very different theological views, they both agreed that the natural order was something to be preserved, and of course that it actually existed — both facts that our modern-day world tries to deny or simply forgets. Read more »


The Week in Photos

Scenes from fall break misison trip and retreats. Above: Christendom students on a 50-mile walking pilgrimage to Chimayo, NM. Below: Students unload gravel while philosophy professor Dr. John Cuddeback handles the heavy equipment at Our Lady of Clear Creek Abbey.

Above and Below: Wednesday's Career Life on Tap featured alumni from the medical field, who took time to talk to students about their various areas of expertise and the way Christendom prepared them for their careers.

Above and Below: Over 175 students traveled into Washington DC for Mega Shield, to pray in front of an abortion clinic. Shield of Roses prays in front of the clinic every Saturday morning, but Mega Shield takes place once a semester.

Above and Below: St. Cecilia's Night was held Saturday evening, where a number of talented students are able to perform a variety of different songs.

Above & Below: Sunday afternoon alumni face off against students in a pick-up Rubgy game

Above & Below: Students smile at the last "Swing 'n Sundaes" of the semester.

Above and Below: Christendom alumni ladies who live in the area,along with Mrs. Mickey Krebs, gather with the current Christendom women for a wonderful evening of snacks, mingling, and discussions.

Above and below. A tribute to the life and legacy of L. Brent Bozell, Jr., took place on campus on Tuesday. Mr. E. Michael Lawrence (above) gave reflections on his time working with Bozell. Below, L. Brent Bozell III was in attendance and gave brief remarks about his father and chatted with college admissions director Sam Phillips.

You can enjoy this event as well at Christendom on iTunes U.
iTunes U

Alumni in Action


Teri Rusnak
Registered Nurse
Class of 2004
Major: Philosophy

"The critical thinking I learned at Christendom assists me in correctly assessing my patients and prioritizing their care. But more importantly, I think the philosophy and ethics courses I took have given me my most valuable tools as a nurse. I have many hospice cases, and with them come difficult decisions. I'm convinced I would not be able to make these ethical decisions in keeping with the dignity of the human person without my Christendom experience."


Did You Know?

Popes Love Christendom

Christendom College has always sought to uphold the finest Catholic education possible, a feat which is not easy in an increasingly secular world. Over the years it has developed a reputation for being one of the most faithful Catholic colleges in the United States, always being featured prominently in the Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College and highly recommended by a variety of Catholic officials. But, especially thanks to the proximity of the students during the Rome Program and college President Timothy O’Donnell’s position as Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Family, this humble liberal arts school nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley has received attention from the Chair of St. Peter itself, being highly commended and recommended by several Popes in recent years.

During the Rome Program, Christendom students make a point out of securing a spot at the front of the crowd when the Pope passes through St. Peter's Square. Their efforts have always been rewarded, for as soon as the Pope realizes students from the college are there, he takes time to stop and greet them individually. Christendom College has not only received papal attention, but also received “shout-outs” at the beginning of addresses from the Holy Father. Pope Saint Pope John Paul II recognized the school from its earliest years, declaring that “Christendom College is doing great work for the Church.” His successor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, consistently treated Christendom students as his favorites, aware of the solid and faithful education the college was working so hard to provide.

“I am well aware of the distinguished record of Christendom College and of the outstanding contribution which it has made to Catholic life in the United States” he declared. “For this reason, I am particularly honored to associate myself with such a fine Catholic institution of higher learning and my prayers are that Christendom College will enjoy many more years of service in the education and formation of young people.”

Pope Francis has also showed his affection for the faithful college students who come from Christendom to stay as close to the heart of the Church as possible for a semester of Catholic education in the Vatican itself. Last semester he even traded zucchettos (the white skull cap worn by the Pope) with a student who offered to trade after developing a great admiration for the Holy Father while being able to experience him firsthand.

Not only have the Popes treated Christendom students with the highest regard while in Rome, but they have also gone out of their way to continue expressing their pleasure with the college by sending letters of praise to the college’s main campus in Virginia. On the main floor of St. John the Evangelist’s library one can see a display of letters, small tokens, and even another traded zucchetto all from past Popes, given to the school to show how much they support the faith being so faithfully practiced and promulgated. A chalice given to the school by Pope Saint John Paul II (pictured above) upon the dedication of the chapel can also be seen on prominent display within the Chapel of Christ the King. To learn more about the Catholic esteem for Christendom, read the testimonies of various Catholic luminaries on the website here.



Rome Report

 with Amy Marter

Stepping into a Painting:
Exploring the Birthplace
of the Renaissance


As the semester has been drawing to a close, we kept busy academically with papers, presentations, and exams. Our favorite class by far, though, has been Art and Architecture with Prof. Elizabeth Lev. Prof. Lev has such an engaging style that has given us all a new appreciation of art in all its forms and stages of development from antiquity to the Renaissance. We have also been able to take so many field trips with this class, from lectures on tour in the Roman Forum, Vatican, and Capitoline Museums, to visits to the Catacombs, the Colosseum, and various Churches around Rome.

This past weekend, our studies culminated with a three-day visit to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance. As we entered the heart of the city, we were captivated by the Duomo, the cathedral of the city. Majestic and regal, the church dome rose above the shops in the square and seemed to capture for us the achievements of fifteenth century art and engineering.

Our tour guide set the tone for our stay in the city, in which we lived and breathed the air of the Renaissance. In the Piazza Trinita, she stopped us to point out the bridge crossing the Arno River and the architectural features of nearby buildings across from the church Santa Trinita. Inside the church, she led us to one of the side altars and began pointing out the fresco by Ghirlandaio of the miracle of St. Francis, in which a boy who had fallen out of a window was raised from the dead by the saint’s intercession. Our guide explained that with the growing enthusiasm of the Renaissance era especially in Florence the artists had a greater desire bring the story of the painting to life and make it present for the people around them. We had discussed several viewer engagement techniques in art class, but it was fascinating to actually experience the effect of one of these techniques as our guide drew our attention to the background of the painting in which the artist had rendered the medieval building, the bridge, and the church facade in the piazza where we had stood just moments before! We had literally walked into a painting, which is the best way to describe our stay in this beautiful city.

During the weekend, we were experienced most of the major art museums in the city, from completing a sculpture critique assignment in the Barghello, to a painting scavenger hunt in the Uffizi, and a surprise visit to Michelangelo’s David in the Academia. It was exciting to recognize and apply the methods we had studied in class to the original pieces of art, which led to fascinating conversations about truth, goodness, and beauty. There is something so unique about seeing an original work of art in person; it is an encounter with the artist’s expression of the timeless qualities of human nature in a tangible way. Our time in Florence was filled with awe as our studies came alive for us through our encounters with some of the greatest works of art in Western Civilization.


Above and below: Class among the ruins with Professor Liz Lev.

Class in the Capitaline Museums.

In Florence.

The Duomo of Florence.

sam phillipsDirector's Cut

 with Sam Philips

        Director of Admissions

Leadership Opportunities Lead to Greatness

Some folks think that by going to a big university they’ll have a great chance to grow as a leader because there are so many things offered on campus and so many different clubs available in which to get involved. And while it might be true that large universities with city-sized student bodies might technically have more offerings than Christendom can possibly provide, there is a significant difference in the experience that students will have.

Sure, Christendom doesn’t have 5,000 clubs like a college with 30,000+ students might have, but despite our smaller size we do have a multitude of activities in which our students can get involved which will lead to their broadened worldview and give them a better perspective on life. In fact, we joke that if you tried to do everything available on campus you would fail out of your classes. The difference at Christendom is here students have the opportunity to be engaged in a variety of clubs and activities in a meaningful way. They can be active leaders, and not simply bystanders.  

Whether it be as captain of the rugby team, member of the Student Activities Counsel, lead in a Christendom Players’ dramatic production, Student Ambassador, student manager of Christendom’s Radio Club, intern on Capitol Hill, student memeber of the philanthropy board, Resident Assistant, class president, mission trip organizer, or leader of the Shield of Roses pro-life group, Christendom students have countless opportunities to stretch themselves and develop their leadership abilities in a wide range of areas.

Moreover, students can make contributions to the college by founding new programs and initiatives of their own. If there is a club or activity or you are interested in that is not currently offered, organize it!
When I was an undergraduate, several motivated classmates got together with an interested faculty member and founded a debate club known as the Chester-Belloc Debate Society. This fall semester, the debate club celebrated its 100th formal debate with more than 100 people in attendance for the historic event. This club exists and continues to thrive today because students, with faculty guidance, showed initiative and were able to try out their hand at creating, organizing, running, and promoting a new student enterprise. What a formative experience and phenomenal training for all those involved! It is hands-on experiences like that that best prepare college students to become leaders.

Both in and outside the classroom, Christendom is preparing its students to impact and be a leaven within society.

In the classroom, through the rigorous curriculum and through the close mentorship from the faculty, our students are prepared to be men and women of vision who are able to think critically and articulate their principles to others in a cogent and compelling manner.

At Christendom, both through the academic program and through extracurricular offerings we are preparing our students to be leaders in society, who will confidently work to fulfill Christendom’s mission of “restoring all things in Christ.” This robust education, grounded in the tradition of Western Civilization, prepares them to be men and women of vision.

At Christendom College, we are preparing tomorrow’s leaders here today!

God bless,
800.877.5456 ext 1290

P.S. There’s still time to apply for the December 1 Early Action Deadline. All necessary application items must be submitted by December 1 in order to qualify.


Issue 11/21/2014