Oktoberfest! Prost!


Name: Maria Bonvissuto
Nashville, Tennessee
Hobbies: G
uitar, running, theater, writing.
What is your favorite class or professor?
My favorite professor would probably have to be Prof. Mark Wunsch, because he's a very engaging teacher who also really takes the time to get to know his students. Before coming to Christendom I was dreading having to take philosophy, but Prof. Wunsch made it such an enjoyable experience that by the end of the year I loved it, and I learned a lot!
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I'm a member of the Christendom Players, a student Ambassador, a staff writer for The Rambler, and I also work for Christendom's online newsletter, The Chronicler. Last year I played intramural volleyball and I hope to do it again. The extra-curricular activities at Christendom have really allowed me to branch out, try fun things that I never would have done at home, and especially to meet new people and form some amazing friendships.
Why did you choose Christendom? I chose Christendom because it provides an incredible environment for me to pursue my passion in the humanities in an environment where I could grow in my faith and be supported by peers who believe the same things that I do.
What surprises you the most about Christendom? The fun variety of people here and the fact that the majority of them take their faith very seriously. It's very inspiring to me.
What are your plans after graduation?
I'd like to either go to grad school for journalism or get into the book publishing/editing business. It's still a way off though, so things could change!
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Get involved and take advantage of all the great spiritual, academic and social opportunities that Christendom offers. The college years are some of the best years of your life, so live them to the full!


Fireside Chat with Professor

Last Wednesday evening, Philosophy Professors Mike Brown and John Cuddeback hosted the first “Fireside Chat” of the semester in St. Catherine’s “Glade.” “Fireside Chats” is a reinstated program that hopes to bring students together around a campfire through song and conversation. Conversations pertain to a particular theme for the semester and are led by a faculty member, who gives a short reflection about some aspect of the Christian life.

This semester’s theme is on mercy, and Dr. Cuddeback kicked off the conversation on Wednesday with a discussion of “looking for mercy in the right places.” Mr. Brown and Dr. Cuddeback led students in several fun folk and Irish songs, and the Student Activities Council provided s’mores for everyone.

“I thought it was so awesome that over fifty students came to the bonfire to sing and listen to Dr. Cuddeback,” says Sophomore Peter Romanchuk. “My favorite part of the night was when everyone joined in singing ‘Irish Rover.’”

Dr. Jenislawski and Mrs. Stanford will be giving the reflections at the next two “Fireside Chats” this semester.

Students gather 'round the fire for conversation and s'mores.

Giving Blood

Last Thursday, Christendom College's Blood Drive Committee held its annual blood drive in the Crusader Gymnasium. Sponsored by The Red Cross, students, faculty, and residents of Front Royal, came to the campus to give donations.

“It was great to see everyone come and willingly donate. This was the first blood drive of the year and I am very happy about the turnout,” said Faith Leopold, the head of the committee.

In the United States, alone, there is constantly a need for blood donations, meaning that each drive held helps those in need daily. One donation saves three lives!

Faith Leopold with Sophomore Peter Deucher—ready to give blood.

A Friday Folk Festival

As dusk settled over campus Friday evening, the lawn behind Regina Coeli lit up with music and games galore at Christendom’s first Folk Festival. Student performers provided live entertainment for their peers, playing on an impromptu stage consisting of Coeli’s back porch. The audience enjoyed listening to a wide variety of music, with everything from folk music to pop songs to country and even a few original songs being played by students from all grades.

For sophomore Andre Moreau, one of the best parts of the event was the festive atmosphere. “I felt as if I was at a county fair from the funnel cakes to the folk country music,” he said.

When students weren’t listening to the constant music, attendees challenged each other to rounds of corn-hole and Bocce Ball or socialized around one of several fire pits set out for the occasion. The gazebo in the center of the Quad was festooned with lights and served as a concession stand where students lined up all night to enjoy refreshments such as root beer, freshly grilled burgers and hot dogs, and especially the handmade funnel cakes.

Junior Chris Ferrara plays guitar for the crowd.

Students crowd the Gazebo for fresh fair-style food.

Students chill on the lawn behind Regina Coeli Hall as they enjoy the music.

Freshman Madeleine Deighan, Seniors Katie Wunderlich and Peter Spiering and Sophomore Roseanne Spiering chat around the fire.

Sophomores Nancy Feuerborn and Bernadette Sartor and senior John McWhirter enjoy a game of corn-hole.

Senior Nate Collins performs at the festival.

Walk for Life

On Saturday, Christendom College's pro-life student club, Shield of Roses, participated in the local Crisis Pregnancy Center's "Walk for Life" fundraiser in Front Royal, Va. More than 50 students and professors joined in the walk with over four hundred participants. Students touted pro-life shirts and led the walk with songs and high spirits.

"I am really impressed at the number of students who came out for the walk," sophomore Mark Turner says. "It is an important witness to America, especially with the elections coming up so soon."

Turner is a member of the College's varsity soccer team, which participated in the walk as a team. The Walk for Life raised money for an ultrasound machine for the Pregnancy Center—a much-needed addition that will help the clinic reach out with greater impact to women in the local Front Royal area.

Crusader Soccer players walk for life.

College professor Dr. Andrew Beer walks with his son during the event.

Kings Dominion

On Sunday, a group of about 30 students left the College early in the morning to first attend Mass in the town of Front Royal and then headed south to enjoy a day at the amusement park King’s Dominion. Once the van’s arrived at the park, students naturally separated and went off to enjoy the beautifully sunny day on all of the attractions.

“It was great to be able to leave campus and enjoy a fun time with friends. Who doesn’t love roller-coasters?” said Freshman Elise Litterio.

Luckily, the rain held off and the day filled with roller coaster thrills and delicious park food, was an enjoyable one.

Sophomores Angela Wimmer, Alexis Witiak, Karolyn Pondo, and Rebecca Neltner enjoy some ice cream at the end of a long day.

Freshman Suzy Curran and Anne Fox get ready to ride the Drop Tower.

A group of Christendom students brave the roller-coasters!

Tickling the Ivories

On Saturday, against a backdrop of twinkling lights and a rapt audience, student pianists gave a magnificent concert at Christendom’s annual Piano Night. The semi-formal event took place in the Commons, which was decorated in a timelessly elegant style for the occasion.

“It was a really classy, elegant event,” said senior Rachel Milani. “Everything looked great.”

Senior Matt Camp started off the event by giving a short introduction and presenting the first musician. From Debussy to movie scores, the performers played their hearts out, giving an impressive show of talent. Highlights of the evening included variations on the tune “Mary Had a Little Lamb” by Sean Connelly and a comical duet by Seniors Rachel Kujawa and Matt Camp. The show was split into two halves by a brief intermission, during which the audience and pianists mingled and partook of an amazing spread of sparkling cider, cheese and crackers, and chocolates. Attendees all enjoyed the experience of attending such an upscale event and hearing the work of their talented peers.

Junior Tim Johnston plays a piece.

Junior Sean Connelly wows the crowd with his witty rendition of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Students help themselves to some of the delicious fare during intermission.


Christendom College’s annual Oktoberfest celebration took place this Monday evening, on October 1, in the St. Lawrence Commons. There was a feast of German food, including hot pretzels, pork schnitzel, bratwurst, and sauerkraut, as well as German beer for those 21 and over. English Professor Dr. Robert Rice led a group of students in singing the Bavarian National Anthem to begin the night. Many students, faculty, and staff members proudly wore traditional German dirndls and lederhosen to show off their German heritage.

“I had so much fun dressing up for Oktoberfest this year and getting into the German spirit,” says Senior Sarah Barren. “It’s awesome that Christendom celebrates so many different cultures throughout the year.”

The night came to a conclusion with a mix of polka and contra-style dancing, which is always a favorite part of the night for students and for children of the faculty members.

There is always some singing in German at Oktoberfest.

Dr. Rice leads everyone in the signing of the Bavarian national anthem.

Members of the Student Activities Council raise a glass to Dr. Rice who celebrated his last Oktoberfest as a professor at Christendom.

The commons was decorated with the colors of Germany and Bavaria.

Students enjoy a little contra dancing following the feasting.

Corn Hole Christendom Style

IIn order to raise funds for this year's senior class gift, students have gotten creative with a raffle that will be launched this weekend during Homecoming. The prizes include three custom Christendom Corn Hole sets and a pair of VIP/Backstage passes to see Scythian perform live at 9:30 Club.

Sean LaRochelle built the custom Corn Hole sets and was assisted by Julie Wells, Bernadette Sartor, as well as, Angelica and Maria Cintorino with the painting and design. If you're interested in participating in the raffle contact senior class president David Townsend at [email protected]

College president Dr. Timothy O'Donnell signs one of the sets as David Townsend and Sean LaRochelle look on.


A Day in My Life: Part I

The Academic side of Christendom’s semester in Rome is composed of two variations of class days. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are Art and Architecture Lectures and Tours, while Tuesday and Thursday are “in the classroom” classes. Though every day in Rome is a little varied (the city offers many different adventures) a typical Tuesday/Thursday would be:

6:00 – Alarm goes off for an early morning jog
There are obviously many places to run in Rome–along the Tiber, in the city parks, even to the Coliseum–but running around the Vatican is a must. How often can you brag about running laps around an entire country?!

7:00 – Morning Mass in Saint Peter’s
As the Vatican is a few minutes walking distance from Residence Candia, the only thing slowing you down would be your morning shower. Mass is offered by the college later in the day, but there’s no better way to start the day than celebrating Mass in the heart of Christendom.

8:00 – Breakfast: the other best part of the morning
Some prepare food in the apartment kitchens at Residence Candia. Others, if running late, grab a cappuccino and breakfast pastry on the way to class. Good luck choosing from the numerous delicious looking croissants, muffins, and rolls!

9:00 – Announcements at the Instituto Maria SS Bambina (the convent that hosts the classes)
The Rome director, Miss Ott, runs through important information for the week–when and where the next tour will be; travel plans for the upcoming weekend; sometimes relative, local politics (recently Italian workers went on strike, canceling our museum tour for the day).

9:30 – Roman Perspectives
The first class of the morning and one of the best. Reading classics like Livy’s The Rise of Rome while in Rome makes homework pretty fun. Take the book, ride the bus or metro to a random place in the city and experience history on site.

11:30 – Mass with Christendom
Fr. Bergida celebrates Mass at the Instituto chapel, in the same building as classes. Having Mass in English is a nice break after the usual Italian. It also gives students an opportunity to altar serve, lector, or sing in the choir during Mass.

12:00 – Pranzo (lunch)
This is at the Terminal, a metro/train station near the Instituto where we eat lunch together in the cafeteria between Tuesday/Thursday classes.

13:30–17:20 – Moral Theology (offered the fall semester) followed by Elementary Italian

17:20 – Free time!
After classes finish, gelato is a nice reward.
Old Bridge Gelateria, conveniently located on the walk back to Candia, is a favorite with the girls… if you’re friendly enough with the gelato boys, you get extra ice-cream!

Evenings hold a host of opportunities. For dinner, eating in Candia is the best way to save money with the bonus of showing off culinary talent. Sometimes different rooms in the dorm will host other rooms for meals. There’s also the option of packing picnics or buying food (mini pizza!) and enjoying the meal out in Rome at a piazza, park, or historical monument. Add wine, and it's dining as a local. Once a week, all the students gather on the terrace roof of Candia for a potluck. At the Front Royal campus, when dining is always together, its easy to underestimate the pleasure and community formed through shared meals. After dining in small groups throughout the week, the potluck is always a hit.

Following dinner, the wise student spends the rest of the evening doing homework. The rest go explore the city at night, maybe busking in piazzas. Others relax in the dorms, perhaps making plans for an upcoming travel weekend. However the evening ends, the next day is sure to hold as many exciting adventures and opportunities…. so sleep is a good investment of time.

Students enjoy a morning cappucino.

Students march through St. Peter's Square on their way to class.

Enjoying lunch at the Terminal Cafeteria.

Italian lessons with Prof. Benzaia.

Gelato-fest at Old Bridge Gelateria.

Students share a meal at Residence Candia.

Hard to beat a view of St. Peter's in the evening.

Importance of Visiting Campus

The college decision process can be a daunting task. Despite a lot of research, students applying to Christendom still might be left wondering if it’s the best fit for them. The only way to be truly sure of this is a campus visit. Thanks to a variety of options offered by Christendom’s Admissions Department, it’s easy for anyone to experience what it’s like to be a student here.

Prospective students can come on a designated Visit Weekend during which they stay with a student ambassador, sit in on classes and meet the faculty, enjoy meals in the Commons, and take part in all the social events taking place at Christendom that weekend. Visitors can also just tour the college for a day. Additionally, our Open House held in October (Columbus Day) allows the entire family to see what Christendom has to offer.

Freshman Maryann Riccardi was deeply influenced by her visit to Christendom.

“It is important for prospective students to visit Christendom before deciding to go here because it is so utterly different from other schools," she says. "Every experience, from classrooms, school events, or just spending quality time with friends is so unlike other schools. I would greatly recommend visiting Christendom—you will not regret the experience.”

Another slice of Christendom life can be found at the Experience Christendom Summer Program held for rising high school seniors. These popular weeklong sessions allow prospective students to get an up close and personal view into what it’s like to be a student at Christendom. In the case of Sophomore Stephen Hyland, the Summer Program was a deciding factor in his decision to attend Christendom.

“I first came to Christendom during the summer program of 2010,” he says. “I was skeptical at first, but by the time I got settled in, I was very glad I came. The classroom sessions at the summer program were highly engaging. There were several professors teaching core subjects that gave me a glimpse of the actual college experience. Also, I made many new friends over the course of just one week, most of which are in my class today.”

Whether it’s a few hours or seven days, every moment spent on campus counts in the college decision—so come visit and experience for yourself what Christendom is all about.


Volleyball Victories

When sophomore Julie McMahon stepped to the line to serve with game point on the line, there was little doubt in the Crusader Gym what would happen next as McMahon successfully completed the three set sweep over Trinity University with an ace.

This dominating victory over Trinity came fresh off Monday’s resounding win against Appalachian Bible. On Monday, the Lady Crusaders took three of four sets to win the five set match. Another McMahon sister, this time freshman Bridget McMahon, starred in the Monday night game.

“Bridget McMahon had a great game and was huge at the net,” volleyball coach Josh Petersen said after the game.

The always consistent, and team leader in kills, junior Bridget Vander Woude put in another solid performance, complimented by fellow Captain Anna Harris. Harris, coming off a strained LCL, gave a superb performance en route to the Crusader victory.

The victory over Trinity on Tuesday had special importance for the team since the last time the two teams met it took five sets to decide the winner. The Christendom team won the match, but with Trinity coming to “our house” the Lady Crusaders vowed the result would be swifter!

"Tonight everyone played a key part in the victory," sophomore Gabbi Muskett said. "We all played our absolute best.”

The Lady Crusaders got off to a fast start, taking the first set 25-13. In the second set things got tighter, but once again the Crusaders would pull out the 26-24 victory. In the third—and what would prove to be the final set—the Crusaders pulled away to a 25-11 win capped off by the McMahon ace.

With their record standing at 6-7 with three matches to go, the Lady Crusaders take to the hardwood once again tonight at 7pm as they play host to Penn State Mont Alto and then Davis College on Saturday at noon. The next three home games will be the last games for seniors Anna Harris, Lisa Hill, Bridget Lademan, Katie Wunderlich and Theresa Jalsevac.

Team Captian Gabbi Muskett serves the ball.

Julie McMahon sends the ball over the net for another Crusader point.

Q. I was looking through your list of majors on your website and was interested to see that all the ones I am looking for you do not have. I had been thinking of applying to Christendom, but now that I see the lack of majors, I am not so sure. Are you going to add any more soon because I really want to be able to get a job when I graduate.

A. If one of your goals of a college education is to find gainful employment post graduation, well, Christendom meets that goal. If one of your goals is to study a very narrow and specific subject area and then major in it, such as advertising, accounting, education, or communications, then we do not meet that goal. But, you can still get jobs in advertising, accounting, education, and communications with a degree from Christendom, if you want.

Christendom grads are employed in just about every field possible. We have alumni who have degrees in philosophy who are financial analysts and teachers. We have alumni with history degrees who are marketing professionals and officers in the military. Theology majors are now electrical engineers and computer software programmers. We have alumni who are doctors, lawyers, physical therapists, accountants, managers, nurses, educators, salesmen, graphic artists, editors, entrepreneurs, project managers, tradesmen, builders, carpenters, priests, religious, music teachers, art directors, drama teachers, missionaries, real estate agents, insurance salesmen, architects, dentists, college professors, Montessori teachers, computer scientists, and everything in between.

Additionally, Christendom has a full-time Director of Career Development, Mr. Mike Mochel, and he is very helpful to our students as they discern their career choices throughout their years at Christendom. His focus is on helping students figure out what types of employment they might enjoy, which grad schools they might wish to attend, and helping them be prepared for their jobs by aiding them with interview skills and resume writing. His office is located in our Student Center and his door is always open. Here is a link to our Career Services page on our website.

The liberal arts education that Christendom offers is good and useful in and of itself, but it also makes our graduates very employable. Our graduates are easily able to adapt to an ever-changing work environment and they have all the most sought-after skills, as evidenced by the following information:
  • Liberal arts students advance more quickly to middle and senior management positions than their colleagues who pursued other fields of study . . . these graduates become employees that are ready to learn (AT&T Management Study).
  • The liberal arts are more effective in teaching communication skills, general knowledge and information, an understanding of people, an appreciation of ethical concerns, an ability to organize and prioritize, and vital leadership skills (Fortune 500 study).
  • Business leaders value liberal arts grads for their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, strong writing and speaking skills, self-discipline, exposure to diverse ideas, and global perspective (Hobart & William Smith Colleges study).
  • Strong communications skills are the single most important attribute a candidate can have – and also the one most lacking among job applicants (Poll of hiring managers by the National Association of Colleges and Employers).
  • A broad liberal arts education is preferred for future CEOs – blending knowledge of history, culture, philosophy, and economic policy, with international experience and problem-solving skills (The Wall Street Journal).
  • Employers focus on finding graduates with the right skills rather than the right major, as a new employee with the right skills can easily learn the specifics of an industry. Employers desire transferable skills, skills employees take with them to any job, such as written and verbal communication skills, the ability to solve complex problems, to work well with others, and to adapt in a changing workplace–and these are characteristic of a liberal arts education (Survey by National Association of Colleges and Employers).
So, as a result of all of this, the short answer to your question about whether we are going to add a whole bunch of majors or not is “no.” But, as you can see from some of the facts stated above, there is no real need to add all those majors in order to get a decent job after graduation. What is important is that you become educated while in college, not trained, so that you can be adaptable and more able to work in a wide variety of fields.

So, please do not stop thinking about us and definitely don’t write us off because of the majors we offer.
Apply online today!
Director of Admissions
[email protected]
800.877.5456 ext. 1290

If anyone has questions about applying, visiting, scholarships, financial aid, campus life, rules and regulations, majors, core curriculum, transfer credits, or even about the food here at Christendom, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.