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Home > Campus Gears Up for Semester’s Faith & Reason Lecture

Campus Gears Up for Semester’s Faith & Reason Lecture

September 12th, 2007

By Sarah Pride

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 338-8727


Charles T. Evans
Charles T. Evans,
guest lecturer

On September 18, the entire PHC community will take a break from its regular daily activities and gather to hear author Charles T. Evans deliver the biannual Faith and Reason Lecture. This semester’s lecture will build upon a semester-long discussion of Evans’ book, Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning, during which faculty and students have wrestled to clarify the purpose and distinctive qualities of classical Christian higher education.


Since the start of Fall classes, faculty and students have met each Tuesday in “Christian Study Groups” to discuss Evans and Robert Littlejohn’s book. In Tuesday’s lecture,  Evans will build on this ongoing discussion through Appendix B of his book, which provides a historical framework for the liberal arts.

“Appendix B describes the evolution of the liberal arts,” he says. “They are a fluid thing, not static. Some people argue that the liberal arts were great for historic eras. Then these people ask, what do they have to do with our information-saturated, technological, modern period?”
Evans says he intends to shed light on these questions in his lecture. Meanwhile, PHC’s Academic Provost, Dr. Gene Edward Veith, says the campus-wide conversation has already yielded exciting results.

“We’re going to be very prepared for the faith and reason lecture,” he enthuses. “I’ll be intrigued to see the questions that students are able to pose.”

Students are also generally positive about the study groups and their subject matter, even though some say they miss the old Tuesday small groups.

“It feels like a CLA class,” shares junior Parker Broaddus. “I really appreciated getting to have more of a Bible study with professors before.”

Even so, most students say they find the new groups useful and challenging.

“I love the study groups,” says freshman Robert Saunders. “I’ve found them intellectually and spiritually enriching. The discussions are well-organized and beneficial.”

Junior Ryan Akers agrees: “I think the Christian Study Groups are fantastic. If I could quantify it, I would say that they force us out of our comfort zones by being randomly assigned, they give professors the opportunity to ask students for their feedback and opinions on the mission of PHC generally, and they provide a measure of unity as all of us are discussing the same material.”

Following Tuesday’s Faith and Reason Lecture, students and faculty will continue to progress through Evans’ book, Wisdom and Eloquence. Toward the end of the semester, the campus community will conclude its study by delving into the College’s Philosophy of Education document. Altogether, this should place all members of the Patrick Henry community literally on the same page as they press forward now, during the project of formal education, as well as afterwards, during their Christian walks.

Tuesday’s schedule of events is as follows:

10:30 -11:30           Lecture in Town Hall
11:30-1:30             Lunch
1:30-2:30               Discussion Groups
2:30-3:00               Break
3:00-4:30               Town Hall Panel Discussion (Charles Evans, Provost Dr. Veith, Dr. Mark Mitchell)