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Patrick Henry College

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Patrick Henry College a.k.a. "God's Harvard"[1] is a college in Purcellville, Virginia, which caters to Christians, especially those who have been homeschooled. The college teaches that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, and creationism is taught as literal fact. Michael Farris, the founder and chancellor of the college, stated on the Colbert Report that if a student was to write "Goddidit" on a biology test, that would be a correct answer.[1] Students may not drink alcohol, smoke or mess with the opposite sex outside marriage during term time on or off campus; when inappropriate sex happens the girl is considered a temptress and the boy excused.[2]

The college is one of the biggest supporters of Bible Bees.


Patrick Henry College is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a creationist accreditation authority, to offer Bachelors degrees.[3]

The college requires incoming students and faculty and staff to sign a "Statement of Faith." which includes such gems as "Satan exists as a personal, malevolent being who acts as tempter and accuser, for whom Hell, the place of eternal punishment, was prepared, where all who die outside of Christ shall be confined in conscious torment for eternity."[4]

The college also requires all trustees, administrators, and faculty to "attest" to a further statement, called the "Statement of Biblical Worldview," which can be roughly summarized as:

One of the purposes of Patrick Henry College is to train committed Christians for government posts,[6] and many graduates of the College found positions in the Bush administration.[7][8][9][10] The UK based Wilberforce Academy jointly set up by the Alliance Defense Fund (US based) and the Christian Legal Centre (UK based) has a similar purpose.


Mass resignation of professors, heretics, etc.[edit]

In 2006, five professors at Patrick Henry College, who at the time constituted an entire third of the faculty, resigned from the institution, alluding to the rather obvious fact that academic freedom is badly proscribed there. One of their complaints concerned the firing of a library clerk for heresy, viz., for believing in baptismal regeneration along with all Eastern Christians, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and Anglicans.[11] One of the resigning professors, David Noe, a minister of the fundamentalist Orthodox Presbyterian Church, was under fire for writing an article containing the blasphemous suggestion that any books besides the Bible possessed any truthful or otherwise useful content.[6][12]

Sexual assault and rape[edit]

There are accusations that Patrick Henry College does too little to protect women students from sexual assault and engages in victim-blaming when it happens. The prevailing mood is that bodies are corrupting and the onus is on women to avoid tempting the men. One former student wrote:

They basically at no point accounted for sexual assault/rape etc (cases where girls’ ‘purity’ was taken from them) and left many girls who’d been victims in the past feeling ashamed.

One student, Claire Spear claimed that a man made serious sexual contact without asking her permission first; she was found lying in grass crying and saying she'd been violated. Her accusation was overlooked and the college disciplinary system was more concerned that she had been drinking alcohol. Another female student fell asleep after a party and woke with a man assaulting her.

The administration encouraged me to not go to the police and said that, because alcohol was involved and I was violating the rules there, they hinted that I could be expelled if I brought light to the incident, the focus was the alcohol. I drank. I sinned. I deserved to be assaulted in the middle of the night.

When an anonymous woman reported that a male student sent threats that included an email claiming he " wanted to forcibly take my virginity," the dean told the woman

The choices you make and the people you choose to associate with, the way you try to portray yourself, will affect how people treat you.

In later meetings she was told to consider how the clothing she wore put certain "ideas ... in men’s minds." The dean would not consider asking security to guard her against the threatening man.[2]

Forced resignation of President Walker[edit]

On October 15th, 2014, the immediate resignation of college president Dr. Graham Walker was announced at a surprise all-campus meeting. Walker was ousted by the Board of Trustees along with the help of the independently-run Alumni Association. The college has refused to announce the reasons for the sudden departure, but it appears that for several months the Board had been struggling to gain Walker's cooperation with an independent investigation regarding sexual assault allegations, as well as the future of growth and accreditation for the college.[13][14]

External Links[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Colbert Report, October 21 2008
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kiera Feldman, Sexual Assault at God's Harvard. The New Republic, 7 February 2014.
  3. Patrick Henry College is accredited at the "Category II" level, for institutions offering Bachelors degrees, per the TRACS Accreditation Manual. See also TRACS Members. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  4. Statement of Faith at Patrick Henry College.
  5. Statement of Biblical Worldview (Attested to by all trustees, administrators, and faculty) at Patrick Henry College.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Faculty leave Patrick Henry College because of severe limits on academic freedom., 25 May 2006.
  7. Lorelei Jackson And Mauricio Rosas, Patrick Henry Christian College Could It Be A Front For An Extremist Madrasa? Archived from the original at, 12 May 2004. The article was reposted on Free Republic so wingnuts can show proper outrage).
  8. Mauricio Rosas and Lorelei Jackson, Patrick Henry College: Is it a breeding ground for the Christian Republican Reich?, 1 December 2004.
  9. American Madrasas: Inside the Stepford Republiban Factory, Daily Kos, 2005.
  10. German reporter goes underground at Fundamentalist Christian Madrassa Patrick Henry College. The Greanville Post, November 23, 2012. (Excerpts from a story in Die Zeit entitled Die Elite-Uni für Amerikas religiöse Fundamentalisten).
  11. Michael Alison Chandler, 5 Professors Quit Religious School. The Washington Post, 19 May 2006.
  12. Sheryl Henderson Blunt, Shakeup at Patrick Henry College. Christianity Today, 15 May 2006.
  13. Kiera Feldman, Why Did the Ultra-Religious, Anti-Gay President of "God's Harvard" Suddenly Resign? The New Republic, 30 October 2014.
  14. Morgan Lee, Patrick Henry College President Resigns Amid Board Disagreement. Christianity Today, 16 October 2014.