Patrick Henry College

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Patrick Henry College
Patrick Henry College.jpg
City: Purcellville, Virginia
Type: Private
Students: 311[1]
Faculty: 20[1]
Sports: basketball, soccer
Colors: blue, gold
Mascot: Sentinel

Patrick Henry College (PHC), named for the Founding Father who immortalized the phrase, "give me liberty, or give me death," is an institution of higher learning founded by conservative Christian constitutional lawyer Mike Farris, with the intention of creating a prestigious college to prepare evangelical homeschooled students for public service. The school is committed to Christian values and morality, which permeate academic and social aspects of campus life, and Farris' students often describe the school as "Harvard for Homeschoolers."

Patrick Henry College is a 4-year institution located in Purcellville, Virgina, only a few miles from the West Virgina border and just south of Harper's Ferry, WV. Washington, D.C. is 43 miles away as the crow flies and about 55 miles by road.

Patrick Henry College requires a specific statement of faith from its students and its faculty. In 2006, several faculty members resigned in conflict over the statement, but their positions were quickly filled by others.

Patrick Henry College is often the top-ranked college in the country in debate competitions, and has defeated the best debate team from England also.[Citation Needed]

Political Mission and Connections

The Home School Legal Defense Association helped support the founding of this college

Farris founded PHC with the explicit goal of training the next generation of constitutional lawyers, politicians, and, hopefully, presidential candidates. PHC focuses on educating students for life in Washington, by teaching electoral strategy, encouraging participation in presidential campaigns, and facilitating a proactive belief in the ability of the individual to change America for the better. In its short history, the college has succeeded wildly at this goal. Facilitated by a strong network of supporters in the offices of Christian congressmen and Senators, as well as a reputation for producing qualified and diligent students, PHC places students at internships and post-graduation jobs on Capitol Hill at a rate out of proportion with its small size and short history.

Curriculum & Culture

Foundational courses at PHC include Latin, Geometry, classical history (analyzed from a Christian perspective) and other basic elements of a classical education. Biology classes at PHC teach creationism. Mike Farris specifically chose this curriculum for its resemblance to the curriculum of the Founding Fathers.

Students choosing to attend PHC often select it for its values, coupled with an atmosphere that strives to be less restrictive than other Christian universities, like Bob Jones University, while still maintaining a commitment to purity of spirit. Overwhelmingly, students also choose PHC for its political connections. Socially, PHC maintains Christian morality by a strict moral code.

The school is also known for its strong debate program.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Facts About PHC. Retrieved on Setp. 17, 2020.
  • God's Harvard, by Hanna Rosin, available at Please note that the author herself is a liberal, and she writes with some amount of liberal bias.