It can seem daunting to those within the Anglican world to find a college or university which offers to form young people within the Tradition. As for myself, when it came time to pursue my undergrad, I opted to attend a Roman Catholic institution as it was the best I could find at the time. There simply was no Anglican alternative for someone like me. This is why it was such a joy to sit down with the Rev. Brian Foos and Dr. John Seel to talk about St. Andrew’s College Almanor – the first Anglican College founded in at least the last hundred years. They were gracious enough to provide some responses to my inquiries about this new institution founded in the REC / ACNA:
Just what is a “classical college”?
Many have heard the name but might not know exactly what that means.
A genuine classical college focuses its curriculum on the mastery of classical texts, which are taught with a classical pedagogy. A classical college is self-consciously traditional, basing its institutional routines on traditional forms and rituals. Ideally, it is the purest form of a liberal arts college and curriculum.
What makes St. Andrew’s an Anglican College?
St. Andrew’s is an Anglican college because its daily routine is shaped by the daily office (daily prayers) based on the Book of Common Prayer. It is Anglican because it honors the lives, writings, and heritage of the literary, musical, poetic, and spiritual greats of the English Church’s history, of course, with those of other traditions within the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. St. Andrew’s College offers an unapologetically traditional English education framed in prayer, grounded in the classics, and aimed at, and for, generous service to others. It is a college with the enchantment of Hogwarts, the appeal of Narnia, the wit of Chesterton, the music and poetry of Tallis and Donne, the mysticism of George Herbert, and the environmental consciousness of Patrick. Finally, it is Anglican because it teaches a traditional orthodox Anglican theology. St. Andrew’s honors the spiritual tradition of Western English Catholicism.
Why do we need a Classical Anglican College?
In America we celebrate writers such as C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and J.R.R. Tolkien. But we do not celebrate the kind of education that prepared and created these men intellectually and spiritually. St. Andrew’s College seeks to fill this gap self-consciously. The Anglican expression of Christianity is uniquely positioned to best understand the breadth of Christian historical development and evaluate the landscape of contemporary Christianity. Anglican tradition is arguably the richest and most beautiful in the world, and it is a worthy basis of spiritual formation for the next generation.
Is St. Andrew’s accredited?
St Andrew’s has partnered with the University of Saint Katherine (San Diego) to offer a new bachelor’s degree to our students. The degree will be accredited through USK which is WASC-accredited. In the meantime, USK is certifying our courses through a dual enrollment agreement.
How does any of this make St. Andrew’s different from other schools?
St. Andrew’s College is different because it is consciously counter-cultural. It celebrates a Medieval frame of reality. It is antiquarian in vision and sacramental in worldview. C.S. Lewis spoke of himself as “a dinosaur.” St. Andrew’s joins him gladly in that affirmation.
What kind of student would do well at St. Andrews College?
A person who wants to take ownership of his own thinking and life direction. A person who is humble enough to learn from the past. A person who is curious about her place in the larger redemptive story as it is unfolding in her own history. A person who is haunted by a deeper longing for an encounter with God and His church. A person who aspires to make a difference in the world. A person who is conscious of the excessive costs of a higher education degree and doesn’t want to be treated as a number or bottom line. A person who longs for a boutique education in a beautiful place that provides personalized attention around enduring texts that aspire one to seek the good, true, and beautiful.
What would the daily schedule of a prospective student look like?
Oratio, Studium, Labor: Prayer, Study, Work. The motto of the college describes the college’s daily life. We start and end with prayer, we put much effort into our academics, and we serve and work through the College’s Service Club and in its small cottage industries, helping to raise money for the school’s mission.
What kind of students are you looking for?
We are looking for students who are serious about not wasting their college years on an overpriced impersonal progressive politically correct education. We want students who are animated by having a grasp on the meaning of life, have a deep desire for spiritual enchantment, and want to be launched into their life empowered by a coherent sense of calling and direction. We are looking for students who want to hang out with other people like this who want to make a difference in the world in their generation for Christ.
What would you like students to know about the school?
This is a college that will cause you to level up. Here you cannot hide. Here you will be challenged to be your best. Here you will be exposed to the greatest ideas and writings of all time and be equipped to make them your own. Here you will become smart, compassionate, and driven. Here, you will partner with the faculty and staff to explore the meaning of life and to work out that meaning personally. This is not an education for everyone. This is an education for special forces in kingdom service. It is only for those who aspire to greatness through becoming a servant leader to others. In short, this is an elite education now made affordable for everyone.
What would you like parents to know about the school?
St. Andrew’s College provides a real financial value for a life transforming education provided in a highly personalized beautiful setting grounded in liturgical corporate worship. Your son or daughter will be challenged to deal with reality and to understand what they think and believe about reality, and why they think and believe the way they do.
What would you like students and parents to know about you?
We are a faculty that are passionately serious about the value of rigorous classical Christian education as the best means of equipping the coming generation for the challenges of advanced modernity. We are not interested in information transfer but in life transformation. To that end, we are committed to the whole person in each of our students. It is our personal aspiration to help them understand what it means to flourish, so that when they graduate, they will do so for the rest of their lives.
Contact the school for an application: