As a reprieve from the week’s dour take on education, please allow me to wish those on the old calendar a joyous liturgical new year! To celebrate the day and to keep with the academic theme of the week, I would like to present the Orthodox Christian School Association. Its directory of schools is the most comprehensive one that I have seen, though I do not know if all the linked school have affiliated with the organization.
As one would expect, there are fewer Orthodox institutions of higher education. To my knowledge, there are only two colleges—Hellenic College in Brookline, Massachusetts and the newly formed Saint Katherine College in Encinitas, California. Rose Hill College existed in Aiken, South Carolina for a few years. Its dean, James Cutsinger, offers an account of the college’s short life: “The Once and Future College: Rose Hill in Theory and Practice.” I also had friends who were involved in organizing an Orthodox great books college in northern Virginia, though, like Rose Hill, a shortage of funds led to the project’s demise.
I wonder why there are so few Orthodox schools in the country. Were Orthodox immigrants content to send their children to the already established Roman Catholic schools? Were they too poor in the beginning to create an Orthodox school system? Of course, the masses of Roman Catholic immigrants did not have riches, either, but they did have legions of consecrated religious men and women who were willing to work as voluntary slaves in the Roman institutions of the country. The Orthodox Church does not have religious orders, and the lack of Orthodox charities not connected with a parish is the result. Only since the cultural revolution of the 1960’s have Orthodox Christians decided to build their own schools. I expect that this process will continue, though the small, dispersed population of Orthodox Christians in America presents obvious obstacles to school formation. May their efforts be strengthened!