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Wisdom in God’s Country

I’ve been following James Rawles’ Survival Blog (senior editor is now HJL) and Patrice Lewis’ Rural Revolution’s blog recently in their discussion on higher education. Patrice has posted a couple of articles but the most insightful was titled Getting a Real Education. It discuss the serious cost of higher education and what true value it provides. She points out to a Bloomberg article title College Costs Surge 500% in U.S. Since 1985: Chart of the Day that the cost of a higher education has grown over 500%. She also quotes a Survival Blog posting Getting A Real Education– Why Becoming Self-Sufficient Is Better Than Going To College. I also think it is pretty interesting. However with these two articles in mind, I would like to introduce you to a potential third way. And the best thing? This new unique educational opportunity is available only in the American Redoubt.

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The good. Wyoming Catholic College is a new college that was created in Wyoming in 2007. It is currently a small school, slightly over 100 student body.  As the sixth academic year at WCC begins, the College reports an enrollment of 124 students, including 38 freshmen. However it is a very, very unique approach to higher education. It is the only college I know of combining a Christian focused college life, an education in outdoor survival and a classic Liberal Arts education.  Did I mention deep in the American Redoubt? Listen to the President of Wyoming Catholic College, Kevin Roberts, Ph.D. speak, he talks about “…here deep in Wyoming where 99% or more of the world’s population is not paying attention, we are doing everything for the glory of God…” Dr. Roberts goes on to say “..Three very distinguishing characteristics, first everything is done because of our Love for Jesus Christ, second we do not want to sit on our hands, and the third thing is to help redeem the American Republic.” What an absolute blessing. Thus I would suggest this is a great attempt to address the issue of both learning real skills that may be very, very useful, and gaining a classic education deep in one of the most remote parts of America.

Add to that small touches like there are no cell phones allowed on the entire campus, no public Internet except for research performed on the computers in the library and the fact that all students can and are encouraged to own guns?  This college sounds like what we would build, if we could build a college.  The fact that WCC encourages its students to unplug and give themselves time to think and grow has been covered a lot by the progressive media.  They are of course shocked by the simple notion that you would teach young adults you can unplug. YahooNews,The Malaysia Sun and Fox Philadelphia.WCCbansCellPhone0From Fr. John Zuhlsdorf which has promoted Wyoming Catholic College on his blog.  Actually this is where I found out about WCC (h/t Father Z).   “From time to time I have mentioned Wyoming Catholic College, which trains students in a modified form of the Trivium and Quadrivium, and makes sure they know their Latin, have the TLM, and how to take care of a horse.”  Father Z has covered Wyoming Catholic College for years, as well as several other places on the Catholic-blog-o-sphere.  He visited WCC here in 2010 and provides his impression in his post simply titled Wyoming Catholic College.

WCC0The College is not yet eligible for federally-sponsored loans (i.e., Title IV programs such as Parent PLUS Loans). I actually think this is a good thing. If the college could find a way to keep itself free of the federal government it would have more freedom to remain Christ focused. I believe the College understand this with their recent loss in fighting Obama’s HHS Abortion mandate.  Last month, WCC President Kevin Roberts stated, “this College will not and cannot accept an unjust law that violates our first freedom, for practicing that freedom is the very reason that Wyoming Catholic College exists.  Once the College accepts the 13 pieces of Silver from the baby sacrificing, sodomy promoting government the evil will have a direct path into this school.  I would encourage them to follow the Heritage method and accept absolutely no funds from the government and remain free. Anyway, they share methods of receiving financial aid, and help on getting loans for education directly from banks.

Wyoming Catholic College is heavily involved in maintaining traditional American culture and its Christian, Western Civilization roots.  Currently the college is involved in giving a series of Liberty lectures all over various states in the American Redoubt.

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The bad. Nothing is perfect so here are the things that I have found that is challenging. First this is a small college that has not broken ground on its permanent building. It currently uses the Catholic Church and accompanying facilities in Lander, Wyoming as an interim campus.  Here is an article going over Bishop David Ricken, a founder of the Wyoming Catholic College, blessing the Broken Anvil Ranch. And I found this link which goes over what the future campus will look like.  WCC has an ongoing 180M campaign to build the campus, so for all you mulch-millionaries who read my blog all the time, pull out the check books.  And while you are at it …  No seriously you can provide a small ongoing donation here.    The ranch will eventually be the site of the college’s campus. Another thing is it only has one degree path, Classic Liberal Arts.  I understand their focus on building the person, but degrees normally pay themselves back in increased earning capability over the lifetime of the student.  I really wish it would open up more degrees.  Personally in our family we look towards engineering and medical degrees. I think having as many health care providers in the future may be a great resource and one of the few things that are not being constantly off-shored.

The cost. The cost is still high, but not as high as other colleges. The annual tuition plus living expenses is $25,000.  This is a great deal of money.  However at least I thought it appears that you are learning something.  Something useful now, and something useful on how to live a rural more free life style.  This could be very useful for the future.  I wish more colleges could create more ways for kids and parents to earn their way through school.  Perhaps settle on a college own for-profit enterprise, or something.  Large Catholic families are nearly always poor.  The cost of schooling has to be addresses and I think it is optimal if we address it without accepting monies from the federal government which now come with ungodly strings attached.

rosary_flag_creditThe ugly. The college had an issue several years back (in 2012 I believe) when it hired a new chaplain from Canada, and let him go very quickly as he did not seem to have the proper approach to being a Christian chaplain. They let the Priest go following the discovery of a “pattern of misbehavior” around students such as excess drinking and bad language. There was no allegations of sexual misconduct but the school felt this was not a good example and quickly acted to put an end to it.   “I think it’s very sad that this happened. I think it’s particularly sad that it involved a priest of the Catholic Church,” college president Father Robert Cook told CNA Dec. 5, 2007. “I really am very happy that we so quickly and so definitively dealt with this in what I believe was a totally proper and appropriate manner.”  The college discharged the chaplain on Nov. 19 after an investigation found he engaged in “very bad language” and “telling bad jokes” with students.  The college was very forthcoming with the issue and acted with all haste.  This is what we ask for from a properly functioning Catholic organization of any type.   Additionally Wyoming Catholic College was struck by misfortune when one of its teachers was driving and got into an accident that lead to the death of his two young daughters.

The verdict. This appears to be a very interesting attempt to build a very unique approach to higher education. It is appears to be following the concepts of the Catholic Land Movement and the American Redoubt. Get out of the deep blue urban areas and try building a more Christian based life in deep red rural areas. The Priests at WCC provide the Traditional Latin Mass as well as novus Ordo Missae. There are several Christian based churches around. They have implemented polices such as no public Internet usage except at libraries that are monitored by technology and staff. This does not really seem to be from a lack of trust, but from a theory that we want to teach you the classic way of doing research. Also we want to do everything we can to encourage you to live a disconnected life. And of course they push outdoor survival program as mandatory part of their educational experience.

BishopBlessFutureHomeofWCC0If you have a child approaching college age, or know of someone who does I encourage you to give Wyoming Catholic College a look. They have a two week Powerful Experience of Adventure and Knowledge (P.E.A.K) 2014 course for students who may be considering attending. If you know about Wyoming Catholic College please share your experience below.

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