Rosary College is the first-ever college in South Carolina to offer a tradition-oriented education in the Catholic tradition. Apart from offering affordable college-level education for local students, the college will also offer its courses online, enabling students to enroll from anywhere in the world.

Father Dwight Longenecker needs no introduction to readers of The Imaginative Conservative. He has written for TIC for many years. His essays are always engaging and thought-provoking and always worth reading.

I am blessed to have Father Dwight as a friend. He and I go back many years, from the days when he was just plain Dwight. In those days, having been an Anglican priest prior to his conversion, he was a Catholic layman living in England, an ocean away from his roots in rural Pennsylvania. The roles have been reversed. Father Dwight came home to the United States and I am now an ocean way from my roots in the Shire. As Providence would have it, we are now neighbours in the upstate of South Carolina.

Father Dwight makes a habit of proving me wrong. Several years ago, when he announced plans to build a new Romanesque church in his parish, the poorest in Greenville, I told him he was crazy. How would he raise the money to build something so beautiful, so edifying? Today, the church stands resplendent, a witness to Father Dwight’s faith and his vision, and a witness to my lack of both.

With the new church barely consecrated, Father Dwight announced plans to start a classical high school in his parish. I told him that he was crazy. How could he expect to compete with the established Catholic high school in the area? How would he find the time? How would he raise the money? Today, the school is growing by leaps and bounds. Families have moved to the area from the far-flung corners of the United States so that their children can receive a first-rate Catholic classical liberal arts education. More property has been bought to accommodate the expected continued growth in enrollment. Once again, Father Dwight’s faith and vision have been vindicated and my lack of both has been exposed once again.

The foregoing should serve as the historical backdrop to what follows….

Last year, I received a phone call from Father Dwight.

“Joseph,’ he said, “I have an idea.”

“Well,” I quipped, laughing. “That’s a first!”

“We should start a Catholic college in Greenville,” he continued. “It’s needed and we can do it.”

My initial reaction was to tell him that he was crazy. This time, however, I stopped myself from saying it. Twice bitten, thrice shy.

A year or so later and Rosary College is born. I am so excited! This is the first-ever college in South Carolina to offer a tradition-oriented education in the Catholic tradition. I am honoured to be a member of the Board of Trustees of this new venture and adventure. My good friend, Jared Staudt, a great theologian who is the author of How the Eucharist Can Save Civilization, is also on the board. Jared and I will both be teaching for Rosary College when courses begin this Fall semester. He is teaching a course on the history of sacred art and I’ll be teaching a course on classical epic and tragedy..

We have secured agreements with two of the finest Catholic undergraduate institutions, Ave Maria University and Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, both of which have agreed to accept transfer credits of students who enroll at Rosary College. I expect other top Catholic colleges and universities to follow suit.

Apart from offering affordable college-level education for students in the upstate of South Carolina, Rosary College will also offer its courses online, enabling students to enroll from anywhere in the world. This being so, I am hoping that readers of The Imaginative Conservative will consider signing up for my course and for the other courses we’re offering.

My course on classical epic and tragedy will take a deep dive into Homer’s epics, The Iliad and The Odyssey, as well as Virgil’s Aeneid. We will also delve into some of the greatest works of Greek drama, focusing on all three of Sophocles’ Theban Plays, Antigone, Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. It’s a great opportunity to engage with the great literary legacy of ancient Greece and Rome.

Prospective students have the option to enroll in the college for credit or, alternatively, of simply signing up to audit the course for half the cost. Further details can be found by visiting the Rosary College website: Tuition & Costs – Rosary College.

In addition to signing up for my course and other courses that we’re offering this coming Fall, I hope that imaginative conservatives will consider supporting this dynamic new initiative with their financial support by making a donation. More details can be found at the Rosary College website: Rosary College Home – Rosary College.

As I find myself embarking on this new adventure in my life, I am reminded of one of Father Dwight’s books, which was entitled “Adventures in Orthodoxy”. Father Dwight, following the example of G. K. Chesterton, sees orthodoxy as an adventure. It is a quest and a challenge. Today, as the adventure of Rosary College begins, I can think of nobody I would rather have with me as a comrade in arms on this challenging quest than Father Dwight himself. May God be praised!

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Images taken from Rosary College’s Facebook page.

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