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St. Katherine, Orthodox Liberal Arts College, Founded in San Diego

In the fall of 2011, a new institution will open its doors to the Orthodox community. St. Katherine College in San Diego, California, will commence the first year of classes, offering an emphasis in Composition, English Language and Literature, Foreign Language, U.S. Government and History, Economics, Mathematics, and the Sciences. As to affiliation, the website explains that "The College community is independent, but it is closely associated with the Orthodox Christian community." Fr. Thomas Hopko, Dr. Scott Cairns, and Dr. Vladimir Morosan are all listed as faculty, among several other Orthodox academic luminaries.

Recently, interviewed Vicki Brannock, St. Katherine College's Executive Director for Communications and Recruitment.

1. Tell us about your academic approach.

Of course the academic emphasis is important to us. We are selecting staff that represents the best in Orthodox academia and are working to strike a balance between the well established (Fr. Thomas Hopko, Scott Cairns) visiting professors and mid-level and younger faculty that we believe will make significant impact on the future.

2. What will be some of the unique aspects of the St. Katherine college education?

A benefit will be the relatively low cost ($15,000 per year) tuition and the promise of getting your degree in a timely manner. So many students, especially in the state systems are not able to get their undergraduate degree in 4 years because of school overcrowding and class cutbacks. So the historically less expensive alternative of the state college does not provide the same cost savings it has in the past when students must delay graduation until the 5th or 6th year.

Additionally, students will have the opportunity to attend college on the west coast in one of the most beautiful and safest cities in the United States.

3. How would you describe the spiritual formation available at St. Katherine? 

The spiritual and relational aspect is invaluable. We are creating a culture of open dialogue and mutual respect between students and faculty. Students will have an opportunity to not only be taught by, but exchange ideas and build long term relationships with, some of the best minds in Orthodox Christian thinking today. Also the fact that this is the first class of students provides a unique opportunity to not only obtain an outstanding education but to be part of something special that will continue making an impact well into the future. "For Christ is Our Life" is the SKC motto, But it is more than that, it is the truth we live by and the witness we share with the world. We believe there are many others who share this passion for transformation. It was Abraham Lincoln who said, "The philosophy of the classroom today will be the philosophy of government tomorrow." It is wonderful to think that our faculty, students and parents will impact our society in such a positive way!

4. When can students submit applications? 

We will be accepting applications beginning July 2010 and classes begin fall 2011.