Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America” as Want to Read:
God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

God's Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  527 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Since 2000, America’s most ambitious young evangelicals have been making their way to Patrick Henry College, a small Christian school just outside the nation’s capital. Most of them are homes schoolers whose idealism and discipline put the average American teenager to shame. And God’s Harvard grooms these students to be the elite of tomorrow, dispatching them to the front ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 10th 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about God's Harvard, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about God's Harvard

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Mar 31, 2009 rated it did not like it
Horrid, biased book. Now let me point something out right off the bat: I definitely could not teach at Patrick Henry College, and I wouldn't exactly be thrilled to send my kids there. I'm a moderate in a lot of ways, including politically. It's not that I don't have opinions, on the contrary, I have very strong opinions. I just don't fit neatly enough into either "left" or "right" to feel comfortable among ideologues of either stripe. On the other hand, I am a Christian and a stay at home mother ...more
K. O'Bibliophile
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
It's not that Hanna Rosin isn't a good writer. And it's not that the book is full of caricatures. And it's not that it's not completely fascinating. But there's something, something, that's off about it.

Maybe it's the subtly implied inferiority of many people and their beliefs or values. The book does a very good job examining the politics of conservative evangelical Republican-Christianity, and how the politics are often built in to the culture itself. I know--I didn't go to Patrick Henry Coll
Apr 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The author of this book spent a year and a half in Patrick Henry College, a Christian college designed to create a new generation of evangelist politicians. Her in-depth reporting includes the creation of the college, portraits of the college's founder, professors, and students. The main reason I give this book 4 stars is for the solid and well-rounded exploration of this topic.

Prior to reading this book, I was aware of the growing evangelical movement; however, if was interesting to learn about
Wendy Rabe
May 29, 2009 rated it liked it
This book was a well-written account by a reporter who spent a year and a half embedded at Patrick Henry College. Many of her observations are what you would expect from an unbeliever, observing Christians as though they belong to some strange tribe out of National Geographic, with the potential of doing grave danger if not kept in their place. However, many of her jabs do correctly expose the shallowness and silliness of the evangelical subculture.
The author, Hanna Rosin, seems to have been
Apr 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
Since I could essentially write an entire thesis inspired by this book, I will attempt to keep my comments brief for the sake of this review, but I apologize in advance for verbosity.

Rosin's diatribe on the recently founded Patrick Henry college unfortunately alienated me even in the introduction, where home education is described as "a relic of the age of separatism and retreat." I nevertheless attempted to suspend my judgment until I had read the thing cover to cover.

Having done so, I will emp
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My thought while reading was how well Hanna Rosin conveyed a positive image of the students at PHC. While fundamentally unable to share their religious views, she found them to be intelligent, hardworking, likable and admirable in other ways. Likewise she was sympathetic to Ferris and PHC faculty members. Then I read the reviews that flayed her as biased, mean spirited and snarky. Did we read the same book?
Mar 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Yikes. Well, I was drawn to this book after watching "Jesus Camp," which everyone who cares about the future of this country's separation of church(goers) and state should watch. This was a great follow up. While Jesus Camp gives us a window into the methods that Evangelical Christians are using to indoctrinate their younger children (did you know, by the way, that 75% of homeschooled kids in this country identify as born agains?), God's Harvard is an investigation of Patrick Henry College, an e ...more
Sep 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is one of the most well written and interesting books I've read in a long time. I recently watched the movie Jesus Camp and was in shock as to the level of evangelical indoctrination that's going on in this country. I didn't realize just how strong and how organized the evangalicals were / are, and as a liberal and lesbian this frightens me. This book allowed me a peek into the conservative Christian world and the people within it -- I kept waiting for someone to "fall", and in the eyes of ...more
Feb 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Patrick Henry College Alumni looking for an outsider's view of their alma mater.
Overall impressions: While obviously from a non-Christian worldview, Rosin remains quite charitable in my opinion (except perhaps to Farris). The places she is very critical and less charitable are where she perceives incongruity or inherent inconsistency in what people say as Christians and what they do, particularly where she sees hypocrisy. Largely, however, I agree with those criticisms. It's sad that it takes an "outsider" to critique the inconsistencies of the "Christian right" when as con ...more
Feb 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Important read for anyone who cares about religion, education, parenting, or politics in the West. Rosin did her best to remain neutral but there was a clear slight biased to those wanting a more liberal culture at PHC.

For those that think PHC is a failed attempt, are probably being a bit myopic. There are obvious struggles early on but it seems to be more of growing pains than anything else.

It's obvious that there are clear problems at the core of PHC's mission but you can't help but sympathi
Aug 06, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
While the author is clearly troubled by the Christian Right, this book actually seems a backhand compliment to the school. If only society in general could get the same things right that PHC does.
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked this up partly because a couple people I worked with at camp when I was in my late teens attended PHC. One of them started during the time Rosin was doing her research. We haven't stayed in touch, so I don't know what his experience of the events at the school during that time was, but the connection was enough to make me curious. I attended Trinity Western University, a Christian university in Canada that has some similarities with PHC (Christian, evangelical, politically-involved), bu ...more
Christian McGuire
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very useful look at the early years of my college's history. Should be required reading for all Patrick Henry College students.
May 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jill by: Lani
Shelves: non-fiction, feminist
Interesting, quick read. I liked the sections in which Rosin focused on the student body. I felt like she did a good job of picking kids to whom she was sympathetic enough to be able to portray as normal and likeable, even if they believed things she obviously finds batshit insane. She also did a good job of showing the diversity of opinion amongst the student body. I think often people hear "evangelical Christian" (or "liberal feminist," or "libertarian", etc.) and think of that group as some h ...more
Mar 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book was a quick read and a satisfying one. Hanna Rosin is an extremely accessible writer and I mean that as a compliment and not as shorthand for, "not very challenging". She hits just the right tone between objective inquiry and gentle (and appropriate) judgment of her subject, which is a small Christian college made up of mostly former home schooled students.

She's at her best when she profiles individuals and she makes the solid choice to settle on a select few to follow through the sch
Sep 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Next on the list: God’s Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America, a book by Hanna Rosin that provides a look into Patrick Henry College, a small conservative Christian school whose aim is to raise up the young Christian leaders of tomorrow. Some of the beliefs expressed in the book go right along with the stereotypes, such as that they’re all Bush lovers, anti-choice, and creationists. But Rosin goes beyond that to get at how these students ended up Patrick Henry College, and wh ...more
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2009, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I read this probably a year ago (or more even?) and just kept putting off a review because I had so much I wanted to say about it. At this point, I don't really remember what I wanted to say anymore, so I guess I may as well clear out my currently-reading list.

Basically, I grabbed this because its about a school located very close to my parents' house. I'd never heard of it, and the title was interesting.

I thought it was FASCINATING. Rather like the movie Jesus Camp in that it revealed Christian
Feb 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: hac-group, kindle
I had listened to an audio recording of this book shortly after it came out and re-read it (on Kindle) for a book discussion. Hanna Rosin was an embedded reporter at Patrick Henry College, an evangelical college offering government and liberal arts courses of study. Rosin did a very good job at portraying the administration, faculty and (especially) the students in a sympathetic light They came across as likable, and I felt myself wishing them happiness and success even though I personally find ...more
Jodi Jacobson
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Terrific book. Rosin examines the evangelical Christian right from inside Patrick Henry College, a school created primarily for homeschooled Christian right students, with the intention of building the leadership necessary to take over the country (literally). Rosin appears to have won the trust of enough of the students, as well as Michael Farris, the founder of the homeschooling movement, and of PHC, to get an inside perspective on the school, the students, and the families from which they com ...more
Oct 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I was first introduced to Patrick Henry college through my brother whom was given a grant by the Homeschooling Defense (something or another), from that time forward the premise of this college has completely intrigued me and so I was very eager to read Rosin's work.

Rosin does not hide her skepticism of PHC, and while she duly notes her biased nature, I found the book to lack the facts and startling statistics that makes PHC different from other distinctly Christian colleges. The fact that PHC i
Jan 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Patrick Henry College was founded less than ten years ago to be the Ivy League equivalent for home-schooled, conservative Evangelicals who want to "change the culture" by working in the White House, on the Hill, or in Hollywood. Hanna Rosin, who has covered religion for the Washington Post, is even-handed in her treatment of the whole concept, though she does let the reader know what she thinks of it all from time to time.
Rosin is Jewish and was born in Israel. For the most part, I think her own
Even the least politically aware Americans among us cannot fail to see the dramatic rise of the Christian Right in the last few decades. Extremists have taken center stage in a way that they hadn't since the days of Scopes. God's Harvard profiles Patrick Henry College, one of the educational bastions of this movement, and it's students. Although Rosin makes her own religous and political views clear from the beginning, she does a good job of presenting a balanced view of PHC. She does not treat ...more
Dan Secor
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. I really did.

This was the first selection in the book club I recently joined at my UU congregation. I was hoping I would enjoy this as much as The Unlikely Disciple. It didn't come close. In fact, I initially gave it three stars, but now that I have digested it a bit, I took away another star.

First, the content. The subject matter scared the living hell out of me. The type of backward thinking exhibited by those described here will do serious damage to the righ
Pat Roberts
The problem with ultra-liberals is that they can be so intolerant. I found Rosen's observations regarding the students of Patrick Henry College to be smirky. At least in the beginning of the book, she let's the reader know loud and clear that she doesn't care for home schooling. In fact, one is led to believe that home schoolers are just plain weird. She pokes fun at the values of the Evangelical Christian students' families. Let me list those values for you: 1) Academic excellence of their chil ...more
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Hanna Rosin, an Israeli-born Jew, finds herself "catnip" to the students and faculty of Patrick Henry, the select college for home-schooled evangelical kids; they are on a mission to convert everyone in the world to born-again Christianity and espousing another religion offers no immunity. Rosin is a terrific writer; she very much likes the students (one stayed for several months in her home in D.C.) and seems as terrified as I am that religious fanaticism is inculcated at such a putatively high ...more
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
The book is about Patrick Henry's College (never had heard of it) for fundamentalist homeschooled college age students who dream of entering politics and love George Bush...The author follows some of the 350 students for a year and tries to explain founder Michael Ferris' experiment to train a new generation of religious right to take over top political positions and influence political and social thinking. Surprising that they shared anything with the liberal, nonpracticing jewish author, but s ...more
Patrick Henry University - breeding place for the next conservative government -- at least, that's the plan. The students there are determined, driven, and intend to change the course of current American politics and government.

I found this book to be very informative and in some ways entertaining -- but really, a little bit depressing. I am a conservative myself, but I can't quite countenance the extreme idea(l)s driven into the student's every cell. The intention of the founder seems to me to
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
An "outsider's" insider view of Patrick Henry College. Which, near as I can tell from reading the book, is for homeschooled, evangelical, right winged, politically motivated students. Wow, scary stuff and a very fascinating read. Because of my own evangelical leanings (I hate labels) and the fact that I homeschool my kids I found this book on one level to be embarrassing. Kind of like "yessh, I can't believe I have basic beliefs in common with these people". However, it is in Rosin's honest and ...more
Nov 13, 2010 added it
To be fair, enough years have passed since I read it that I barely remember this book. It was brought to my attention again, though, by a friend's reccomendation.
I couldn't remember it well enough to give a review, I just remember getting ticked at the author. While I don't trust my own words, then,I do trust Michael Zeller. For those Gen Jers who are familiar with him, this is what he said about the book:


God's Harvard is little more than a poorly researched op-ed on modern evangelical cul
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: God's harvard 1 3 May 25, 2012 01:19PM  
  • Rapture Ready!: Adventures in the Parallel Universe of Christian Pop Culture
  • Dating Jesus: A Story of Fundamentalism, Feminism, and the American Girl
  • To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise
  • The Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama
  • The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges -- and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates
  • Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement
  • College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be
  • Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement
  • Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance
  • Pray the Gay Away: The Extraordinary Lives of Bible Belt Gays
  • Notre Dame vs. The Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan
  • American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon
  • Augustine: A New Biography
  • Fear: The History of a Political Idea
  • The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith
  • Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey Into the Evangelical Subculture in America
  • Jesus Girls: True Tales of Growing Up Female and Evangelical
  • C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy
Hanna Rosin was born in Israel and grew up in Queens, where her father was a taxi driver. She graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1987, where she won a number of competitions on the debate team with her partner David Coleman. She attended Stanford University, and is married to Slate editor David Plotz; they live in Washington, D.C. with their three children.

Nonfiction Deals

  • The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Never Stop Walking: A Memoir of Finding Home Across the World
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Life Lessons from Matthew
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness
    $11.99 $3.99
  • Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Voice of Knowledge: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace
    $9.99 $2.99
  • My Mother Was Nuts
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Final Vows
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Chosen by a Horse: a memoir
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made
    $17.99 $1.99
  • John Quincy Adams
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Easy Soups from Scratch with Quick Breads to Match: 70 Recipes to Pair and Share
    $15.99 $2.99
  • By Myself and Then Some
    $11.74 $1.99
  • The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery (A Toltec Wisdom Book)
    $9.99 $2.49
  • Shakespeare Never Did This
    $6.99 $1.99
  • No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Guns of August
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Wish You Happy Forever: What China's Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains
    $14.74 $1.99
  • The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?
    $12.99 $2.99
  • Leaving Microsoft to Change the World
    $12.74 $1.99
  • People Over Profit: Break the System, Live with Purpose, Be More Successful
    $13.49 $0.99
  • The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Lost Painting
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Supreme Gift
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered One Mom's Small Prayer in a Big Way
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why
    $9.99 $2.99
  • How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
    $5.99 $1.99
  • But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It's Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner
    $18.50 $3.99
  • A Dog Year: Twelve Months, Four Dogs, and Me
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South
    $16.99 $4.99
  • Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year
    $15.95 $2.99
  • Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Make It Fast, Cook It Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Family Gene: A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance into a Hopeful Future
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Life Lessons from Ephesians
    $5.99 $1.99
  • A Marriage in Dog Years
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Trusting God Day by Day: 365 Daily Devotions
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Smoke and Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen
    $18.95 $2.99
  • Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Founding Mothers
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Through a Window: My Thirty Years with the Chimpanzees of Gombe
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation (Kindle Edition)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours
    $19.99 $2.99
  • Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs—A True Story of Ambition, Wealth, Betrayal, and Murder
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Ida: A Sword Among Lions
    $8.24 $2.99
  • A Natural History of the Senses (Vintage)
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Unsinkable: A Memoir
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever
    $7.95 $2.49