Former Principia Students, who are former Christian Scientists, answer some of the most common questions they’re asked about their Principia experiences.
Why did you attend Principia?
I applied to Principia College because it was recommended by my brother (who had attended the Upper School) and other people in our local Christian Science community.
Did your experiences at Principia impact/influence your views of Christian Science?
I was a fully believing Christian Scientist when I started at Principia, and I was still a true believer when I finished. If I had attended a different college or university I probably would have become a more critical thinker and developed doubts about Christian Science.
If you had a do-over would you attend Principia again? Why/why not? …
No. Looking back, I realize that Principia did little to prepare me for life in the real world. Principia is a sheltered experience that is not helpful for developing maturity and independence.
Would you recommend Principia to a young Christian Scientist?
Young Christian Scientists would do well to avoid Principia College (unless your intention is a career within the Christian Science community). If you are interested in science or engineering, be aware that physics at Principia is taught with a metaphysical slant that will not be regarded well by graduate programs. If you are interested in a career in wildlife management or ecology, be aware that Principia’s limited biology curriculum is weak in the areas of microbiology, biochemistry, and anything to do with pathologies (all of which are essential for a field biologist).
And by the way, you should know that Principia is puritanical on the matter of sex. Principia urges students to “strive for dominion over all claims of sensuality.” You can be expelled for premarital sexual activity.
Please share one positive experience and one negative experience about your time at the school/college.
Principia’s no-cut policy made it possible for me to play an intercollegiate sport, which I probably would not have been allowed to do at some other school. I was a mediocre player and spent most of the time on the bench, but it was nice to have the opportunity.
On the negative side, I was disciplined twice for free speech. One incident involved the campus newspaper, the Principia Pilot. We published a satirical issue and the administration was not amused. We were ordered to report to the Dean of Faculty, who reprimanded us and demanded that we recover and destroy all the copies we could find. Principia College has low tolerance for expression of diverse views.
This site offers support resources to help individuals negotiate a transition in a manner that best fits their needs and convictions. We do not advocate any one particular path but acknowledge that there are many legitimate pathways that can be personally and spiritually fulfilling.