August 15, 2023
What is Prologus?
This past week, New Saint Andrews College welcomed the new freshman class to the college and the community through a week-long orientation called Prologus. There are 96 students in the freshman class. Students have come from as far away as the UK to study in Moscow.
Prologus is a critical way the college works to ensure that freshman students are brought into the college community and well-prepared for the year before. Various faculty and staff members give talks to help orient students to the school, the campus, and the resources available. Students also have the opportunity to meet their classmates.
Prologus week starts with a breakfast for the freshmen at President Ben Merkle's house. President Merkle welcomes students into his home and gives them the opportunity to get to know him better. This illustrates the robust and close-knit fellowship of the college.
"You are stepping out into the world of being an adult. We will not baby you in this new calling. We expect you to act like adults, but we are here to encourage you in your work and your walk with the Lord."
Later in the day, back at the college campus, President Merkle offers a formal welcome to the freshman students. He tells them, "This is an important stage of life. You are stepping out into the world of being an adult. We will not baby you in this new calling. We expect you to act like adults, but we are here to encourage you in your work and your walk with the Lord."
Dr. Merkle reminds students they have been accepted to the college from a larger pool of applicants. This means the college chose them because they can handle what the college will give them this year. He also emphasizes that the school is here for them and is working to ensure they succeed in this new stage of life.
Several sessions help prepare students and parents for the coming year. Some of these are: "Vocation of the Student," "The Liberal Arts," and "Parenting Your College Freshman." Students also take two tests: a Latin Placement Test and a Worldview Test.
A number of the sessions introduce the students to specific first-year courses. One is "Introduction to Freshman Theology and Lordship" with Dr. Jared Longshore and Dr. Joe Rigney. Another is "Introduction to Music" with Dr. David Erb. For students that are interested, there is information on NSA Orchestra with Cole Tutino. There is also a Library Orientation by head librarian Rebekah Leidenfrost.
Prologus also includes an introduction to the three school halls into which students from all classes are assigned. These three halls are named Malta, Jericho, and Ashdown. The hall system inspires the student body to self-government, leadership, competition, and excellence through extracurricular activities and competitions throughout the year.
This year, at the end of Prologus on Friday, there was an NSA concert from the Conservatory of Music entitled "Play Skillfully, Sing With Understanding." This concert featured highlights from various musical training programs throughout history. In this way, the concert was a valuable introduction to the music program at NSA and the community of musicians at the college.
On Saturday of Prologus week, there is the Convocation Ceremony, the official start of the academic year. Before the ceremony, there is the famous Book Signing ceremony for all matriculating incoming students who sign NSA's Book, pledging their commitment to the mission and vision of the college. At Convocation, freshman students receive their first assignments from professors to start strong on the Monday of the first week of the Jerusalem term.