Your Team of Leaders
John Skillen, PhD
Dr. John Skillen (PhD, Duke University) directs the Studio for Art, Faith and History while serving as a senior advisor in Gordon College’s Global Education Office. He was the medieval and Renaissance literature specialist in Gordon’s English department for many years before starting the semester program in Orvieto in 1998, serving as its director until 2009. The program has hosted over 600 students from 25 institutions. Skillen established the Studio for Art, Faith and History to develop special projects that offer creative contemporary responses to pre-modern traditions in the visual and performing arts, and to develop educational programs for high school students, graduate students, and adult learners.
Christopher Perrin, PhD
Teacher’s Program Co-Director
Dr. Christopher Perrin is the Publisher and Consultant with Classical Academic Press, the Director of the Alcuin Fellowship of educators, and a board member with the Society for Classical Learning. Christopher has led two previous trips of high school students in Orvieto and assisted with two trips for college students. Christopher is the author of several books on classical education (An Introduction to Classical Education, Latin for Children, Greek for Children), speaks regularly at conferences throughout the nation, and trains teachers and leaders on regular consultation visits to classical schools.
Christine Perrin, MFA
Teacher Program Co-Director
Christine Perrin, MFA, is the Director of Writing at Messiah College and has taught literature and creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, with Gordon College’s Orvieto Program, through the Pennsylvania Arts Council to students of all ages, and at the local classical school where her children attended. She consults with classical schools in curriculum development and faculty development in poetry and writing, and speaks regularly at the CiRCE Institute as well as the Society for Classical Learning conferences. She is a two-time recipient of the PA Arts Council Artists Fellowship and a Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference Fellowship. Her own work appears in various journals, including The New England Review, Image, TriQuarterly, Blackbird, Christianity and Literature, and The Cresset. Christine is the series editor for the Writing & Rhetoric series and the author of The Art of Poetry, a textbook for middle to high school students, all published by Classical Academic Press. She attended Johns Hopkins as an undergraduate student and earned her MFA from the University of Maryland.
Valerie McClymont, AA
Student Program Director
Val McClymont is a working artist and the Art Educator at Covenant Christian Academy, where she has served since 2009. She has developed a comprehensive art curriculum for all grades and has led a beautification project at the school featuring student-created art throughout the school. She believes that every student can learn to carefully observe, to practice the discipline of making what they see, and to express their own distinct personhood and imagination in material objects. Val completed an Associate’s degree in Visual Arts from Harrisburg Community College after which she apprenticed with a master ceramist and is completing her B.F.A. at Messiah College. Valerie participated in the Orvieto teacher’s program in 2016 and her daughter Mikaelah participated in the Orvieto student’s program as well.