One man’s vision for reclaiming Hungary’s

classical Christian heritage

by Carl Warmouth

Sándor Szenczy ascended the stairs of the North Korean embassy. He rang the bell, pulled his coat collar up against the cold winter Budapest wind, stuffed his hands in his pockets where he felt twenty-five crumpled dollars, and waited. Moments later the door opened.

“What do you want?”

“I’m a Baptist preacher,” Sándor replied. “The work of the church is to help others, including the people of North Korea, and…”

“I don’t care. What do you want?”

“I want to give the people of North Korea one million dollars.”

“Come right in, Mr. One Million Dollars,” the dignitary replied with a sweeping gesture of his hand.

Sándor was escorted to the center of a luxurious red room where he was received by a delegation of government officials. The portrait of Kim Il Sung oversaw the proceedings. After polite conversation, bowing, and handshakes, the ambassador got down to business.

“About these one million dollars. You have it in cash?

“No. I don’t have it in cash.”

“In commodities then?”

“No,” Sándor said, feeling the $25.00 in his pocket. “Not in commodities. I don’t have it at all yet, but God has told me to come here and pray with you, and that He would provide the money.”

Sándor bowed his head and began praying aloud, boldly proclaiming the good news of Christ as he prayed. When he finally opened his eyes, only he and one other man remained in the room. That man grabbed him by the collar and literally flung him out through the front door. One month later God rewarded Sándor’s faithfulness. Hungarian Baptist Aid, the humanitarian relief agency he founded with that $25.00, sent one million dollars’ worth of medicine and food to North Korea. The effort opened a relationship between Sándor and North Korea that would last for 25 years and result in a dozen humanitarian visits.

This was not an unusual occurrence for Sándor. He had big dreams. There were no boundaries because he knew that no matter how big he dreamed, the possibilities of God’s provision were infinitely bigger. “What does it matter to God if it is one penny, or one million dollars?” he would say. And Sándor would know. Through his faithfulness to God, he went from being a pastor of a church with 11 congregants to founding an international Christian humanitarian aid organization that has helped millions of people worldwide.

In 1992, following the fall of communism, the new democratic government gave Hungarian Baptist Aid authority over 41 schools throughout Hungary. It would only be a matter of time before Sándor would dream of an educational system that returned Hungary and its children to their classical and Christian roots. As Sándor’s connections in the U.S. began to develop, so too would his dream.


“Do you really think there is enough parent support for this type of education in Hungary?”

The seven-man delegation that Sándor had sent to the U.S. looked stoically across the conference table at me, and nodded their heads.

“Forgive my ignorance. I know nothing about Hungary, its people, its history, or its culture. What do Hungarians think about Western civilization, Christianity?” I asked.

Following a brief period of silence, Szabo Csaba, Hungarian Baptist Aid’s Director of Education, shifted in his chair, looked me in the eyes, and began to answer.

In 1000 AD, Saint Stephen was crowned the first king of Hungary. He declared Hungary a Christian nation. In the 16th century, Hungary was heavily involved in the reformation, resulting in a nation of Lutherans, Reformed Calvinists, and Catholics. The Baptists came to Hungary in 1874. In 1944, Hungary was overtaken by the Nazis, and in 1954 we were “liberated” from that regime by the communists. In 1989, communism fell and Hungary adopted the principles of democracy founded in Ancient Greece.

Hungarians have more than a thousand years of Christian heritage and 50 years of godless oppression at the hands of the Nazis and communists. We want to sweep the last remnants of that away as quickly as possible and never return to it again. We are a Christian nation. We have a Christian constitution. It defines what a man is. It defines what a woman is. It defines marriage. We understand that classical Christian education can help us ensure that our children will not forget our history. This is not new to us. It is coming home to us.

“Well,” I thought, “in America we had about a hundred years of mediocre Christian heritage, and we have been driving it toward a cliff ever since.” I was instantly aware of my smallness in the grand scheme of Christendom.

Sándor’s daughter, Anna, also sat at this table. “You can understand that we have a sense of urgency,” she said as her eyes glistened with tears. Her words had two meanings. Her father was facing a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Time was running out for Sándor’s dream.

Meanwhile, as we sat and talked about philosophies of education and government, the real work of starting Hungary’s first classical Christian school was underway 5,600 miles across the globe. Dr. Borbála (Bori) Dula, sacrificing her career as a lawyer, was putting curriculum together, recruiting students, meeting with parents, stenciling Scripture passages and Latin phrases on the walls of her 125-year-old building, quarreling with the ministry of education, hiring teachers, developing policies and bylaws, purchasing supplies, and learning all she could about this American version of classical Christian education. All alone, as the only headmaster of a classical Christian school on an entire continent, Bori forged on despite obstacles that would make most reasonable people abandon ship.

In 2020, Bori and Hungarian Baptist Aid opened the doors of Veritas Collegiate Academy in Budapest under the supervision of Hungarian Baptist Aid. The school is currently made up of 9th-12th graders, but Bori has created innovations so that all three stages of the Trivium are applied in these four years. The building is filled with energy. Sunlight and breeze pour in through open windows onto bright white walls. Hungarian and American flags stand symbolically side by side. “Soli Deo Gloria!” is heard throughout the school. Genuine appreciation exists between staff, parents, and students. The sentiment is the same no matter who you may talk to: “We are just so grateful to be here.”

Sándor Szenczy passed away on May 20, 2022, but he lived to see his dream become a reality. And like all his dreams, this one has generational possibilities for countless people.

At the time of publishing this article, the first graduates of a classical Christian school in Europe in over a hundred years will be preparing to cross a stage and receive their diplomas. A class of 10 students that Bori affectionately calls “The Pioneer Class.”


Another conference table, this time in Hungary. Another conversation about classical Christian education between an American and a Hungarian. Another set of eyes filled with tears.

“The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few,” Bori says, quoting Matthew 9:37. “There is so much work to do and so few of us.”

I look past her and see groups of teenagers passing between classes in Veritas’ hallway.

“You are either braver than Custer, or crazier,” I tell her. “Most people start classical Christian schools where it’s easy—in the grammar stage. You start in the rhetoric stage.” Somehow she understands my reference to the American Wild West.

“It is true,” she says. “In a few years we will work down to kindergarten, but we need Christian world leaders now. But there are so many obstacles, so many problems. Every day it is something new.”

“You cannot give up, Bori,” I tell her. I read Nehemiah chapter 6 to her.

“I am God’s soldier,” she says, “and I will not come down from the wall. I cannot. It is Sándor’s dream.” ✤

Make your mark! Want to get involved? As Veritas Collegiate Academy grows, and as Hungarian Baptist Aid seeks to start more classical Christian schools in Hungary, there is an increasing opportunity for classically trained teachers from America. If expanding God’s kingdom through an immersive central European experience excites you, please visit or email [email protected] to submit a resumé and learn how you can help.


CARL WARMOUTH is an administrator at Trinitas Christian School in Pensacola, FL. Prior to Trinitas, Carl served as Upper School Principal and Headmaster at Trinity Christian School in Opelika, AL, and as Grammar School Dean and Head of School at The Ambrose School in Meridian, ID. He and his wife, Janine, regularly conduct training, consultations, and speaking engagements at classical Christian schools across the country. In their free time they can be found camping in their RV, Athena, and fly fishing.