Trying to summarize the beauty and effectiveness of a classical Christian education in a short article is very challenging because whole books are written about this subject. At the heart of a classical Christian education is the quadrivium and the trivium, which very basically can be understood as math, science and language arts. These are non-negotiables for a high-quality education, yet, they are not what makes a Christian liberal arts education unique. Some of our core objectives can be summarized as an emphasis on:
- High quality academics,
- Classical pedagogies,
- A focus on character development,
- Empowering students to be self-learners,
- Developing skills that lead to success,
- Engaging in the great conversation,
- And most importantly, studying everything from a Christian worldview.
All of these objectives are implied by the summary of our vision to develop Christian thinkers and communicators. For example, Dr. Helgerson gave a wonderful lecture on the importance of wonder in education and the formation of faith and virtue. As he pointed out, when we behold that which is beautiful, it causes us to reflect beauty back. That gets at the heart of a classical education and it also helps define what it means to be a Christian thinker.
It is with our vision in mind that we launched our new Logic and Rhetoric curriculum this year. On one side we have math and science taught from a Christian worldview. Our goal is not to teach from a place of rigid dogmatism but in a manner that develops wonder as we come to behold the invisible attributes of God in the things He has made. On the other side, we have combination of history, rhetoric & theology and language arts classes that explore history, theology and literature with an emphasis on the ideas and values that have shaped our world. While the language arts classes have the primary responsibility to explicitly teach writing, all of our classes are using writing and speaking to help our students become excellent communicators. We also launched a communications lab that will work with students to hone their writing and speaking skills. In a similar fashion to the math and science departments, we hope to train our students through language arts to recognize wisdom, truth and beauty wherever it is found, to understand the reasons why cultures lose a sense of beauty and wonder, and the effects that has on life. Most importantly, it our hope that through gazing at all that is good, true and beautiful wherever it may be found, that it will lead our students into a relationship with Jesus, who is wisdom, truth and beauty.