Education is the cultivation of the human mind and soul, not job training. It is about learning to live well and answer the question, “How then shall I live?” when faced with an understanding of history, human thought, and faith- rather than the desire to earn a living. The liberal arts provide the essential competencies necessary in the 21st century for both blue and white collar work, preparing the student for all things, but most importantly feeding him a banquet while doing so.
“Better a stupid and unlettered brother who, working the good things he knows, merits life in Heaven than one who though being distinguished for his learning in the Scriptures, or even holding the place of a doctor, lacks the bread of love.”—St. Bede the Venerable
Classical Christian education is a traditional approach to education employing the historic curriculum and pedagogy of the seven liberal arts in order to cultivate men and women characterized by wisdom, virtue, and eloquence. Students progress through the study of the Trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) and Quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy). They thereby encounter the traditional insights and methods of teaching (such as chanting, singing, Socratic discussion, and debate), finding themselves cultivated to develop wisdom, virtue, and eloquence by the nourishing of the soul in truth, beauty, and goodness. Through the study of the great ideas and civilization as contained in the “great books and works” produced by that civilization students encounter man throughout the ages, gaining the ability to discern between good and evil by means of the ancient, medieval, and contemporary examples of mans’ engagement therewith. Simply put, the students study the best that has been thought or said. This education occurs within an environment that seeks to create a community of learning which is characterized by academic rigor, warmth, delight, and involving vibrant interaction with others.
At Mount Tabor, we began by envisioning a graduate. Our graduates will demonstrate:
- Love and prioritization of Christ
- Spiritual depth and vision
- Firm grounding in the ancient Christian tradition
- Orientation towards service
- Possession of wisdom, virtue, and eloquence
- Well-read, demonstrating a strong command of language and the ability to articulate intricate and deep ideas.
- Discernment of the world and society around them
- Steadfast anchorage against materialistic tendencies
- Attentiveness to themselves and others
- Empathetic, compassionate, and caring love for their neighbors
- Faithfulness or fidelity to their families
And from there we determined that Classical Education would be the ideal vehicle for developing a curriculum and educational experience that provided the intellectual and spiritual formation which would deliver a graduate exemplary of the above characteristics.