We believe a classical, liberal, and integrative education, if crafted correctly, will promote the renewal of culture by accomplishing the following seven goals:

AWAKEN WONDER: Plato claims: "Wonder is the passion of the philosopher and philosophy begins in wonder." We agree. As one intently studies reality, exploring the physcial world and examining the nature of the human person, the only honest response is a posture of humility and wonder.

KINDLE A LOVE OF LEARNING: C. S. Lewis asserts: "The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts." This is precisely the goal of an integrative education: to show the delights and pleasures of a life of learning. Again, in the words of Lewis, "The real way to mending a man's taste is not to denigrate his present favorites but to teach him how to enjoy something better."

SHARPEN DISCERNMENT: Aristotle suggests that "the right education" is one that teaches us "to delight in and to be pained by the things that we ought." This implies a liberal education that frees the mind, filling it not merely with facts and figures, but teaching it to think critically and to communicate effectively, and sharpening its ability to perceive and appreciate the true, the good, and the beautiful.

PRODUCE GOOD CITIZENS: The poet John Milton argues that "the purpose of education is to produce the good man and the good citizen." In contrast, he continues, "Vocational training prepares the pupil not for leisure, but for work; it aims at making not a good man but a good banker, a good electrician, a good scavenger, or a good surgeon." Unfortunately, instead of forming good and civilized men, most of modern education tends to focus on preparing students for lucrative careers. As well trained as the banker, the electrician, the scavenger, or the surgeon may be, the more important question: what kind of human being are they?

GIVE BIRTH TO LOVE: Again, according to John Milton, "The end of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright and out of that knowledge to love Him, to imitate Him, to be like Him." To imitate God and become like Him, however, requires the love of mankind. Hence, an authentic education must lead to the fulfillment of what Christ characterized as the two greatest commandments: the love of God and the love of neighbor. If an education doesn't do this, then ultimately it has failed. St. Paul puts it best: "If I can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, but have not love, I am nothing."

LEAD TO WORSHIP: The Latin roots of the word education (e-/ex = out of; ducare = to lead) illuminate the true end of education: to be led out of one's self. An integrative education, then, leads man out of his self-centered existence to a life of gratitude and adoration, a life in which man begins to fulfill his original God-given vocation as home adorans: a worshipping creature.

REINTEGRATE FALLEN HUMANITY: An integrative education seeks to restore the original harmony of the human being. The primary objective is to reintegrate body, mind, and soul. Consequently, it cannot be limited to the classroom setting. Instead, it must be a life-changing experience, a journey in which students and teachers join together in an effort to become fully human. A classroom and curriculum are not sufficient. There must also be a chapel and a gym, a garden and a kitchen, as well as an authentic community in which to work it out.

 

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