When asked what is classical Christian education, most people would be unable to give a clear definition. Even the students receiving a classical education are not told about what they will learn in classical Christian education or how it will benefit them in the future. God expects Christian parents to offer their children a distinctively Christian education, where every information is presented as God’s wisdom, and each subject is examined through the prism of the Bible. God tells parents to educate their children in the Bible and educate their families in the Lord’s compassion and instruction.
A classical Christian education uses science and liberal arts to educate students about knowledge virtues. These disciplines develop intelligent and articulate men and women in the Christian community. It enables the students to think critically, communicate effectively, write clearly, and determine what is good, bad, and beautiful while growing in their knowledge and commitment to God through Jesus Christ.
Classical Christian education aims to academically, religiously, and emotionally develop a child so that they may subsequently nurture that growth around them. It is important to understand that a student obtaining a CCE (Classical Christian Education) studies the Bible and about all elements of life from a biblical perspective. What do students learn in a classical Christian education? What are its benefits? Let’s find out.
Classical Christian Education: Introduction
Education will be a crucial battleground in the spiritual struggle that Christians will face. Christians are instructed to provide their children with a Christian-centered learning perspective. It is difficult to teach from a pragmatic standpoint; some vision will be conveyed and perpetuated, whether or not it is God-honoring.
Classical Christian education helps develop a Biblical perspective of the world and everything that’s in it to the students. It is an education system that uses teaching methods based on different stages of student development, nurtures the Christian virtues, and engages with the scriptures.
A historical and traditional education system emerged in the early Middle Ages with the rise of the Christian faith. It evolved over hundreds of years, preserving its recurring themes such as liberal arts, science, scriptures, and nurturing virtue and wisdom in humans. The liberal arts included grammar, logic, and rhetoric, while science comprised math, geometry, music, and astronomy. These were formalized in the early 400s AD.
Classical Christian education dates back to the classical period of Romans and Greeks and contains the features of their learning methods. These methods were modified by Christians using Biblical perspective and Christian faith. Christian education traveled with the religion as it spread around the world. Until the late 1800s, it was the primary form of education in mainly Christian countries worldwide.
Elements of Classical Christian Education
Following are the main elements of classical Christian education:
Students progress through the phases of grammar, logic, and rhetoric in the classical Christian education model. These phases are known as the Trivium. It helps students gain knowledge by utilizing their abilities at different stages of development.
- The first stage is the Grammar stage. Students in this phase have a natural ability to learn and remember a lot of information. A firm basis is established in each field of study at this stage. The student learns to recognize basic information, rhyming, singing which they will remember for a long time.
- 2ndstage is the logic stage. Students during this phase are beginning to grow curious and start thinking more imaginatively. Hence, their capacity to detect truth and reason is enhanced.
- The 3rdand last stage is the rhetoric stage. Students in this phase learn how to articulate their views convincingly and eloquently while studying the truth and forming opinions.
Integrated learning is one of the important elements of classical Christian learning, where students get a broader understanding of the world. For instance, if students study history, they will read about different incidences, artworks, and literature from the past. In classical Christian education, all courses are taught with the belief that all the knowledge leads back to the Lord. Students get a historical foundation and awareness for the order and beauty of God’s creation and appreciation for arts and Christian sensibility.
Truth, Beauty, And Goodness
Classical Christian education promotes learning and exploring the world for goodness, beauty, and truth. It helps pupils embrace artistic accomplishments in arts and music by introducing them to texts from the past. It teaches the students to comprehend the world via science. Pupils are oriented to God as the eternal source of truth, beauty, and goodness, even when exposed to different perspectives of art and literature. In many areas of life, students are taught the skills to distinguish God’s truth from lies.
Benefits of Classical Christian education
Classical Christian education can provide several benefits to students, some of which include:
- It encourages students to think for themselves, to notice, and communicate.
- It provides the students with the ability to study on their own.
- It challenges students academically, as well as spiritually, and ethically.
- Students are taught about the history of different subjects to inform them of the past and the present.
- Students learn to understand complex and difficult content.
- Students are emphasized with respect, hard work, and discipline.
- Students get Christ-centered learning equipped with wisdom and insight needed to be fearless in a world of opposing viewpoints.
Our Final Thoughts
What is classical Christian education, in essence? It’s an effort to develop virtue and wisdom in students. Students getting classical education does not focus on what can they do with these concepts, but rather what this learning can help them achieve? Classical Christian education holds our Christian faith and teachings together. It takes us closer to God and its creation. The trend of progressive education is growing these days rapidly, but it is classical Christian education that teaches the people the way to live their life according to the principles and teachings of Christ.