About the Classical University-Model®
Several UM schools proudly identify themselves as “Classical, Christian, and University-Model.” Highly valuing the excellence they have found in classical curriculums while also seeing the flexibility and advantages of following a UM schedule, they have found the best of both worlds. Nearly one half of all UM schools in the United States identify themselves in some form with the classical educational community!
The Need for a Classical School Division
In 2015 UMSI consulted with leaders of our classical schools, formed an exploratory team, and developed a Classical School Division among member schools.
Its purpose is to equip classical University-Model® schools with the tools and resources that would continue to help them remain Classical, Christian, and University-Model. At the 2016 National Summit, Christopher Perrin, a recognized leader in classical school community, was a dynamic Key Note speaker, while day-long seminars and workshops were held for leaders and teachers in our classical schools. In addition UMSI is developing a national classical school consulting team to more adequately assist leaders and teachers in the classical model.
How does UMSI Support Classical Schools?
UMSI supports classical schools in many different ways.
Leaders in the UM community develop curriculum, share and promote the philosophy of classical education among one another, support the teaching methods and practices specific to Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric, train qualified teachers for the classical classroom, and help schools communicate teaching instructions to parents on satellite classroom days.
What is a Classical Education?
Teachers within a Christian classical school believe education is about forming souls, not just transmitting skills.
The goal of education is to form a mature person whose thoughts, emotions, and desires reflect truth. In classical schools, we want children to become strong readers, but we also want them to read well: We think WHAT they read is as important as THAT they read. We look for books that strengthen the student’s moral imagination and inspire a love for what is good, true, and beautiful.
Classical educators seek to cultivate wisdom and virtue as their primary goal. Although classically educated students do well on standardized tests, we don’t measure success by scores, but rather by the development of a mature person who loves learning and who makes the connection between learning and life—one who ties knowledge to responsibility and struggles to live not for himself, but for God and his neighbor.
In order to develop wisdom and virtue, classical educators make use of the humanities, the timeless works of history, literature, and poetry, along with the arts of the trivium and quadrivium. The trivium consists of three arts related to human language and subjects taught within the classrooms. The first, the art of grammar, includes reading, writing, interpreting, and judging written texts. The second, the art of logic, teaches critical thinking and develops the faculty of reason. And the third, the art of rhetoric, is comprised of beautifully ordering words so that they might persuade. For both Plato, a Greek, and Quintilian, a Roman, wisdom, justice, and eloquence are inextricably linked; a good rhetorician is “the good man speaking well.” In addition to the trivium, classical educators also consider understanding the created order to be of crucial importance. Thus, the quadrivium consists of four arts related to number–arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music–which we approach today through mathematics and the sciences.
Although classical education was developed by the early Greeks, it came to fruition in the Christian church. Therefore, to speak of classical education is also to speak of Christian education. The best of the ancient Greeks and Romans desired to live lives of piety and virtue, and with the coming of Christ their imperfect vision of man was fulfilled. The cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude were crowned with the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love. Classical education asks the questions: Who is the good man? What is the good life? Christianity answers them: The good man is Jesus Christ and the good life is the one which follows Him.
Beauty & Leisure
The Evidential Power of Beauty
The Educated Imagination
Happiness and Contemplation
Leisure: The Basis of Culture
Stephen R. Turley
Awakening Wonder: A Classical Guide to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
A Book of Hours
Liberal Arts/Classical Studies
Beauty for Truth’s Sake: On the Re-Enchantment of Education
Beauty in the Word: Rethinking the Foundations of Education
The Radiance of Being: Dimensions of Cosmic Christianity
Kevin Clark and Ravi Scott Jain
The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education
John Milton: Classical Learning and the Progress of Virtue
Robert Littlejohn and Charles T. Evans
Wisdom and Eloquence
Sophia: The Wisdom of God
James L. Crenshaw
Old Testament Wisdom: An Introduction
Gerhard von Rad
Wisdom in Israel
The Christian Mind
James K. A. Smith
You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit
Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation
Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works
The Truth Project (video series)
Grasping for the Wind: Humanity’s Search for Meaning (video series)