‘We’ve witnessed a surge not just in K-12 students and families embracing classical education but also a rise in educators dedicated to imparting the values and wisdom inherent in classical education’
A Catholic college is launching a graduate degree in “classical and liberal arts education.”
Belmont Abbey College’s new degree will launch this fall.
The Great Books-focused program will address an increased interest in classical education, according to comments the North Carolina university gave The College Fix.
“We’ve witnessed a surge not just in K-12 students and families embracing classical education but also a rise in educators dedicated to imparting the values and wisdom inherent in classical education,” Sarah Bolton, a spokeswoman at the college told The Fix via email.
She cited data from the Association for Classical Christian Schools, saying there are now “400 schools enrolling between 60,000 and 70,000 students,” among its members.
“A particularly striking development is the rapid expansion of our Honors College at Belmont Abbey,” Bolton said. “This growth signifies a burgeoning interest among both parents and students in the profound intellectual and moral exploration facilitated by the great books in classical education.”
The ideal student is one who has a “passion for classical education,” and is “looking to practically apply the principles found through the study of classical pedagogy, the great books, the liberal arts, and the Christian intellectual tradition, in order to form students in the true, the good, and the beautiful.”
She said “this degree program will enlighten classical educators on the formation of their students in the moral, intellectual, and theological virtues.”
Career paths for graduates include working as teachers or administrators in “K-12 Christian or charter schools” or running “homeschool networks,” according to the university’s website.
The curriculum is modeled on the “seven liberal arts” that have been classically taught, where the “trivium” includes classes on grammar, logic, and Christian rhetoric. The “quadrivium” includes “Geometry, Arithmetic, Astronomy and Music,” according to the National Gallery.
Students can participate in “teaching apprenticeships” through “the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education (ICLE) and the Center for Independent Research on Classical Education (CiRCE),” according to a university news release sent to The College Fix.
Interim Provost Joseph Wysocki stated in the news release that the program will help “form future generations.”
“At Belmont Abbey College, we believe in the development of the whole person—mind, body, and soul,” Wysocki stated.
“During the undergraduate years, we help instill a foundation of critical thinking in our students so that they can go forth and lead virtuous lives,” the provost stated. “At the graduate level, individuals come to us with career and industry experience and a desire to lead.”
The new degree “takes this idea of educating the whole person and edifies educators on how to implement this approach so they can form future generations.”
The interest in classical education has necessitated further training opportunities for teachers.
This includes a “Master of Arts in Teaching in Classical Education” at Eastern University in Philadelphia, a “Classical Education Graduate Program” at the University of Dallas, and a “Graduate School of Classical Education” at Hillsdale College, as previously reported by The Fix.