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Classical Christian Education: For Wisdom, Virtue, and Eloquence

December 01, 2020
By Emory Latta

Providence Christian School provides a distinct education. It is Christian, and it is classical.

In preparing young men and women to be tomorrow’s leaders, PCS believes Scripture is clear: education’s pursuits begin and end with Christ. The Gospel of Mark calls us to “love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength” (12:30). Undoubtedly, this cannot be approached without a relationship with Jesus, lots of prayer, a believing community, and diligent Christian study. All of which, PCS seeks to faithfully promote.

In addition to Mark, other Biblical writers remind us God has much to say on the subject of education. For example, believers are encouraged to provide an all-encompassing biblical education for their children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). We are told, too, that a right understanding of the world is governed by God-given boundaries (Proverbs 21:30). Finally, we are cautioned that learning is never a neutral enterprise. Christians are either moving towards biblical wisdom or towards worldly foolishness (Psalm 1). In the holy task of educating children, Scripture’s testimony is plain: the Bible should be the rule and guide for what we learn and how we apply it.

Our goal then at PCS? To develop Christian young people who find their identity in Christ and seek to participate in God’s renewal of creation by building and sustaining what is true, beautiful, and good. You may be saying, “Wow. Pretty high standard for students!” We agree. Therefore, we believe the best complement for a Christian education, seeking to produce wise, virtuous, and eloquent champions for Christ, is the proven and time-honored methods of a liberal arts education, or a classical education. As evidenced by recent articles at, The New York Times, and in the pages of Newsweek, educators are returning to the proven methods of the past to answer the demands of the future. Classical education is in vogue. So much so, universities are developing honors colleges which employ the hallmarks of classical study: namely, class discussion, critical thinking, speech and composition, and interdisciplinary work. Whether your child will become a preacher, teacher or playwright, a systems analyst or CFO, an engineer, chemist or architect, he or she needs the tools of learning advanced by a classical education.

Habits of the mind, modeled by PCS teachers and explicitly taught through our subjects, prepare graduates to be life-long learners ready for any calling. We believe deep analytical thinking and clear, persuasive expression take time to develop. Thoughtful students are created through the incremental work of committed teachers and a robust curriculum targeting measurable objectives. Arrival at such a destination is not happenstance.

At Providence we purposefully travel “the three roads,” or, more precisely, we employ the trivium. A hallmark of classical Christian education, the trivium, emphasizes the grammar, logic, and rhetoric of subjects to teach definition, analysis, and expression in all fields of inquiry. The trivium also provides PCS with insight regarding a student’s stages of development, so we teach with the grain of a child’s cognitive and social maturation. In grammar school (grades 1-5), students are primed for defining and accumulating information; in the logic school (grades 6-8), students naturally desire to understand the relationship of information (What middle school student hasn’t asked, “Why are we doing this?”); and in the rhetoric school (grades 9-12), students test their knowledge by seeking to communicate it clearly and persuasively. From learning to read in 1st grade to eventually writing and defending a senior thesis in 12th grade, students at PCS are being prepared to embrace their life’s calling.

Providence Christian School is readying students for that calling. A calling which we believe takes many forms during our lives. As child, student, friend, spouse, parent, employee, and parishioner, every relationship and role benefits from the wisdom, virtue, and eloquence of a classical Christian education.

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