Classical Catholic Education


At St. Michael High School, an uncommon vision for our future requires an uncommon learning model for our students, one that is consistent with our Christian faith and principles and that is deep, rich, and broad.  It must encompass mathematics, science, languages, the humanities, and the fine arts – in other words the liberal arts and sciences that make up the traditional Trivium (grammar, logic, rhetoric) and Quadrivium (mathematics, geometry, astronomy, and music).

We often call this the “Uncommon Core.”

These attributes are the essence of what today has come to be known as the classical model of education.  Through the great works of Western Civilization, a classical model imparts essential knowledge in an ordered way.  In the humanities, students progress chronologically from antiquity to the modern age.  In math and science, learning begins with observation and basic skills and advances toward greater complexity and abstraction.

Students enjoy a cohesive, content-rich education which exposes them to many different disciplines.  The classical model also teaches important real-world skills such as writing and public speaking, using examples from the very greatest thinkers.  Finally, it cultivates within students the intellectual virtues of confidence, patience, perseverance, and humility.

Classical education prepares students for success in college, the military, trade school, or entrepreneurship.  While classically educated students consistently fare well on standardized tests and college admission, our objective is not merely to get our students into college but into Heaven, where the admissions standards are much higher.  In other words, we are preparing our students for life, both the temporal and eternal, helping them find their vocation, discerning God’s call for their lives.  To that end, we seek to form our students:

  • Intellectually, by teaching them not only the immense depth of Western Thought, but the interrelationship of the great ideas that it has produced;
  • In character, prepared for leadership, particularly trained in the four cardinal virtues of wisdom, temperance, courage, and justice;
  • Spiritually, nurtured in the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity to build up the Kingdom of God in this life and be with Him in everlasting happiness in the next.

Sometimes what is very old becomes, through disuse, again quite new. What gives the classical model its unrivaled horsepower is that we deploy tried and true learning techniques to tackle the very best of thought and action in human history. Rather than dumbing down the curriculum, our liberal arts and sciences program challenges students with the best of Western Civilization. Neither does our integrated curriculum shy away from rigorous math and science instruction, as the Truth resides as much in the world of numbers and the scientific method as in philosophy and theology.

We seek the True, the Good, and the Beautiful by journeying through Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem – and what a wonderful ride it is! Will you join us in America’s fastest growing educational reform movement? You’ll be glad you did.

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