We seek to prepare students for life.
In the context of a Christian Classical education, the experience of your children in our Upper School is like lighting a fire! All the basic skills and building blocks have been laid through Lower & Middle School. This approach to education encourages deeper thinking. The course of study becomes more involved with a greater integration of subjects, and increased reliance on self-motivation, and higher expectations for active participation. Due to the previously completed work in Lower and Middle Schools, students are confident, enthusiastic and prepared.
The power of this model of education is on full display in the students’ excitement for learning, exploring, and discussing, and in the expansion of their knowledge, wisdom, and ability to discern for themselves. In specific disciplines, such as math and the sciences, the distinct classical training is particularly potent as an emphasis is placed on understanding and synthesizing concepts and information.
A Classical education develops the skills needed to communicate persuasively in speaking and writing, with the ultimate goal of moving hearts and minds to those things that are good, true, beautiful and virtuous. Beginning in Junior Kindergarten students are, at an age appropriate level, consistently provided opportunities for, and are trained in, public speaking. Students are introduced to formal rhetoric in grade 9. This instruction is specifically designed to train students to communicate thoughtfully, confidently, persuasively, and building on the logic work in grade 8, with sound reason. This formal training in rhetoric, beginning in students’ first year of high school, introduces a significantly higher level of thoughtful communication, and the application across disciplines. Our students understand how to relate math to music, physics, biology, and chemistry. The literature they read is tied to the period of history they study. Students discuss difficult issues that are as much a part of our history as those of which we are most proud. They develop a comfort level with differing views even as they strengthen their own views. With these connections, they begin to understand how cultures are formed, how political ideologies are developed and how a sovereign God continues to reign as the author of life.
These are the years where your son’s or daughter’s ability to synthesize information, make and support sound arguments, is critical in preparing them to excel in college and beyond AND to defend their faith. We consistently hear from our graduates that this training has set them apart from their peers in powerful ways: their ability to reason well, to engage new material on their own, and to communicate clearly. Our graduates are often described as more mature and confident than their contemporaries. These same character traits have been identified even in our current students as they seek employment, compete in athletics, and participate in public events.
The Senior Thesis
The capstone of our Christian Classical education is the Senior Thesis Program. At the end of junior year, each student begins a one-on-one student-to-faculty intensive research and writing project. Students select a debatable topic of interest and for an entire year are involved in the process of writing a formal research paper. The culmination of the Senior Thesis Program is a formal presentation and defense of the research paper before an audience of up to 350 people. The result is a confident graduate ready for the rigors of college academics and for steps beyond college.
Our graduates report the Senior Thesis provided them with substantial advantages throughout college and reflect that few of their peers in college experienced such a comprehensive exercise. The skills students acquire during this project: research, synthesis, evaluation, editing and often re-writing many times, develop in them tenacity, discipline, resilience, and patience.
Alumni identify The Senior Thesis as one of the most transformative experiences in their education at Faith Christian School. In addition to the profound relationship established between your senior and a caring, skilled faculty member, your child develops the ability and confidence to communicate with adults in an academic context. This confidence is a great asset for Faith graduates.