History of Western Civilization: Renaissance, Reformation, and Revolution

In our Classical Christian Curriculum, History serves as a foundation that ties together other subjects of the Humanities, and helps to synthesize the subjects of Literature, Philosophy, Politics, and Religion.  Beginning with the birth of the Modern Age in the Renaissance, our History class will explore the transformation in Europe from Medieval Christendom to the Enlightenment, and the Political and Religious Revolutions that helped to shape the founding of the United States.  Classes will be taught with a variety of discussions, projects, activities, presentations, and hopefully some good debates!

Foundations of American Government

The class will explore both the day to day mechanics of American government and the underlying philosophies which led to its creation. We will span a range of political history, including Aristotle, Polybius, Machiavelli, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke and the Founding Fathers.  Special emphasis will be given to the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and Federalist Papers.  Students will also learn the mechanics of American Government, including the functions of government, its core institutions, and the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

Early Modern Literature

The class will study the development of literature through the Early Modern period, focusing particularly on the evolution of the novel from its roots in ancient and medieval epic poetry.  Texts will include works by Dante, Shakespeare, period poets, and early American authors.  Students will cultivate skills to critically read, discuss, and assimilate literature within its historical and philosophical context, and will explore themes surrounding the zeitgeist of the time.  Additionally, they will gain exposure to concurrent artistic advances, such as opera, and will develop their writing ability in a variety of styles.

Classical Latin Language

Latin is one of the most important languages young students can study, as it equips them to learn how to learn any other Western language.  Latin, as the mother of the Romance (“Roman”) Languages,  makes it particularly easy for students to learn any other Romance tongue:  French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.  Almost 70% of English vocabulary comes from Latin, and by learning Latin grammar, one can master English as well.  (Studies indicate that the highest scoring students on the ACT/SAT Verbal sections are those who have taken Latin.)  Finally, a student who can read Latin can study the great works of Western Civilization in their original language, including the Wars of Julius Caesar, the Vulgate Bible, the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, and the Principles of Isaac Newton.

Those wary of the difficulty of the language need not worry, for the class will be taught at various levels, from beginner/intermediate, to intermediate/advanced.

Sciences: Biology and Physics

Our Science classes are taught with two objectives: 1) to explore Science in a way that honors God as the Creator by acknowledging the universe as His Creation, and 2) to develop a scientific framework that helps students appreciate the complexity and rationality of scientific systems, enabling them to better understand the modern technological world in which we live.  The Science classes will be taught with interactive learning labs, which allow students to go beyond the readings to experiment for themselves!


Grades: 11th-12th

(Fulfills following credits: Fine Arts)

Is beauty “in the eye of the beholder” or is it an objective reality? How do we develop eyes to see what is beautiful? What is the difference between bad art and good art, and what even qualifies as art? These questions, and many others, will be explored through the study of art in a variety of forms — from painting to music, dance to theater, film to creative writing — and adds an important dimension to our pursuit of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty. Course material will be an eclectic but purposeful mixture of art history, philosophy, and application.