A Classical Education


Our method of education follows the developmental stages of a child. In classical education, these stages are normally called:
  • Grammar
  • Logic
  • Rhetoric
Taken together, the teaching of these subjects form the “Trivium.” The Trivium forms the structure for a student’s general education through his childhood years. After completing the Trivium, a student proceeds to what was called the Quadrivium, the study of the various subjects in higher education.

As Dorothy Sayers pointed out, the three stages of the Trivium correspond with what can be commonly observed as stages of development in children. Our responsibility in teaching our students is to require specific things of them when they are naturally most receptive to learn them.

The earliest years of education at Midway Covenant Christian School are referred to as the “pre-grammar” stages. During these stages, students are developing the skills necessary to excel throughout the grammar years. These skills include learning to read and basic computation, but they also include virtues such as curiosity, love of learning, patience, courage to explore their imagination, a sense of justice, and wisdom. During the pre-grammar stage, students are taught to read phonetically and to compute using manipulatives. They are also taught educational virtues from a biblical perspective.

In the grammar stage (1st-5th grades), we focus on the particulars or facts of each subject. “Grammar” refers to the fundamental information of a given subject. Every subject then has a grammar. Children in this stage of development are characterized by an ability to memorize and store large amounts of information. In the grammar stage of classical education, this natural tendency is further developed. This is a particularly important time for language study.

The next stage is the logic stage. At MCCS, this stage is emphasized in our 6th-8th grades. Children in this group are naturally inquisitive and begin to challenge what they have been taught in an attempt to understand the subject better. This is an important time to teach students the inter-relatedness between the particulars taught in the grammar stage. The laws of logic and argumentation may now be taught as a method to encourage and temper this natural tendency.

When students have mastered the basic grammar of a subject and the relationship of its basic principles to each other, they are ready for the rhetoric stage. Students in this poetic stage are naturally concerned with appearances and presentation. During this stage, students are taught how to express themselves in polished and persuasive ways.


Certainly, classical education is characterized by the presence of certain subjects like those mentioned above: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. But other subjects cannot be overlooked or undervalued. Phonics, penmanship, history, literature, music, science, mathematics, Bible, and theology are all taught as well. Because classical education aims to be biblical in its presentation of educational material, it is important to consider the biblical basis for each component of the curriculum:

  • Mathematics: The study of mathematics rests on philosophical presuppositions that assume an ordered universe. This ordered universe points to God’s work as creator and sustainer of all things (Col 1:16-17; Rev 4:11). By assuming this ordered foundation, students of mathematics are encouraged to find order and harmony in nature (Psalm 19:1; Rom 1:20). As the mechanics of God’s creation are discovered through mathematics, students are instilled with an appreciation of God’s standards for truth, goodness, and beauty (Psalm 111:2). Furthermore, because there are many complexities of mathematics that are beyond the capacity of finite human understanding, the disciplined study of mathematics can also build a deeper appreciation for the mystery and wisdom of God (Deut 29:29; Psalm 147:5; Job 11:7; Rom 11:33). A final benefit of studying mathematics regards its ability to discipline the mind. In studying mathematics, the student is trained to appreciate precision. This prepares students for problem solving, critical thinking, and patient discipline (Rom 12:2).

  • Language Arts: The reading and writing of literature is an art form that develops many valuable habits which encourage the development of a Christian ethic. These habits include empathy (Matt 9:36; Rom 12:15), moral judgment (Isa 5:20), and consideration of normative structures (Psalm 19:7; 119:1). Moreover, the study of literature also develops skills that are transferable to biblical studies. These skills include: genre recognition, consideration of historical setting, character development, and structural analysis. These skills are all central to the discipline of biblical study (Acts 17:11).

  • Latin: The study of Latin is considered an integral part of the classical curriculum. This is largely due to practical and cultural considerations. However, it should also be recognized that both practice and culture rest on a biblical foundation. Practically, Latin is a valuable course of study because it enables students to develop the discipline of studying a foreign language, and it prepares them for more effective communication in English. Disciplined thought and good communication are both important aspects of a Christian ethic (1 Cor 14:20; Rom 10:14). Although the practical considerations for studying Latin are often foremost in the mind, the cultural considerations should not be neglected. Because Latin was the primary language of study in Western culture for many centuries, its study reminds learners that they are connected to the traditions of the past. In valuing the traditions of the past, students learn that their identity is shaped by the people that have come before them (John 17:20-23).

  • Science: According to the Scriptures, the examination of nature can tell the student something about the character of God (Psalm 19:1; Rom 1:20). For this reason, scientific study is an important part of the Christian curriculum. The classical approach to science teaches the student that all thoughts should be submitted to the word of God (Psalm 36:9; 1 Cor 10:5) and that truth is discoverable through critical investigation (Prov 14:15; Rom 1:20). Finally, the discipline of scientific study is also an important aspect of humanity learning to exercise dominion over creation (Gen 1:27-28).

  • History: Christianity is rooted in the historical life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Without its historical roots there would be no Christian worldview (1 Cor 15:14). Because of this truth, the study of history is given significant importance. Through the study of history, students learn that God is sovereign over every event (Prov 21:1; Isa 46:9; Rom 8:28). In addition, students learn the importance of making moral judgments regarding past events (1 Cor 10:11) and making future plans that take into account God’s re-creation (Rev 21:5).

  • Music and Art: The academic study of music and art teaches students the value of personal expression (Psalm 139:14), tradition (2 Thess 2:15; 1 Cor 11:2), and creative communication (Exo 31:1-5).

  • Physical Education: Health and fitness are important aspects of biblical stewardship (1 Cor 3:16-17). Furthermore, a right understanding of sports trains students to win with humility and lose with dignity (Phil 2:3; 1 Cor 10:31).

  • Technology: The technology curriculum is designed to help students succeed as they further their education and participate in the creation of culture. In this sense, technology is an important aspect of the students' understanding of the cultural mandate (Gen 1:28; Psalm 8:4-6).


This third component, context, recognizes the matter of perspective in our teaching. Teacher and student occupy a real historical and cultural position in the providence of God. Classical and Christian education is a by-product of Western culture. It results from Christ's birth in a Hebrew culture during the reign of Caesar Augustus and from the earliest missionaries heading west more than they did east or south. Under God’s sovereign design, our students are living in Western culture. They will learn to appreciate other cultures, seeking to bring the light of the Gospel to them when they have been thoroughly trained to love their own.

Within this classical framework, our students will gain the tools for a lifetime of learning: a workable knowledge of the timetables of history, a background of art, music, and ideas, a grasp of research and writing skills, a comprehension of math and science basics, and a principle approach to current events with an emphasis on a Biblical world and life view.

Our Faculty shares the philosophy of Midway Covenant Christian School. We emphasize mentoring and personal relationships. Each staff member must make a personal statement of faith in Jesus Christ, the authority of Scripture, and essential Christian doctrine. Each teacher must be a committed Christian. Proven character, love of the teaching profession, high academic qualifications, and experience are the factors used in the hiring process.