The Christian worldview is central in every course at New Saint Andrews. A foundation for this outlook is set in the first-year Lordship Colloquium, which introduces the worldview of historic, confessional Protestantism. First-year students are introduced to traditional liberal studies in the Classical Rhetoric Colloquium. This is a theoretical and practical course in persuasive oratory, written composition, and logic in which students cultivate habits of thought and expression on which they will draw in later course work. Both Lordship and Rhetoric also introduce students to the discipline of reading the great works of the western tradition, a discipline that develops throughout their studies. The Music Colloquium also holds an important place in our first-year curriculum, where beauty is approached in a disciplined fashion. Christian approaches to aesthetics are presented, which can apply to any of the fine arts, but since every Christian is called to sing, choral music is an appropriate laboratory for the inculcation of beauty.
The Classical Rhetoric Colloquium is followed in the second year by a study of Christian Apologetics in a course entitled Faith and Reason. The second half of the year is devoted to a course called Persuasive Writing, in which students explore further the formal rules of reasoning and learn to apply them in their own writing. Second-year students also receive a systematic introduction to the western heritage in the Classical Culture and History Colloquium. Here students encounter the west, beginning with near-eastern antecedents and moving forward through modern times, mainly by way of the historian’s apparatus, though literary and artistic approaches are introduced as well.
Classical Culture and History lays a broad cultural context for the rigorous work that is to come later in the student’s course of studies. In addition, second-year students receive exposure to biology in the Natural History Colloquium, inculcating the deductive and empirical disciplines that have always been important to Western cultural vitality.
The foundation laid in the freshman Lordship Colloquium is particularly built upon in the third year by the biblical, historic, and systematic theology of the Principia Theologiae Colloquium, in which the Bible is the central text studied. Additionally, by their third year, students will have become equipped to interact with the seminal texts of Western culture that are the hallmark of the two-year Traditio Occidentis Colloquium. This colloquium is organized chronologically, with third-year students studying Greek, Roman, and Medieval texts, and fourth-year students studying early modern and modern texts. Students in Traditio Occidentis explore themes in literature, philosophy, law and politics, art and architecture. Third-year students study mathematics in the Principia Mathematica Colloquium, which introduces the Western intellectual tradition from the vantage point of numbers and figures. This colloquium also fosters skill in quantitative reasoning.
Because Greek, Latin, and Hebrew are the formative languages of Western Christendom, our students learn one or more of these languages to at least an intermediate level of proficiency. B.A. students are required to take three years of classical language study and A.A. students take two years. Students study Latin, Greek, and Hebrew not as “dead” languages, but as active, oral experiences that bring the ancient world alive. The active study of classical languages is important not just for ciphering ancient texts, discovering English word origins, or thinking in the framework of another culture, but a time-proven method of intellectual discipline essential for a broad and nuanced handling of all forms of thought and expression.
NSA now offers their unique way of learning Latin in an online program through BibleMesh. com. For more info on how you can enroll click here
Fourth-year students have several options for focused study in Electives in Culture. These term-length courses approach various topics in a number of disciplines through close interaction with primary texts. The Senior Thesis allows students to refine their faculties of inquiry, creative expression, and critical reasoning by looking closely at a particular matter of study.