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 Natural History Colloquium provides a broad foundation of biology so that our students gain a deep appreciation for the complexity and diversity of life. This course prepares them to be conversant in current issues dealing with origins and other important biological topics.
In the Classical Culture and History Colloquium, second-year students survey the history of the West, focusing on great authors of history and the different ways they reflect upon the past. The course spans the ancient Near East, classical antiquity, and Europe down to the modern era. It pushes students to analyze narratives, examine evidence, and conduct their own research.
The third-year curriculum, building upon the foundation of the first two years, branches into the disciplines of philosophy, literature, and mathematics. For the third-year philosophy requirement, students have the option of either enrolling in the year-long Political and Economic Philosophy Colloquium, or taking electives in such topics as apologetics, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, ethics, economics, and politics. For their literature requirement, students have the opportunity to study such genres as Epic, Tragedy, the Novel, and Lyric Poetry, as well as particular authors such as Homer, Chaucer, Spencer, Milton, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Flannery O’Connor, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien. In the Principia Mathematica Colloquium, students study not only the great ideas and discoveries in the history of Western mathematics and science, but also the philosophy behind those ideas and their application to contemporary debates over the nature of science and its relationship to theology and religion. Finally, students complete their third and final year of classical language, with their options including Greek, Hebrew, Middle English, and Latin.
The foundation laid in the freshman Lordship Colloquium is particularly built upon in the fourth year by the biblical, historic, and systematic theology of the Principia Theologiae Colloquium, in which the Bible is the central text studied in conversation with patristic Reformed and modern theological traditions.
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, 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.
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.