History of Classical and Christian Education

A graduate-level course for educators

Offered in partnership between New Saint Andrews College and the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS)

If you are committed to classical and Christian education, then you identify with a glorious tradition. This tradition traces its beginnings back to classical antiquity and flourished with the rise of Christianity in the west. Have you studied the landmark writings that shaped this tradition?

These writings are challenging, as all great texts are. Now you have the opportunity to study these works together with other likeminded educators, and under the guidance of one of our movement’s leading scholars. This is a rigorous graduate-level course, offered for credit, and open to qualified individuals who desire to explore the educational roots of the Christian west.

NSA is offering this course in partnership with ACCS. While ACCS recommends this course for any ACCS school board member, administrator, or ACCS certified teacher, it especially recommends the course for those seeking a Master's Level of teacher certification.

Readings, Expectations, and Format

Course Readings

Students will be expected to complete the readings on schedule. Readings will include the following texts:

Historical writings
  • Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria (selections)
  • Augustine, On Christian Teaching
  • Cassiodorus Senator, Institutes of Divine and Secular Learning
  • Martianus Capella, The Marriage of Philology and Mercury
  • Hugh of St. Victor, Didascalicon
  • Pier Paolo Vergerio, The Character and Studies Befitting a Free-Born Youth
  • Leonardo Bruni, The Study of Literature
  • Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, The Education of Boys
  • Battista Guarino, A Program of Teaching and Learning
  • John Amos Comenius, The Great Didactic
  • John Milton, “Of Education”
Contemporary writings
  • Dorothy Sayers, “The Lost Tools of Learning”
  • C. Stephen Jaeger, The Envy of Angels: Cathedral Schools and Social Ideals in Medieval Europe, 950-1200
  • Douglas Wilson, The Case for Classical and Christian Education
  • Robert Littlejohn and Charles T. Evans, Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning
  • Kevin Clark and Ravi Jain, The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education (2nd ed.)

Instructional Format and Assignments

The instructor will provide orientation for each reading. He will also meet with students in discussion seminars, via video conference, once every two weeks. In addition, students shall participate in online discussion threads and complete two graded writing assignments. The course culminates in an oral examination, conducted one-on-one with the instructor, via video conference. For the College's commitment to sound pedagogy for all online instruction, see our official position here:

Statement on Online Education

Course Syllabus

For a full course description--including objectives, readings, major assignments, and a detailed schedule, see the course syllabus (draft) below.

Course Syllabus

Additional Information

About the Instructor

Christopher Schlect, PhD, has worked in classical and Christian education for about 30 years. As Senior Fellow of History at New Saint Andrews College, he teaches courses in classical rhetoric, education, history. He is the director of the College’s graduate program in classical and Christian studies. For many years Dr. Schlect taught history, theology and rhetoric at Logos School in Moscow, Idaho, where he also coached Logos’s Mock Trial team to seventeen state championships. He serves classical and Christian schools around the country through his consulting and teacher training activities.


The course runs through the 2020-21 academic year--from September 14, 2020, to April 16, 2021.

Cost and Credit

Tuition is $1,000 per student, due at the beginning of the course. Students who successfully complete this course will earn two graduate credits from New Saint Andrews College.

Eligibility and Application Process

How to Apply

To apply, follow the button below where you will complete the online form and find instructions for submitting additional materials, including all materials noted in the Eligibility Requirements detailed below.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must document both their Christian commitment and sufficient academic preparation for graduate-level course. This includes the following:

Deadline and Acceptance Process

Applications must be complete before they will be considered, and will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. The College will promptly notify applicants of its decision on their acceptance and will provide further instruction about enrollment and payment. Accepted applicants will secure their enrollment when the College receives their tuition payment.

Space is limited. The College will consider applications until enrollment is full, or no later than September 1, 2020.