There is something of a city being built in our midst, or perhaps we can say there is something of a cathedral being built in each of our cities, at least the ones fortunate enough to welcome the construction. This cathedral, if seen, for some are small and young and humble, prompts many different responses. It may prompt trepidation from parents. It may prompt bewilderment from clergy. It may prompt excitement from scholars. It may prompt disdain from educators. Whatever the case, when the cathedral is fully built, it will require a response, for it is looming; it is unavoidable. This is already happening throughout the United States. This cathedral makes strong claims about our cities, our churches, our homes, our families, and our individual lives. This cathedral, this city in a city even, is classical Christian education.
The purpose of these Exordium Lectures is to provide an entryway for parents, educators, and those interested in understanding exactly what is going on. What is classical Christian education? How is it different than other private Christian schools? How is it different than a classical charter school? What are the claims of this cathedral and why should we pay attention?
In classical rhetoric, the exordium occurs at the beginning of the speech and is an entryway of sorts into the ideas, proofs, and conclusions provided by the speaker. A good exordium will accomplish a few important things. A good exordium will…
- …occur at the beginning of the paper or speech.
- …prepare the hearer or reader’s minds for attention to the subject at hand.
- …will ingratiate the audience both to the speaker or writer and to the topic itself.
- …show the author is aware of the audience’s general position on the topic.
- …represent the kind of case the author intends to present, be it honorable, difficult, mean, ambiguous, or obscure.
That is the point of these Exordium Lectures: to act as an entryway to the city, or cathedral, of classical Christian education. Each installment in the Exordium Lectures will be three to five minute audio recordings on different ideas of educational philosophy, and particularly those areas where classical Christian education most questions our modern assumptions about education. Each installment of the Exordium Lectures will seek to turn the listener’s attention toward classical Christian education, to provide basic introductions into this topic as well as a lens by which to view what is being built around us.
Make no mistake, the contemporary growth of classical Christian education is the fastest growing and most important educational movement in our lifetime, perhaps in the past several hundred years. It is my intention that this growth is seen, rightly appreciated, and strengthened. It is my intention that the doorway into this cathedral, the gateway into this city, for the many who have yet to enter and enjoy its beauty, be as accessible and properly adorned as it should be. Welcome to the Exordium Lectures.