We view all subjects as seen through the prism of Christ. ACA upholds traditional Christian virtues and the Holy Scriptures as the divinely inspired word of God. We also teach according to a Christian worldview. God, the Creator of heaven and earth, cannot rightly be separated from history, literature, mathematics, science, or any other academic discipline. We view every subject in light of God and His Word. This may be more apparent as we study Bible and history, but it is just as true as we study math and science. In these subjects we discern the order and structure of the world that point decisively to the God of the Bible as our Creator.
Our commitment to Christ-centered teaching does not mean, however, that we will only study Christian things, thereby narrowly presenting the world as only the way we see it. On the contrary, our tools of learning and our faith in Jesus Christ help us to confidently affirm truth wherever it is found. For we know that all truth ultimately comes to us from God. Therefore, we wholeheartedly seek a complete liberal arts education.
We are classical because we teach according to the time-proven method of the Trivium, providing students the tools for life-long learning. The Trivium consists of the first three of the seven great Liberal Arts, which are Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric. The Grammar stage studies the fundamentals (or grammar) of subjects in order to build a foundation of knowledge on which all future subjects can be further built. The Dialectic stage then brings the fundamentals into relationships. We begin to answer not just what, but why. The goal here is to equip students with the thinking skills necessary to recognize sound ideas and detect false ones. The Rhetoric stage then trains students to effectively use oral and written language to express thoughts eloquently and persuasively. The goal of the Trivium is to educate students not in what to think primarily, but in how to think, deeply, wisely and biblically.
The Joy of Discovery
We desire our students to love learning. To help initiate this desire and keep it aflame, our school culture adopts the principles of renowned turn-of-the-century educator Charlotte Mason. Her popular method of education believes that children are taught as whole persons through a wide range of interesting living books, firsthand experiences, and good habits. Her method, the Charlotte Mason method, is centered around the idea that education is three-pronged: Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life. We aspire to create an atmosphere and discipline among our students that creates a love of learning and hope parents will partner with us to do the same through their lives at home.
The study of Latin and Greek produces practical, cultural and formative benefits. Practically, it provides a foundation for English and all other modern languages and helps increase standardized test scores due to its strong vocabulary and grammar emphasis. The intensive study of Latin develops the minds of students unlike any other subject. Students who have discovered how to learn with Latin become better-equipped to study all other subjects. The study of classical languages increases cultural literacy and develops knowledge of our own historical heritage which becomes increasingly significant in this age of relativism. Formatively, the study of Latin imparts exceptional academic discipline, moral insight and aesthetic judgment. In light of western civilization, education and classical education have always been synonymous.
As Christ is the Truth (Veritas in Latin), all education rightly leads to knowledge of Him. So, more than a tacked-on Bible class at the end of a school day, ACA is committed to exalting Christ as the One by Whom, through Whom, and for Whom all creation exists. Therefore, we seek to take “every thought captive” by teaching every subject as part of an integrated whole. We teach students to think Biblically, discovering His hand at work in all things. And we encourage each student to grow in faith through Christ-centered relationships.
We believe the family is a cherished institution, graciously given us by God. We offer a condensed-day schedule, helping to slow down the hectic pace of modern life and leaving time for quality family life. We believe it is the parents’ privilege to teach them Christian values and beliefs, and to assist them academically. Our school is truly a partnership.
An ACA education aims at far more than practical benefits. Based on the time-tested philosophy of the classical tradition — the way America’s founding fathers all the way to scholars of the ancient times were educated — ACA works through a child’s natural developmental stages, teaching them first the fundamentals, followed by the art of thinking logically; and then the art of effectively communicating. We offer a rigorous curriculum, typically a grade level above average, where we teach students how to think, not what to think. We encourage students to develop a strong academic work ethic, developing their potential, as well as, a life-long love of learning.