Our Story

“CIRCE” is an acronym for “Consulting and Integrated Resources in Classical Education.”

The CiRCE Institute is a leading provider of inspiration, information, and insight to classical educators throughout the U.S. and Canada via an annual conference, an online classical academy, in-house teacher training, Lost Tools of Writing™ Workshops and materials, consulting on board development, school leadership, and school start-up, as well as a content-laden website and blog.

The CiRCE Institute first began in 1996 as Circe Ministries, a research and tutoring service formed by Andrew Kern for the purpose of writing a book, Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America (now in its second edition), and teaching high school aged home school students in a university style great books class.

Over the years, a rapidly growing number of schools and organizations asked Mr. Kern to speak at their conferences, to help them develop curricula, and to train their teachers. To facilitate this work, CiRCE began its annual conference in the summer of 2002.

That year, CiRCE Ministries became the non-profit 501(C)3 corporation you see here: CiRCE Institute.

Since then, continued growth has led to the addition of a board of directors; a fleet of experienced, expert consultants; The CiRCE Papers - our bi-weekley e-newsletter; a regularly updated and informative blog; and a product line that includes The Lost Tools of Writing™, Next Step Teacher Training™, audio recordings, books, and other valuable resources for classical schools and homes.

Our Vocation
The CiRCE Institute is called to promote, model, and support classical education in the school, within itself, and in the home. Our clients consider the CiRCE Institute the cutting-edge organization in the Christian classical renewal because of our unique ability to identify the ancient principles of learning, to communicate them enthusiastically, and to apply them vigorously in todays educational settings.

Our Creed
The CiRCE Institute is committed to the Christianity expressed in the historical creeds of the church, especially the Nicene Creed. CS Lewis’s phrase “Mere Christian” describes our aspiration.

Our Business Philosophy
“By the excellence of his work the workman is a neighbor.
By selling only what he would not despise to own the salesman is a neighbor.
By selling what is good his character survives his market.”

Wendell Berry, Farming: A Handbook