Be Inspired and Energized

A one-year program, the CiRCE Atrium program explores the foundations of Christian classical education with online classes and discussions. Participants choose to focus on classical pedagogy with Peter Vande Brake or classical rhetoric with Andrew Kern. 

Through exclusive live webinars (2 each month) and an online discussion forum, the Atrium offers a forum for contemplation and collaboration: A place to linger (and take pleasure) in the depths of the Christian classical tradition alongside likeminded fellow educators. We provide the digital platform, you bring the desire for wisdom and virtue. Together we make the community.  

Participants can expect to grow in knowledge of classical education throughout the year, be inspired and energized by peer discussion and collaboration, and understand the fundamentals of classical education and its two primary modes of instruction (Mimetic and Socratic).

* The Atrium works in partnership with the CiRCE Apprenticeship Program and thus is especially well-suited for those who are preparing to enter the Apprenticeship. Participants who complete one year in the Atrium are eligible to receive a $250 credit toward Apprenticeship tuition.

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Deepen Your Understanding of Classical Education

Contemplate the essential elements and crucial truths at the heart of Christian classical education by joining one of our two groups.

A note from Andrew Kern

Why would we call this class “The Lost Art of Rhetoric”? Many books have been written and many teachers have been teaching rhetoric for many years. What could be lost about it? For many, rhetoric has been reduced to manipulation of people's hopes and fears. It has been severed from its roots in wisdom and virtue, in truth, ethics, humanity, and cosmos. 

Rhetoric has been thought about in many ways. The best and highest version of rhetoric is Homer. Following this, Plato and Aristotle set in motion an argument expressing differing views. While tracing historical developments and their variations, we will consider how to place language within a Christian cosmology. We will gain a classical understanding of rhetoric that includes its nature, purpose, parts, power, limits, and propriety.

Rhetoric is exceedingly dangerous, even in the hands of good people. Beginning in Genesis 1, we will view language as one of seven liberating arts. Through historical readings, mimetic webinars, and group discussions, we will grasp a high and fitting use of rhetoric that orders the curriculum without pulling on the threads and equips people for society, meetings, debates, courts, and family decisions.

A note from Peter Vande Brake

Explore one of the best books written on classical education! As we participate in an intensive study of Norms and Nobility, we will examine the most important elements of classical education. According to David Hicks classical education is not primarily concerned with a particular time or place, but stands instead for “a spirit of inquiry and a form of instruction concerned with the development of style through language and of conscience through myth. The key word here is inquiry. Everything springs from the special nature of the inquiry” (p.18). It is with this spirit of inquiry that we will seek to understand the nuances of classical education laid out in this great work. Throughout the year we will continually revisit these prominent elements in this book: 

  • Normative vs. Analytical Questions
  • Prescriptive vs. Descriptive nature of education
  • The intensely relational nature of classical education
  • Dialectical teaching
  • Christian Paideia

I love talking about this book! There is nothing better that has been written about classical education. I can’t wait for the discussions we will have together.