Why We Need a Classical Renewal: Online Conference

Dates: April 7 & 8, 2022 (USA)

Dates: April 8 & 9, 2022 (AEST)

Full schedule at the bottom of the page.

What's with the two differing dates? As classical education grows around the world, we feel called to help as much as we are able. With this in mind, we have made this conference more accessible to our Australian and south pacific friends. Can't make it live? Recordings of all talks will be provided to all registrants for free.

The cost of this conference is a donation of whatever size you feel you can make. Please do not let cost keep you from attending. If you can't afford a donation, please feel free to come at no cost. If you can, we welcome your partnership. You can donate during the checkout process. (Suggested donation: $67)


All registrants will receive the following:

  • A link to the conference program, via a shared Google doc, 24 hours before the conference begins. 
  • Recordings of all the sessions for FREE.
  • A 15% coupon code that can be applied towards any CiRCE product. This coupon code will only be active for the duration of the conference.


Why this theme?

Nations and peoples throughout the world are increasingly anxious about their children’s education. They fear they will be left out of the job market, technology will outpace them, and they won’t get into the colleges and universities that provide a secure future. The more people embrace the latest theories, the more worried they become. Today, we worry about jobs, identity, moral collapse, fragmented communities, fragmented minds, fragmented souls.

We’ve embraced fragmentation and now we feel the discord. When there is no key for the band to play in, how can it play in harmony? When the principle of unity and the God of peace has been, as it were, amputated, how can we find peace for our souls?

There has never been a golden age, not really. But there have been ages less infected by the soul-viruses that cause disease in this one. The Christian classical tradition has always pursued a freedom that arises from self-governance, a harmony that grows from wisdom, and a perception of truth that flows from virtue. Our age does not cherish these values.

By the grace of God, bearing its quiet fruit primarily through the love of godly mothers and fathers, a renewal of Christian classical education has been springing up throughout the globe. Lost insights have been recovered. “Springs too deep for taint” have been rediscovered. Lately, through the patient zeal of Australian educators, the renewal has reached this great island nation.

What is classical education and why do we need it? Come join us on April 7 and 8 (USA) or April 8 and 9 (AEST) for this online conference and join the great conversation. Who knows but that we might be means of grace for this anxious age.

Schedule (USA - Eastern Time)

Schedule (AUS - East)

Thursday, April 7

7:00 pm: Plenary 1 

9:00 pm: Q&A Panel

11:00 pm: Breakout Session A

1:00 am: Breakout Session B

Friday, April 8

7:00 pm: Plenary 2 

9:00 pm: Breakout Session C

11:00 pm: Breakout Session D

1:00 am: Closing Remarks

Friday, April 8

9:00 am: Plenary 1 

11:00 am: Q&A Panel

1:00 pm: Breakout Session A

3:00 pm: Breakout Session B

Saturday, April 9

9:00 am: Plenary 2 

11:00 am: Breakout Session C

1:00 pm: Breakout Session D

3:00 pm: Closing Remarks

Conference Talks

Andrew Kern - Plenary I - TBD

Katerina Kern - Breakout Session A - How Classical Mythology Helps Us Understand Our World

How Classical Mythology Helps Us Understand Our World:

Classical mythology can appear bizarre and foreign, and yet Classical Schools insist on it in our schools. In this, Katerina will consider what Classical myths offer us and why should we read them to our students.

Dr. Matthew Bianco - Breakout Session A - Because Education is More than Information

Because Education is More than Information:

Classical education was primarily an analogical education, meaning we learn something because of its analogical relationship to something else. Or, as Dorothy Sayers puts it, "The fact is, that all language about everything is analogical; we think in a series of metaphors. We can explain nothing in terms of itself, but only in terms of other things...We must think by analogy or refrain from thought." What is an education that is more than information? In this talk, Dr. Matthew Bianco of the CiRCE Institute will consider what an education looks like that is mere information, an analytical education, and compare it to an analogical education, and an education that is normative, to see why we need a classical renewal.

Andrea Lipinski - Breakout Session A - Transforming Lives

Transforming Lives: 

Christian classical education is formed and guided by four principles. These are not any four ideas listed together; these four ideas sing in harmony. A high view of man expresses that each individual child lives within the cosmos. A logocentric view of learning expresses that each child finds freedom within truth. A responsible sharing of our western civilization expresses that a community surrounds a child and exits across time. A pedagogy of imitation aligned with how children perceive truth sings the teacher’s song. Join Andrea Lipinski as she shares how Christian classical pedagogy transforms the classroom for the teacher and transforms the lives of the students and the teacher.

Adam Andrews - Breakout Session B - Left Brain Literature: how lessons from math can help us teach good reading

Left Brain Literature: how lessons from math can help us teach good reading:

Teachers often assume that as students mature, they must acquire increasingly advanced techniques for reading comprehension and literary analysis. Adam Andrews explores this assumption using pedagogical principles from the world of mathematics and offers a detailed list of the techniques in question.

Dr. Kevin Donnelly - Breakout Session B - Cultural literacy and the centrality of a classical education

Cultural literacy and the centrality of a classical education:

Too many students leave school culturally and morally impoverished because they have not been grounded in what it means to be educated in its truest, most vibrant sense. A classical education is central to E D Hirsch’s concept of cultural literacy.

Christopher Perrin - Plenary II - Why Our Ignorance of History Is Making Fools of Us All–and What To Do About It

Why Our Ignorance of History Is Making Fools of Us All–and What To Do About It:

Many of us have heard the famous adage from Winston Churchill, “those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” It seems that this current generation in America is proving Churchill right beyond all doubt. Many of us perceive that we are indeed falling into various forms of folly that we should have learned long ago to avoid. Why has the study of history diminished and what forms of folly is our ignorance leading us into? How can we revive the study of history in order to acquire prudence or practical wisdom? How can many of us who don’t know much history ourselves begin to learn it along with our children and lead them along a path of wisdom that they might one day effectively lead and serve others? How can history be taught to impart virtue and as a meaningful and engaging story or narrative? Join us for this seminar in which we will consider these questions, consider what resources can help us, and engage in some Q and A at the end of the seminar.

Dr. David Daintree - Breakout Session C - Reflections of a Dinosaur

Reflections of a Dinosaur:

Most of my students days were spent with the language and literature of Greece and Rome. I learned to write prose and verse in both Greek and Latin so I belong to a dying breed. Was our education too limited? Most people now would think so, and many would contemptuously call it sexist, racist and Euro-centric. It was very much based on the notion that some books are ‘classics', which is to say of the highest class, not a popular view in our post-modern world. Are the classics a hill worth defending? A too rigid canon of 'great books’ is unlikely to gain universal acceptance. The Bible, the Iliad, the Aeneid, the Divine Comedy and several of Shakespeare’s plays and poems will probably find a place on everybody’s lists, but the inclusion of other titles, however honoured, may only attract local or national support. My preferred approach to the liberal arts is traditional yet flexible, focusing primarily on the core subjects of the classical curriculum - on the acquisition of skills and the getting of wisdom - rather than on content. The material of the trivium and quadrivium may vary from place to place and from age to age, but their purpose is perennial: learning to think, to express thoughts, to persuade and to hone the qualities of mind and spirit that set human beings apart from the whole of creation. And what of the languages themselves - should they yield to the vernaculars? Up to a point that has already happened and there is no path back, but Latin, particularly, will always remain an indispensable tool for scholarly study in many areas of language, history and literature.

Martin Cothran - Breakout Session C - TBD

Andrew Kern - Breakout Session C - TBD

Dr. Paul Morrissey - Breakout Session D - Education as the pursuit of Wisdom

Education as the pursuit of Wisdom:

Debates on education today include many buzzwords: relevance, student-centred learning, innovation, critical thinking, job ready, et al. One word that is always missing from these debates is wisdom. This paper will look at the importance of wisdom in education building on the Aristotelian notion that a wise person is someone who can unify knowledge. Thus, while specialised knowledge is important at higher levels, education should focus and build upon a coherent and integrated approach to knowledge.

Heidi White - Breakout Session D - Facing the Monster: Why Our Students Need Monsters and Heroes

Facing the Monster: Why Our Students Need Monsters and Heroes:

David Hicks writes in Norms and Nobility that “a good myth, like a good map, enables the wanderer to survive, even to thrive, in the wilderness.” All cultures and civilizations across time have contemplated the mysteries of life through stories. And these meaning-making narratives from pop culture and high culture are all variations on the theme of monsters and heroes. At heart, every story is a monster story. In this talk, Heidi White explains the structure of typical monster stories, connects them with the overarching Scriptural narrative, and argues for a robust culture of heroic story-telling in every classical classroom and homeschool. Drawing from numerous examples in the classical and Christian tradition, Heidi provides a blueprint for harnessing the power of enduring stories to cultivate wisdom and virtue in our students.

Wes Callihan - Closing Remarks - Waiting for the Barbarians

Waiting for the Barbarians:

We are not living in the dying days of the Old Western Culture we try to teach to our students; that culture is long gone and we live in the ruins, barely able to understand the fragments left to us in Homer, Augustine, Milton, Austen. We can no more repair the ruins than a child could repair the Parthenon from the rubble of the explosion that destroys it. Before we can attempt a revival of classical education we need to identify soberly where we truly are, what has happened to the civilization we study and teach and what we can do with the remnants left to us, where it is possible to go from here, and what models in the past we can imitate. We need to see as big a picture as possible and this talk attempts that.

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