The classical Catholic curriculum studied and taught by wise men and saints is very simple–because it is true, and is in agreement with everything we perceive and know about God, ourselves, and the world. While the studies that make up this curriculum are rigorous and require years of study, there is none of the confusion or chaos that exists in modern schools and study programs (secular and Catholic). Though there are nearly 100 courses available for study in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, these divide into five subject areas.
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The Trivium consists of the three classical language arts: Grammar, Reasoning and Rhetoric. In these courses, students study to understand the right ordering of human thought and speech. Grammar consists of four parts: Orthography, in which we study letters and sounds; Etymology, in which we study the parts of speech and their forms; Syntax, in which we study the construction of sentences; Prosody, in which we study accent and meter in speech. The art of Reasoning is studied in six books by Aristotle, which are called “the Method”. First, we study the ten Categories, which may be compared to Etymology in Grammar. Second, we study On Interpretation, which may be compared to Syntax. Third, we study the Prior Analytics, in which we study the form of demonstrative reasoning. Fourth, we study the Posterior Analytics, in which we study the material of demonstrative reasoning. Fifth, we study the Topics, in which we learn of dialectical reasoning. Lastly, we study the Sophistical Refutations, in which Aristotle teaches the appearent (i.e., false) arguments of the sophists and their solution. In Rhetoric, we study the art by which we may discern all available means of persuasion. In addition to these classical studies, we add a number of courses to serve modern objectives in the students’ education.
The Quadrivium consists of the four arts of Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy. In these courses, students study to understand the order that exists in the four species of Quantity. In Arithmetic, students learn the science of absolute multitude, or number. In Geometry, students learn the science of magnitudes at rest. In Music, students learn the science of relative multitudes. In Astronomy, students learn the science of magnitudes in motion. In addition to classical mathematics courses, we offer a selection of modern mathematics courses to help students satisfy modern requirements.
Philosophy consists of three divisions: Rational Philosophy, Moral Philosophy and Natural Philosophy. Rational Philosophy is studied in the Grammar and Reasoning courses of the Trivium above. Moral Philosophy is studied in our Classical Ethics course. Natural Philosophy is studied in our Classical Physics and Metaphysics courses. In addition to these core courses, we offer introductory courses for younger students, which include Aesop’s Fables, Theophrastus’ Characters, and Pliny’s Natural History. We also provide courses surveying Platonic and Stoic philosophy. Modern sciences are also available here, as these represent the “Inductive Philosophy” that dislodged classical “Deductive Philosophy” from schools and is required by modern standards.
Theology is the study of divine revelation or “sacred doctrine”. It consists of two divisions: Scared Scripture and Sacred Tradition. We offer complete courses of study in Sacred Scripture beginning with simple Bible survey courses for children, a Daily Scripture Reading program and six Sacred Scripture courses for mature students. In Sacred Tradition, we offer three courses in the traditional Baltimore Catechism, four courses covering the content of the modern Catechism of the Catholic Church, and four courses surveying the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas.
The Humanities consist of three divisions: History, Literature and the Fine Arts. For History, we provide courses in World Chronology and Geography for young students, and a complete World History program for mature students. In Literature, we provide four courses in World Literature, in which students survey the writings of Ancient, Classical, Medieval and Modern literature in English translation. For the Fine Arts, we courses in Music History, Art History, Drawing, Piano Theory and Gregorian Chant to enrich the curriculum.