The Liberal Arts as a Model, not a Modification

Andrew Smith February 15, 2017

Presented at:
2017 Winter Regional Conference


The Christian, classical school renewal movement does not consist of one-size-fits-all method and curriculum. Rather, it is filled with excellent, timeless, and effective practices and purposes for engaging in education. While these practices and purposes manifest themselves in varying and nuanced ways from school to school, they share two things in common: 1) they are based on the tradition of the liberal arts and 2) they are constantly at risk of becoming engulfed by modern education. Even though the movement now has the benefit of decades of unearthing and restoring what has been lost in education, our schools must be intentional about understanding and implementing the liberal arts model. Insofar as we are not intentional in this, our Christian and classical distinctives will be nothing more than slight modifications of "good," merely modern schools. In this session, Andrew Smith will discuss the liberal arts model in a way that emphasizes its essence and provides useful direction for keeping it all the center of your school.


Classical Education Liberal Arts Modern Education


Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith came to Geneva in 2014 from Memphis, TN where he spent eleven years at Westminster Academy, serving as head of upper school, teaching in the disciplines of rhetoric, philosophy, and theology, and shaping the school’s rhetoric curriculum. He earned a BA in History from the University of Memphis, an MDiv from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Memphis. He currently serves as an Alcuin Fellow with the Society for Classical Learning. Andrew married Keri in 1997, and they have four children—Lizzie, Anna, Sara Kate, and Hugh. One of Andrew’s favorite pastimes is roasting and enjoying great coffee, and he is always happy to converse about that subject.

Other Contributions by Andrew Smith

The Common Topics as Threads that Hold the Verbal Arts Together

Article - 2017 Winter Regional Conference

The Teacher as Curriculum Part 1

Article - 2017 Winter Regional Conference

The Teacher as Curriculum Part 2

Article - 2017 Winter Regional Conference

Recommended Resources

Web Tools for Schools
Article by Mark Palmer in - SCL Conference 2014
Standards and Accountability for Christian Schools
Article by Timothy Wiens in - SCL Conference 2011
Common Core, AdvancED, and Changes in the Works
Article by David Goodwin in - SCL Conference 2015