Nature and Vision of Classical Christian Education

What is classical Christian education? How is it different from other approaches to education? How can we clearly and succinctly explain the nature and vision
of classical Christian education despite its long and complicated history? This seminar addresses these questions by examining some of the essential defining characteristics of classical Christian education, such as its foundational assumptions, goals, curriculum and pedagogy. While there is no single reductive formula for classical Christian education, these key characteristics distinguish it from other educational paradigms in important ways and provide a framework for clearly and succinctly explaining what it is all about.

David Diener

Dr. David Diener began his post-secondary education at Wheaton College, where he graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and ancient languages. After putting his philosophical training to work by building custom cabinets and doing high-end finish carpentry for an Amish company, he moved with his wife to Bogotá, Colombia, where they served as missionaries for three years at a Christian international school. He then attended Indiana University, where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy, another master’s degree in history and philosophy of education, and a dual doctorate in philosophy and philosophy of education. He has taught at The Stony Brook School on Long Island, served as Head of Upper Schools at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, Texas, and currently is the Head of School at Grace Academy in Georgetown, Texas. He also teaches philosophy courses at Taylor University, is an Alcuin Fellow and offers consulting services through Classical Academic Press. He is the author of Plato: The Great Philosopher-Educator and serves as the series editor for Classical Academic Press’ Giants in the History of Education. The Dieners have four wonderful children and are passionate about classical Christian education and the impact it can have on the church, our society and the world.

Between the Head and the Teachers

Teachers are the hands of the school. Between them and the Head of School, division heads must animate and extend the Head’s vision and leadership to support teachers executing on that vision—and give the Head of School the information and understanding he or she needs to continue to lead the school in fulfilling its mission. Craig will draw on a decade as division head at Regents School of Austin, sharing lessons, insights and stumbles, and discuss ways division heads can expand their capacity to ful ll their school’s mission.

Craig Doerksen

Craig Doerksen has been the Upper School Head at Regents School of Austin for 10 years. Prior to that, he worked with bluetower arts, a foundation that supports Christians in the arts in the Paci c Northwest. He has also taught and led at Trinity Academy of Raleigh. He has many years of experience in Young Life as well. He has a bachelor’s in English from The University of Oregon, and a Masters of English from the University of Ireland in the Maynooth.

Principled Leadership: Making a Vision Actually Work

The ideal vision of a classical Christian education is very attractive. It can be easy to, in the name of that ideal, try to do things as a school that actually don’t work. But you know that they should! Come learn how to start with principles and apply them so that you can turn your vision and ideals into a healthy working high school.

Craig Doerksen

Craig Doerksen has been the Upper School Head at Regents School of Austin for 10 years. Prior to that, he worked with bluetower arts, a foundation that supports Christians in the arts in the Paci c Northwest. He has also taught and led at Trinity Academy of Raleigh. He has many years of experience in Young Life as well. He has a bachelor’s in English from The University of Oregon, and a Masters of English from the University of Ireland in the Maynooth.