Course Guide (Rhetoric School)
An Academic Overview
For 2,500 years, education in the West has prepared students to make a difference in the world. At Trinity, our goal is to equip students for purposeful lives characterized by virtue, wisdom, purpose, and courage. The last six years of our program, the Rhetoric School, intensifies this effort in the lives of each student. Upon graduation, our students will step into the world of adult responsibility, and we want them to be ready as thoughtful, active Christians who can make the most of the educational opportunities that follow.
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Graduation Requirements & Diploma Sequences
Course Sequence Guide
Trinity’s entire curriculum is built around the language component of the classical liberal arts (the trivium): grammar, logic, and rhetoric. These disciplines have formed the platform for learning in every other discipline for more than 2,000 years. We believe that mastery of the English language in the manner prescribed by the liberal arts is crucial to successful learning and to the preparation of society’s future leaders.
In the Rhetoric School, students build on their knowledge of English and Latin grammar, basic academic writing skills, and basic logic. In addition to these integrated elements of the curriculum, students’ progress through a sequence of rhetorical studies is designed to equip them with practical skills of argumentation, persuasion, and civil public discourse.
The studia humanitatis pursue two questions: Who is man? How should humans live? At Trinity, the disciplines of the Humanities - Bible, History, Literature, and Rhetoric - engage these questions in a chronological exploration of human culture. By studying the causes and consequences of different answers to these questions across time and cultures, students will gain an understanding of the power of ideas to shape human life and thought. In every Humanities class, students will practice the arts of attentive reading, skillful writing, and dialectical engagement that is courageous and charitable.
As a result of Humanities instruction at Trinity, students will:
- Cultivate a love of and discernment for goodness, truth, and beauty, all in imitation of Christ.
- Develop skillful reading, verbal articulation, and adept writing.
- Enter into the Great Conversation of ideas, learning to ask and answer good questions.
- Cultivate coherent capacities for wonder, humility, work, and leisure.
- Train to see how all things hold together in Christ.
- Through scholarship and the activities of the Humanities, be provoked to love and service for one another.
- Learn how to be happy.
- Pursue and attain true knowledge of self.
Through the study of Mathematics, students see the order, precision, creativity, and consistency of God's creation. They come to understand the immutability of God through the fascinating immutability of the number systems. Students learn how to reason logically and stick with a problem until it is solved. They have the opportunity to discover and ponder basic mathematical facts for each discipline as well as memorize and master these facts. Both conceptual and practical understanding of mathematics is emphasized through the frequent use of natural world problems.
The Rhetoric School math curriculum is designed to provide students with exceptional instruction and cumulative knowledge in Algebra, Geometry, and Trigonometry through Calculus as well as Math Theory and Statistics. Students have the ability to choose from among a variety of Rhetoric School math classes, depending on their aptitude and future educational plans. We live in a world, which is
Increasingly oriented toward mathematical knowledge, and our students are prepared to step into university-level math courses with confidence and a high level of competency.
Our goal in the Mathematics Department is to produce students who:
- Develop an appreciation of the beauty of mathematics, by perceiving its elegance, order, simplicity, unity, and perfection.
- Driven by wonder, think meticulously, systematically, and creatively.
- Are willing to persevere in observation and contemplation of mathematics.
- Humbly love and help others as they struggle in math.
- Understand the development of math through history and how other cultures and peoples have viewed mathematics.
- Develop a well-ordered mind, and the ability to interpret, analyze and solve problems.
- Perceive how all things hold together in Christ (Col. 1:14 – 18), specifically that all math is orderly and works together as observed in the world around us, and all subjects are interrelated and complimentary.
- Master and retain the most relevant mathematical concepts indispensable to prepare for university-level math courses as well as SAT testing.
The Rhetoric School Department of Theology and Science
- Imparts the principles of each scientific discipline.
- Integrates the scientific method across those various disciplines.
- Illuminates the ramifications of scientific discovery to a comprehensive worldview.
- Illustrates the fingerprint of God within each scientific discipline.
The Rhetoric School Department of Theology and Science develops students:
- Who understand the content of scientific disciplines.
- Who have developed tools of learning through exposure to scientific disciplines.
- Who include scientific discovery as part of the foundation to their Christian faith.
- Who have developed a sense of awe and wonder for God’s creation and who see the design aspect of creation.
Science at Trinity is a thoroughly modern study, integrated with the great ideas and the sense of history that characterizes a classical education. The goal of each class is to acquaint students with the progress of scientific thinking, the mental discipline required to think scientifically, and the specific skills students will need as they progress into advanced science studies in college.
We at Trinity believe that the purpose of science is in the pursuit of truth wherever it exists in the natural world. Scientific facts, organized together as a body of knowledge, provide a glimpse into God’s creative genius. As many of the great dilemmas of our age stem from modern advances in science, controversial questions in the areas of evolution, bio-ethics, and quantum physics are examined in a reasonable, fact-oriented manner.
Current Christian thinking on important issues such as those mentioned above are modeled for students by the faculty, and students are encouraged to test their own convictions in light of both Christian faith and known facts.
At the same time, students of science at Trinity are taught that the comprehensiveness and the certainty of knowledge that science can provide is limited. All scientific theories, even those we might refer to as “laws,” are incomplete. Ultimately, scientific study can tell us a great deal about the world we live in, but it is not sufficient to answer the ultimate questions of human existence definitively. Scientific study, undertaken with humility, results in the proper conclusion that there is a difference between the Creator and His creatures. A humble approach to scientific discovery allows the pursuit of truth enthusiastically and still be willing to admit that we cannot provide ourselves as fallible humans with the answers to life’s most important questions.
Our goal is to produce young men and women who:
- Will develop a deep understanding and a solid foundation in what it means to study and learn a foreign language well.
- Will acquire love, respect, and have appreciation for other languages as part of God’s creations.
- Will learn that each language as part of God’s creations has its own pronunciation, grammar rules, peculiarities, idiosyncrasies, and beauty that are to be admired and are worthy of being studied.
- Will learn that different languages both separate and unite us.
The serious study of foreign languages provides multiple benefits to the classically educated student. On the one hand, the study of Latin in the middle years provides an application for the study of English grammar, which our students begin as soon as they can read. There are cognitive benefits, as well, that accompany classical language study. The mental processes that are honed in Trinity’s Logic School (grades 7-8) are strengthened by the whole curriculum— sequential thinking and the application of rules from one context to another are each aided by math, logic, and Latin.
In the Rhetoric School students continue their Latin study through a collegiate level (AP). The goal is fluency. Students who continue Latin will deepen their appreciation for the foundations of western culture as they learn to read the ideas of Latin-speaking politicians, poets, and theologians.
Fine arts are an excellent opportunity for students to pursue areas of interest and artistic endeavors where they can appreciate and create beauty whether it be through their hands (art), voices (vocal ensemble), or minds and bodies (theatre, worship band, hand bells, film).
Classical educators throughout the centuries have valued physical discipline and development. Students have the opportunity to participate in various athletic teams, which build skill and discipline.
Updated August 2021