Among the most compelling aspects of the classical and Christian model of education is its integrated nature. The lines that so clearly distinguish math from science, literature from history, and Bible from art are intentionally removed, not just obscured. Doug Wilson states it well:
“Classical and Christian academies teach all subjects as an integrated whole with the Scriptures at the center.”
From a curricular standpoint, one superb example of this philosophy is the Omnibus. The Omnibus is a curriculum that features a host of works that have contributed to the river of Western Civilization. A student of the Omnibus will read – in his first year – Heroditus, Plato, Homer, Moses, Shakespeare, Lewis, Paul and many more influential contributors. Further, the curriculum itself comprises – in addition to the primary readings – a series of essays and study questions offered by conservative Christian scholars that will help to inform the student’s study of the primary resources. So our Omnibus students won’t just read Histories by Herodotus, but they’ll also read a short essay and study guide by ND Wilson to help them get the most out of the reading and to help them best understand where we’ve come from, where we’re going, and even why.
Omnibus I-VI spans six years, grades seven through twelve. Over that six-year span the students will cycle twice through three epochs: ancient (grades 7 and 10), medieval (grades 8 and 11) and modern (grades 9 and 12).
But here’s one part that I especially like: The Omnibus in its entirety is good for one credit apiece in Bible, History and Literature. This is one three-credit, integrated class.
The philosophy undergirding the Omnibus presupposes – and teaches the students – that it is fallacious to try to avoid evil. After all, we live in a fallen world, and evil surrounds us like the air we breathe. The dragon is to be fought, not fled. We want to give our students an excellent, integrated, well-rounded education that will properly equip them to confront and conquer evil.
The Omnibus helps enrich secondary students’ understanding of Western Culture and equip them to conquer evil rather than avoid it.
So far, the adults with whom I’ve shared this information have shared a common response: “I wish I had that.” Well, I feel their pain. And the Omnibus offers a great way for those of us who did not receive a classical and Christian education to catch up. To that end, we want to offer a way for you to follow along with our Omnibus I class this year, to do the readings and to take part in some of the discussions.
Our plan – for now – would involve having one day per week (presumably Thursday) being especially discussion-oriented, and interested adults wishing to audit the class would be invited to join us during our regularly-scheduled meeting time. By “us,” I mean Sean Higgins, the students and myself. Interested parties will purchase their own texts, but will incur no additional cost for their participation. We will determine more of the details as others express interest.
So, if this interests you, you’re welcome to contact me for more information.
But regardless, we covet your prayers that we would be able to optimize our opportunities while doing our part to help create powerful, informed worshipers of the living God.