Classical Colleges

by Fritz Hinrichs

As the interest in classical education continues to grow, many homeschoolers are beginning to ask how they might pursue a classical education into the college years.  There are a number of colleges that should be considered by classically-minded homeschoolers.  Some of them offer distance-learning programs that can be pursued in a homeschool context; however, others simply offer the opportunity to find a refuge from the trite propaganda served out by most large institutional factories for politically correct zombies.

    St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD and Santa Fe, NM) 
    St. John’s does not offer any distance-learning programs, but it is the granddaddy of classical colleges.  Founded in 1936 under the influence of Mortimer Adler, the school has been the Mecca for those desiring to follow the “great books” approach.  During their four years of study St. John’s, Johnnies read through approximately 100 books carefully selected to provide them a thorough survey of the ideas that have shaped the Western tradition.  The program also contains tutorials in mathematics, science, language and music.
    If you would like to attend St. John’s, their admissions department recommends keeping detailed records of your course of study while homeschooling.  Your scores on the SAT and ACT will also be important; however, since St. John’s aims to enroll students who are mature enough to truly pursue the intellectual life, the essay required for admission and your letters of reference receive the most weight.

    New Saint Andrew’s College (Moscow, Idaho)  
    New Saint Andrews is a classical Christian college devoted to the study of the liberal arts for equipping Christian men and women for service in Christ ’s kingdom and for the growth of Trinitarian culture. The College offers one integrated academic program in the classical liberal arts leading to B.A. (4-year) and A.A. (2-year) degrees. The program of studies involves orienting lectures, challenging readings, and personal interaction with faculty in weekly small group meetings—all in the context of a strong Christian community. The College limits admission to fewer than 50 newstudents each year. Tuition is $6,000 for the 2003-2004 academic year. Although tuition may increase in the future, a student’s tuition rate is fixed for four years from first enrollment. The College has no dormitories, on principle, but encourages students to live with local Christian families or to share housing with fellow students as responsible members of the local community.

    Hillsdale College (Hillsdale, MI) 
    Hillsdale College is known as a strong advocate of traditional Western-oriented education.  Though not overtly classical, Hillsdale should be considered by homeschoolers who would like a conventional college setting without the usual political correctness that has damaged education on so many other campuses.
    Hillsdale requires homeschool students who apply to submit an official transcript from a homeschooling guild or association; or detailed course description along with  proficiency level and a list of textbooks used.

    Gutenberg College - 
    Gutenberg College, located in Eugene, OR, is a classical “great books” college that teaches from a biblical worldview. Gutenberg’s  discussion-based curriculum encourages students to think and interact with the great minds of western civilization. Their goal is to train students to be mature, thoughtful men and women who have a sound, well-reasoned biblical faith and worldview. They require the study of all the basic disciplines in order to learn about our cultural heritage and to develop the fundamental learning skills of reading, writing, and thinking. This kind of education is good for its own sake, but it is also well suited to the modern job market in which the individual with broad based knowledge and sound learning skills is best able to adapt to rapid and unpredictable changes in the economy.

     Interesting Options

    The College of Saint Thomas More, The Classical College of Texas

    Torrey Honors Institute

    University of Dallas

    Patrick Henry College

    Shimer College

    Helpful Resources