Lutheran Classical Education
At Immanuel Lutheran, we reject the fashionable notion of self-esteem as the objective of education. Genuine self-esteem arises only through self-respect—the result of hard work, academic accomplishment, right behavior and proper regard for others. We have cultivated a learning environment that encourages full development in all these areas even as we remain dedicated to teaching young children as effectively as caring adults can.
A classical Lutheran education provides a unique approach to the method of teaching and learning that has produced some of the most influential Christian leaders in the history of the church. It is our desire that Immanuel Lutheran School train students to become mature, wise, and eloquent Christian leaders in our own generation. Our goal is to equip them with the tools to engage the world for the cause of Christ and to articulate the Gospel persuasively, with clarity, conviction, integrity, and humility. We also strive to furnish students with an understanding of how to love their neighbor and serve others to the glory of God. ILS believes that the best way to pursue this noble vision is through a classical Lutheran education.
The classical approach to education was the western world’s accepted method of teaching for nearly 1,500 years. Its emphasis on structure, content, and method is unsurpassed in providing the tools of learning as well as providing for intellectual development, academic achievement, and moral stability. A classical approach emphasizes the goal of giving children the educational tools to both learn and think for themselves. The classical emphasis is grounded on the three-fold approach to the tools of learning called the trivium. The trivium consists of the three foundational academic categories, or phases, that are consistent with the specific stages of development of the child: grammar, dialectic (logic), and rhetoric. The grammar phase (K-5) emphasizes knowledge, mastery, and memorization. The logic phase (6-8) emphasizes principle comprehension and reasoning. The rhetoric phase (9-12) emphasizes expression and application. In addition to laying out the stages of learning, the trivium also provides a way to break down a subject of study for full comprehension. Every subject has aspects of grammar, logic, and rhetoric in that one must first grasp the facts, then learn the reasons, motivations, and logic around the facts and finally, evaluate and make applications. The trivium, while providing a way to approach each subject is also a set of subjects. Traditionally, the trivium has included Latin as part of the grammar phase, logic or the principles of reasoning as part of the logic phase, and rhetoric, the art of speaking/writing clearly and cogently, as part of the rhetoric phase. Classical education in methodology and content equips learners with the tools of learning. The trivium provides the tools. The Scriptures and Classical studies provide the core content, and Biblical truth is the fixed point of reference.