Skip to comments.Higher Education: Uniting the Great Books and Faith
Posted on 08/04/2004 9:52:17 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA
he most radical experiment in American higher education today isn't taking place at an Ivy League university. Nor is it happening at one of the country's prestigious liberal-arts colleges such as Amherst or Davidson or at a big-name state university. No, this bold and significant academic undertaking has been quietly but powerfully under way for more than three decades on a bucolic mountain meadow near Santa Paula, Calif., 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles and not far from Santa Barbara.
Thomas Aquinas College (TAC) is a small school, and Roman Catholic, as its name suggests. Its 330 students come for four years from all over the United States and several foreign countries to read the Great Books of Western Civilization: ancients such as Sophocles and Aristotle down through significant moderns such as Edward Gibbon and Flannery O'Connor.
TAC students study Latin for two years. And they pursue a curriculum based on the trivium and quadrivium -- the concept of education in the "seven arts" developed in the Middle Ages -- which means everyone who graduates from Thomas Aquinas will have training in grammar, rhetoric, and logic (the trivium), and in arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music (the quadrivium). As one Thomas Aquinas senior said, "It is truly a liberal education!"
But students have another reason for choosing Thomas Aquinas College. The education they receive there is tied firmly to the Christian faith, giving their encounter with the great ideas of the West a structure and foundation -- and a perspective from which to judge those ideas worthwhile or not, true or false.
(Excerpt) Read more at insightmag.com ...
"Would that we had more Catholic institutions like this instead of the likes of Georgetown U."
Anything associated with the Jesuits should be regarded with extreme caution. Actually to be even safer, anything associated with the novus ordo should be approached with caution.
Unless it is someone exceptional, like Fr. Hardon, if I see "S.J." I go in the opposite direction.
Joma's daughter is a recent graduate of TAC.
Two other good Catholic colleges come to my mind - Thomas More College, in Merrimack NH, and Magdalen College in Warner NH.
Christendom College in Front Royal, VA (60 miles west of where I live) is another one that seems to have a good reputation. That's where Walter Carroll is. The pastor of my parish used to teach there, and I know him enough to know that he would not set foot in a college that wasn't solid on doctrine and foundations.
Yes - I have Dr. Carroll's "Christendom" series, and have been going through them (very slowly).