Saint Alcuin Classical Academy is an apostolate of the parish of St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church in Oakwood, GA. Our parish is a member of the diocese of the Personal Ordinariate to the Chair of Saint Peter (POCSP). Within the Roman Rite there is now the Ordinary form (novus ordo), the Extraordinary form (Latin), and the Ordinariate form of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Ordinariate worships the Holy Trinity in the beauty and reverence of the Extraordinary form but in the eloquent and stirring “Prayer Book” English of the Anglican tradition. The philosophy of education and spirituality of Saint Alcuin Academy is rooted in the tradition of English-speaking Catholicism.
Saint Alcuin’s mission is to foster a community of support for parents to disciple their children intellectually and spiritually in the Catholic classical tradition.
Specifically, Saint Alcuin Classical Academy aims to help parents:
1. cultivate in their children a virtuous life of discipleship to the Lord Jesus Christ;
2. form their children spiritually through regular instruction in the Catholic Faith and participation in prayer and Mass according to the Ordinariate form;
3. immerse their children in the excellence of the Catholic classical tradition, which fosters the intellectual and moral virtues needed for the study of Holy Scripture and Sacred Theology, living out their vocation in life, and for evangelization;
4. foster a deep desire in their children for living life within a community of Christian charity—a Eucharist-centered way of life; and
5. imbue in their children a love for the historic Anglican patrimony’s choral tradition, as well as the great artistic treasures of the Church.
Saint Alcuin Academy is an homeschool enrichment program open to families in the community educating their children at home using a Catholic classical curriculum. Our program hallows the theological order of the domestic church—the first society—and complements the vocational mission of parents “as those first responsible for the education of their children” (CCC 2229). Saint Alcuin aims to support parents in the “privilege of evangelizing their children” by providing a deeply committed Catholic parish community in which to “initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the ‘first heralds’ for their children” (CCC 2225, 2226). We are unwavering in our support of family life. Our program is designed to bolster parent-led education, not replace it. Saint Alcuin provides a wealth of activities for families to help form children for life.
Modern education, whether public or private, is not only thoroughly secularized, but it denies children the treasure of knowledge and wisdom from the Western tradition as fashioned by the Roman Catholic Church for millennia. This dichotomy in education often leaves children shaped and formed with a secular way of thinking and acting in the world, and the Faith can become dislodged from the center of their lives.
In the parable of the two builders (Matt. 7: 24-29), our Lord warns us not to build our house on the sand, where waves will wash away the house, but to build our house on the solid rock of his teaching. If our children are formed intellectually and morally on a secular foundation, then they will be susceptible to the tidal waves of the culture. Because of this, most young people today walk away from the Church in young adulthood, as the Pew Research Center research indicates. The solution is not to hide on an isolated island but to ground our children from the very start in ultimate Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. Saint Alcuin Classical Academy assist parents in this challenge by providing an environment for the formation of their children’s mind, body, and soul in the perennial tradition of the Catholic Faith.
All programs at Saint Alcuin proclaim the dignity of every child as an image bearer of God and recognize that their true end is eternal happiness in heaven. Saint Alcuin fosters an environment, where through gentle and charitable guidance, each child can mature intellectually and spiritually through virtue. All our courses of study are faithful to the Catholic Church and solidly rooted in doctrine, which brings about the true “enlightenment” of the soul. Understanding the Faith and ideas that have shaped Western civilization gives students insight both into the traditions of the Faith as handed down to them and provides an understanding of the movements that created the Modern world.
We strive to maintain an atmosphere in which our students can learn the joy of intellectual inquiry as an end-in-itself but also to develop the habits and virtues needed for serious study. Our curriculum is rooted in the Classical Liberal Arts tradition and is meant to emphasize and nurture the intellectual, historical, artistic, and spiritual gifts of the Faith. Saint Alcuin’s Classical Liberal Arts curriculum will not only prepare students for their vocations, but most importantly it will prepare their minds for the reading of Sacred Scripture and the study of Sacred Theology, which then equips them for evangelism.
Finally, restoring the domestic church and the Catholic academic tradition needs a community of support. Christianity has always affirmed the vital need for community—a eucharistic community—in order to grow as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ: “And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers…And all they that believed, were together, and had all things common. Their possessions and goods they sold, and divided them to all, according as everyone had need.” (Acts 2:42, 44-45, Douay-Rheims). Saint Alcuin Academy seeks to nurture such a holy eucharistic community of disciples. The ultimate goal is for students to discover the influence and beauty of Catholicism in every aspect of culture and their own lives, growing in holiness, drawing ever closer to the Triune God through discipleship, and developing a eucharistic way of life within Christian community.
What Makes Saint Alcuin Academy Unique?
We go to school with the living Jesus Christ really present in the Blessed Sacrament. We begin and end our day before Christ, seeking His guidance, singing His praise, and growing in union with Him. The most important class of each day is Morning Prayer before the tabernacle, where the True, the Good, and the Beautiful are not only found through the subjects studied but worshiped in the Blessed Sacrament.
Our educational program is distinctively centered on the cardinal and theological virtues, the seven classical Liberal Arts, Philosophy, Sacred Theology, and on Sacred Liturgy. The core of our academy is immersion into the daily life of the Church, which in a very real way is immersion into the life of Jesus Christ. All other disciplines and studies hinge on this study and the submission of all our lives to Christ. The true center of the education of the whole person of a child is the revelation of the Incarnation of the 2nd Person of the Blessed Trinity, the God-man Jesus Christ. Our response to this gift is a cultivated life of discipleship.
The cost of modern education, particularly private education, is a summit too high for most families to climb. The loss of religious vocations, the expansion of administrative staff, costly modern buildings, and adopting the secular bloated and ever-changing curriculum of most K-12 schools all contribute to the unsustainable high cost. The truth is the classical education that helped to produce many Saints and Doctors of the Church is not expensive, particularly with modern technology. At Saint Alcuin, most of the curriculum will be free because the primary sources are in the public domain. Students may checkout a hardback copy of their textbooks from the academy library.
Advance assessments and tutoring will be available for free or for a fee depending on resources. For the core curriculum of the academy, we will be using the Classical Liberal Arts Academy or CLAA for short (https://classicalliberalarts.com). Students can create a free account and start taking courses at any time. Payment for the CLAA courses will be made through Saint Alcuin tuition payments. On Academy days, students will take supplemental classes to the CLAA core on campus.
For an insightful overview of Classical Catholic education, we recommend reading William Michael’s free ebook Understanding Catholic Classical Education, which can be downloaded at https://bit.ly/3ox4H5q.
Our greater goal is to create a free fully packaged program that is portable to any parish seeking to re-build Catholic culture, which starts in the home and the formation of children.