University of Dallas Classical Education Graduate Program Degree Requirements

What Is Classical Education?

What Is Classical Education?

What is now called “classical education” has long been called “liberal education,” highlighting that it is an education for freedom. Dr. Jeffrey S. Lehman, in his article "Liberal Education: A Working Definition," explains it thus: "Liberal education is the pursuit of wisdom through a cultivation of intellectual virtue and an encouragement of moral virtue by means of a rich and ordered course of study, grounded in the liberal arts, ascending through humane letters, mathematics, natural science, and philosophy, and culminating in the study of theology, yielding informed self-rule and a well-ordered understanding of human nature, the cosmos, and God."

Classical education is a holistic approach to learning that seeks the flourishing of its students in mind, body, and soul. Classical education provides the traditional tools of learning – the trivium and the quadrivium – so that students learn to use these tools to become wise and virtuous leaders in all aspects of their lives. Before other styles of education became popular, liberal education rooted in the classic texts of Western civilization was the primary way children were educated. Today, this approach to liberal education has been coined “classical,” indicating a return to and restoration of the style of education that is meant to make us truly free and flourishing.

Why Classical Education?

  • A focus on the whole person – mind, body, and soul – is brought to the fore through virtue-forming classical curricula, equipping students to make free and responsible choices.

  • Classical education opens your child’s imagination to the great and heroic stories of antiquity. It departs from an educational era dominated by screen consumption and fast facts.

  • Students learn to perceive, encounter and create beauty through classical art and music.

  • According to recent research, classical schools significantly outperform in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects.

  • Classically educated students are encouraged to wonder about the great questions of our lives – Who am I? What is my calling? How should I serve the common good?

  • Your child will become an integrated thinker, able to creatively connect concepts across varying disciplines. This skill equips them to flourish both in the workplace and in civic life, at large.  

Is Classical Education Right for Me?

Classical education is a time-tested approach to learning. In fact, it’s how great minds learned for centuries. It strives to build a firm foundation for students in each phase of their intellectual and social development, acknowledging that a student who is good at math, reading, and writing will be well-equipped later in his education and life.

  • A classical curriculum is certainly rigorous, but it comes with the added bonus of the feeling of accomplishment when a topic, theme or problem is mastered.
  • Classical education fosters students’ desire to learn more because it prizes observation and wonder at the created world.
  • Classical schools teach in a way that allows children to make connections naturally between events and people in history, cultivating their ability to make connections, in a broader sense, for their future.
  • The classical style of education provides a sound basis to help us flourish in all aspects of life – mind, body and soul.