Sharing a Common Memory: The Great Hall & The Houses of Studies at Scholé Academy
~ by Joanne Schinstock, Presb. Maria Koulianos, and Rhea Bright ~
From the inception of Scholé Academy in 2014, Dr. Perrin’s vision included three houses of studies to provide students and their families places unique to each of the Christian traditions – Anglicanism, Catholicism, and Orthodoxy. In 2018 Scholé Academy acquired St. Raphael School, an Orthodox online classical school, and the first house of studies was opened at Scholé Academy. The Canterbury House of Studies opened in 2020 and with that we published the original post Welcome to The Great Hall. The post describes our school community as a “patchwork of individuals, stitched together by the common threads of classical education…[serving] a variety of Christian traditions.” As we start the 2022-23 academic year, we are thrilled to launch the final and 3rd house of studies specific to Catholicism, The Aquinas House of Studies.
The original post linked above describes the relationship between the houses as a “kind of extended family”. At Scholé Academy, our instructors, students, and families stand on common ground: the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed. CS Lewis in Mere Christianity describes how Christians from different traditions can interact with each other because we share a common memory. “This is a good world that has gone wrong but still retains the memory of what it ought to have been.” And so it is in the spirit of a collective memory of a world that ought to be that Schole Academy offers classes in the Great Hall and within the houses of studies: The Aquinas House of Studies, The Canterbury House of Studies, and St. Raphael School. Students at Scholé Academy are invited to enter The Great Hall for their academic needs, and they are welcome to choose a house of studies to continue their spiritual formation.
The Canterbury House of Studies (CHoS) seeks to assist families in forming the hearts and minds of students through the study of Holy Scripture and the practice of historic and traditional Prayer Book Anglicanism. This mission takes both a specific form and a general form. Specifically, we seek to remember and recover the Anglicanism that is embodied in the doctrines, sacraments and disciplines of the Book of Common Prayer of 1662, with the Ordinal and the Thirty-Nine Articles. To that specific end, we offer courses in Anglican Catechesis and Church History.
Generally, however, we welcome all our fellow Christians who are interested in studying and discussing the Bible, literature, church history, theology, and other subjects within a Christian framework that is informed by the Reformation tenet that the Bible is the Word of God and contains all things necessary to salvation. To serve that more general end, we offer courses in a range of subjects, and will continue to offer more as interest grows. We undertake to do all these things in a spirit of truth, unity and concord, so that our students “may so learn truth as to bear its light along their ways, and so learn Christ as to be found in Him.”
The Aquinas House of Studies (AHoS) is the Catholic house of studies offering courses in the Roman Catholic tradition. The collection of courses offered provides students with a path from which they can explore their Christian faith, Church history, art, culture, music, science, and philosophy. Aquinas House of Studies seeks to support the spiritual formation of students into the image of Christ through fostering a strong prayer life fixed firmly in the liturgical traditions of the Church aided by the study of Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Liberal Arts tradition. Loyal to the Magisterium and under the Blessed Virgin Mary’s mantle of protection, the Aquinas House of Studies seeks to guide students in diligent work, prayer, and praise so that along with our patron, St. Thomas Aquinas, we may earnestly pray non nisi te, Domine (Lord, nothing except you).
St. Raphael School (SRS) offers classes for K–12 students based primarily on the classic Good and Great Books from Western and Eastern European culture. All classes take place in the collegial spirit of the Orthodox Church, in which education is seen as a friend to theosis, our journey of transformation into the life of Christ.
We never consider our students as mere names or numbers—or even as mere “students.” When we experience the truth, beauty, and goodness in our books and conversations, it is the whole person as an icon of God whose heart is lifted up, the heart of man which is the intellectual and spiritual center of every person. It is in this mode of education that we begin to see into the mystery of things.
Following this Orthodox Christian vision of the classroom and the enlightened view of the human person, classes from St. Raphael’s are taught in “conversational mode” rather than mere lecture. The term “conversation” indicates a “turning together” around a subject of significance; questions of wonder and inquiry naturally follow.
We are unique not only by using classic books in these days of popular culture education, and by teaching students in a thoughtful manner, but we are also unique in this regard: the classroom is conceived as members of the body of Christ, made in the image of God, Baptized and Chrismated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
While we are committed to preserving an environment of Orthodoxy for our students, we welcome inquiries and enrollments from non-Orthodox students. We will happily offer further information and guidance on how to determine if St. Raphael School’s program is a good fit.
With St. Raphael School, Canterbury House of Studies, and the new Aquinas House of Studies we humbly view Scholé Academy as a place where all students can find common ground and choose from over 20 unique disciplines like Latin, Logic, Writing, Math, Science, etc. The houses of studies provide small enclaves where students can learn with like-minded believers in the conviction of their faith. Each house welcomes students whether they profess the respective faith tradition or are exploring the rich tapestry of the extended family.
For more information about our houses of studies, please email email@example.com.