This course features presentations by and interviews with David Goodwin, executive director of the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS). David Goodwin reviews the progress and trends he has observed in his role leading the largest and oldest organization supporting the renewal of classical education in the United States. As the former headmaster of The Ambrose School and now as the executive director of ACCS, David has visited nearly 100 classical schools and consulted with virtually every leader in the national renewal of classical education. His observations, insights, and recommendations are therefore deeply informed and helpful to anyone wishing to understand the present “state of classical education” and the various challenges, threats, and opportunities that lie ahead.

In this course, David makes some direct presentations and is also interviewed on various topics by Dr. Christopher Perrin.

To learn more about the Association of Classical Christian Schools, visit the ACCS website.

This course is divided into both presentations and interviews with David Goodwin, executive director of the ACCS:

  • Lesson 1: Recovering a Christian Paideia
  • Lesson 2: David Goodwin’s Background and Journey to Classical Ed
  • Lesson 3: What Does It Take to Excel as a Head of School?
  • Lesson 4: 30 Years of Renewing Classical Education
  • Lesson 5: Stages of School Growth
  • Lesson 6: What is the Ambrose Curriculum Guide?
  • Lesson 7: National Trends in Education and Classical Lesson 8: Advice to Aspiring Heads of School
  • Lesson 9: History of the SAT and Advent of the CLT
  • Lesson 10: What is the Association of Classical and Christian Schools?
  • End of Course Test: Classical Education in America

Mr. David Goodwin was the headmaster of The Ambrose School, a classical Christian school in Boise, ID from 2003 through 2014.  He served on the ACCS board as an elected member from 2010 to 2014, and helped develop the strategic plan for the ACCS.  He has been the full-time President of the ACCS since 2015.  Prior to his work in classical Christian education, Mr. Goodwin spent 13 years in marketing and new business development for a large computer products manufacturer.  He holds an MBA and BIS from Boise State University. He and his wife, Stormy, work as a team on many ACCS projects and attend All Saints Presbyterian Church in Boise, Idaho.  They have 3 children who attend The Ambrose School.


David mentions several books that have informed his thinking about classical education, including:

The Greek Paideia by Werner Jaeger

On Christian Doctrine by Augustine




Please Note: ClassicalU is currently developing a certification to accompany our course offerings. The certification credit component of this course is now active but also undergoing refinement and testing.

To obtain a certification credit for this course, simply complete the quiz that follows each presentation by Keith Nix and then also take the certification test at the end of the course. The quizzes are designed to ensure that you have understood the essential content of each presentation, and they can be taken more than once if necessary. The cumulative certification test at the end of the course is given as a pass/fail test and requires that you upload one short essay (of 600-750 words) demonstrating your understanding of the course. When you have completed the course, a certificate that you can print or email will magically appear under the “My Courses” section of this website.

For this course the essay assignment is:

Describe the leadership skill presented in the course that you think you most need to develop and explain how developing this skill will make a significant improvement in your ability to lead.

Please allow approximately 2 weeks for essay submissions to be reviewed.

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