The Catholic Tradition of Classical Education

The Wisdom, Experience, and Teaching of the Church and How It Is Fostering Renewal Today
with Dr. Andrew Seeley.

Learn the Catholic Tradition of Classical Education

Catholic Church Teaching on Education.


Let’s begin!

The Contemporary Renewal of Catholic, Classical Education

Learn about the renewal with Dr. Andrew Seeley.

The Catholic Tradition of Classical Education

with Dr. Andrew Seeley


NOTE: This course is Beta release which means that all of the lectures are posted but not all of the outlines, discussion questions, and quizzes are yet created for each lesson.

This course will be of particular interest to Catholics seeking to the renewal of Catholic liberal arts education, or wanting to learn more about the Catholic tradition of classical education. The course will also be of interest to anyone wishing to know more about how seminal thinkers like Augustine and Aquinas have influenced the course of education from the ancient period through the middle ages and to our current moment.

Teachers taking this course will also enjoy hearing Dr. Seeley’s insights and passion for education in the recorded conversations with Dr. Christopher Perrin.

This course is divided into 13 presentations, each featuring Dr. Andrew Seeley. The end of the course also features six conversations between Dr. Seeley and Dr. Christopher Perrin, in which they discuss Andrew’s own journey into classical education, the teaching of the Catholic Church that bear upon the renewal of classical education, important Catholic thinkers in the classical tradition of education, and contemporary renewal of classical education within the Catholic Church. Within the lessons below, you will find video lectures, session outlines, recommended readings, questions for discussion and reflection, and additional recommended resources.

  • Lesson 1: Course Introduction
  • Lesson 2: The Wisdom, Experience, and Teaching of the Church
  • Lesson 3: St. Augustine
  • Lesson 4: Hugh of St. Victor
  • Lesson 5: St. Thomas Aquinas
  • Lesson 6: The Ratio Studiorum of the Jesuits
  • Lesson 7: The Jesuit Education of Rene Descartes
  • Lesson 8: St. Basil Moreau and St. John Bosco
  • Lesson 9: The Magisterial Documents of the Church
  • Lesson 10: The Magisterial Documents of the Church Continued
  • Lesson 11: The Magisterial Documents of the Church Continued
  • Lesson 12: Classical Catholic Elementary Schools
  • Lesson 13: Classical Catholic High Schools
  • Afterword: The Catholic Tradition of Education
  • Discussion 1: Andrew Seeley’s Journey into Classical Education
  • Discussion 2: Where Are the Catholics?
  • Discussion 3: Augustine in the Classical Tradition
  • Discussion 4: Aquinas in the Classical Tradition
  • Discussion 5: Pedagogical Insights from Thomas Aquinas
  • Discussion 6: The Fulfillment of the Church’s Teaching on Education
  • End of Course Test: Catholic Tradition of Education
Dr. Andrew Seeley is the director of the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education and a tutor at Thomas Aquinas College in California.  Andrew has an M.A. in medieval studies from the University of Toronto, an M.S.L. from the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, and a Ph.D. in Medieval studies from the University of Toronto. Andrew speaks regularly around the nation, advocating for the renewal of Catholic classical education in Catholic schools and parishes.


Dr. Seeley mentions and recommends the following helpful books at various times throughout this course.

Please Note: ClassicalU is currently developing a certification to accompany our course offerings. The certification credit component of this course is not yet active. We anticipate making certification credit active for this course by October 2018.

To obtain a certification credit for this course, simply complete the quiz that follows each presentation by Dr. Seeley, 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 two short essays (of 400-600 words) demonstrating your understanding of grammar school teaching and leadership. 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 two essay assignments are:

1. Describe how either Augustine or Aquinas have made important contributions to our understanding of education.
2. Describe the ways in which the teachings of the Catholic Church about Catholic education are fulfilled in the classical tradition of education.

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

By taking the course for certification credit, you also will be on your way to obtaining a Level 3 certification.

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