In this brief course, Dr. Perrin traces the history of classical education as it resided in the Western monastic tradition. At a time when many are considering “the Benedict Option,” it is worth studying Benedict (480–543 AD) and the tradition of monastic education that preserved and extended classical Christian education. In one of the great ironies of history, Benedict flees the corruption of his university education in Rome and simply prays for 3 years at Subiaco (near the ruins of Nero’s “party palace”) before emerging to become the one who safeguards the best of Christian and Roman culture.
Remarkably, it is a man who seeks God in prayer while Rome is crumbling who becomes the leader of a monastic movement that preserves learning and piety for centuries to come. Benedict starts 12 monasteries in his lifetime, each with a school for educating the monks. By 1300 AD, many thousands of monasteries permeate Europe. Through several cycles of growth, stagnancy, corruption, and renewal, we will see that without Benedictine education, we would lack many of the riches that we inherit as classical educators.
In this course, Dr. Perrin notes the pedagogical and liturgical practices that characterized monastic education—many of which may serve to inspire and renew our own classical schools and home schools today.
Instructional Hours: 2.43, CEU Credits: .5
- Introduction to the Course
- Historic and Modern Notions of Monasticism
- The Legacy of Monasticism
- The Unfinished Temple
- Survey of the Early Monastics
- Anthony the Great
- Pachomius the Great
- Simeon the Stylite
- John Cassian
- Elements of Western Monasticism
- Work, Study, Prayer
- Deep Contemplation of Scripture and Literature
- Rhythm of Solitude and Community
- Rest or Scholé
- Formation / Habits of Holiness
- How to Learn from this Tradition
- Suggested Reading
Christopher received his BA in history from the University of South Carolina and his MDiv and PhD in apologetics from Westminster Theological Seminary. He was also a special student in literature at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. He has taught at Messiah College and Chesapeake Theological Seminary, and served as the founding headmaster of a classical school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for 10 years. He is the author of the books An Introduction to Classical Education: A Guide for Parents, The Greek Alphabet Code Cracker, and Greek for Children, and the coauthor of the Latin for Children series published by Classical Academic Press.
To obtain a certification credit for this course, simply complete each presentation lesson or discussion in the course (by marking it complete or by taking the quiz) 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 or more essays demonstrating your understanding of the course. (Please note that essays are simply evaluated by word count.) When you have completed the course, a certificate that you can print or email will become available within “My Courses” (accessible under “Courses” in the main menu when you are signed in as an active subscriber).
We recommend previewing the essay question within the end of course test before starting the course. This will help in guiding your note taking as you progress through the course. 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.
Lesson 2: A Survey of the Monastic Tradition Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Lesson 3: Work, Study, and Prayer Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Lesson 4: Deep Contemplation of Scripture and Literature Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Lesson 5: Images from San Marco Monastery, Florence Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Lesson 6: Rhythm of Solitude and Community Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Lesson 7: Rest or Scholé Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Lesson 8: Formation / Habits of Holiness Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
Lesson 9: Afterword and Exhortation Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.
End of Course Test: Monastic Tradition Please sign up for the course before starting the lesson.