The Rhetoric Stage
High School represents the student’s full attainment of the intellectual capabilities, and classically is the rhetoric stage. Rhetoric is more than the classic art of speechmaking—it is the marshaling of arguments logically and winsomely to persuade another to one’s point of view. This is the critical step—to know the facts and the context, to be able to construct and defend logical arguments, and then finally, to go on offense, that is, to convince someone to a particular perspective.
For Christians this should always be done in a spirit of gentleness and humility, but also recognizing that there are things in our personal lives and in culture that must be opposed boldly and with vigor. A right understanding of one’s position before our Savior and as part of his creation is absolutely crucial—only a heart bowed before him can ultimately serve him as he desires to be served. As has been said elsewhere, the ultimate goal is for the student to attain wisdom and eloquence.
All vocations are then open to the Christian young person—every possible vocation is open to our graduates. In any vocation you could lose your way, and work against God’s redemptive work in the world. Every vocation also has Biblical norms, and can be filled in ways that tend towards His peace (shalom) and desire to redeem all things unto himself.
The High School course work is a broad college-prep plan of study, with learning to learn being the over-all goal. While all courses are taught at an “honors” level, there are selected AP courses for students desiring that challenge. Other areas of school life—sports, mock trial, fine arts, student council, etc. are all intended to help students become cultural leaders, wise consumers as well as producers of culture.