Chris is the publisher with Classical Academic Press, a consultant to classical, Christian schools and the Director of the Classical School Round Table with the Institute for Classical Schools. Chris has taught at Messiah College and Chesapeake Theological Seminary and served as headmaster of Covenant Christian Academy in Harrisburg, PA from its founding in 1997 until 2007. He received his B.A. in history from the University of South Carolina, his M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary in California and his Ph.D. in Apologetics from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He was also a special student in literature at St. Johns College in Annapolis. Chris is the author of the books An Introduction to Classical Education: A Guide for Parents, The Greek Alphabet Code Cracker, Greek for Children, and co-author of the Latin for Children series published by Classical Academic Press. Chris and his wife Christine live in Camp Hill, PA with their three children Zoe, Noelle and Noah.
In 1980 and 1981, three classical Christian schools were planted, each without knowledge of the other. About this same time, homeschoolers were seeking a better way of educating their children and looking to the past for better models than what we all have experienced in modern, progressive schools. In a remarkable convergence of effort, Christians of all kinds began to rediscover and then renew classical, “liberal arts” education. What have learned after 40 years? What have we done well and what have we not done so well? What is the work that remains before us and what are the pitfalls we must avoid? What is the current state of the renewal in its extent, quality, and influence? In this seminar, we will trace the history of the renewal, while seeking wisdom for the way ahead.
As classical education has grown and renewed and blessed many, it has also attracted some critics. Some of the critics have pointed out legitimate weaknesses in the renewal and have essentially hit the target with their criticisms—and many of the best criticisms of classical education come from within the renewal. In this seminar, we will consider two common criticisms of the renewal, namely that classical educators are often proud and elitist. As one way of addressing pride among classical educators, we will consider the cover story article on classical education published in the September, 2019 edition of Christianity Today and written by Dr. Louis Markos, entitled “The Rise of the Bible-Teaching, Plato-Loving, Homeschool Elitists.”
Those who come into the renewal of classical education almost always feel overwhelmed when encountering a grand, long, deep tradition of learning and education. What do read? How can I possibly read through such a large list of “great books?” Where do begin? With Whom? These questions are often mixed with both excitement and anxiety. In this very practical seminar, we will consider a “top 100” list and a ten-year plan for reading deeply and without anxiety—and with friends. Every participant will be given a handout or access to a PDF containing “Perrin’s Top 100,” an annotated, ranked list of books to read with suggestions for sequencing and focusing one’s reading. Time will be set aside at the end of the seminar for discussion and questions.