When you think about the type of person you want your child to become as they grow into an adult, what comes to your mind?
Perhaps, first and foremost, you hope that your child will have a heart for God. You want your child to love his Word and follow after him with their whole heart, soul, and strength, and to show love, respect, and generosity to others as well.
You may want to see that they serve others well, that they are aware of the needs around them and seek out ways that they can use their gifts and talents to help meet those needs.
And, of course, as they progress through school and beyond graduation, you want them to not only possess the knowledge they need to thrive in their careers and further studies, but also the wisdom and reasoning skills they need to think clearly and competently about the ideas around them.
Those are our goals for our kids at Veritas, too. That's why we've established it as our mission to cultivate loving, serving, thinking students through a Classical Christian Education.
What does a loving, serving, thinking Veritas graduate really look like? What do we seek to nurture and call out in these young people? For the next three days, we're doing a series on each facet of our mission to help parents understand how Veritas Academy shapes students hearts and minds to be prepared for Christ's calling on their lives as they go into the world.
First up, today we examine "Loving."
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” - Matthew 22:37-40
A Veritas graduate will possess a deep, lasting love for God and His Word
Each and every subject at Veritas is saturated in God's word. From science to literature, math to history, teachers expose His truth, beauty, and goodness and they delight in discussing together the very real ways that God has shown his love to us in even the smallest details.
Through intentional, daily discipleship, and the discipline of seeing God's hand at work throughout each corner of our intellectual and pleasurable pursuits, a Classical Christian Education cultivates a firm foundation, rooted in a deep love for God and his infallible Word.
This extends beyond the purely academic as well. Imagine a school where discipline is handled with a heart of discipleship, through prayer and scripture reading, with a desire to reconcile the students' heart to God's, and to reconcile them to those who they have wronged in a healthy, restorative, Biblical way. You can read more about the heart of discipline at Veritas in this blog from our Dean of Students here.
It's about incorporating prayer, hymn singing, and conversations about God's ways and character, even in "down times." A liturgy of making every moment holy (as so well put in this delightful book illustrated by friend of Veritas Ned Bustard).
At Veritas, God's presence isn't relegated to a morning chapel or simple prayer at lunch. He is welcomed into the conversation, the study, the joy of each corner of our classrooms and courtyards.
A Veritas graduate will develop a genuine love of their neighbors, the communities in which they are placed, and all that is true, good, and beautiful.
When you are surrounded by the same 15-20 people for your entire elementary and high school journey, you learn pretty quickly how to love unconditionally. You learn how to treat others like a brother or sister in Christ, because that is how you thrive and that is how you experience life in abundance.
Beyond that, from the academic instruction to the extracurricular activities, we seek to cultivate love in our students for those around them. In preparing them to listen thoughtfully in the logic and rhetoric stages, we teach them to respect others' positions and to honor them in their answers. We expect students to show utmost deference to one another and to their teachers. We call out ways that they can live out their love for God by showing love to those around them.
Results of a recent national study by Notre Dame University and the Cardus Group shows that a Classical Christian Education is exceptional at developing this type of active, lifelong love in graduates. You can view the full report here or read this article from The Gospel Coalition to see how Classical graduates rise above their peers in so many crucial factors.
A Veritas graduate will acquire a thirst for knowledge and a lifelong joy of learning, established in a deep appreciation for the truth and wisdom found in a full spectrum of subjects.
In the great liberal arts tradition, Veritas students are taught how to use the minds God has given them to seek out truth, beauty, and goodness. By exercising their minds in this way, every day, in every subject, they train themselves to take joy in learning.
You will find most Classical Christian graduates to be avid readers, writers, and debaters (once again, proven by the Good Soil report mentioned above).
Veritas Class of 2020 senior Jonathan Forbes, who will attend Villanova and major in Chemical Engineering, has seen this first hand.
"I have been fortunate to be taught why it is important to care about literature and history even though I am more inclined mathematically. I have even grown to love history, literature, and theology often to the same extent as mathematics," Jonathan says. "This classical approach, similar to the liberal arts college approach, has been extremely influential in my ability care about learning and thinking critically about topics that are thrown at me."
One Veritas alum, Zachariah Spykstra, who is an engineer in the automotive sector, said he recently took note of how his vision for learning was different from his peers after returning from a six month stint working abroad in Europe. He says:
"I have an appreciation for this great experiment that we're living in here in America, this movement of Western Civilization that began with the Renaissance, continued with the Enlightenment, and has swept forward shaping history. I've started to realize after spending time abroad that I seem to have a greater appreciation for all of this than many of my peers do. I think that's because Veritas has given me a bigger vision than just to be a worker bee - learn skills so you can get a job, buy house, and so on. I have a much bigger vision of life and the society that we're in, as opposed to just kind of trudging along in my own little box."
When we say that we cultivate loving students, we mean that our faculty, administration, curriculum, culture, and community work together in Christ to help students grow to love God, love others, and love learning...deeply and for life.
Stay tuned tomorrow, when we look at the next aspect of our mission: Serving.
If this sounds like something you desire for your child, and you would like to be part of a school that supports your family in cultivating these ideals, then we invite you to get to know us better and check out Veritas Academy. It's a unique, yet time-tested way of teaching and learning that produces great fruit in students' lives. Schedule your private virtual tour today; we'd love to meet you!