Geneva Academy aims to develop students who are marked by their virtue and their intellect. We desire to teach our students to love learning and delight in clear thinking. We wish to equip them to communicate powerfully, winsomely, and graciously with the written and spoken word. We also believe that a child’s own parent is uniquely empowered and called to instill virtue and wisdom. In order to accomplish those goals we have adopted a philosophy of education that is Classical, Christian, and Covenantal in structure.
By classical we mean:
Classical education describes the method by which knowledge is acquired not the particular subjects pursued, nor the specific curriculum employed. The classical educational model existed for over 1500 years in various forms but fell into decline in the late 1800s due to the rise of progressivism in education. Over the last 30 years many Christians have discovered the riches of having a rigorous academic course of study married with a robust plan for character formation. The resulting educational renaissance has spawned countless like-minded schools across the United States (see www.classicalchristian.org for more information).
We base our educational approach on the classical teaching model known as the Trivium, which divides the educational life of the child into three stages: Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric. This method is well suited to developing logical thinking, reasoning, and communication skills that equip students for a lifetime of learning, as described by Dorothy Sayers in her essay, “The Lost Tools of Learning.”
Geneva Academy seeks to educate children using the three basic developmental stages, called the Trivium (Latin for “the three roads”), that students naturally go through from childhood to maturity. At each stage of the Trivium, the student’s natural inclination to pursue knowledge is celebrated and guided in highly effective and appropriate ways.
The Trivium encompasses:
Grammar—During the grammar stage (approximately grades K-6), students learn the fundamental framework of knowledge on which later information can be hung. Obtaining a body of knowledge essential to educated men and women which address the questions who, what, where, and when e.g., parts of speech, multiplication tables, famous battles, state capitals, etc.
Logic/Dialectic—The logic/dialectic stage (approximately grades 7-8) brings the body of knowledge into ordered relationships. The goal is to equip students with the thinking skills necessary to recognize sound arguments and ideas and to detect and correct fallacious ones. This stage addresses the questions of how and why.
Rhetoric—The function of the rhetoric stage (approximately grades 9-12) is to produce students who have the capacity for beauty and clarity of expression. This stage addresses the use of language, both written and spoken, to express thoughts eloquently and persuasively.
The goal of the Trivium is not primarily to educate students in what to think, but in how to think—thoroughly, maturely, and Biblically—toward a particular Christian moral end. By teaching students how to learn, we provide a solid foundation for mastering the specific subjects encountered throughout their formal education and all of life. The subject material and curricula at Geneva Academy are carefully chosen to prepare students for a variety of educational experiences, but our primary objective is that students gain the skills of learning for themselves. In the end, our teachers strive to instill in students a genuine love and enthusiasm for learning that will remain with them throughout their lives.
By Christian we mean:
Instruction at Geneva Academy acknowledges that all life, knowledge, and meaning extend from our Creator. Our Christian philosophy of education means more than simply providing a religion class among many other classes. Rather, we seek to present the Lord as the One from whom all knowledge originates by integrating the Scriptures throughout the curriculum. This approach requires that all subjects be taught in the light of God’s existence and His revelation to humanity through His Son, Jesus Christ. We lead students in a pursuit of truth knowing that all truth points to God, and we encourage every student to develop a deep, genuine relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
We embrace a “discipleship” model of education, as opposed to an “evangelistic” model. This means that we seek to integrate faith and learning throughout the entire school day, to the end that the students grow and mature in their understanding of the Bible and everything else. Thus, our primary institutional focus is not on persuading students to make initial faith decisions for Christ, although we are excited when our students decide to put their faith in Christ. We believe that persuasion toward this end should come primarily from families and their churches rather than us. Our job as a Christian school is to support parents in nurturing Christ centered affections and developing biblical worldviews that are integrated with outstanding academic skills and intellectual abilities.
As a Christian school, Geneva Academy serves children of believing parents. We require that at least one parent be a professing Christian and that the household be committed to a Christ-centered paideia (Greek for instruction and discipline). At Geneva Academy, parents can have confidence they are in a partnership with other Christian parents that share similar commitments. As believers, we are brothers and sisters in Christ and joint heirs in the Gospel having a great privilege and responsibility in our relationship with one another and with the mission of the school. While we are not the local church, we are a community often engaging in prayer, service, fellowship, and Biblical instruction.
By covenantal we mean:
A covenant is a binding promise between two or more parties. Under the authority granted to fathers and mothers in Scripture, who are required to bring their children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6; Ephesians 6:4), Geneva Academy educators and staff operate in loco parentis (Latin for in the place of a parent). Rather than replacing the church or parents, Geneva Academy is an extension of the Christian family which in God’s plan is the unit responsible for the education of children. This means that for the development of paideia in students while in the classrooms of Geneva Academy, the educators and administration are granted a limited authority that truly belongs to parents. We soberly embrace this responsibility and covenant with the family with great reverence and honor, recognizing the high calling God bestows upon parents. We endeavor to humbly shoulder that calling as it pertains to academia and character formation during classroom hours.
Statement of Faith
Our board of directors is comprised of members of various churches and denominations. We welcome families from any church or denomination as long as they are able to affirm our statement of faith.
Geneva Academy exists to assist parents to cultivate students of wisdom and virtue to the benefit of man and the glory of God through a distinctly Christ-centered, academically rigorous classical and covenantal education.
Frequently asked Questions
We teach students to gather all the facts before making a decision on anything. We encourage you to do the same. Check out our F.A.Q.s to find the answers to many of our common inquiries.