Classical & Orthodox
Teachers and administration of Chrysostom Academy believe that every student possesses an inherent dignity which must be cultivated in virtue and grace if he or she is to be truly free, and it is in this freedom that true learning can begin.
Chrysostom Academy is distinctly classical as students are taught a knowledge-centered curriculum within the subjects of science, math, history, and literature pursued for their own good.
From 1st through 5th grade, students ‘learn how to learn’ by building their own vast foundation of knowledge.
Personal growth is emphasized in 6th through 8th grade as students anchor themselves to the classics and what is truth.
Check back to learn more as we plan to launch our Upper School grades of 9th through 12th in the 2023 school year.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a distinctly Classical Orthodox Education?
A Classical Orthodox Education is that which understands school is more than about the acquisition of knowledge than ‘earning’ a diploma or receiving an acceptance to a university. While knowledge and the formation of the mind are vitally important, such a formation is incomplete if it neglects the heart and will of the student. Orthodox Christianity brings a unity and synthesis to the pursuit of wisdom which unifies, enlightens, and perfects all three. In addition, Classical Orthodox Education pursues virtues in a real substantive way, understanding that all virtue finds fulfillment and purpose in relationship with Christ who is the example of wisdom, virtue, and holiness.
2. What sets us apart from other schools within the Lehigh Valley?
First, Chrysostom Academy is intentionally Orthodox in our understanding of reality, that all of the universe is known through the prism of the Incarnation. Second, we do not consider our students as means, but as ends in themselves, and so we educate them not as means to an end (the economy, some socio-political construct, as psycho-sexual beings) but as ends in themselves, heirs of the world through Christ.
3. Is a Classical school for everyone?
It can be, but only if it is seen not merely as an alternative to traditional schooling, but as the way to form students in the wisdom of the past with an eye to eternity in the pursuit of the beautiful. Classical education is not daycare, and without a studied involvement by parents in the lives of the students, Classical school, like any other school, will not succeed.
4. Is Classical Education just another alternative to public/charter schooling?
Classical Education rests upon a different foundation than American public education. Public schools in the United States, as envisioned by its primary architects, from Horace Mann to John Dewey, exist to produce good, efficient workers. While classical education highly values efficiency and productivity, these are not the highest human values, let alone the highest of Christian values. Productivity and efficiency are but means to ends, and will always be supplanted by the love of beauty, the understanding of truth, and the pursuit of the good.
What is Classical Education?
To the classical mind, all knowledge is interrelated. Chrysostom Academy of Lehigh Valley provides a vigorous classical curriculum steeped in the greatest texts and wisdom of the past. It supports the ongoing conversation of great minds throughout history.
By classical education, we are not defining a pedagogy, for there really is no “classical” way of teaching. Teaching is teaching, classical is classical. When we say classical, we are specifically pointing to that body of wisdom and that canon of texts which has its foundation in the ancient world, found harmony, synthesis, and completion with Christianity, and which even to this day is the foundation upon which all true learning is based. It seeks after the Divine (either voluntary or involuntary) by contemplating the good, the beautiful, and the true, and encourages us to know ourselves; for only in knowing ourselves, can we overcome our fallen human nature and be truly wise. In addition, it supports students in their quest to know Beauty, Goodness, and Truth.
The mind and soul of each child is formed through an encounter with Beauty and beautiful things as the foundation of their recognition of Goodness and Truth. The Beautiful is heard in the music of the great composers, recited in the words of the poets, and seen in the natural world. As students begin to recognize Beauty in the created world, Wonder and Imagination are sparked, thereby leading students to pursue Goodness and Truth.
Knowing and being able to recognize Truth allows the mind to be brought into accord with what is real. The building blocks of learning are set when students are presented with the basics of language, stories of history and literature, descriptions of plants and animals and the human body, the facts of mathematics, and so much more. In this pursuit, the student discovers that Truth leads to Christ, who as the God-man is Truth Himself.
Chrysostom Academy students will understand that there are many “goods” in the world and the degree to which something is better or worse depends on its reflection and embodiment of Goodness. For them, Goodness is not a mere abstraction but a living, breathing reality.
Students of all faith traditions are welcome. As a Classical Orthodox school, Chrysostom Academy will provide students with a solid Orthodox Christian foundation and will help students build truly meaningful and impactful lives in the world around them.