We believe that Christian classical education is a vehicle that ushers humans toward deep healing and transformation. It is the birthright of every living soul to encounter this transformation and flourish. Sure, students who learn this way will have an impressive transcript, be college-ready, and shine in the workforce, but they will, more importantly, become more themselves, notice the humanity of others, seek understanding instead of remaining in ignorance, and rule themselves like the best of kings and queens. At the end of the day, this restructuring of priorities and a focus on the true, good, and beautiful leads to a life of wholeness and fulfillment, a life of “more than we could ask or imagine.” – Jennifer Dow
Our core values are honor & dignity, freedom, hospitality, form, and ecumenical.
Honor & Dignity
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. --Psalm 8:3-5
Honor over shame, every day of the week. We believe that each person has innate dignity, made in the image of the Triune God. We believe that Christ is the incarnate true, good, and beautiful one, who lit a light in each of us and keeps it perpetually ablaze. We seek to love our neighbors by noticing and respecting the light in them while also allowing others to see the light in us. Because we each have this light, we know truth, goodness, and beauty may be found in any book, culture, or person, whether it be an ancient liturgy, a child, a tribal story, a dead poet, or a modern-day musician. We honor others by respecting their personal agency, seeking to understand and inviting, rather than imposing.
Paideia Fellowship values enjoying freedom from the tyranny of false and oppressive narratives, whether they are found in society or within our hearts. The truth sets us free. We want to connect with Christ, who can hold a mirror up to our souls and show us himself and our true selves, dignified and divine, as sons and daughters of God. “I am indeed a king, for I know how to rule (and see) myself.” This is real freedom and the telos of our education. We will face the past, society, and ourselves while learning to become hard-working, honest, and humble students. We believe that no one culture or person has the corner on truth. We give ourselves the freedom to live in the truth that there is no magical place that can give us all the answers, including us here at Paideia. We are one way, one form, that can help the modern homeschool family or classical teacher teach the classical liberal arts.
“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community
Hospitality is the act of loving and giving healing space to our neighbors, all of our neighbors, including ourselves. Hospitality is an embodiment of the belief that each person has innate dignity and is worthy of honor.
Hospitality is what makes a classical education and its telos come to pass. Through hospitality, we make space for each student to learn, heal, not-know, wrestle, experience victory and failure, discuss, and connect. It includes a lot of mess and mystery, beauty, form and freedom, courage, humility, and openness. Hospitality is the foundation for the trust and comfort required if we want to experience real learning, freedom, and healing. It is woven throughout every experience at Paideia, to the best of our ability.
Hospitality provides a free and inclusive space for all who enter. We don’t care so much about being “classical” enough, in the ivory tower sense, come as you are. This doesn’t have to look buttoned-up, whitewashed, or elitist to be a flourishing and incredible classical program. Whether you are a tutor, nanny, classroom teacher, homeschooling domestic diva, or a single working mom warrior you can learn something here that works for your family’s life and/or students’ lives. Whether you have no degree or six degrees, are from the city or the country, like Bach or 2Pac, wear bowties or hippie dresses, have never taught a day in your life, or are a professor.
No matter where you are and what you are about, if you want to learn how to teach the liberal arts and offer this freeing education to your children or students, this is a space for you. We can help you become a classical teacher who knows their stuff and leads their classroom (at home or school) with confidence and grace.
We celebrate tradition and form. At Paideia, we honor this reality by choosing to align ourselves with forms that have stood the test of time and honor the dignity of every student, teacher, and subject/work we teach. We acknowledge that we are all communal beings that continually seem to come together around the ceremony, the table, and cultural traditions. We honor this by creating festive and nourishing community traditions throughout the year.
We deeply value an ecumenical atmosphere for our community. Rather than a specific earthly culture, political agenda, or religious tradition, we embrace and learn from the works, art, and customs of Africa, the East, as well as the Americas and other Western cultures.
We believe the heavenly kingdom is the ultimate common ground and place of dignity for every human soul and no one group or culture owns it. Our participants, teachers, and advisors are from a variety of national backgrounds and religious backgrounds, including Orthodox Christian, Protestant, and Catholic. As a fellowship, we hold to the Christian beliefs outlined in the Nicene Creed, and we aspire to live lives in a community marked by charity, as described in 1 Corinthians 13.