The Trivium

We’re committed to building on classical thought to impact our students and the world in radical ways. Our educational approach is called the Trivium (meaning three) and is composed of three schools with one purpose: to educate each student effectively and appropriately through a thoroughly Christian worldview.

Knowledge & Delight – Grammar School (K4-5th)

Children are natural learners and have curiosity about the world in which they live. They delight in finding out how the world works, and in the School of Grammar, we train them to explore the world and master the basic fundamentals to build their knowledge and thinking skills. Learning aids such as drills, games, and songs—as well as teachers dedicated to developing a love for learning—help our students master the facts (or “grammars”) they will need as they continue their path to thinking and reasoning from a Christian worldview. At this age, memorization comes naturally, and we use this in our approach to learning.

Since God is sovereign and ever working, we teach our students to consistently return to God’s Word as the foundation for their exploration of God’s world (Psalm 119:11, Job 28:28). Hands-on experiential knowledge is augmented with careful study of the absolute truth of Scripture and investigation of history, English, classical languages, geography, science, and math that result in “scientia et delectatio,” or knowledge and delight.

Order & Wisdom – School of Dialectic (6th-8th)

Students who have learned to delight in knowledge begin to move from the “what” questions of Grammar school to the “how” and “why” of the School of Dialectic. God has ordered all creation, and in order to understand God’s creation, one must question how it works. In this school, students are encouraged to ask questions and discuss ideas. They study primary sources of information rather than homogenized textbooks. Logic and critical thinking skills are developed and disciplined in traditional logic classes, and students discover that ideas have consequences—even their own ideas.

Objective, absolute truth holds up to questioning, and Dialectic students learn to question the world around them and compare what they see to the truth of God’s Word. This results in a secure understanding of their place and purpose in history in an ordered world, which, without proper perspective, can seem random and hostile. Learning why things happen, not just what happened, helps students gain wisdom to apply biblical principles to their personal lives, and security in knowing that God’s will is never squelched, His purposes never thwarted (Job 42:2, Psalm 115:3, Ephesians 1:11). What joy to grow in “ordo et sapientia” or order and wisdom.

Perfection & Humility – School of Rhetoric (9th-12th)

A mature appreciation for the wonder of God expressed in His creation and humility in response to His marvelous works are key components in the School of Rhetoric (Psalm 8:3-4). Students learn to communicate their ideas effectively through reason, debate, discussion, and interaction in light of the awesome truth of God in Scripture. They integrate individual disciplines—history and philosophy as revealed in art, literature, music, and science—tracing the outworking of God’s will through time. Students are required to think, reason, and persuade from a biblical and logical perspective in all of their courses. They analyze, evaluate, and discern in order to apply biblical principals to conflicting ideas and suppositions, and putting sound reasoning into practice and becoming more equipped to communicate truth. ACA’s School of Rhetoric meets or exceeds all of Oklahoma’s requirements for graduation. Students participate in athletics, journalism, music, drama, and leadership—building a well-rounded approach to life from a Christian perspective, as they strive for “perfection et humilitas” or perfection and humility.