SURSUM CORDA “Lift up your hearts!”
This phrase heard weekly in Christian churches across the world perfectly sums up our purpose: to provide an education that allows students to lift up their hearts. St. Augustine, the renowned 4th-century bishop, rhetorician, and one of the most influential figures for classical education, was of the opinion that the phrase “Lift Up Your Hearts,” was the most succinct definition of the church’s calling. His most famous work, Confessions, explores the questions that are central to humanity about our identity and relationship to God, whether we are slaves to things created or free subjects of our Creator. As the phrase “Lift Up Your Hearts” will be recognizable to Christians of all classical varieties, our school is for any who desire a classical Christian education. Nevertheless, as catechesis is intricately linked to classical education, and since classical education is historically Lutheran, everything will be taught in accordance with Holy Scripture and the Lutheran confessions.
Sursum Corda Classical School will provide a classical, Biblical education to children. By using the classical approach within the framework of a confessional Lutheran character, the school will aim to allow students to “lift up their hearts.” Through the nurturing of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, students will rise above simply learning a set of skills, to rather be free to discover what is true, good, and beautiful. By engaging with the greatest of literature and wisdom from the past to the present, students will be freed to think above the issues of the modern world. With a schedule that includes parents in the education of their children, families will be freed for service in their highest and most important vocations. Finally, with the Gospel of Christ and the forgiveness of sins forming the foundation of the school, students’ hearts will be truly lifted up – free from sin and the worries of the world.
For generations, the priorities of modern education have bound individuals to an increasingly consumerist and polemical society, instructing them what to think on both the right and left, rather than giving them the knowledge of how to think freely. Furthermore, as society becomes more polemic, public institutions tend to feel the need to instruct children in areas that would naturally be the responsibility of parents. The return to a classical model, which hands down both traditional morality and clear thinking through study of grammar, logic, rhetoric, and the best of ancient literature and wisdom, will prepare students for life in home, church, and community. Parents are invited again to be the primary influencer in their child(ren)’s life.
Fall 2024 (assuming financing and enrollment meets expectations)
The school will begin purposefully small, not placing growth above providing an excellent and beautiful education. A fire that has too many logs put on will be smothered, so too we will seek to grow naturally. We seek to initially provide a classical Lutheran education to children in the grammar to logic ages. The goal is to open with 10 students in a grammar school cohort (K-2nd grade), adding logic school grades and cohorts (3rd-5th, and 6th-8th) in future years at a natural pace.
~Two Days In-School / ~Two Days at Home.
We believe parents are their children’s first and best teachers, no matter the child’s age (or the parents’ mastery of Latin nouns). Parents will be asked to teach material prepared by our instructors for two/three days at home, giving them an even greater opportunity to influence their children, with our professional guidance.
This schedule may also allow for more flexibility for teachers, or potentially allow a greater number of students to receive a highly personal education.
Oregon is a growing community with a population of nearly 12,000, but no option for schooling other than the public school system. Oregon would be a hub for Lutherans and other classically-minded Christians in the communities of Verona, Fitchburg, McFarland, Stoughton, Brooklyn, Evansville, Belleville, Monroe as well as the south side of Madison.
Our school will begin in the lower level of Faith Lutheran Church, Oregon, WI, which consists of two small classrooms and a large fellowship hall. We have the essential elements: a space, teachers, and students.
With boldness that our school will succeed because it is built on the most important foundation, we welcome partners and patrons at any time, to help us raise money to build a dedicated school building to serve the needs of our community.