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Classical Colleges

By Fritz Hinrichs
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #15, 1997.

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Fritz Hinrichs

As the interest in Classical Education continues to grow, many homeschoolers are beginning to ask how they might pursue a classical education into the college years. There are a number of colleges that should be considered by classically minded homeschoolers. Some of them offer distance learning programs that can be pursued in a homeschool context; however, others simply offer the opportunity to find a campus where the life of the mind matters more than trendy social theories.

St. John's College
60 College Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 410-263-2371
1160 Camino Cruz Blanca
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Phone: 505-984-6000

St. John's does not offer any distance learning programs, but it is the granddaddy of classical colleges. Founded in 1936 under the influence of Mortimer Adler, the school has been the Mecca for those desiring to follow the "great books" approach. During their four years of study at St. John's, Johnnies read through approximately 100 books carefully selected to provide them a thorough survey of the ideas that have shaped the Western tradition. The program also contain tutorials in mathematics, science, language and music. If you would like to attend St. John's, their admission department recommends keeping detailed records of your course of study while homeschooling. Your scores on the SAT and ACT will also be important; however, since St. John's aims to enroll students who are mature enough to truly pursue the intellectual life, the essay required for admission and your letters of reference receive the most weight.

New Saint Andrew's College
Brenda Schlect
405 South Main Street
Moscow, ID 83843
Phone: 208-882-1566

New Saint Andrew's has the advantage of being able to draw upon the numerous leading lights in classical education who have settled in the Moscow area, including previous PHS classical education columnist Douglas Wilson! NSA's greatest strength is the faculty's commitment to a thoroughgoing critique of the Western tradition from a Biblical worldview. Though still small, this college offers a wonderful opportunity for students to learn from some of the finest Christian minds in the classical movement. NSA is eager for homeschoolers to apply and their admissions counselor recommends preparing for NSA by pursuing a rigorous course of reading in history, biography, theology, science and literature. Prospective students should request a college catalog to see the reading lists that accompany each class.

Hillsdale College
33 East College St.
Hillsdale, MI 49242
Phone: 517-437-7341

Hillsdale College is known as a strong advocate of traditional Western-oriented education. Thought not overtly classical, Hillsdale should be considered by homeschoolers who would like a conventional college setting without the political correctness that has damaged education on so many other campuses. Hillsdale requires homeschool students who apply to submit an official transcript from a homeschooling guild or association, or detailed course descriptions along with proficiency level and a list of textbooks used.

Mirus University
7405 Alban Station Court
Suite A-107
Springfield, VA 22150-2318
Phone: (703) 912-6404

Mirus may be an attractive option for some homeschoolers. There are no students in residence at Mirus because all classes are taught entirely through correspondence and video. The videos used are those contained in the well-known collection of Ivy League lectures sold through The Teaching Company (800-832-2412). The lecturers share many of the same prejudices that are common at the Ivy League colleges where they all teach; however, the lectures presented do focus on the Western canon and provide a tremendous number of helpful insights into the classic texts.

For more information about Mirus, see the PHS interview with Tom Rollins, president of Mirus University, elsewhere in this issue.

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