Trinitas Blog

For Just Such a Time as This

Posted by Ron Gilley on Nov 9, 2020 12:20:49 PM

In my years associated with classical Christian education—as a parent, donor, school board member, teacher, and headmaster—I have had my share of conversations with folks who want to know why the standards for Christian character and academic diligence are so high, why our students read theology and philosophy and history and literature authored by people who have been dead for 1,000 years or more, and why we focus so intently on writing and speaking and debating. One good answer to such questions is that we do these things in classical Christian education in order to prepare students for just such a time as this.

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Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, Christian Education, True Education, Social Issues

Who’s Your Role Model?

Posted by Ron Gilley on Oct 6, 2020 7:40:03 AM

With increasing frequency I find myself consoling acquaintances whom I find shaking their heads and muttering about the world “going to hell in a handbasket.” In many ways I sympathize with these frustrated folk—look at politics, the media, the government, our Darwinian capitalist machine. One can hardly help wringing one’s hands over the state of the country, even the state of the world. But Christians have been given some instructions about the world, instructions along the lines of taking dominion and baptizing the nations and teaching them to obey Jesus. So let’s dispense with the handwringing, shall we, and get on with the business at hand.

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Topics: Blog Posts, Parenting, True Education, Parent Involvement, Social Issues

How to Rule a Kingdom

Posted by Ron Gilley on Sep 13, 2020 6:46:12 PM

I am often asked to describe the difference between classical education and what we might call a progressive or modern education. Elements of classical education can come across as impractical while modern education sometimes seems more, well, practical. Perhaps a story best explains the importance of the impractical. This story is based on one told at this year’s Trinitas Convocation ceremony.

This is the story of a fantastical social experiment. It all began with two young men, Johann and Ned. Johann was brought up in a royal palace and Ned in a lawless slum. Johann was cared for from his birth by a loving family. He was taught from an early age that he would someday rule the kingdom. In preparation for his rule, Johann was given an education that went beyond training for an occupation. He learned to paint, to sing, to play the violin. He read the Greek philosophers and studied geometry and calculus. He learned to speak and write well and to debate important issues. Johann learned etiquette, that is, he learned how to treat other people in a way that dignified their humanity and made them feel loved and respected. He was held to a high standard of character and integrity. His conduct was expected to be honorable, a model for others to aspire to, and it was.

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Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, True Education, Social Issues

Education Fit for a King

Posted by Ron Gilley on Aug 29, 2020 6:56:33 PM

The Apostle Peter probably shocked his contemporary audience when he declared them “a royal priesthood” in 1 Peter 2:9. Can you imagine his converted Gentile audience, who had known only the rule of kings for their entire lives, now hearing themselves described as royalty for the first time? They must have thought, Huh? You talking to me? But then, maybe we react the same way to Peter’s message today. Just like those Gentile converts, we too are royalty. We are kings and queens in the kingdom of God, serving under the True King, Jesus.

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Topics: Blog Posts, Christian Education, True Education, Christian Living

The Voices in Your Head, Part 2

Posted by Sean Johnson on Jun 8, 2020 8:00:00 AM

(Trinitas faculty member Mr. Sean Johnson addressed these comments to the graduating class of 2020 at Commencement Exercises on May 29, 2020.) 

You have been looking forward to graduation for some time, which means you have fairly well-formed ideas about what graduation is and what it will mean for your life. This is how anticipation works. If something is a complete mystery to us, it is very difficult to look forward to it with any great eagerness. Expectation grows with understanding;  I have been in the classroom with you for the last 36 weeks (most of them, anyway) and I know how fervently you have been looking forward to this day and what you think it signifies.

And that’s my cue.

There is something you may not yet understand about graduation. In this season you have heard a great deal of talk about goodbyes, about “the last” this or that, “the end” of this or that, talk about where you will be next year and advice about what you should remember and do when get there…  — and all this talk (I suspect,) has only served to confirm in your minds the belief that you are being graduated out of something. You are mistaken. While I cannot speak for the secret thoughts of your frustrated teachers on those dark days when you have been eating candy since 8:00 am, I can assure you it is generally true that graduating you out of Trinitas has never been our goal.

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Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, Alumni, True Education

The Voices in Your Head, Part 1

Posted by Sean Johnson on Jun 1, 2020 9:57:34 AM

(Trinitas faculty member Mr. Sean Johnson addressed these comments to the graduating class of 2020 at Commencement Exercises on May 29, 2020.) 

"Good evening to the board of governors, faculty and staff, families of graduates, and to the 2019-2020 graduating class.

I have always wondered just what it would take for someone to ask me to give a commencement speech. I imagined myself much older, with a long career to look back on, several published books to my name, maybe an online cult following of homeschool moms and a few English teachers who would railroad their administrator into inviting me to speak to their graduates….
All it really took, though, was some poor unfortunate soul on the other side of the planet eating a bowl of tainted bat soup and sparking a global pandemic that would force all life and commerce in America to a grinding halt thus preventing the real commencement speaker from traveling to Florida. I feel like I should have seen that one coming…

Having said that, I am superlatively honored to be here, and I want to thank Mr. Gilley and the Board of Governors for the opportunity to address this class.

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Topics: Blog Posts, School Life, Classical Education, Alumni, True Education

The Old Stories

Posted by Ron Gilley on May 18, 2020 11:50:53 AM

The “Preacher” in the book of Ecclesiastes is adamant about there being “nothing new under the sun” (Eccl 1:9). Yet, the whole of humanity, or so it seems, only sits up and pays attention at the promise of something new. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly are introduced to new i-phones with some regularity, and every fall without fail new car models are unveiled in Detroit. Fashions are renewed every season, and some of us can hardly wait to see each season’s new look on the runways or in stores. No, I think it is unlikely the wise Preacher doubted the progressive nature of invention; rather, he speaks of something deeper.

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Topics: Blog Posts, Classical Education, True Education, Christian Living, Secular Education

The Downside of Internet Based Instruction, Part II

Posted by Ron Gilley on Apr 27, 2020 9:58:34 AM

As COVID19 school closures continue, Florida is being held up to the nation as an example of how well internet based instruction can be done. Still, in almost daily briefings I receive about Florida’s schools, administrators and teachers are dealing with problems ranging from poor connectivity to students simply not showing up for online class. To say teachers, parents, and students everywhere are just trying to make the best of a nearly impossible situation would be the epitome of understatement.

Last week I decided to write about the downside of internet based instruction in an attempt to offer some balance to the idea that online school is the next best thing to being there. I am convinced it is not. Still, the internet does offer schools another tool to overcome the new hurdles we are all facing. In full disclosure, even since I posted last week, Trinitas has increased its online instruction for 9th – 12th grades. Most classes are now offering the option of meeting at least once a week online for some face-to-virtual-face time with instructors. Technology offers us a tool, and we are using it sparingly, cautiously. I suggested last week that the carryover from using the internet for entertainment will taint its use as a tool. Three detrimental effects particularly concern me as an administrator and teacher: passivity, shortened attention span, and diminished imagination.

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Topics: Blog Posts, Technology, True Education

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