Food & drink for the mind

Augustine College accepts the model of education that reigned for millennia, until the modern age began to dismantle that tradition.

Truth was something that sustained you.
Reality was central to your existence.
Divinity was at the heart of all that moved you.

All of this was like bread, or like water: to study such things was to eat and be filled, drink and be restored.

But education gradually changed.

Knowledge became the output of scholarship: ‘true things’ now had little or nothing to do with what once was called understanding.

It is not too large a claim to make that at Augustine College the well filled in by the norm of modern education has been emptied of stones, dirt, and trash and reopened.

The plan

At Augustine College our students undergo a four-month ‘crash course’ in the Western intellectual tradition, the foundation of a vision of life in accord with the Gospel. One four-month programme is dedicated to ancient and Biblical thought; another to developments since the middle ages, viewed in the light of Christ.

Within each programme there are no electives, as education used to be. (Why opt out of a programme designed to furnish each student with the building blocks of a true understanding?) All our students study the same subjects together, sharing questions, difficulties, and discoveries.

The subjects

Our subjects are largely those that were long considered basic to higher education:

Scripture, theology, philosophy, logic, rhetoric, science, literature, art, & a classical language.

Whether the course is Art or Philosophy it is the basic questions, the key principles, the central insights that are kept in view.

In those subjects that have a history (art, science, literature, philosophy) we proceed chronologically in each programme:

the Ancient programme runs from beginnings up to the Reformation;

the Modern, from the Reformation up to the 21st century.

The two programmes answer such questions as, what is the ancient worldview? What is unique about the Christian understanding of reality? What triumphed in modernity? Were the ancient truths overcome? Did the tradition die? What was gained, what lost?

The year is a beginning, and can be no more: attempted training in the pursuit of wisdom, true understanding — “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16).