The Rhetoric School

Refining Lives and Shaping Loves

JECA’s Rhetoric School is comprised of 9th through 12th grade students. In the rhetoric stage of the Trivium, students begin to synthesize all of the knowledge and understanding they acquired in the previous stages into an artful expression of the truth on their own behalf. In other words, the rhetoric stage teaches students to express the truth of God’s universe in the most beautiful and compelling manner possible.

Study in the rhetoric stage focuses primarily on the formulation of wisdom through the contemplation of not only what is true and how it is true, but also why it is true. Accordingly, rhetoric school study transitions from the natural to the spiritual, from the practical to the theoretical. Self-expression comes into its own in the language arts. The “hard” sciences and advanced mathematics find their footing. History aligns itself with economics, sociology, and political science. Bible study delves into the realms of theology and apologetics. In short, in the rhetoric school, students begin to see the interconnectedness of all things within the fabric of God’s creation. They find that the consideration of the abstract and unknown is possible because the known is firmly understood.

Eventually, as they go about their work (at school and elsewhere), they begin to examine themselves and the world in light of God’s truth. They apply the lessons of God’s Word to themselves and begin to comprehend how the truth, as it moves from the head and settles into the heart, necessarily transforms every area of life—how it takes every thought captive. In this stage, their education begins to visibly influence their affections; it becomes love-altering and life-shaping.

The goal of the rhetoric stage is the formulation of Christ-like discernment through the recognition of the totality of God’s sovereignty over all creation. It is to cultivate a living wisdom and virtue that manifests itself in students’ ability to cherish the possession of learning itself, making much of their gifts and fully engaging their callings. It is to equip disciples who love God and love others, and who, with wisdom and beauty, shape and influence their world for Christ.

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