Approach to Education
The approach to or philosophy of education at St. Anthony's Cathedral House of Liturgical Studies is based upon a general quadrilateral model of theological reflection and modified elements of Hellenistic schools.
A Holistic Approach to Education
The quadrilateral model consists of four elements: scripture, reason, experience, and tradition. Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, serve as the primary source (prima scriptura) within the context of the Church for guiding spiritual formation and theological training. The individual student and faculty encounter Scripture through reason, namely reasonable thinking and sound interpretation, and experience, the Christian’s personal and mutual journey in Christ. Tradition, which includes liturgical practice, patristic teachings, church councils, and even modern Christian thought, though not infallible, serves as a witness to the ancient context (Holy Tradition) from which Scripture arose. All four elements together lead students to pursue truth and develop a holistic understanding of theological concepts and Christian thought, while encouraging a deep, personal relationship with Christ.
The Human Side to Distance Learning
St. Anthony's has structured its programs to address the sometimes detached nature of distance learning, which frequently requires from a student a fair amount of independent study and research.
Upon admission to a St. Anthony's program, students are assigned an academic mentor (faculty member) who serves as a personal advisor and guide through the educational process. In some aspects, this mentor-student relationship partially reflects the nature of Hellenistic schools, whose social structures are partially analogous to early Christian groups.
The mentor-student relationship involves one-on-one consultation, supervision, feedback, and assistance with questions about studies upon request. In one sense, it creates a situation where mentors serve as academic and spiritual role models,
both during a student’s period of study at St. Anthony's and later in adult life. In another sense (according to social theory), it might perform the function of institutionalizing the chain of spiritual and academic tradition promoted by St. Anthony's House
Praxis: Faith and Education Working in Harmony
Hellenistic schools often functioned with several purposes in mind: professional training, liberal education, intellectual inquiry, and moral training. There are notable parallels between the education provided by St. Anthony's and these Greco-Roman schools.
Like many of its ancient counterparts, St. Anthony's ministers to the need of its students to pursue an excellent course of study in preparation for adult life and professional ministry in today’s society. A St. Anthony's education also focuses on harmonizing theory and the skills students gain in their chosen programs with their faith. Students do not have to be liturgical Christian to study at St. Anthony's.
At the same time, St. Anthony's is committed to attracting capable faculty and ample resources to permit students to explore theological subjects intellectually and to share this knowledge for the purpose of edifying the body of Christ.
Ultimately, a St. Anthony's experience promotes moral development and a lifelong commitment to Christ in one’s life in the context of the Church.