Mission & Vision

Saint Constantine is a Classical, Orthodox, Undergraduate Program. As such, we base our decisions about both curriculum and pedagogy on these three principles: Classical, Orthodox, Undergraduate.

Classical

We believe that classics exist and are identifiable and understandable to those within and outside the traditions in which they arise. Though the struggle to understand classics from distant ages and cultures is difficult and requires much humility and hard work, we believe that engaging with classics is one of the most important of educational endeavors, and that the well educated individual ought to be conversant with the classics that have shaped their culture religiously, politically, philosophically, and artistically. The classical ideal of Socratic wondering is fundamental to how we conduct class—we wonder together about each text, neither naively agreeing with each author nor cynically dismissing them; rather, we are always open to wisdom wherever it may be found.

Orthodox

We believe in Biblical, Nicene Christianity as faithfully preserved in the teaching and practice of the Orthodox Church. We recognize the Orthodox tradition as being global, with historic roots in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Thus we see the literary, philosophical, political, and theological traditions of African, Asian, and European Christians as important to an understanding of the fullness of Orthodox Christianity. Just as Socratic discussion informs our pedagogy, so does the early Christian understanding of all truth as God’s truth inform our exploration of texts. As St. Justin says, the seeds of the Logos are found throughout creation and human thought; thus we conduct each class discussion with an openness to the discovery of the Logos in each age, author, and text we read.

Undergraduate

We believe that the undergraduate years of education are unique and uniquely important. The undergraduate student is finished with their basic, childhood training in the liberal arts of math, science, and the humanities, but is not yet being specifically trained for a single career or field, as they would be in graduate or trade school. Instead, we see the undergraduate years as those in which the student first engages with the liberal arts as an adult, and, as an adult, seeks to cultivate the virtue that the liberal arts can instill when studied with dedication and humility. We seek to apprentice students in mature, adult thinking, writing, research, and community-building as they complete their general education in the liberal arts, with a particular focus on the classic texts that shaped the Orthodox church and modern American culture.