The College Program at Saint Constantine offers students a robustly classical and uniquely Orthodox approach to undergraduate education. The curriculum is designed to familiarize students with the Liberal Arts, while providing a grounding in the robust Christian thought of both the Eastern and Western traditions. Whereas some Great Texts programs ignore the Christian and Islamic East, Saint Constantine makes them central to the Great Texts curriculum.
Students who enroll in the College at Saint Constantine are helping to keep alive, in their own scholarship, the ancient traditions of individual tutorial learning, Socratic discussion, and the preservation of those texts, questions, and ideas without which the modern world would not exist.
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Visit our Academics page to learn more about how the classical approach has shaped our classes!
Year 1 at Saint Constantine
In the first year of undergraduate study, students at Constantine read, write, and conduct research on the Great Texts of the Ancient Greek, Roman, Early Christian, Early Islamic, and Medieval worlds. Each week, they have two discussion classes and one individual tutorial on these Great Texts. Additionally, the students have one discussion per week dedicated to the Old and New Testaments. The reading load for these discussions and tutorials is both demanding and rewarding, and by the end of Year 1, the students will have read and studied over 30 texts in their entirety, including Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Plato’s Republic, Virgil’s Aeneid, Augustine’s Confessions, John Damascene’s On the Orthodox Faith, and Dante’s Divine Comedy, as well as the entire Bible and Qur’an.
Year 1 students also attend the College Algebra and Economics tutorials. In the former, students are individually apprenticed in the fundamentals of mathematics, including functions and regression analysis. In the latter, students are introduced to the history of economic thought and its contemporary employment in micro- and macro-economics.
Year 2 at Saint Constantine
In the second year of undergraduate study, students at Constantine read, write, and conduct research on the Great Texts of the Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Modern worlds. Each week, they attend three discussion classes and one individual tutorial on these Great Texts. By the end of year two, the students will have read and studied over 50 texts in their entirety, including Machiavelli’s Prince, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of a Slave, Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, and King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
Year 2 students also attend lectures in Conceptual Physics, supplemented by Great Texts discussions of scientific classics by Copernicus, Newton, Einstein, and more.
By the end of Year 2, the students have experienced a rigorous overview of the texts and ideas that have shaped both the Eastern and the Western Christian consciousness. Thus, the college rewards students who have successfully completed Year 2 with a membership into the Order of the Spear.
Year 3 at Constantine
Having completed their chronological overview of Great Texts, students in year 3 begin to study the great authors in tremendous depth. This year students read the complete works of Plato and Dante, along with each author’s principle sources and major historical and contemporary critical writings on each. During the students’ study of Dante, special focus is given to the fields of astronomy and cosmology, and students attend an astronomy lab as part of their study.
Through the intensive reading, discussion, research, and writing of year three, students become familiar with the research methods required of professional academic scholarship and become conversant about the historical critical conversations surrounding Plato and Dante. Finally, they are prepared to defend in detail the importance of Plato’s and Dante’s roles in the development of the modern world.
Year 4 at Constantine
This year students read the the major sources and complete works of Shakespeare, along with key historical and contemporary critical writings on his plays and poems. Through this study, students become conversant about the historical critical conversations surrounding Shakespeare and are prepared to defend in detail the importance of The Bard’s roles in the development of the modern world.
To complete their Bachelor of Arts, Constantine seniors also take a Senior Thesis tutorial. In Senior Thesis, students draw on all their previous apprenticeship in undergraduate scholarship as they read and conduct research on the major works of an author of their choice, present their research to their professors and peers for critique, and finally write a scholarly, journal-article-length paper presenting original research on their chosen author.
Through individualized tutelage, wide reading, and deep research experience, students who graduate with a Bachelor of Arts from The College at Saint Constantine have been uniquely equipped for success and leadership in a wide range of life-paths and careers.
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