On the 16th of August the first class, consisting of eleven full-time and part-time students, began their first day of the 2023-2024 school year at Mary Seat of Wisdom Academy. We are so excited for our students and faculty!
Scripture & Catechesis (Old Testament) and the Trivium with Jackie Arnold
The final teacher to introduce in our summer faculty series is Jackie Arnold, who is teaching the Old Testament for Scripture & Catechesis and the Trivium.
Jackie Arnold grew up in the Wichita area, attending local parochial schools. While receiving an academically high education, it wasn’t until attending the Humanities and Catholic Culture Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville that she fell in love with learning. Always a copious reader, this program opened her eyes to the wisdom, virtue, and beauty of a liberal arts education.
As well as teaching at Mary Seat of Wisdom Academy, Jackie is the Curriculum Director at St. Patrick Catholic School in Kingman, where they are moving toward a liberal arts approach. Jackie and her husband, Joel, and their five children live on a small farm west of Wichita. She finds joy in growing flowers, taking country walks, and reading (of course!).
When introducing the students to the Trivium in class, Jackie unfolded the ancient idea of the seven liberal arts that would develop free minds for those who studied them. The three arts of the Trivium (Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric) build up and help the student to think, write, and speak fully. A student must begin with organizing, understanding, and mastering language (or any subject matter) in grammar. With maturity and understanding comes logical and well-reasoned thinking. From this follows rhetoric, or the persuasive, elegant, and virtuous language by which we can communicate and persuade others of the truth. Jackie is eager to work with the students to unlock the cumulative power of the Trivium for their education.
During Scripture and Catechesis, the class will journey through the world of the Old Testament, seeing the overlaps and diversions in ideas between God’s people and the Ancient pagan world. It is Jackie’s hope that their reading of the Bible will become first and foremost knowledge of the heart, as well as of the head, seeing how God speaks to us on different levels. They will also read two saint biographies – on St. Helen and St. Augustine – by the great author Louis de Wohl. Like a great book does, these books immerse the student in the world of the saints, who lived at the intersection of the Ancient world and Christian civilization.
Jackie’s teaching philosophy is based on the idea of educating the whole person: mind, soul, and body. In the classroom this translates to allowing students to wrestle together with difficult readings and concepts in Socratic discussion, instead of the traditional lecture classroom. It also means Jackie shares from her own personal experience with students about how God is moving or what a text means to her. In Scripture class they will also spend time each Thursday praying with the upcoming Sunday readings in lectio divina. Each student has an individual journal set aside for this time. The body can sometimes be forgotten in education, but it is no less important! Jackie plans to bring beautiful art to feast their senses upon, along with movement to go along with memorization pieces. Classical learning is tied deeply to an embodied understanding of man. It is also deeply enjoyable!
It’s not too late for your student to join the first class at MSW Academy, either as a full-time freshman or part-time high-school student. Find the application page on our webpage:
Visit Seeds of Wisdom, our blog, for the rest of our summer faculty series:
Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us!