What is Catholic classical education? How is it different from other area schools?

Catholic classical education understands that man is created for union with God, and that the purpose of education is to cultivate virtue in the entire person – mind, heart, and body – so that his entire life is directed towards that end.  Every aspect of the curriculum is oriented towards achieving that purpose.  There is a very distinct order and cohesive character in the curriculum, an intentional integration of all subject matter.  Virtue is cultivated in the body through sensory participation in the physical arts and traditional crafts.  The desires of the heart are ordered through the goodness and beauty of poetry, great books, and natural creation.  The mind is exercised for the truth along the path of the liberal arts, philosophy, and theology.  Throughout, the curriculum and school culture constantly draw from the Church’s traditional and timeless sources of wisdom and learning.  By contemplating the truth, goodness, and beauty of creation with the eyes of the Church, the students are led to a knowledge and love of their Creator and Redeemer.  Persons thus formed will be able to get a good job; but much more importantly, they will be well-formed human beings, able to be good husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, priests, monks, and nuns, ready to live out the call to holiness to which God has called them.

Modern education, developed in the early 1900s, assumes that man does not have a heavenly end; his purpose is to be a productive contributor to the economy and society.  These days this is expressed with the saying: “You go to school to get a good job.”  The entire curriculum is therefore devoted towards making its product productive and non-disruptive to society.  Science is devoid of any understanding that creation is good and ordered by God.  Literature is read to finish books, not to ponder them.  Mathematics is stripped of wonder, and devoted only to the plugging of inputs into equations to calculate the answer.  Adding religion classes to this list does not reorder the curriculum or direct to a different end.  Rather, the curriculum ends up in conflict with itself, presenting contradictory ends of the human person and leaving students confused and unmoored.

Secular Education – Ordered toward material, temporal ends

  • fragmented, industrialized
  • focus on practical skills
  • emphasis on information
  • ignores the moral imagination
  • one mile wide, one inch deep
  • lectures + testing = passive learning
  • susceptible to indoctrination

Catholic Classical Education – Ordered toward eternal happiness

  • integration of subjects, knowledge, faith
  • restores meaning & purpose
  • awakens wonder
  • nurtures the moral imagination
  • cultivates habits of rigorous thinking
  • constant discussion = active learning
  • develops intellectual freedom

Where will MSW be located?

More information about our location can be found here.  We’re centrally located in Wichita Kansas nearby the Friends University Campus.

Mary Seat of Wisdom Academy
University Friends Meeting Building (East Wing)
1840 W University Avenue

What grades does MSW offer?

MSW opened in August of 2023 with a ninth grade class, and will add a grade each year (tenth grade in August of 2024, etc.).

What will be the selection process for teachers?  How will the school ensure that its employees are faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church? How will teachers be chosen? Will there be an honor code to keep them true to Catholic doctrine?

Each member of the faculty at MSW must be committed to living out and passing on the full tradition of the Church, and must embody the virtues that the school aims to cultivate in its students.  As a Catholic classical school, MSW is a community that seeks God through truth, goodness, and beauty.  A commitment to witness to the truth of Jesus Christ proclaimed by holy mother Church is required of every employee of MSW.  The faculty are the embodiment of this community, and students are invited into it.  Each will be formed in the Catholic classical tradition through education, experience, or training.

What will the curriculum look like?

For more information on our curriculum, please visit our Curriculum page.

What influence, policies, and involvement will the Diocese of Wichita have on the school?

Mary Seat of Wisdom Academy operates independently of the Diocese of Wichita.  The headmaster will be responsible for the day-to-day activities of the school, while the board provides oversight and long-term direction.  However, as a Catholic school we operate with the express blessing and encouragement of Bishop Kemme.

What does the school community look like? How can I get involved?

Parents are the primary educators of their children – both the sense of being the first educators and in the sense of being those mainly responsible for their children’s education.  MSW exists to support parents in fulfilling that role, and entrusts this responsibility to its faculty.  The faculty are those who have been fed at the banquet of truth, goodness, and beauty, and who invite the students and their families to the feast.  As students and families enter into this community, they join in this pursuit and together seek God.

Parents are encouraged to participate in the life of the school – first and foremost by reading what their children are reading and discussing it with them, but also by getting to know other families in the school, and by attending events at which the community gathers together in celebration.  It is by entering into this community together that we can form a school culture that will allow our children to grow into the excellent men and women that God created them to be.

Will MSW have sports and other extracurriculars?

We take physical excellence to be an integral part of human formations.  Sports are part of the curriculum, as well as other activities such as the technical arts and traditional dances.

Does MSW offer part-time options?

Yes, we do!  Click here for more information.