School of Rhetoric (9th-12th)

At Annapolis, the School of Rhetoric encompasses grades 9 – 12 and brings together a diverse community of students and faculty devoted to the love of learning, the cultivation of wisdom and eloquence, and the pursuit of life’s most important questions.  Our unique approach to high school education includes:

  • The Great Conversation:  School of Rhetoric teachers invite students to explore their intellectual and spiritual heritage by encountering the greatest books and most inspiring figures of Western Civilization. As part of the interdisciplinary humanities core, students read, write about, and discuss the books and figures that built our world in small, dynamic, seminar-style classes.
  • Faith Seeking Understanding: Balancing excellent academics with the formation of Christian character, students are given the unique opportunity to participate in an academic community where questions of faith and reason are taken seriously and discussed openly.
  • The Fellowship of the Doers: The School of Rhetoric curriculum is designed to train students to engage their minds in learning, speaking, and writing, but it also trains them for action beyond the classroom. Our curriculum includes physical education courses designed to teach students the value of physical competence through sports, conditioning, and strength training. It also includes margin for our students to perform acts of service in and for their communities and churches.
  • Wisdom & Eloquence: Students in the School of Rhetoric are challenged to go deep into subject matter using the Socratic Method of questioning and discussion-based classroom techniques.  Every class uses discussions, student presentations, and lively classroom debates to challenge each student to think critically and speak persuasively to justify their beliefs, even math class.
  • Interdisciplinary Studies: Life isn’t divided up into subjects, so why would education follow that model? History’s greatest thinkers used many methods to solve seemingly unrelated problems. At Annapolis, our courses are designed to integrate material from many disciplines to stimulate creative thought and encourage deep reflection. The arts of logic and rhetoric are taught in each class. History covers theories of economics and governance. Mathematics and science teachers show students the methods and philosophies of the great discoverers and inventors. Art teachers bring geometry and optics alive on the canvas. Theatre provides constant practice at memorizing, presentation, and persuasion. Literature shows how theology and worldview make their way into the most inspiring stories from each era and in each genre. Bible class shows how God’s word is the foundation of all knowledge and the basis of a truly good life.
  • Senior Thesis: The capstone of the Annapolis Christian Academy curriculum is our Senior Thesis course. We ask our students to choose a subject of dispute from the disciplines they have studied in their high school career, to find a solution to the problem, and to present it persuasively to their peers and a panel of judges. The subject matter ranges from politics, philosophy, literature, science, mathematics, or even theology. After their speech, they defend their thesis against critical questions. This process functions as the culmination of years of reading, researching, reasoning, debating, writing, and presenting and always results in students being thankful for how easy their college papers are in comparison.
  • Passion for Learning, Prepared for Life: Whether in the interdisciplinary humanities core, the lab sciences, or Annapolis’ mastery-based math classes, School of Rhetoric students are taught to think in a way that applies to all areas of life, not merely passing college entrance tests.