Questions to Consider
All schools provide instruction based on what they believe is true and important. That worldview is often based on a false set of truths, popularized by society. For a worldview to be rooted in truth, it must be based on the source of Truth itself. Only instruction founded on God’s truth, his order and his laws, can make the claim of actual truth. A non-Christian worldview penetrates all subjects, affecting the “truth” of everything else, like History, Literature, and Science.What is Classical education?
Classical education rejects the modern notion of “new and improved”, holding onto what is tried and true. Classical instruction was used successfully for thousands of years, producing the minds that formed our nation. At each natural stage of development, students learn as they were created to learn, acquiring a solid foundation with which to think, reason and communicate. Classical Education provides a deep historical perspective through a detailed study of Literature, Bible, History, and later Latin and Logic.Isn’t a lot of Western Literature pagan? Shouldn’t we protect our children from the “wicked” world?
G.K. Chesterton said somewhere that if a book does not have a wicked character in it, then it is a wicked book. It is a dangerous but popular notion that evil is to be evaded rather than conquered. Education should be thought of as boot camp, where students are being taught to handle their weapons under godly, patient supervision. Without training, students later find themselves in the world unprepared.What makes Coram Deo different from other Christian schools?
The heart of real Christian education is the development of Christian character. Coram Deo offers an intimate setting, small class size, and family atmosphere. This permits teachers to do more than teach subjects; they mentor students. No academic program can be successful unless the hearts of students are motivated to do what is right and to give their best. No program can call itself Christian if it does not concern itself with the spiritual condition of its students.
Classical and Christian Distinctives
We offer an education that is distinctly Christian and Classical.
Coram Deo Classical Academy offers an invitation to families who want more for their children. Classical Education is the tried-and-true method that successfully educated students of the Western World for thousands of years. The Classical approach is what produced the great thinkers, writers and leaders of Europe and America up through the 19th century. Now the return to Classical Education is a phenomenon that is sweeping the country as Christian parents and educators find their way back to an approach that really works and leads to academic success.
Coram Deo is different because it offers an education that is distinctly Christian and Classical, the only one of its kind in the Rio Grande Valley.
- It is Christian in that everything that is taught is based on a Christian worldview. The Christian worldview is essential once you realize that ALL education is pointing toward some pre-determined set of truths. Those truths are either based on some person’s idea of truth or on Truth itself. Since the Lord is Truth, all truth derives from Him, and learning deeply leads us into a deeper understanding of Him, which is the path to wisdom.
- It is Classical since the instructional method is derived from Ancient Greece and Rome, and has been used throughout the Western World up until the last 100-150 years. This method is based on stages of learning which correspond to a child’s natural stages of development and potential. The students acquire a solid foundation of information with which to think, reason, and communicate, moving gradually from Knowledge to Understanding to Wisdom.
- It is Classical based on the program of study. Classical study from ancient times was interested in the development of the whole person. Therefore, students are trained in Art, Music, and Physical Education as well as more traditional subjects including Math and Science. Classical Education invites students into a deep historical perspective through a detailed study of History, Literature, Latin and Writing. This attention to detail produces students who excel in every area.
- It is Christian because at its heart is development of Christian character. No academic program can be successful unless the hearts of students are motivated to do what is right and to give their best. This is impossible without the partnership of family with school. Students at Coram Deo are held accountable by both teachers and parents, gently guided into Discipline and Diligence.
You are invited to visit Coram Deo Classical Academy and see what makes them different. Coram Deo offers an intimate setting, small class sizes and a family atmosphere. It is exciting to anticipate the future impact of the student leaders now being trained at Coram Deo, the inevitable impact of disciplined people of integrity.
Statement of Faith
We believe in one God, the sovereign Creator, Sustainer and Governor of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. The God we serve is holy, righteous, most loving, gracious, abundant in goodness and truth, and full of mercy in forgiving sin.
Genesis 1:1, Matthew 28:19, Isaiah 40:10-31; 43:3 & 46:4, 1 Peter 1:2, Jeremiah 10:10 & 32:17, Psalm 139, Job 21:22, 1 John 4:16
We believe in the complete deity and full humanity of Jesus Christ, his virgin birth, his sinless life, his miracles, his substitutionary atonement on the cross, his bodily resurrection, and his ascension to the right hand of the Father.
Colossians 2:9, Matthew 1:22-23, Luke 1:35, Hebrews. 4:15 & 7:26, John 2:11, Acts 2:22, Romans 5:8-11, 1 Corinthians 15:3, Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 2:9, John 11:25 & 20:27-28, Romans 1:4, 1 Corinthians 15:4, Mark 16:19, Colossians 3:1
We believe that the Holy Spirit has come to glorify Jesus Christ and to apply the saving work of Jesus Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior. Indwelling our hearts, He gives new life to us, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth and seals us for the day of redemption.
John 14:26, Galatians 4:6, 1 Corinthians 2:12-13
We believe the 66 books of the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant, and only authoritative Word of God and the final authority for faith and practice.
2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21
Nature Of Man
We believe in the biblical account of creation and that man is created in the image of God. We believe that because of Adam’s sin all mankind is born in a state of sin and, by nature, spiritually dead and relationally separated from God. For the salvation of such lost and sinful men, regeneration by the invincible power of the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary.
Romans 5:12,19 & 3:23, Titus 3:5, Ezekiel 36:26-27, Genesis 1-2, 3:6-24
Our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace through faith alone, not a result of any of our works; yet faith without works is dead. Only such as are born of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life.
Ephesians 2:8-9; James 2:17; John 3:5, 16-19, 36; 5:24 & 10:27-30; Romans 3:22; 5:8-9 & 8:35-39; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 10:38-39; 1 Peter 1:5
We believe that Jesus Christ will come again to the earth – personally, visibly and bodily – to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God.
Matthew 24:29-31, Acts 1:11, 1 Thessalonians. 4:16-17, Revelation 19:11-16
We believe in the resurrection both of the believer and of the unbeliever – the believer unto the resurrection of everlasting life and the unbeliever unto the everlasting damnation.
John 5:28-29, Romans 8:11, 1 Corinthians 15, Revelation 20:12-15
We believe the true Church is the property of Christ and is composed of all Christians who, through saving faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, are united together in the body of Christ in loving fellowship, regardless of denominational affiliation.
Galatians 3:26-28, John 17:6-23, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ commands all believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations. In this He calls us to a life of self-denying love and obedient service.
Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8
Coram Deo Classical Academy exists to minister to families and the community by providing Christ-centered instruction based on Scripture as absolute truth and the Classical teaching method; by building the character of our students in obedience, self-discipline, wisdom, and joy; and by mentoring students in accountability and restoration of relationships, to produce uncompromising Christian leaders for an ungodly world.
• Christian Worldview
Students are taught to view all of life through the lens of Scriptural truth by daily prayer, Bible reading, discussion, and application. Subjects such as Literature are used to understand the impact of sin on history and mankind, and, more importantly, the impact of Christ and his redemptive work.
• Classical Method
Students are taught according to age-appropriate stages of development, progressing from memorization of information, to reasoning about concepts, to eloquent communication of truth. The Classical Method uses proven methods and subject matter that have produced life-long learners for thousands of years.
• Work Ethic
Students are trained to willingly give their best to the Lord through diligent and rigorous work, preparing their hearts and minds for the lifetime of work God has prepared for them.
• Family Atmosphere
Students are taught to honor and serve one another through small classes, daily interaction with students of all ages, and one-on-one teacher mentoring. Students’ families are encouraged to partner with Coram Deo in service and community, together finding joy in the body of Christ.
Values and Vision
God's Truth - We believe that God is absolute truth and the source of all truth. We believe in the complete sovereignty of God and the infallibility of his Word. We at Coram Deo seek to instruct students based on God’s Word, which reveals His will, His character and His truth. We aim to instill a Christian worldview so that students may know that everything falls under God’s dominion, guided by His truth. In this manner, we intend for students to be capable of evaluating their entire range of experience in the light of scriptures, doing so with eagerness, gratitude, and joyful submission to God.
Personal Excellence - We value excellence, development and health of the whole person. We at Coram Deo expect that staff, graduates and, eventually, students will be models of Christians who love truth, recognize beauty, live virtuously, think logically, write incisively, speak persuasively, and are physically fit. We believe that high expectations and hard work lead to self-discipline, understanding, and true positive self-esteem. There is joy in hard labor and the accomplishment that it brings. We believe that each individual, being created in the image of God, is of supreme worth and is created for the purpose of glorifying God. We wish for students to realize their value based on God’s standards and purpose.
Partners In Community - We seek to partner with Christian families and churches in bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, providing both training and example. We at Coram Deo believe that God ultimately holds parents responsible for the education of their children. We desire to cultivate in our parents a sense of responsibility, not only for their child’s education but for the school itself, so that they become involved in its activities and its success, growing with the school themselves. We believe that Coram Deo holds a sacred trust to educate future generations in partnership with the home, the church and the Holy Spirit. We expect the children who attend the school to be a blessing to the community, both present and future, as they are schooled in knowledge, character, and spirit.
SERVANT LEADERS - We aim to prepare our students to be servant leaders in the world around them, having a true heart for the lost and the downtrodden. To that aim, we at Coram Deo intend to make our school available to students of a wide socioeconomic and cultural background, creating a future leadership of wide diversity. We intend that students be equipped with the moral strength, the spiritual discernment, and the academic integrity to impact society through responsible living and dynamic leadership. We desire that they truly be Christ’s feet and hands to the community, the country, the world.
Coram Deo Classical Academy was founded in 2006 by a group of families who were committed to training up their children to impact our culture for Christ. Many of these families had already been homeschooling their children based on the Classical model, which was approved for Coram Deo with universal enthusiasm. For one and a half years prior to opening, the School Board met weekly, preparing a model of community where academic excellence and Christian unity would be fostered. During that time, seven students from four different families were already receiving instruction in the home of one of the founders, forming the core of our future school.
From the first school year in 2006, Coram Deo has been a small, close body of families dedicated to the development of Christ-focused, hardworking children. The original team of full-time teachers still joyfully serves this group of families and their students, who are always ready to welcome and mentor new children at every stage from 1st grade through high school.
Coram Deo Classical Academy has been fortunate to be housed in church for its entire existence: at Faith Church of Brownsville for the first three years, and at Divine Providence Church since then. The connection between church and school is no accident. At Coram Deo, we seek to fill the spiritual and educational void in our culture caused by the separation of faith from learning.
It is encouraging to witness the life-changing effect a Coram Deo education has on our students, many of whom have been tremendously impacted after just one year. Preparing students who are ready to embrace God’s plan for their lives is the ministry that we call Coram Deo Classical Academy.
Pam Kriegel was once just a girl who loved reading. But she kept her eyes open as she traveled with her family, read more books, learned about God, and observed how people did things. As a young adult, even though her degree wasn’t in education, every job she tried resulted in teaching people. Pam finally realized that God was pointing her in the direction of her natural ability, so she completed her teaching certificate and, for a short time, served as a public school teacher. Eventually, schooling her own children led her to the beauty of Classical Education. The more she taught, the more aware she became that true education is not just what you know, but how you live. Now Pam is passionate about gathering students and families into the Coram Deo community and about mentoring young people into an awareness of God’s truth, examples of which are found everywhere. Of course, Pam never stopped reading, so she especially loves discussing the truths (and humor) of great literature. Pam also teaches advanced Mathematics, Latin, Writing, Logic, and Physical Education. She is married to David, and they have three grown children.
Susan K. Hernandez received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Texas Christian University. She is married to Rudy and has two daughters. After she had taught for many years in public schools, God called her to the ministry of Coram Deo Classical Academy. Since then, Susan has witnessed a miraculous, ongoing transformation of her personal circumstances and of her attitude toward God and His provision. She is very thankful for the privilege of daily presenting the Truth of God’s Word and pointing out how it is visible in the world He created. She considers herself blessed to have the opportunity to participate in partnership with families and colleagues who love Christ and have the desire to raise up disciples to further God’s kingdom. As an elementary teacher, Susan impacts the lives of young students in close relationship, mentoring them both spiritually and academically. Susan also teaches Science and Grammar, and is an avid reader and pet lover.
Coram Deo Classical Academy is governed by a board of directors:
Joe Hernandez, Chair
Pamela Kriegel, Vice-Chair
David Aguilar, Secretary
Karina Stiles-Cox, Treasurer
Susan Hernandez, Member
These members are responsible for overseeing that the by-laws of the school are implemented. Divine Providence Church graciously donates the use of their building to house the school.
“What I like about the school is that it is small and that it is a friendly school.” -- Allysha, student
“One of the primary reasons I come to Coram Deo is because you not only learn how to do things correctly, but also why to do things correctly.” -- Alejandro, student
“I like the family like feeling of our friendly school.” -- Hannah, student
“It was an experience unlike any other: the family, the laughter, the love. We were all part of each other, carving impressions on each others’ souls. And looking back I see one thing quite clearly in my mind: a school rooted in the presence of God.” -- Madeline, former student
“It is easy to get along with everybody. Friends are nice and it is the best school I have gone to yet.” -- Ethan, student
“I like how my teachers teach me to be confident while I pray, learn, and serve the Lord in everything I do.” -- Anastasia, student
“Throughout the years at Coram Deo, I have learned countless things from my teachers about how to live a Godly life. They have always been there for me, to guide and protect me and my heart.” -- Eleanor, student
The Three Stages of Learning
Classical Instructional MethodIt is based on 3 stages of learning known as the TRIVIUM.
These stages correspond to a child's natural stages of development and potential, and each stage builds on the one before.
Young children are uniquely adapted to memorize. Therefore, in the elementary GRAMMAR stage, students learn mostly through memorization and imitation, acquiring loads of information pertinent to whatever subject they are learning.
Early adolescent children become argumentative, challenging ideas that are presented to them. Therefore, in the middle school LOGIC stage, students acquire reasoning skills through the study of logic, thereby applying their minds to questioning and understanding.
Older adolescents are full of ideas about themselves and the world. Therefore in the high school RHETORIC stage, students analyze philosophy, ethics, and principles of speech, thereby preparing themselves as leaders who are able to speak the truth.
At every stage, the classical literature of the Western world and language, such as Latin and (eventually) Greek, is infused, inviting students into a deep historical perspective. Each subject is taught rigorously with the purpose of mastery, understanding, usefulness, and excellence, so that each student feels confident in using what he has been taught and enjoys it.
The following video from the Association of Classical Christian Schools provides a great overview of what classical Christian education is all about.