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Classical Liberal Arts


B.A. in Classical Liberal Arts

John P. Stead School of Humanities For Christ & Scripture Since 1927

The new TMU B.A. in Classical Liberal Arts is the first undergraduate program of its kind in the United States. The program is explicitly designed to train students in both the content and pedagogy of the classical liberal arts to prepare them for teaching positions in the rapidly growing Classical Christian Education movement, and to pursue graduate work in the humanities.

Students are required to complete 57-59 Classical Liberal Arts major units, 61 General Education units, and 2-4 elective units. A minimum total of 122 units is required to graduate.

Upon Completion Students Will Have:

  • Spent 6-weeks studying in Florence, Italy with TMU Italy program

  • Completed colloquium mentoring

  • Interned at a local (Santa Clarita Valley) CCE school

  • Potentially attended TMU’s Israel Bible Extension Program (IBEX), a three-month academic semester right outside of Old City Jerusalem

Students are trained in the content of the Western Classical heritage beginning with Greece and Rome, the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Enlightenment — and continuing to the present day in history, literature, art, philosophy, and theology. This curriculum is augmented with continual training in Socratic pedagogy, providing intensive practice in leading rich and invigorating discussions instead of lecturing on an academic topic. Students study the classical languages and master the classical arts of grammar, logic, and rhetoric while pursuing the studia humanitatis (‘study of the human things’).

  • “The best cultural critics should be Christians” - Dr. Grant Horner

Study & Serve Abroad

CLA students have the option to study at TMU’s Israel campus, plus a wide range of study locations varying by semester also including GO! and TMU Italy.

Israel Bible Extension (IBEX) GO! Global Outreach TMU Italy



Be right at home developing meaningful, life-long relationships with like-minded Christians. Students experience a missional, gospel-centered student life both in and out of the classroom. Master’s offers a full range of facilities, resources, services, and discipleship.

A Global Experience 2,500+ TMUS students with around 40% on-campus in undergraduate programs, coming from all around the world and typically including 40 different countries and 40 different states.

A Top-ranked Student Life Rated #2 Nationwide “Most Inspirational” by Wall Street Journal, and “A” Grade by, and ranked #1 “Right Choice” University (Wall Street Journal 2017 & 2018)

A Beautiful Campus 6 residence halls on one of America’s safest ranked campuses, with Santa Clarita consistently ranked one of the nation’s safest cities. Rated Top 10% Nationwide for “Best College Dorms” and “Best College Campuses” (Niche 2020 ranking)

A Community Of Worship 3 chapel services weekly for all faculty, staff, and students. You may already live-stream the service here: Chapel. Additional opportunities for evangelism and community outreach include the History-Movie Club or The Master’s Chorale

Experience it all for yourself


Southern California: a lively, oak-filled canyon campus close to both the mountains and the beach. Endless career opportunities are nearby, and students can join and serve at any number of recommended local churches. Prospective students and their families are invited to class-visits, 1-to-1 advising, and total-campus experiences year-round.

Affordability & Scholarships

We strive to offer students a Christ-centered education within the financial reach of all. We believe in paying less for school, graduating with less debt, and helping students start their careers better prepared for success.

Total Cost Calculator TMU Scholarships Student Career Center Work Study

Alumni & Graduate Degrees

For those pursuing the California Teaching Credential, see details here:

Teaching Credential

For students pursuing graduate school, TMUS offers a variety of options.

TMU Online MBA Master in Biblical Counseling The Master’s Seminary


Since 1927, the mission of The Master’s University is to empower students for a life of enduring commitment to Christ, biblical fidelity, moral integrity, intellectual growth, and lasting contribution to the Kingdom of God worldwide.


Typical Four-Year Coursework Structure:

YEAR 1 (30 Credits)


  • 3 General Education courses (GEs)

  • Introduction to Classical Christian Education

  • Greek History


  • 2 GEs

  • Roman History

  • Literature elective (student’s choice from several options)

  • Epic Literature

YEAR 2 (27 Credits)

Colloquium attendance begins FALL

  • 2 GEs

  • Medieval History

  • Latin I


  • 3 GEs

  • Renaissance History (may substitute Renaissance Cultural History at TMU Italy)

  • Latin II

YEAR 3 (39 Credits, with TMU Italy)

Colloquium attendance throughout year


  • (Art History, 2 GE Lit, …) FALL

  • 2 GEs

  • Apologetics

  • Church History (Martin Luther, John Calvin, other options from Bible Department)


  • 2 GEs

  • Socratic Pedagogy I

  • Christian Political Thought

  • Shakespeare

YEAR 4 (30 Credits)

Colloquium attendance throughout year


  • TRINITY INTERNSHIP (45 Hours over 1-2 semesters of observation, aide work, subbing, etc., 3 credits)

  • 2 GEs

  • Socratic Pedagogy II

  • 1 Major Elective



  • 2 GEs

  • 2 Major Electives

Course Descriptions

History & Philosophy of Classical Christian Education

This course is designed to introduce the history and development of educational theory and practice in the ancient world and its renewal in recent times. Readings and discussion of sources from Greek, Roman, late Antiquity, Medieval, and Renaissance/Early Modern periods, including Plato, Aristotle, Cassiodorus, Augustine, Aquinas, Alcuin, Ascham, Mulcaster, and Milton. The ancient tradition is shown as recast in the modern era beginning with the work of Adler, Sayers, Doug Wilson, and others. This renewal has been in reaction to, and opposed to, the work of the majority of 20th century educational theory without rejecting all of its observations.

Latin I

An upper division course serving as an introduction to the grammar, vocabulary, semantics and interpretation of texts in Classical Latin. Daily readings, grammar lessons, translation, vocabulary memorization. The goal is to prepare the student to read basic Latin texts with some facility. Texts include Julius Caesar, Cicero, Martial, and the New Testament

Latin II Advanced Latin

An upper division course for students who have successfully completed Latin I or equivalent. Text are specially selected to meet the needs and interests of those who would like to pursue further study and perhaps teaching of Latin. Texts may include Virgil, Cicero, Ovid, Tacitus, Horace, Martial, Augustine, Aquinas, John Calvin and other Reformers and Renaissance writers. Emphasis is on advanced grammar, vocabulary expansion, sight reading, and accurate translation of poetry and prose.

Socratic Pedagogy I

The course begins with an historical survey of varying theories of teaching throughout history, culminating in the modernist, materialist, naturalist, and behaviorist models of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, beginning in Prussia and moving across Europe and the United States. This is contrasted with the ancient method of group dialectic as exemplified by Socrates, which is then considered by deploying a theological critique of Plato’s pagan theories of the Eternal Forms, the formation of virtue through knowledge, and the doctrine of recollection in reincarnated souls. The course is built around Paul’s description in Romans, quia, quod noscibile est Dei, manifestum est in illis. ‘For that which may be known of God is made manifest clearly in them.’ Students begin the regular practice of leading intensive dialogues instead of simply lecturing, and learn to tell the difference between various ways of teaching and when they are most appropriate, from authoritative biblical preaching to learned lecturing to Socratic dialectical conversation.

Classical Christian Education Internship

A structured observation and work experience in a local classical school. Students will see experienced classical educators deploying the classical model in a highly successful example of the classical renewal movement. Opportunities exist to observe leadership, support staff, board leadership, and faculty in their different but interlocking roles, and to gain experience serving in staff and teaching capacities.

Colloquium in Classical Christian Education

Regular small group mentoring sessions with the program director. The colloquium is designed to help students integrate all that they are learning across the disciplines into an internally coherent and consistent worldview, work through professional questions, and develop their own intellectual growth plans and teaching personae.

Socratic Pedagogy II

Building on the level I course, this advanced practicum offers extensive experience for students in leading dialectical conversation aimed at uncovering Truth, Goodness, and Beauty—as well as how to discern deception, evil, and ugliness.

Prof Publications


What is Classical Education?

An overview of Classical Christian Education

Why get a Classical Education?

The Dorothy Sayers essay that started it all

What can a Classical Education do?

The Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS) website

ACCS Member Schools across the US and the world


Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education

The Lost Tools of Learning

An Introduction to Classical Education

John Milton: Classical Learning and the Progress of Virtue

Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning

Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America

The Devil Knows Latin: Why America Needs the Classical Tradition

Degree Checklists

Se “Major Requirements” tab at the top of this page

Degree Checklist


Program Credits

General Education: 61
Bible: 21
Major Core Courses: 57-59
Emphasis/Electives: 2-4

Sample Course Offerings:

  • Epic
  • Shakespeare
  • Art History
  • Latin or Greek
  • Calvin
  • Luther
  • Medieval History Apologetics
  • Church History

Career Paths

  • Classical Educator
  • K-12 School Teacher
  • Classical Christian School Administration
  • Major Courses keyboard_arrow_down
    Course Number Course Name Units
    ART330 Art Components Techniques 3
    ART338 Art History Of The Western World 3
    ITA123 Beginning Italian I 3
    SP320 Conversational Spanish I 3
    SP321 Conversational Spanish II 3
    HU312 Disciplinary Connections 3
    P311 Essentials Of Philosophy 3
    P364 Ethics 3
    P321 History And Philosophies Of Education 3
    HU201 Intro To The Classical Liberal Arts 3
    CLA201 Intro To The Classical Liberal Arts 3
    ITA102 Introduction To Italian Culture 1
    SP221 Introductory Spanish I 4
    SP222 Introductory Spanish II 4
    LAT399 Latin 3
    P395X Oxford Philosophy Of Worldviews 3
    CLA301 Socratic Pedagogy I 3
    TH300 Theatre Arts 3
    TH310 Theatre Production 3
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