Incubator for Tomorrow’s Leaders
As we prepare our students to become future adults who will lead with clarity and virtue, one of the questions we ask ourselves is, if we knew today that one of our students will someday grow up to become the future President of the United States of America, how would we go about preparing them for such an office? In our research, we discovered that there is a significant difference between a statesman and a politician. A statesman tends to be a free leader of the people, not prone to giving in to the popular ideologies of the time, but rather, is grounded in an unchanging truth. In fact, there are three critical qualities of a statesman:
- A bedrock of principles
- A moral compass
- A clear vision of what their country and its people can become and the ability to build a consensus to achieve that vision
Biblical Basis for Training in Civic Virtue
A quality education without an end goal in mind is inadequate. Our country is hungry for the type of leader who will impact our world in the way Daniel or Nehemiah did in their day. Daniel, who distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities, and who was found to be neither corrupt or negligent, was willing to risk his life instead of giving in to the pressure to bow down to a mortal King instead of the one and only true God. Nehemiah was not one to sit back, but rather, he was a social entrepreneur who was motivated to pursue an opportunity to create a pattern-breaking social change regardless of the resources that were within his control. To produce the kind of leader who is fit to become a Statesman, we strive to instill in our students the following qualities:
A statesman has a clear vision of what his country and his people can become. He knows where he wants to take them and what it will take to get there. But, a vision is not enough. He must have the ability to build a consensus around his vision. A statesman’s success in building a consensus ultimately hinges on his ability to convince his countrymen of the soundness of his philosophy. The unchanging truth of a Biblical worldview protects the leader and his people.
Our Training Process
Our training begins in kindergarten with our speech class where students begin to learn the art of public speaking as well as taking turns in speaking and listening to each other. By the time grammar school students transition to the logic stage, most of them are usually comfortable speaking in front of an unknown audience, and they are ready to begin to develop the art of argument as well as participate in policy debate. In the rhetoric years, students apply the skills gained through their early years and prepare to compete in high level oratory contests. Through their leadership seminar, they learn how to develop a personal mission and vision and participate in activities that enable them to apply leadership at school and in the community. Their senior thesis is the capstone of the trivium and requires the students to draw on all the skills they have acquired since grammar school. The thesis combines research, analysis, organizing and writing, and it is a reflection of personal convictions that align with the principles they have developed over time. Key courses taught in the rhetoric years include:
- Formal and Informal Logic
- US Government and Politics
- US History
All subjects at Veritas Academy are taught from a Biblical worldview.
…religion, morality, and knowledge [are] necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind…(article 3 of the First Federal Law known as the Northwest Ordinance, signed by George Washington on August 7, 1779 and recognized as constitutional in 1789).