Students at Saint Constantine College receive a higher education that prioritizes the individual.By pairing the individual, Oxford-style research tutorial model with rigorous long-form discussions of the Great Texts, every student has the opportunity to flourish intellectually, spiritually, and physically. The student who participates in an education at Saint Constantine College will be uniquely equipped to meet the present challenges and opportunities of modern culture.
We expect our students to go on to be Christ-like examples of virtue, humility, understanding, and love in their families, communities, and careers.
Mission and Vision
The Mission of Saint Constantine College is to provide classical Orthodox higher education to a community of students seeking virtue, wisdom, and joy. Through the integration of Christian tradition, dialectical pedagogy, and the Great Texts, we welcome students into the work of the Church and the Commonwealth.
We believe that classics exist and are identifiable and understandable to those within and outside the traditions in which they arise. Though the struggle to understand classics from distant ages and cultures is difficult and requires much humility and hard work, we believe that engaging with classics is one of the most important of educational endeavors, and that the well educated individual ought to be conversant with the classics that have shaped their culture religiously, politically, philosophically, and artistically. The classical ideal of Socratic wondering is fundamental to how we conduct class—we wonder together about each text, neither naively agreeing with each author nor cynically dismissing them; rather, we are always open to wisdom wherever it may be found.
We believe in Biblical, Nicene Christianity as faithfully preserved in the teaching and practice of the Orthodox Church. We recognize the Orthodox tradition as being global, with historic roots in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Thus we see the literary, philosophical, political, and theological traditions of African, Asian, and European Christians as important to an understanding of the fullness of Orthodox Christianity. Just as Socratic discussion informs our pedagogy, so does the early Christian understanding of all truth as God’s truth inform our exploration of texts. As St. Justin says, the seeds of the Logos are found throughout creation and human thought; thus we conduct each class discussion with an openness to the discovery of the Logos in each age, author, and text we read.
We believe that higher education is uniquely important for responsible citizens and community-members in the modern world. It is in higher education that the student engages with liberal arts as an adult, seeking to cultivate the virtue that these arts can instill when studied with dedication and humility. We seek to apprentice students in mature thinking, writing, research, and community-building as they complete their education (both undergraduate and graduate) with a particular focus on the classic texts that have shaped the church and modern American culture.
Learn more about our philosophy of education by reading a letter from our president, Dr. John Mark Reynolds.
Master of Arts Program Overview
The Master of Arts at Saint Constantine is a two-year journey through the history of Christian thought and culture, designed to shape each student into a scholar-educator in service of the church and the commonwealth. The curriculum and pedagogy of the MA is structured upon the core principles of Saint Constantine College as a whole, integrating the Great Texts, dialectical pedagogy, and the Christian tradition. Thus, the core educational activities of each student are the reading of and conversation about the Great Texts, both in group discussions and in individual research tutorials. As a graduate program, the MA seeks to apprentice students not just as participants in Great Texts discussion, but as leaders of discussions.
The journey of the MA begins with the First Year Vision Residency, which takes place at the yearly Saint Constantine Vision Conference in downtown Houston. Here students participate in lectures and workshops given by leading classical Christian educators from across the nation, and first meet and discuss with their MA cohort and MA faculty.
The journey continues with the first-year fall and spring semesters, where students attend weekly Great Texts discussions (virtually) and individual research tutorials (virtually or in-person). Once per semester, students also attend Keystone residencies at the Saint Constantine College campus in Houston. These residencies consist of all-day discussions of core texts in Christian history, including the works of Augustine, Dante, and Dostoevsky.
In the second year, while continuing their discussion and residencies, students also turn toward two capstone projects. In the fall, students complete the Classical Education Practicum, where they hone and demonstrate their discussion-leading abilities in the classical classroom. In the spring, students write and defend their Master's Thesis, a long research essay of publishable quality on a Great Text of their choice.
We must be conversant with poets, with historians, with orators, indeed with all men who may further our soul's salvation.
+Saint Basil the Great