College Guide Praises TMC’s Comprehensive Classical Curriculum

by Thomas More College on August 31, 2011

The recently-released 2012-13 edition of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s college guide, Choosing the Right College, praises the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts for offering “one of the most comprehensive classical curricula available anywhere.”

The Guide continues:

Thomas More College fosters an environment of genuine academic exploration, free of the shallow propagandizing and political sloganeering that occurs at all too many schools, including those with an ostensibly Christian orientation.

To be sure, students who are on the political Left may have a tough time at the College, given the strong pro-family and pro-life positions that characterize much of the student body.  But professors generally do not import political content into the classroom unnecessarily, and students feel free to voice their views.  Moreover, an ongoing series of student debates encourages and intellectual rigor that requires understanding the opposition’s point of view and presenting it fairly.

Choosing the Right College also notes the strong intellectual formation Thomas More College students receive through reading the Great Books of Western civilization:

With its classical approach, Thomas More College is one of the few schools that offers a real core curriculum.

To bring the whole truth to students, Thomas More College offers a strong Great Books program, featuring lectures and discussion seminars that enable students to situate the books they’re reading within the larger picture of the arc of Western civilization—particularly the seeds, growth, development, and decline of the great Catholic civilization of Europe.

The curriculum gives students a full introduction to the liberal arts.  Central to this program is the Humanities Sequence, a full eight-semester set of courses that proceeds chronologically, beginning with the ancient Greeks and running up to the modern age.  The Humanities Sequence encompasses literature, philosophy, history, political science, and more.  Thomas More College avoids drawing artificial distinctions between these disciplines, aiming to allow students to grasp the full flavor of the intellectual ferment and development of a particular time.

Intellectual effort finds its fulfillment in the study of sacred theology, the “science of faith”— the reasoned-out knowledge of things believed.  The Guide also comments on the College’s commitment to leading its students through a comprehensive study of theology:

Theology and religion courses are required of all students throughout their time at Thomas More College, in accord with the school’s firm commitment to Catholic orthodoxy.  These are as wide-ranging as the rest of the curriculum, introducing students not only to the Bible, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, John Henry Newman, and Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, but also to writers such as Sophocles, Plato, Lucretius, Cicero, David Hume, Ludwig Feuerbach, William James, and Francois Mauriac.  Students examine how Christian theology was influenced by the Stoics, Platonists, and Aristotelians.  Ethics, politics, and economics are studied within the context of philosophy and theology.

Choosing the Right College also recognized that Thomas More College has one of the lowest student to faculty ratios, which is conducive to deeper intellectual formation:

With a student-faculty ratio of just 10 to 1, professors are extremely accessible to the students; academic advising takes place on both a formal and informal basis.  Students say that the level of intellectual curiosity and seriousness is high.  “Academically,” one remarks, “there is no comparison with other schools.  In other schools, you can get away with not learning.  Not here.”

The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts is pleased to be included in the latest edition of Choosing the Right College, and expresses its gratitude to ISI for recognizing the integrated approach to education we offer to all Thomas More College students.

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