Our Model

Patrick Waddell, senior at Chesterton Academy of Milwaukee, gives his testimony about attending the school

The Three Pillars


Inspired by Pope Saint John Paul the Great, we take as our motto Cultura Vitae, the culture of life. Our mission at Chesterton Academy is to prepare students to triumph over the materialism and despair that pervade our culture and to accept our Lord's offer to have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10).

We believe high school is not just about educating students to do something after they graduate, but to be someone. And that someone is a beloved child of God.

We desire our graduates to be fully alive in their faith and drawn to a good life of joy, intelligence, and virtue.

Our model is based on Three Pillars of formation: intellect, character formation, and spirituality.


I. Intellect


We teach the classics of Western thought from physics to philosophy, and the interrelationship of the great ideas, teaching students not merely what to think but how to think.

Humanities

History, literature, philosophy, languages and the study of God's plan for humanity are all braided together in an integrated curriculum utilizing the Socratic Method.

Math & Science

Math and science are intimately connected; the logic of math is seen in philosophy and God’s handiwork is seen in the sciences.

Fine Arts

Equal emphasis is given to the arts, so that every student learns to draw and paint, sing in the choir, act on the stage, give speeches, and engage in debate.


II. Character Formation


We help students grow in the four cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice, which we believe are the foundation of leadership.

House system

Chesterton Academy’s House system is drawn from the 1,000 year-old tradition of Christian education exemplified in the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge. The Houses provide real, tangible community within the larger school, giving students the opportunity to take ownership, fulfill the call to leadership, and to cultivate the ideal conditions for virtue.

Each House has two Senior and two Junior prefects, two faculty advisors, and several parent liaisons.

The four Houses include: Ambrose, Athanasius, Augustine, and Chrysostom.

Student Life

In line with our motto, Cultura Vitae (the culture of life), sponsored activities prompt students to accept our Lord’s offer to have life and have it abundantly.

We encourage athletics and extracurricular activities as a way of fostering this fullness of life, while maintaining a healthy balance with academics and important family time.


III. Spirituality


Our students come to understand and embrace the truth of why they exist: to know God, to love him, and to serve him in this world and be happy with him forever in the next.

Spiritual Life

Catholicism is central to our mission. All classes point to the Incarnation as the central event in human history, so students won't just learn about their faith in one class, but across the disciplines. Students read and discuss the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and historic and important papal documents.

Other important ways we live the faith include regular retreats and time of prayer, annual pilgrimages, wholesome extracurricular activities, and sacred art and crucifixes adorning the classrooms.

Faithful Faculty

We work to find talented and dynamic faculty dedicated to the vision and mission of our school.

Our Board of Directors, the faculty, and all staff members take the Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium at the Mass of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the academic year.

In addition to their teaching responsibilities, faculty at Chesterton Academy also participate in the House System.

Pilgrimages

We provide opportunities for students to go on pilgrimage. In addition to the March for Life and local pilgrimages, Chesterton Academy students travel to Rome and Assisi (Italy) as upperclassmen, meeting with other Chesterton Academy students from around the country and world.

They encounter relics from the saints, sing for the Holy Father, and see in real life the wonders of the ancient churches in the Eternal City.


Other Key Features


An Incarnational Environment

From history and theology to math and science, the Incarnation is the central mystery we explore across the entire curriculum. We help each student to personally experience the Incarnation.

A FOCUS ON TRUTH, GOODNESS, AND BEAUTY

Our classical curriculum combines a broad, liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on the development of Christian virtues and an appreciation of beauty.

A JOYFUL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

We create environments where students experience the joy of community and education, providing them with an opportunity to live out their spiritual life in an atmosphere of joy and fun.

REDISCOVERING THE LOST TOOLS OF LEARNING

Our curriculum is centered on skills seemingly forgotten in our modern society—reading, writing, oral presentations, and the development of critical reasoning skills through logic and philosophy.

The Socratic Seminar

The Socratic seminar is perhaps the oldest educational tool. Through this method, a teacher imparts knowledge through directed questions and guided dialogue, bringing ideas and knowledge to life.

The Wit and Wisdom of G.K. Chesterton

Chesterton exemplified the Catholic faith through his wit, his clarity, his kindness, and his ability to love people with whom he disagreed, while sharing the faith in Christian charity.

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