How it works

The Academy In a Nutshell


    • Full time, classically trained, dedicated Christian faculty, with over 300 hours of experience in Great Books education.

• Dual-enrollment, allowing the student to earn transferable college credit from Houston Baptist University while engaged in a rich high school education.

• Education for the whole soul; Academy classes invite the student to incorporate their heart and soul into their work, knowing that these are as important and as much worth educating as their mind.

• Exclusive learning opportunities through Houston Baptist University, such as faculty lectures, concerts, and plays for Academy students.

•, The Academy Players Theater Club for Academy students on the HBU campus.

• Automatic acceptance into the Honors College at Houston Baptist University, with Academy faculty recommendation.

• A community of friends and mentors, built around mutual love of Christ and a life of learning.

How It Works


The Academy approach is straightforward, yet challenging. Our students are trained to learn directly from the text at hand, and use class time to engage with their professor and classmates towards increased understanding of the subject. The Academy curriculum is written entirely by Academy faculty and consists of five essential teaching elements:

1.Reading: We read a robust selection of great books chronologically, in their entirety, and from a diverse set of cultures and disciplines. This approach is echoed throughout the subjects our students take, from foreign languages to hard sciences.

2.Discussion: We devote the entirety of our class time in The Academy to discussing what we’ve read and taking seriously the ideas that we have encountered. It is particularly through discussion that our students become active, contributing members of their classroom, earning their education and opinions. This is opposed to the passive (and prevalent) approach to education wherein students are meant merely to receive information and try their best to remember it.

3.Writing: Students prepare a single essay for each course each semester, and turn in weekly reading reflections. Their work must argue for a strong position on a book or topic we’ve read or discussed. Whenever possible, unsatisfactory work is returned to the student as incomplete, and will be reworked or rewritten until the student has accomplished the assignment well.

4.Presentation and Defense: Throughout every course, students create presentations, defend papers, conduct experiments, demonstrate proofs, and create and display creative work, in order to show their academic progress within the community.

5.Evaluation and Feedback: Written tests are given only in the subjects wherein they’ve proven most efficacious and helpful, such as foreign language and mathematics. Humanities courses culminate in oral examinations with an Academy faculty panel, and all written work is closely evaluated and the student given extensive feedback.

Students at The Academy earn simultaneous college credit, and so, can graduate from our program earning 6 to 30 units of college credit. We hope to expand the upper limit to 60 units in the near future, thus allowing our students to cut down a full two years of university cost.

© 2017 The Academy at HBU