The first “Lutheran” schools were formed for the precise purpose of offering a classical education to a broader segment of the population than had ever been offered before that time. Martin Luther and the early reformers urged the local governments to set up schools patterned after the ancient academies of the Greeks and Romans teaching the seven liberal arts of grammar, dialectic (logic), rhetoric, aesthetics (music), empirics (astronomy), mathematics, and geometry. These schools became the model for the famous German “gymnasium” and the English “public schools” that set the standard for excellence in education well into the twentieth century.
Unfortunately, this heritage may come as a shock to many Lutherans! Many of our Lutheran schools (the Lutheran parochial school system is the second largest such school system in the United States) have forgotten this heritage or cast it aside in favor of the latest and greatest in education theory. Today, many Lutheran schools, just like so many of our public and private schools seem to presume that no educational paradigm or book that predates 1950 could possibly be relevant to education today.
But this rich heritage and tradition of classical Lutheran education has not been lost. Indeed, the CCLE is dedicated to its preservation. A handful of Lutheran schools and homeschools across the country are restoring this tradition to their classroom. You can find some of them in our Directory.