Senior Thesis: The Pinnacle Of A Classical Education

 One step at a time, starting in kindergarten, students ascend to the pinnacle of a classical education: the Senior Thesis presentation and defense, which inspires confidence and prepares for other challenging ascents ahead.


Mrs. Knight helps guide students in their thesis research.


Seniors work with faculty (and lots of coffee) during the Thesis Marathon.


Presenting and defending Senior Thesis utilizes all their classical preparation to this point.

The pinnacle of a classical education ends for each senior in a presentation of a Senior Thesis. Seniors present their thesis and defend it—preparing them for success in college and beyond. Obviously not an easy feat, however, students are well supported in their ascent.

Before beginning the climb itself, preparation is key. Students at Faith Christian School begin in Junior Kindergarten to build the skills necessary for completing a thesis: asking good questions, employing narration to summarize important details, speaking in front of the class, and reciting scripture and poetry from memory. The skills classical education imparts provide the right equipment for the rest of the climb.

Students scaling the thesis “mountain” follow a path that has been laid out by those who have gone before. The process is designed to fine tune the students’ implementation of the five canons of rhetoric. With the guidance of a faculty advisor, students select a topic to research in the second semester of their junior year, choose and read a variety of resources on that topic over the summer, arrange the ideas in a detailed outline, and prepare a formal paper during senior year. The students then prepare and present speeches that seek to convey their arguments through the lens of a Christian worldview with particular attention to elocutio, memoria, and pronuntiatio—speech, memory, and pronunciation. At the conclusion of the speech, the students defend their research by answering questions posed by a faculty panel.

One step at a time, starting in kindergarten, students ascend to the peak of the thesis process and experience the euphoria of reaching the summit. The dialectic and rhetorical habits of mind they have been building over the course of their Faith Christian School experience culminate in this capstone project. Having completed this challenging climb, our graduates report they are well-prepared for other seemingly monumental assignments in college and beyond. Completion of the thesis process inspires confidence and prepares for other challenging ascents ahead.

- Esther Knight, FCS Faculty

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