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DISTINCTIVES

 1)  As a college modeled after the ‘great books’ tradition, it already establishes itself with distinction, joining the ranks of only a handful of such colleges in America:

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    1. Integrated, holistic and interdisciplinary approach to education: for over two millennia education has centered around developing a well-rounded, intelligent human being. Only within the past century has college education shifted to a glorified vocational training; to do only one thing well at the expense of all else. Liberal arts education in its truest sense has been lost in most colleges today.
    2. Concentration on the classical liberal arts: students will become conversant and proficient in rhetoric, music, language, physical and natural science, literature, philosophy, and theology, all from an orthodox Christian worldview.
    3. Socratic teaching methodology: professors will not profess as much as they will probe the minds of the students to think clearly for themselves. We are not here to teach them what to think as much as how to think.
    4. The use of primary sources instead of textbooks: for millennia great works by great thinkers have been read and discussed; now in most colleges, students only read about such works through secondary sources. We will return to reading the great works of the great authors that have been considered paramount in classical education.
    5. Broad competence: not only will the students gain quality, broad competence through a truly classical education, but the College will foster a broader competence through work experience, social and church service, discipleship, and extra-curricular activities.
    6. Academic standards set at a higher level: admittedly ‘great books’ colleges are not for everyone; many students prefer to train in only one area of competency. For these reasons, among others, the academic standards are set higher for those who pursue a higher road to education.
    7. Formal lectures by top experts: to enhance listening skills and to gain a broader perspective, students will also attend formal lectures by leading scholars in respective fields. They will further be given the opportunity to interact with the lecturer at the close of the lecture.
    8. Evaluation based upon multiple facets instead of simple adherence to numerical scale: yes, students will receive letter grades, but too often this system fails to cause the student to reflect on his/her own weaknesses. Students will receive evaluations in person from a board of their professors, at which time their comprehensive strengths and weaknesses are explicated.
2)  Still, all ‘great books’ colleges are not created equally; these are the distinctives that set IDC apart from other ‘great books’ colleges:
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    1. Evangelical: while currently there are several secular colleges, several Catholic colleges, and several Reformed colleges of this brand, there is no strictly Evangelical representative. The Christian worldview will be propagated in every facet of the life of the College.
    2. Double majors: while most ‘great books’ colleges offer one degree of liberal arts in a unified curriculum, Imago Dei will offer several double majors in fields already heavily represented in the curriculum. Included are: theology, philosophy, literature, and history.
    3. Physical education: while classical ‘great books’ colleges adhere to a classical/medieval model of education, they neglect the promotion of physical fitness that the Greeks, Romans and Medievals placed upon it. We will incorporate physical education and fitness all four years, hopefully leading to a lifestyle discipline.
    4. Mentoring/Discipleship: not only will the educational model of the ‘great books’ approach produce a better student, but the moulding of each student will be greatly enhanced by a formal process of discipleship from the top down: President mentors professors, professors mentor upper classmen, upper classmen mentor lower classmen.
    5. Gender studies: again the Christian classical and medieval models demand that we reevaluate the appropriate roles played by the genders. In a society—and especially in the typical university culture—that tends to emasculate men and devalue women, we seek to restore men to proper chivalrous masculinity and women to the beauty of femininity.
    6. Knighthood: the young men have an option to train to become modern-day knights. This is a rigorous program demanding top physical fitness, intellectual astuteness, chivalry, community service, and practical skill. It is our goal that all our young male students will naturally qualify due to the nature of the College’s curriculum.
    7. Ladyship: the young women will learn how to excel in life by living up to the biblical paradigm of a godly woman. In this respect, they will demonstrate feminine excellence in a world that tends to dismiss, even disdain, such qualities.
    8. Scholastic community: the school self-consciously operates as a scholastic community in which classes meet simultaneously, together meals are shared including lunch with professors, and on-campus living quarters are designated dwellings for the student body, and close interpersonal relationships are developed with the students, faculty, and staff.
    9. Life-long learning paradigm: professors do not only demonstrate their expertise within their field, but they also model a thirst for life-long learning as they attend and assist in courses outside their areas of expertise alongside the students.
    10. Apprenticeships: though we do not hold to the philosophy of the contemporary glorified vocational school as the best education, we still seek to offer practical skills to our students during summer weeks as a way of further developing the new Renaissance man and woman.


 

 
 
 
 
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