As we prepare for the start of our re-enrollment period on February 15, we invite you and your family to consider anew your Petra expedition as a journey of pilgrimage.
In certain ways, this excursion will call you and yours to abandon the safety of the familiar, to leave the comfort of what you know in order to seek God’s presence in places you didn’t know existed. But as with any pilgrimage, this is a communal journey. We will travel this road together, fellow pilgrims on the same path.
In our 20+ years as a school, we have walked this land many times before, and using our experience and judgment, we’ve chosen our course through a time-tested curriculum that will be our companion along the way. Our route will follow some of the well-traveled paths, as well as some lesser known trails. At a few points we will settle down for a while to talk with the locals and get to know them and the way they see the world.
It is crucial that you remember the point of this pilgrimage is not an efficient rushing to the end, but to cultivate an attentive awareness that will transform us as we journey. Both ways of traveling will reach the journey’s end, but those who travel the second way will arrive with deeper knowledge, greater wisdom, and truer virtue.
In addition to a good map, we need to have a clear goal. Since we are a school, your students will certainly need to learn the facts and information of the books we read to complete various assignments, projects, papers, final exams, etc. But this is not the main goal. The best journeys are not the ones where we collect stamps in our passports, buy some souvenirs, and fill our Instagram feed with travel photos. Merely accumulating facts and passing tests is not the same as actually learning humanities, math, science, language, art, music; remaining unchanged by one’s study is not education, and change takes work.
The central goal of our course – of our pilgrimage – is to become obedient, faithful humans, who know Christ and imitate and enjoy him forever. It is entirely possible to graduate and fail to accomplish this ultimate goal, for the end of this journey is not a place but a person. What we seek is to know Christ and all his ways, to gain more intimate fellowship with our Lord, who walks with us through every part of the journey.
But we aren’t trailblazers or explorers. Rather, we are walking a well-worn path of pilgrimage and discipleship, a path traveled and worn smooth by many men and women who lived, prospered, and died long before we were born. They wrote most of the books we’ll read. They are not only our teachers, but our grandfathers and grandmothers, our uncles, our aunts, our siblings. They are our people, and as we travel, we will read of their own journeys along this same path. Their words will give us courage and hope in difficult times, and our voice will rise with theirs to give thanks at the journey’s end.
We invite you to join us not just for another year, but for classical Christian education’s long haul. Indeed, the journey is challenging, but the destination is second to none in terms of preparing students to live purposeful, godly lives.