There are a variety of resources available for the Petra community. From volunteer opportunities, to reading lists, to informational websites about classical Christian education. We have curated content and have information about curriculum that can help parents integrate into the community. 


The mission of Petra Academy is to partner with parents to cultivate faithful Christian students who delight in truth, beauty, and goodness in their worship, work, and service. As is true for any school, volunteers – one-time, daily, weekly, monthly – have been an essential part of what has made Petra Academy successful over the past 27 years. Many of these volunteers have been parents whose children attend our school, but many more have been grandparents, neighbors, and people who simply love children and have a heart for classical and Christian education in the Gallatin Valley. If you would be interested in volunteering your time, treasure, or talents, please email Sarah Cook to find out what opportunities are available.


We will have multiple opportunities a year to host parents for informational and instructional times discussing the intricacies of classical Christian education, and what the CCE association of schools is doing to impact the next generation. For our parents, it is essential for them to gain an in-depth understanding for all that classical Christian education has to offer, so we have speaker events, presentations, and open houses to integrate parents into the community and grow the partnerships with students, faculty, and administration.

As a classical Christian school, not only do we feel the responsibility to teach and train students entrusted to our care, we also desire to help parents learn and grow in their understanding of what we do and why. Beyond keeping parents informed about our school, we want to serve all parents with recommended articles and books for those interested in considering more about classical and Christian education. Click into the accordion below to see some of the recommended readings.

The following list includes articles from a variety of authors concerning specific aspects of classical and Christian education or general challenges that classical and Christian education strives to overcome.

John Agresto
The Suicide of the Liberal Arts” (The Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2015)

Jerram Barrs
Everything Is Interesting: Raising Educated People” (The Thistle, October 24, 2012)

Susan Wise Bauer
The Teacher’s Dilemma: Reflections on History, Children, and the Inevitability of Compromise” (Cardus, September 4, 2014)

Ellen Berg
Teaching Secrets: Don’t Cripple with Compassion” (Education Week Teacher, May 26, 2010)

Anthony Bradley
The Four Questions of Christian Education” (Acton Institute, March 12, 2014)

Nicholas Carr
Does the Internet Make You Dumber?” (The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2010)

Janie B. Cheaney
The College Conundrum” (World Magazine, November 11, 2013)

Sam Dillon
High School Courses May Be Advanced in Name Only” (The New York Times, April 25, 2011)

Brian Douglas
Five Temptations for Classical Christian Education” (First Things, November 8, 2012)

Anthony Esolen
Reform and Renewal Starts with Us” (Crisis Magazine, July 21, 2015)
Classical Education Can Purge a Multitude of Sins” (Crisis Magazine, February 19, 2015)
The Illusion of Neutrality” (The Public Discourse, September 11, 2014)

Janice Fiamengo
The Unteachables: A Generation That Cannot Learn” (PJ Media, May 20, 2012)

Stanley Fish
The Crisis of the Humanities Officially Arrives” (The New York Times, October 11, 2010)
A Classical Education: Back to the Future” (The New York Times, June 7, 2010)

Neil Gaiman
Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading, and Daydreaming” (The Guardian, October 15, 2013)

Joshua Gibbs
Jesus Hung Out with Prostitutes: Too Cool for School” (The Circe Institute, August 12, 2015)

Richard Gunderman
Is the Lecture Dead?” (The Atlantic, January 29, 2013)

Loretta Jackson-Hayes
We Don’t Need More STEM Majors. We Need More STEM Majors with Liberal Arts Training.” (The Washington Post, February 18, 2015)

Wilfred McClay
The Secret of the Self” (First Things, December, 2005)

Jennifer Medina
Warning: The Literary Canon Could Make Students Squirm” (The New York Times, May 17, 2014)

Anna Mussmann
Why Helicopter Parenting is the New Victorianism” (The New Federalist, July 15, 2015)

Ronald Nash
The Myth of a Values-Free Education” (Acton Institute)

Christopher Perrin
Interview with Author James K.A. Smith on Classical Education” (Inside Classical Education, March 15, 2011)

John Mark Reynolds
The Shallow Education of America” (Patheos, July 29, 2015)
On the Common Core: Out of Many, One” (Patheos, May 22, 2013)

Marilynne Robinson
Reclaiming a Sense of the Sacred” (The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 12, 2012)

Scott Samuelson
Why I Teach Plato to Plumbers” (The Atlantic, April 2014)

Michael Shammas
For a Better Society, Teach Philosophy in High Schools” (The Huffington Post, February 25, 2013)

Valerie Strauss
Teacher’s Resignation Letter: ‘My Profession…No Longer Exists” (The Washington Post, April 6, 2013)

John Tierney
AP Classes Are a Scam” (The Atlantic, October 13, 2012)

Douglas Wilson
School Rules Are Not the Answer” (Blog and Mablog, October 20, 2013)
Read Until Your Brain Creaks” (Blog and Mablog, May, 31, 2010)

The following list includes books from several different authors who have helped shape or elaborate on the modern renaissance of classical and Christian education and its aims.

Christopher Hall
Common Arts Education

Justin Whitmel Earley
Habits of the Household

Pete Hegseth and David Goodwin
The Battle for the American Mind

Susan Wise Bauer
The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had

Rod Dreher
How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History’s Greatest Poem

Anthony Esolen
Life Under Compulsion: Ten Ways to Destroy the Humanity of Your Child
Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Children

Richard Gamble
The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being

David Hicks
Norms & Nobility: A Treatise on Education

Ravi Jain and Kevin Clark
The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Classical Christian Education

Sister Miriam Joseph and Marguerite McGlinn
The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric

Lou Markos
From Achilles to Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics
Restoring Beauty:The Good, the True, and the Beautiful in the Writings of C.S. Lewis

Cornelius Plantinga
Engaging God’s World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living

John Mark Reynolds
The Great Books Reader: Excerpts and Essays on the Most Influential Books in Western Civilization
When Athens Met Jerusalem: An Introduction to Classical and Christian Thought

James K.A. Smith
Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation
Imagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works

Cheryl Swope
Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

Gene Edward Veith and Andrew Kern
Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America

Douglas Wilson
The Case for Classical Christian Education
Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Classical Christian Education

Repairing the Ruins: The Classical and Christian Challenge to Modern Education

The following list includes blogs from several different sources that work toward the promotion of ideas within classical Christian education and its aims.

The Classical Difference

The Association of Classical Christian Schools

The Society for Classical Learning

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute



Many parents who are seeking quality in education consider independent Christian schools. They understand the benefits of smaller classes, excellent teaching, Christian values, and a real sense of community. In many instances the only obstacle they see is the cost. Petra Academy recognizes the sacrifices parents make when they enroll their student(s) in an independent school and wants to provide them access to this education as financial resources allow.

Thanks to the generosity of others, 33% of Petra students receive some kind of financial assistance. We are committed to offering a classical Christian education to all qualified applicants based solely on demonstrated economic need. We do not offer merit, athletic, or special achievement scholarships and expect a family to take primary responsibility for the cost of their student’s education.


As technology continues to integrate many pieces of our school environment, we can take advantage of conveniences unavailable to parents and students of the past. If you need information about schedule, homework, calendars, events, and the latest news (as well as many other things), please visit the Petra Academy Portal to find specific information that relates to your student and school updates. 


Challenging classes in the Maths, Sciences, Humanities (including language arts, literature, history, and civics), and Arts form the basis of a Petra education. Petra’s classical pedagogy includes, as well, the teaching of Latin (grades 3-9), formal logic (grades 8-9), and rhetoric (grades 11-12). Consistent with Petra’s Christ-centered focus, Bible classes are taught at each level and constitute the integrating center of our curriculum. Emphasis is placed on the great books of Western civilization and primary source material in an attempt to cultivate the sensibilities of our students with the best that has been written and not to prejudice the modern era over voices of the past. 

Click here to see a short video from our Academic Dean, Sam Koenen about literary curriculum and why we read some of the sources we do. 


Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle

Poetics, Aristotle

The Emperor’s Handbook, Marcus Aurelius

The Bacchae, Euripides

The Iliad, Homer

Josephus: The Essential Writings, Josephus

Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis

The War With Hannibal, Livy

On the Nature of Things, Lucretius

Metamorphoses, Ovid

Republic, Plato

Plutarch’s Lives, Plutarch

God’s Big Picture, Vaughan Roberts

Troilus and Cressida, William Shakespeare

The Annals of Imperial Rome, Tacitus

The Peloponnesian War, Thucydides

Eclogues and Georgics, Virgil

The Divine Comedy, Dante Alghieri

Introduction to Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Aquinas

City of God, Augustine

Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio

The Consolation of Philosophy, Boethius

Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin

St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi, G.K. Chesterton

The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis

Martin Luther: Selections, Martin Luther

The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli

Chronicle of the Kings of England, William of Malmesbury

Le Morte d’Arthur, Sir Thomas Malory

Tartuffe, Molière

The Art of Poetry, Christine Perrin

Antony and Cleopatra, William Shakespeare

Othello, William Shakespeare

The Faerie Queene (Book 1), Edmund Spenser

Idylls of the King, Alfred Tennyson

Saga of the Volsungs, Unknown


Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

Of Plymouth Plantation, William Bradford

The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan

Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke

The Stranger, Albert Camus

Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane

Discourse on Method/Meditations on Philosophy, René Descartes

A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

Notes from Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud

The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene

The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes

Out of the Silent Planet, C.S. Lewis

Perelandra, C.S. Lewis

That Hideous Strength, C.S. Lewis

Lincoln’s Speeches, Abraham Lincoln

The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Battle Cry of Freedom, James McPherson

Moby Dick, Herman Melville

Paradise Lost, John Milton

Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche

Collected Short Stories, Flannery O’Connnor

Tell Me a Riddle, Tillie Olsen

Animal Farm, George Orwell

Pensées, Blaise Pascal

The Moviegoer, Walker Percy

All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque

The Social Contract, Jean Jacques Rousseau

The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara

On Beauty and Being Just, Elaine Scarry

Beauty, Roger Scruton

The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe

Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain

The Origin of the American Revolution, Friedrich von Gentz




4720 CLASSICAL WAY, BOZEMAN, MT 59718    |    OFFICE@PETRAACADEMY.COM   |   406.582.8165
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