High Scholars Scope and Sequence

Western Civilization Worldviews


This two-year high school course is modeled after the core curriculum used successfully at Belhaven University. Belhaven's Worldview Curriculum was developed thirteen years ago by Dr. Dan Fredericks, the University's Senior Vice President and Provost. Dr. Fredericks, a home school father of four, has long felt that a similar approach would be ideal for high school students as they prepare to meet the challenges of college and young adulthood. He has degrees in philosophy, biblical languages and theology and has developed a worldview curriculum for many academic programs. Belhaven is delighted to partner with The Potter's School to bring this curriculum to the home school community.

In this course, subjects like history, geography, philosophy, literature and the arts are not compartmentalized, as is often the case in traditional education. They are presented as one set of interconnected disciplines. In each subject students are encouraged to bring every thought into compliance with biblical principles. Students compare and contrast the Christian worldview with other systems of thought that have impacted history and continue to influence present day thinking. Using five worldview indicators, students critique the worldview of each culture in light of biblical truth. Students look at peoples' ideas about God, nature, humanity, morals, and society, and examine differing views and their consequences.

Engaging lectures, power points, and study guides prepared by Belhaven University professors provide core course information. Weekly assignments prepare students for the live class time. These on-mic discussions allow students to address inherent philosophical, political, and ethical issues, as they make valuable worldview and biblical connections. The opportunity to grapple with issues and articulate their views makes the lessons both meaningful and memorable.

Year One

History: Semester one takes students on a virtual tour through the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Hebrews, Greece, and Rome and follows their transformation through the rise of Christianity. Semester two studies include the early European empires, Islam, the Middle Ages, the Crusades, the Renaissance, and the Reformation.

Literature: The student's understanding of culture, history and worldviews is enhanced through the study of literature. First year readings include Enuma Elish, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Genesis, The Iliad, Oedipus Rex, The Aeneid, St. Augustine's Confessions, Beowulf, Song of Roland, The Inferno, Chaucer, Sir Gawain & Green Knight, Machiavelli, Luther, and Montaigne. Composition is intertwined with the other subjects. Students write weekly reading responses and four major essays with a graded 1st and 2nd draft. They also do a research paper for the semester project.

Culture: Semester one explores Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art. Semester two takes students from the Byzantines to the Reformation. It includes Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque art. The Gregorian chant and Renaissance Music are also introduced in Semester Two.

Year Two

History: The semester starts with the Age of Exploration and marches on into various forms of monarchies and republics. The Scientific Revolution, humanism, the Age of Enlightenment, social and political revolutions all mark the rapid change of this era. The Industrial Revolution further impacted economic and social changes. Students' study of conservatism, liberalism, romanticism, consumerism, socialism, Marxism, and nationalism are sure to inspire lively discussions. By the second half of the year students have moved into the modern age with its new political and social uncertainties. An in depth analysis of present day issues and worldviews completes the final semester.

Literature: Students read important classical works that complement their other studies. Emphasis is placed on understanding the worldview that the literature represents. A partial list includes The History of the Indies, Tartuffe, The Tempest, Pope's "Essay on Man", Gulliver's Travels, The Declaration of Independence, and authors like Wordsworth, Keats, Coleridge, Marx, Kierkegaard, Darwin, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Melville and Yeats.

Culture: Year two begins with an analysis of the art of the two great Mesoamerican cultures the Spanish encountered in their conquest of the Americas. Students progress to the art and music of the Baroque period, followed by the aristocratic age and its demise in the Rococo and Neoclassical periods. The move into modernist thought begins by exploring Romanticism in art and music, followed by the rebuttal posited by Realism. Modernism begins full force with Impressionist art and music, followed by the dissatisfactions of the Post-Impressionists in art and the Age of Anxiety in music. It exposes the current divide between the utopianist and pessimist positions. The 20th century begins with the bang of the two World Wars and the reactions by artists and musicians. Finally the postmodern era begins by looking into Pop art, Antimodern and Postmodern music. The semester will end by looking at the trends started at the beginning of the postmodern era that are currently in dialogue. These include Conceptual art, Minimalism, Environmentalism, multiculturalism, pluralism, and the search for the new.

Review the Semester at a Glance charts to see the lecture titles for each week or contact us at hsdualenroll@belhaven.edu or call 601-968-5942 for more information.