“The Key to a Christian conception of studies is the realization that prayer consists of attention….the development of the faculty of attention forms the real object and almost sole interest of studies.”
Men come to Harmel not simply to gain a “marketable trade.” They come to learn a way of life. Central to this life learning to see God and reality, which means learning how to attend — through prayer and study — to God and his creation.
It isn’t simply the content of your study that is important—it’s the fact that study itself forms our attention, and trains us to be attentive apprentices to the Lord. Central to Harmel’s program is taking the time to wonder, to learn to engage great works of art, history, philosophy, and literature. Close attention to such subjects builds man’s capacity to attend more closely to God.
At Harmel, we study the humanities alongside the trades. However, we study them not as an academic exercise, but as a practical, considered way to understand what it means to be human. Our robust humanities curriculum is integrated in two senses: first, each subject is approached with an eye toward how it makes a difference in a man’s life, and second, the curriculum weaves together literature, history, philosophy, theology, and film into a central narrative that helps a man see his place in God’s creation and redemption of the world.
The Church has given the world two models of study: the Academic and the Monastic. The Academic model aims at understanding a topic primarily in itself, and as such, has formed the foundation of the scientific method and nearly all educational systems of the past thousand years. The Monastic model, on the other hand, aims at understanding how a given topic speaks of God and illuminates our understanding of God. At Harmel, we take a more monastic approach to study. Practically, this means less academic papers, projects, and test, and more discussion, Socratic method, and exploration. Learn more about how we approach the study of the humanities here.
“What sold it for me was the humanities program. Frankly, I think that’s one of the most unique points of the school. It shows that you can be both a pious, learned man and also a hard worker with your hands. I think that’s very unique.”