For The Glory Of God A distinctive Christ-centered education

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Barnes on Defragmenting Education

It was in her first philosophy course in college that Dr. Barnes had an intellectual wake-up call.  Before that, she felt she had never been introduced to concepts larger than herself in school. But listening in on the “Great Conversation” of the authors of classic works of the western tradition gave her the dose of humility she needed to begin a lifelong journey of learning, which she continued into graduate school at the University of Dallas.  It was there she realized her graduate education was making up for a poor high school and fragmented undergraduate education. 

Steve, her soon-to-be husband, introduced her to classical education, an educational vision which she found to avoid the incoherence of other educational practices. She taught at various classical schools, and when her husband began teaching English at UMHB, she entered a doctoral program in rhetoric at Texas Women’s University.  After earning her doctorate, she began teaching rhetoric, Latin, and English at Live Oak, where her three daughters were already happily attending. Dr. Barnes has published two textbooks for classical schools: Rhetoric Alive!: Principles of Persuasion and Rhetoric Alive!: Senior Thesis Student Workbook. 

Dr. Barnes has ambitious goals for students in the Live Oak Literature/Composition Department: she wants the students to learn wisdom and virtue from the classical texts, but that’s not all.  Because those texts have limits, a Christian vision—one that believes that the Word became flesh—can offer a more complete education, one that helps students to know the true, choose the good, and love the beautiful.

Dr. Alyssan Barnes is Logic/Rhetoric Chair of the Literature/Composition Department at Live Oak.

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