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University of Notre Dame Study Reports Classical Christian Schools Outscore All Other Educational Options

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra| February 22, 2020

A response to a recent report from the University of Notre Dame

It almost looks like a trick.

In category after category of the University of Notre Dame report, classical Christian schools outscore all other educational options—public, private preparatory, Catholic, evangelical, and homeschool—by significant margins.

“In category after category of the University of Notre Dame report, classical Christian schools outscore all other educational options by significant margins.”

A whopping 84 percent of classical Christian school alumni (ranging from 23 to 44 years old) were better prepared for college and their career. That means more of them told the survey team they felt prepared by their high school—but it also means they scored better on their SATs, earned more A’s in college, completed more degrees, and continue to read more books.

Even more—90 percent—are above the median in spiritual practices. Nine out of 10 attend church three times a month or more, 83 percent go to a weekly small group, and 70 percent read the Bible weekly.

Over and over, classical Christian school alumni landed higher than their peers—including feeling more thankful, volunteering more, and having more close friends as adults.

“Those factors lead to scores so consistently excellent they almost look like a trick—or a gift, given generously, by a profoundly good and gracious God.”

“The combination of a wide and deep reading in the classics and student engagement around Socratic discussion tables tells part of the story,” the report authors wrote. “So does a focus on respect, manners, and a serious academic pursuit. Logic trains students to think well; rhetoric integrates all knowledge and challenges students to think at an advanced level; Latin to understand more precisely.”

Those factors lead to scores so consistently excellent they almost look like a trick—or a gift, given generously, by a profoundly good and gracious God.

Learn more about the Good Soil survey (a two-minute video).

Download a full copy of the 57-page report and results.

About the Author: Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra is a Covenant parent and senior writer for The Gospel Coalition.

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