Stem Cell Research, Gun Control, Charter Schools, In Vitro Fertilization, Software Patents, Sex Trafficking, Technology in Classical Christian Schools, Dystopian Literature, Vaccinations,Biblical Models for the 21st Century Male… and the list goes on.
That is the list of thesis topics being explored by this year’s juniors and seniors at Trinity Christian Academy.
The thesis is the capstone of Trinity’s Classical Christian curriculum.
Thesis comes from the Greek and means literally “to lay down.”
In the thesis process at Trinity, students “lay down” an argument, and then defend it by refuting opposing views and confirming arguments for their own position.
Juniors write their papers as part of the Advanced Logic class and present them to a group of peers.
Seniors go a step further in their Rhetoric class, where they write another 15-20- page thesis paper and defend it before a panel of experts.
For some seniors, thesis panel is the hour of dread; others relish the opportunity to defend their ideas.
In all cases, students learn the timeless art of expressing their beliefs persuasively and eloquently.
Joshua Fraley, Logic teacher, and Rick Stafford, Rhetoric teacher, agree that the challenge of the thesis is also the reward – learning to organize and manage a large body of research.
The sheer labor of the effort produces insights, skills and rewards that far outlast high school.
Trinity graduate Jack Rockaway (’10), a junior at Yale University, says the in-depth investigation helped him hold on to what he believed about economics as he watched others “quickly give in to the prevailing … Keynesian theory.”
His senior thesis defined his passion for and soon-to-be career in private space flight.
Overall, he says, “My thesis papers gave me a solid grounding in my career path, personal opinions and writing style.”
College admissions officers also credit the thesis process with helping Trinity students achieve a distinctive edge in writing and speaking.
Shane McGuire (Trinity ‘05), a Transylvania University Admissions Counselor, says, “There are few admissions essays I read that have the style and depth of those from a Trinity student.
“Even our Dean of Admissions recognizes that Trinity students are better prepared for college level writing.”
Now, that is a thesis statement Trinity hopes to prove year after year.