K kepler-title

Christendom: Old Western Culture

Christendom: Old Western Culture
This class is currently archived, but if you're interested in it being taught again, you can express your interest here!
08/21/2023 - 05/10/2024
Full Year
3.0 credits in
Grades 9-12

Taught by:

About the course

Old Western Culture is a Christian approach to the Great Books. Christendom is an integrated humanities course designed to lead the student through Western Civilization’s medieval works of history, literature, and philosophy in a true liberal arts fashion. Students in the Christendom course will study the transition from classical Greek and Roman culture to medieval culture, the rise of monasticism and the dramatic spread of Christianity throughout the further reaches of the former Roman empire, bringing the transforming power of the Gospel to unreached barbarian Celts and Vikings. Students will learn to think critically about, and cultivate answers to, perennial human questions, and expand their imaginative faculties to envision truth in a context outside of reason alone.

Course Objectives:

  1. To become proficient in the conversational approach to learning: close readings, interpretive questions, and Socratic discussions of the texts.
  2. To gain a grasp of the literary figures and the historical framework of the time period.
  3. To develop lateral thinking skills by analyzing and synthesizing themes and motifs.
  4. To cultivate an appetite for learning as a way of life (the life of the mind).
  5. To cultivate a desire to pursue the highest things.
  6. To be able to think Christianly and write persuasively about perennial human questions.

Texts and Required Materials:

Students taking this course will need to purchase the Old Western Culture: Christendom lectures and readers (students may access the PDFs of the readers free of charge). Roman Roads Media provides Kepler students with a 25% discount on all OWC Materials. See the link below for details.


  • The Rule of St. Benedict
  • Beowulf
  • The Confession of Saint Patrick
  • Life of St. Columba
  • Ecclesiastical History of the English People
  • Two Lives of Charlemagne
  • Asser’s Life of King Alfred the Great


  • Anselm’s Works
  • History of the Kings of Britain
  • The Golden Legend
  • Chronicles of the Crusades


  • Dante’s Divine Comedy
  • Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium


  • John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (Recommended Hard Back) or John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion (Paperback edition)
  • The Canterbury Tales
  • The Faerie Queene
  • Cranmer
  • Erasmus

About the teacher

Ryan Griffiths Ryan Griffiths lives in Taylorville, Illinois and has a Master's degree in English from the University of Illinois. He has taught composition and critical reading to college freshmen, and enjoys English literature, creative writing, and film.