The Triangle Classical Forum is a local community of educators, enthusiasts for the traditional liberal arts, and lifelong learners dedicated to seeking out and passing down the greatest knowledge, wisdom, and virtue of previous generations.

We hope you will join us for upcoming book discussions, lectures, and more.

Join our email list to stay up-to-date on local events and opportunities near Raleigh, NC relating to classical education and liberal learning.

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You are invited to join us as we discuss Richard Gamble’s The Great Tradition: Classic Readings on What It Means to Be an Educated Human Being on the first Wednesday of each month.

This book is a goldmine of primary sources on education and we will discuss selections from it throughout the summer, typically comparing readings from two different authors.

Reading Schedule:

  • June 5 – Theme: Critiques of Schooling Trends in the 18th and 20th centuries
    • Giambattista Vico, Selections from “On the Proper Order of Studies” and On the Study Methods of Our Time (p.476-488)
    • Albert Jay Nock, Selections from The Theory of Education in the United States (p.579-88; also available online here–see chapters 6-7)
  • July 3 – TBD
  • August 7 – TBD
  • September 4 – TBD


All Saints Anglican Church
908 Deboy Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27606

Childcare is provided! We will also have light food and beverages each session. Please enter the church quietly in case evening prayers are still in session. All Saints invites you to come at 6:30 P.M. if you would like to join the evening prayer service. This reading group is a joint effort between TCF and All Saints Anglican Church.

The Triangle Classical Forum’s 2023 series was a resounding success, and we are excited to announce our first six months of speakers for 2024!

All talks will be held at Beow’s Books & Brews and begin at 7:00 P.M. We hope you can join us for some great discussions, refreshing pints, and stimulating company.

Time: 7:00 P.M.


Beow’s Books & Brews
Cultivating the Great Conversation

8111-153 Creedmoor Road
Raleigh, NC 27613


TUESDAY, July 16, 2024
The Gift of Gender: Insights from C. S. Lewis’s Ransom Trilogy
Dr. Josh Herring (Thales College)

How do we best respond to the confusion of gender plaguing our moment? C. S. Lewis offers a unique view: drawing from his Platonic philosophy, Lewis argues for the reality of gender as masculine and feminine, but ultimately grounds gender as part of God’s gift of creation. Gender becomes a part of the givenness of creation. In this talk, Dr. Josh Herring will lay out Lewis’s theory of gender, and argue that gender confusion means we need to re-enchant our imaginations to understand the wonder within God’s good gift.

Dr. Josh Herring is professor of classical education at Thales College, working to develop a new model of teacher preparation, specifically with attention to shaping future teachers intending to join the classical renewal movement. He and his wife live in Wendell, NC. Josh is a voracious reader and a regular writer with the Acton Institute, Liberty Fund, and The Federalist. He hosts The Optimistic Curmudgeon podcast and tweets @theoptimisticC3.

TUESDAY, JUNE 18 JUNE 11, 2024 (Date Updated)
Relational Teaching & Learning in the Classical Classroom
Amanda DeBlois (Veritas Scholars Academy)

You’ve heard of Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmetic as the three Rs of learning. But what are the three Rs of teaching? In examining a simple framework for troubleshooting problem spots in any learning environment, we’ll seek to understand how a classical approach to teaching and learning provides foundational structures that foster healthy relationships between teacher and student, student and content, and student and self. 

As a middle- and high-school student, Amanda DeBlois benefited greatly from the faithful and passionate work of pioneers in the revival of classical education. As a mother of five children, her desire to pass on that tradition continued to grown and get more personal. Earning a B.Ed. and M.A. from McGill University, Amanda has implemented classical principles in a range of teaching situations, from homeschooling her own children to ESL tutoring to working in a classical Christian school.

Amanda serves on the leadership team of the Triangle Classical Forum.

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2024
St. Augustine’s Classical Education & Subsequent Influence
Dr. Benjamin Quinn (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary)

This talk is largely a narrative of Augustine’s upbringing with a focus on his classical, liberal arts education followed by attention to his subsequent intellectual influence.

Born and raised in Mississippi, my wife and I moved to NC in 2005 to pursue further education. I began teaching at Southeastern Seminary and the College at Southeastern in 2012 including in the History of Ideas program as part of the undergrad curriculum. My wife, Ashley, and I live in the Bunn, NC area with our four kids where I also pastor a small church and my wife owns and operates Southern Magnolia Coffee Co.

What Really Is Classical About Classical Music?
Dr. Carol Reynolds (Memoria College)

We use the term “Classical” to describe a specific body of historic music, defined by certain factors including venue where performed, instruments used, and musical forms employed. Yet what makes any of this, or all of this, “classical”? Does this word “classical” correspond or harmonize with our understanding of Classical Education? For that matter, is only this body of music “classic.” Using a workshop approach, let’s take on this topic and see what answers we can find.

Dr. Carol Reynolds is a musicologist, pianist, and author specializing in Russian, East European, and German cultural history. She also works as a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, leading groups through Russia, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Croatia, and Switzerland.

After 21 years as a professor of music history at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Carol, with her husband and co-author Hank, bought a ranch in North Central Texas and began raising goats. At the same time, she became fascinated by the renewal of Classical Education. With Hank, she started designing curricula for secondary students that taught history through the lens of the Fine Arts. Her signature course “Discovering Music: 300 Years of Interaction in Western Music, Arts, History, and Culture” is used widely in the US and abroad. Other popular courses include “America’s Artistic Legacy,” “Early Sacred Music,” and “Imperial Russia—a Cultural Odyssey”( Carol lectures widely for arts organizations and works closely with Institute for Classical Education, Memoria Press, Classical Academic Press, CiRCE Institute, and Homeschool Connections. She is also a professor at Memoria College and a regular member of the panel “Classical Education Unhinged” along with Martin Cothran, Andrew Kern, Christopher Perrin, and Andrew Pudewa.

Walking in the Way: Classical Christian Education & the Pursuit of Wisdom
Eric Cook (Society for Classical Learning)

Every classical Christian school makes wisdom and virtue the aim of their educational vision. However, we are not always clear when we say that wisdom is our goal. What is wisdom? How is wisdom understood in the classical and Christian traditions? How can we teach wisdom to our students? In this talk, Eric will address these questions by providing five pillars of wisdom. The pillars will provide both the philosophical foundations and the practical outworking of pursuing wisdom in our schools.

Eric Cook is the President of the Society for Classical Learning (SCL). Eric has been formally associated with SCL for over a decade serving in multiple roles, including Executive Director and Board Chair. He was the Head of School at Covenant Classical in Fort Worth, TX for 13 years before joining SCL full time. Prior to Covenant, Eric was the Head of Upper School at Faith Christian School in Roanoke, VA. Eric also taught and served in leadership at several public schools.

Eric earned a bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University, and a master’s degree in Instructional Leadership from Northern Kentucky University. He is currently working on an EdS in Classical School Leadership from Gordon College.

Eric has taught a myriad of subjects from philosophy to thesis. He consults with schools and coaches leaders in a variety of contexts. He speaks and presents at conferences around the country. Eric and his wife, Liz, have six children. They live in Richmond, Virginia, home of the SCL headquarters.

A Meaningful Education: Toward a Re-Enchantment of the Soul
Dell Cook (Sandhills Classical Christian School)

A fragmented post-modern worldview has produced a fragmented, incoherent, disjointed education. Subjects taught independently of one another and transcendence lead to what Stratford Caldecott calls, “the elimination of meaning—except in the sense of a meaning that we impose by force upon the world.” This talk seeks to describe what a meaningful education looks like and how it is practically accomplished.

Dell Cook is the headmaster of Sandhills Classical Christian School in Pinehurst, NC. Dell has served in an array of capacities in classical Christian education over 20 years including teaching at every stage of the trivium, coaching, athletics administration, academic administration, head of school, conducting numerous accreditation teams and serving on the board of ACCS. Dell holds master’s degrees in divinity and theology. Dell is a longtime faculty member with Worldview Academy, a ministry for which he also serves as board president. Dell and his wife, Ginny, have 3 children who have all been educated in classical Christian education.

Proofs of God’s Existence: Derrida, Thermodynamics, & Aquinas
Fr. Ian VanHeusen (Catholic Diocese of Raleigh) & Dr. Matthew Wheeler

This talk is a contemporary version of the proofs of God’s existence based on Aquinas.

Fr. Ian VanHeusen was raised in a military family with a father who was an officer in the U.S. Army. Before entering seminary at St. Charles Borromeo in Philadelphia, he taught high school English for two years. In seminary, he focused on ascetical and mystical theology’s relation to the moral life, winning an award for his Master’s thesis on the topic. As a priest, Fr. Ian created the unique Art of Living Well platform to teach people how to pray well and live virtuous lives. He is currently the chaplain at ECU Newman Center in Greenville, NC

Matt Wheeler, Ph.D., is a biostatistician who developed Bayesian mathematical approaches to modeling disease caused by exposure to environmental contaminants. His research has been subject to numerous awards, including the President’s Award for Early Career Scientists and Engineers, which President Obama awarded in 2016. In his research, he is a consultant for the World Health Organization, the United States EPA, and the European Food Safety Authority. He formally trained as a Bayesian statistician because it provided a coherent philosophy of science, which allowed him to investigate the human interaction between knowledge production and empirical observation using rigorous mathematical underpinnings. Currently, he is researching scientific decision-making for statements that do not yield to traditional statistical hypothesis testing, like “This product is safe.”


TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 2023
Teaching History Through Masterpieces of Art
Patrick Halbrook, teacher at Cary Christian School

We all want our students to know and to love great works of art, to delight in the beauty of a masterpiece by Raphael or Rembrandt. We also want our students to develop a clear vision of history, understanding the trajectory of Western civilization and the ideas and values that have defined it from age to age. How can teachers accomplish both of these purposes by effectively integrating the study of art and history? In this talk we will explore the theory and practice of introducing students to great works of art in a way that conveys the values and ideals of the cultures and eras in which they were produced. This Francis-Schaeffer-inspired approach seeks to deepen students’ understanding of history through engaging lessons that tie together art, culture, philosophy, and theology. The concepts and activities presented in this workshop have been developed over the past decade of teaching high school history classes, but can be implemented in any history or art classroom.

TUESDAY, JULY 18, 2023
Practically Speaking: How to Give a Speech on Classical Principles
Winston Brady, teacher & administrator at Thales Academy and Thales Press

This lecture on rhetoric includes practical tips for successfully navigating public speaking opportunities. In addition to an overview of rhetoric including the five canons of rhetoric, the modes of persuasion, the types of speeches, and the six parts of discourse, the ideas covered in this particular talk include how to get over nervousness, how to project your voice, how to memorize a speech, how to use your hands, and other practical areas of concern when one is speaking in public. Rubrics and materials will be provided for teachers to assign public speaking assignments in class.

Bid the Geldings Be Fruitful: The Platonic Soul in Narnia
Kristen Rudd, teacher at the CiRCE Institute & adjunct professor at Thales College


In The Abolition of Man, Lewis writes about the dangers of a disordered soul. In his Chronicles of Narnia series, he creates a cast of characters with both ordered souls and disordered souls: He gives us men with and without chests. But what does this even mean and how does he do this? In this talk, Kristen Rudd will present the idea of Plato’s tripartite soul and demonstrate how Lewis’ beloved characters embody this important concept.

The Ground Ran Blood: How to Teach Violent Literature in a World Gone Mad
Kristen Clarkson, Classical & American Literature Teacher at Cary Christian School

Whether we read the Iliad of Homer or the short stories of Flannery O’Connor, classical curricula is filled with violent literature. This talk will explore how reading about violence can shock readers into seeing the fallen world as it really is and how to approach it practically with students. We will look at violent passages in Scripture and apply them to some of the great texts of the Western tradition, building an apology for why we should not remove violent texts from our curriculum guides as some progressive educators may suggest. In this endeavor, we faithfully steward the thoughts and ideas of the Great Tradition against the ever-changing times.

The Quadrivium
Phillip Johnson, professor at Thales College

While the recent resurgence in classical education has brought a strong emphasis to the trivium, the quadrivium has often been relatively neglected in curricular frameworks. These four mathematical arts played a prominent role in traditional education in antiquity and during the Scholastic period. This talk will explore why various educators advocated for such studies, not merely as utility but as liberal arts. The philosophical understanding of infinity will also be explored to show why the quadrivium was split into the four disciplines of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. Finally, recourse will be made to modern mathematical topics such as calculus to engage with their place in a classical approach to mathematics.

Stop Stealing the Wonder: The Danger of Beginning Formal Education Too Early
Shell Keim, Homeschooling Mom & Former School Administrator

Childhood is a very small part of our lives and yet what we do during it impacts everything we are. Let us begin a discussion about how we as adults make decisions that rush children through the wonder of being a child and how this impacts their education later in life. 

We often sit at the end of a child’s education and think to ourselves, “What went wrong?” Why do they not love reading? Why do they not care for their neighbor? Are good citizens even something that exists anymore, and are we truly trying to create them? 

Maybe if we take a moment to look at education from the beginning, we can get a better understanding of how a big sky, a tall tree, a puddle of water, and a prickly pine cone can make all the difference for later education.