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Neurodivergence in the Classical Classroom with Nate Carr


Episode 119 • 22nd February 2024 • The Living Church Podcast • The Living Church

Get in touch with Fr. Nate for further conversation.

Check out Fr. Nate’s book, Festive School.

Read Fr. Nate’s article on neurodivergence in the classical classroom.

Learn more about Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI).

When trying to consider budget as well as mission and ministry, churches of many sizes offer educational service, from a small daycare to a prestigious Episcopal prep school. And these are often built on a classical school models.

Classical education refers specifically to a model of education centered on the Western classical trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. If you can do a classical school well, you can provide a great education and do very well for your budget.

But does it produce snobby kids? Put another way, does it shelter privileged kids even further, and prevent kids with disadvantages from experiencing a remarkable community of learning?

One way to negotiate this is through scholarships, or through careful intentionality in enrollment or curriculum development. But our guest today has also explored ways to make sure that kids with disabilities — including neurodivergence — are welcomed and integrated into a classical community. What they’ve discovering is an unusual model for classical education, and an unexpected ministry of healing.

My guest today is the Rev. Nathan Carr. Nate is a bi-vocational priest serving as vicar of St. John’s Oklahoma City and headmaster of The Academy of Classical Christian Studies, a multi-campus school serving 1,000 PreK-12 students across the Oklahoma City metro. He’s the author of Festive School (Classical Academic Press), on the importance of festivity in Christian education. He and his wife Sarah have six children who bless their home, including kiddos with neurodivergence.

He’s also written a related article on the Living Church’s award-winning blog, Covenant.

Now sharpen your pencils and warm up your singing voice. We’re headed to school. We hope you enjoy the conversation.


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