Humane Letters is a chronological and thematic study of the great literary tradition of Western civilization, including works of fiction, poetry, theater, as well as classic works in history, philosophy, science and theology. Each year will focus on one or more of the great cities - Jerusalem, Greece, Rome, Paris, London and Philadelphia - in order for students to converse about the great minds and persons of action that have shaped Western civilization, and thereby grapple with and discover the universal truths of human existence, reflect on important moral questions, and learn to appreciate the beauty of the truth and goodness they discover as well as the aesthetic value of the works themselves. Because Humane Letters does not artificially divide the great works into separate history and literature courses, it promotes an integrated education where, in striving for truth in its fullness and unity, students learn to see the similarities, relationships and interconnectedness among different subject matters and perspectives. Through minimal lecture and guided discussion, students learn to engage respectfully in debate for the sake of discovering the truth, to articulate their thoughts persuasively in speech and writing, and practice the patience, charity, humility, courage and other virtues these activities require.
Since the time of Pythagoras, mathematics has been the study of number in itself (arithmetic & algebra), in space (geometry) and, now, in time (calculus). Mathematics at Ozark Catholic focuses on the formal study of algebra, geometry, pre-calculus and calculus, with the goal of having all students take at least one year of calculus. The principal focus is on the theoretical study of mathematics so that students may encounter the logic, order and beauty inherent in the discipline. While students will apply what they learn to hone their problem solving skills, they will also discover the structure and harmony of the material universe that mathematics unveils. Through such a rigorous mathematics program students will acquire diligence and perseverance as well as develop logical thinking and the ability to contemplate abstract realities and their relations.
The science program at Ozark Catholic focuses on both direct observation and experimentation, thereby affording students a formal, systematic understanding of the natural world while also fostering careful observation as well as an appreciation and a greater awareness of the dynamic world surrounding us. The program inspires students to go beneath the surface of things in order to develop an even greater appreciation for the truth and beauty (and thus goodness) found in the unity, structure and harmony of the physical universe. Ozark Catholic students complete full-year courses in physics and chemistry as freshmen and sophomores and then as juniors study biology. Senior will study a second year of physics that will complement their study of calculus.
Language reflects what things are and do as well as the relationships among them and therefore reveals the very form and structure of reality. As such, facility with language enhances one's ability to apprehend reality and think about it clearly and logically, the prerequisite to being able to express oneself pleasingly and persuasively. Ozark Catholic enables to students to achieve the benefits of having an excellent command of language in several ways: first, by requiring students to communicate frequently in speech and writing, especially in the Humane Letters courses, but also across the curriculum; second, by requiring students to complete four years of Latin, which not only enables them to absorb the thought and expression of the most formative cultures and institutions of Western civilization - Rome and the Church - but improves students’ command of English and facilitates their study of other languages; and third, by requiring students to achieve conversational proficiency in a modern foreign language - Spanish, French or German - through two intense years of study.
Theology allows students to grasp the integral unity of their education, for their study of science, mathematics, music, literature, language, etc. not only reveals the truth, beauty, and goodness of God, their author, but reflects their unity in Him. Further, Theology, as St. Anselm states, is "faith seeking understanding”, which not only signifies the important task of memorizing, investigating, and contemplating the teachings of the Church, but also denotes a deep intellectual and personal encounter with Jesus Christ. Thus, theology at Ozark Catholic grounds students in Scripture, doctrine, morality, and the sacraments, but aims foremost to enable students to encounter Christ in prayer. By engaging in what Pope Benedict XVI called "theology on one's knees", the school community, individually and together, strives to befriend, know, and love Jesus Christ through a robust prayer and liturgical life, and to see and serve others as our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Musical, Visual and Dramatic Arts
The Music and Arts program (consisting of choir, band, visual art and drama) reinforces students understanding and appreciation of the history and development of the literary, visual and musical arts introduced in their Humane Letters courses, but aims primarily at enabling students, inspired and informed by existing works, to create beauty for the enrichment of themselves and others. The creation and appreciation of authentic beauty through the arts contributes to students personal integration, their understanding of the ordered whole of creation and provides an opportunity to serve others. Participating in the arts requires students to see reality more fully, to feel more deeply in an ordered way, to move with grace and precision and to unify mind, emotion and body into a harmonious whole. The arts also enable students to understand experientially the integral unity of reality - how, for instance, their own creative works require the application of harmony and proportion in space and time revealed in their more abstract study of mathematics and the physical sciences. Finally, the artistic endeavor has an important social dimension, especially for the Christian: it is not merely an occasion for self-expression, but an opportunity to provide a gift of self and beauty to others.
Similar to the arts, athletics requires the integration of understanding and good judgment, the proper ordering of emotions as well as physical grace, stamina and strength, and also provides the opportunity for students to learn cooperation, leadership and generosity. Thus, while students will learn the technical and tactical aspects of the sport, an emphasis is placed on the development of character and the moral integration of the student. Students will participate in four years of basic physical education but may elect to participate in seasonal interscholastic sports, such as football, basketball, baseball, soccer, volleyball and rugby.