About The Academy at Houston Christian University

At Houston Christian University, we have a vision for education that starts well before a student graduates high school. Too often, students come to college unprepared, immature, and about to incur great debt.  Some get lost on the way and do not get to university at all.

Through The Academy at Houston Christian University, we seek to solve these problems.


At its heart, The Academy is a center for a new kind of educational model.

The Academy approach is straightforward, yet challenging. Our students are trained to learn directly from the text at hand, using class time to engage with their professor and classmates towards increased understanding of the subject. The Academy curriculum is written entirely by Academy faculty and consists of five essential teaching elements:

1.Reading: We read a robust selection of great books chronologically, in their entirety, and from a diverse set of cultures and disciplines. This approach is echoed throughout the subjects our students take.

2.Discussion: We devote the entirety of our class time in The Academy to discussing what we have read and taking seriously the ideas that we have encountered. It is particularly through discussion that our students become active, contributing members of their classrooms, earning their education and refining their beliefs. This is opposed to the passive  approach to education wherein students are meant merely to receive information and try their best to remember it.

3.Writing: Students turn in regular reading reflections and prepare a single long essay for each course each semester. Their work must argue for a strong position on a book or topic they have read or discussed. Whenever possible, professors return unsatisfactory work to students as incomplete, expecting the students to rework or rewrite the assignments until both professors and students are satisfied. Students receive extensive feedback on all written work.

4.Presentation and Defense: In each course, students create presentations, defend papers, and/or develop and display creative work in order to show their academic progress to the broader university community.

5.Evaluation and Feedback: Written tests are given only in the subjects wherein they have proven most efficacious and helpful, such as foreign language and mathematics. Humanities courses culminate in semester oral examinations with an Academy faculty panel.

Students at The Academy can expect to earn three to eighteen units of college credit. High school juniors and seniors who elect to enroll in traditional, one-semester lower-level undergraduate courses can expect to earn even more units of college credit, allowing them to cut down one to two years of university cost.

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