Rhetoric School (9th – 12th)

The Rhetoric School is not our students’ final destination, rather it is a stepping stone on the path of being devoted to the love of learning, the cultivation of wisdom and eloquence, and the pursuit of life’s most important questions.

Building upon the grammar and logic stages of acquiring and organizing fundamental facts and skills, and flourishing into deliberate critical thinkers, students are ready to focus on winsome and effective expression, both written and orally. Rhetoric school teachers invite students to explore their intellectual and spiritual heritage by encountering the greatest books and most inspiring figures of Western Civilization. Our courses are designed to integrate material from many disciplines to stimulate creative thought and deep reflection.


Integrated Humanities

Integrated Humanities

At Valor, the Humanities Department is dedicated to fostering delight and affection for the true, good, and beautiful through the study of composition, languages, history, philosophy, and literature.  We strive to equip our scholars’ hearts and minds for the task set forth in scripture to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations.  Through a solid foundation of global history and beautiful stories, students grow toward the ability to articulate their Christian worldview clearly and succinctly in both written and oral form as well as to recognize their use of worldview to interpret the world around them, past and present.  Through an integrated study of history and literature embedded within the Great Conversation, they engage with the greatest ideas presented throughout human history and trace the multifaceted implications of these ideas within individual human hearts all the way through entire societies and civilizations.  By contextualizing this pursuit within a biblical Christian worldview, students learn to trace God’s providence throughout the entirety of human history while skillfully bringing every thought, idea, philosophy, and worldview encountered captive to Christ.  


In mathematics, we focus not only on efficient and accurate problem solving but also on how to think mathematically and understand the material deeply. Our math program inspires all students to think hard and creatively about mathematics. We teach math as a powerful tool in understanding our world and also as something beautiful and intricate created by God. Your child will have every opportunity not only to become proficient in solving problems but also to fall in love with mathematics. All students gain an understanding that emphasizes the power and beauty of mathematics while at the same time equipping them to solve both theoretical and real-world problems.


Science at Valor seeks to investigate, make sense of, and appreciate God’s glory manifested within His wondrous, majestic, and orderly creation.  Our science courses instill the requisite skills and processes necessary to scientific investigation within the minds of students through courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and other select scientific disciplines.  Ultimately, Valor students are trained to approach the sciences as different facets of a unified investigation of God’s holistic creation.


Jesus, in Matthew 28, told His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations (πάντα τὰ ἔθνη , or “all people groups”). The command remains the same for us today. Learning Spanish is not simply a utilitarian tool for use on vacation. Having the ability to speak another language in this diverse world opens up opportunities to communicate the words of life to people that otherwise would be closed off to relationship and gospel witness. Speaking Spanish in particular opens up one-sixth of the world’s people to this rich relationship and gospel witness who would otherwise be closed off to a non-communicator in the language. 

We seek to develop Spanish speakers who are equipped to confidently and effectively obey God’s call to reach out to people of ethnic backgrounds different from their own, and who possess a heart of love and appreciation for Spanish speakers. Students will be provided with opportunities to practice the language in realistic situations both in the classroom and in the community. Grammatical instruction in the structure of the language will be increasingly paired with immersive language experiences to develop a more holistic grasp of Spanish as both a spoken and written language.


While the Valor Logic School lays a foundation of biblical literacy in the Old and New Testaments, the Rhetoric School builds a faithful and intellectual structure upon that foundation. It is the mission of Valor to develop passionate disciples of Jesus who know the true, do the good, and love the beautiful, and are prepared to courageously influence culture for Christ. Students whose hearts and minds are saturated with God’s Word and the Christian worldview are best equipped to influence culture for the glory of God. In rhetoric school, Valor students will study apologetics, Biblical hermeneutics (interpretation), comparative worldviews, and will engage with the most influential ideas in the western tradition. In short, Valor seeks to raise up God-honoring students with soft hearts and hard minds.


Rhetoric, as the culmination of the classical trivium, is the art of applying the available means of persuasion effectively in both speech and writing using one’s individual style. This three-year course of study is based on the question, “what makes people persuadable?” Ubiquitous, yet insufficiently taught in modern contexts, the art of rhetoric stands as the lynchpin to classical education. Without the ability to, as Augustine puts forth, “speak eloquently as well as wisely,” students who have mastered the other arts cannot adequately communicate what they have learned and put it into practice. Rhetoric’s usefulness lies in its ability to equip students to respond, defend, and create. It expands students’ capability to discern the rhetorical efforts of others, defend the truth, and create winsome compositions that are designed to build up one another— the chief end of all rhetoric.  

The sophomore and junior years feature a mimetic approach to studying and imitating the tenets of classical rhetoric, while the senior year culminates in a thesis project, drawing together in practice all that students have learned about constructing a thoughtful and persuasive argument on a significant topic. 

Senior Thesis

The Senior Thesis is the capstone experience for the Valor seniors. It marks the culmination of their entire academic course of study at Valor, offering them a comprehensive opportunity to display their clear thinking, mature reasoning, skilled articulation, and winsome argumentation as they research, construct, and defend a comprehensive rhetorical paper on a real-world topic of their choice. The final thesis defense at the end of the year consists of a 15-20 minute persuasive oral presentation followed by a period of defense before a panel of professionals and academics from their chosen field. This experience represents an invaluable opportunity to test, refine, and display the comprehensive set of skills they have developed throughout their time at Valor.

Parent Partnership

As the student progresses into the Rhetoric School (9th-12th), the process becomes more student-directed. In 9th grade, students transition from only being on campus 3 days a week to having classes all 5 days with longer breaks and/or ending classes early afternoon. In the earlier years (9th-10th), the parent is a “course monitor,” who keeps a steady eye on the student’s study habits and course progress, but neither the student nor the classroom teacher should be dependent upon this oversight. At the 11th and 12th grade level, the parent takes another step back from oversight and is no longer needed on a regular basis. The parent will be involved as the student navigates special projects as needed. 

At this stage, the parent is most free to approach their child in ways that lead to “interactive discussion and discipleship.” While they are not overseeing the student’s learning, they are encouraged and equipped to ask pointed questions about content related to life’s big questions. The goal of these conversations is less about learning and more about building lifelong, meaningful relationships between the parent and student.

Precise definitions of the various roles that parents take as their student progresses are provided in the Valor Parent & Student Handbook.

Humanities Reading List


The Iliad by Homer

The Odyssey by Homer

The Aeneid by Virgil

Electra and Other Plays by Sophocles

Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis


Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Greek Tragedies


Divine Comedy: Inferno by Dante  

Selected Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer  

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Excerpts from Enlightenment works (Locke, Rousseau, Voltaire, etc.)


The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller 

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The Norton’s Anthology: American Literature


Under review

These lists are subject to change

Interested in the sequence of study?


Monday through Thursday, 8:15 a.m. to 1:25 p.m.

Optional Scholar’s Lounge 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. 


Friday, 8:15 a.m. through 12:00 p.m.

Optional Scholars’ Lounge 12:05 p.m. through 3:30 p.m.

Graduating from Valor

Class Trips

At Valor, short field trips and overnight class trips are an integral part of the curriculum. While the classroom instruction is the primary mode of curriculum delivery at Valor, class trips support and enrich the process in powerful and memorable ways. For that reason, field trips and class trips are well-planned and targeted at meeting certain core curricular objectives. In general, each grade level will take one trip each semester. One trip is generally focused on developing students in their spiritual capacities (toward God and toward their neighbor) and the other is more focused on enriching students in their academic learning. Although, the two are never mutually exclusive. Being a new rhetoric school, the integrated trips curriculum and planning is still in development. Even with the restrictions and difficulties posed by covid-19 safety regulations and travel restrictions, travel within the United States is relatively feasible with careful planning. Valor currently takes 8th and 9th grade students to Washington, DC. However, it is the desire of the Valor administration to provide learning and service experiences across North America, South America, and Europe as global circumstances permit. *Because of COVID, we are still navigating the restrictions and limitations of travel.

Rhetoric School Faculty

Mrs. Elizabeth Brock

Humanities and Composition
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Mr. Jared Nazarian

Director of Operations & Admissions
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Mrs. Allie Osborn

Rhetoric I/II & AP Language
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Mrs. Sarah Karr

Upper School Administrative Assistant
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