High School

Liberal Arts Education

The ultimate goal of high school is to prepare students to become what God is calling them to be. It is vitally important that high school students are exposed to a wide range of topics and fields of knowledge in order to make sure that every door remains open to them. A broad curriculum forms well-rounded students who are capable of positively impacting whatever social environment they enter. Teachers point students towards the magnanimous thinkers of the Western tradition while allowing students to discover the universal truths that have guided and shaped our modern world.

During the final phase of the classical curriculum - the "Rhetoric stage" - a high school student is challenged to write and speak with persuasion, clarity, and originality. Building upon the foundations and logic of the earlier stages, students learn how to express their observations of the truth and subsequent opinions with conviction and confidence. By this point, students are capable of discovering that all knowledge is in fact interrelated. Therefore, students will often study American literature alongside United States History. Students are also challenged to examine the relationship between two seemingly unrelated types of knowledge, such as science and theology (bio-ethics).

In the humanities subjects (literature, theology, and history), the Socratic method is the primary mode of instruction, whereby discussion is fostered through questioning. Students prepare for the class by completing required reading assignments and teachers aim to facilitate learning by capitalizing on the interest and passions of the classroom. Seating arrangements are typically circular in shape, thereby cultivating an atmosphere that is conducive to productive discussion.

High School Course of Study

Students must take six academic classes per year, as well as one fine arts elective and physical education. The school follows the esteemed Great Books tradition by reading and dialoguing with the best thinkers of Western Civilization. Seniors must complete a college-level essay, orally present their synthesis of themes and ideas learned, and then defend their essay in front of the entire high school student body and faculty.

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12


I: Foundations of Theology
II: Christian Discipleship
I: Old Testament
II: New Testament
I: Catholic Morality
II: Catholic Social Teaching
I: Faith and Reason
II: Apologetics


Great Books I Great Books II Great Books III Great Books IV


I: Ancient History
II: Medieval History
I: American Government
II: Politics & US History I
I: US History II
II: US HIstory III



Latin II Latin III



Humanities Electives


Politics; Economics; Poetics; Introduction to Philosophy; Humanities Seminar


Geometry Algebra II Pre-Calculus Calculus; Business Math; Statistics


Biology Chemistry Physics


Fine Arts

Sacred Music, Art History and Art

Physical Education

Physical Education  oInterscholastic Athletes

Great Books Curriculum

This information is taken from our full Mount Royal Academy Humanities Canon. For the Great Books courses, each grade has several required readings, supplemented with with additional novels, short stories, and poems for teachers to choose from. This structure provides both stability and consistency to our curriculum, while allowing our teachers some creative liberty to teach from a place of passion.

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12


Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain

Out of the Silent Planet
C. S. Lewis

Julius Caesar
William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

My Antonia
Willa Cather

The Winter's Tale
William Shakespeare
The Iliad

The Lord of the Rings
J. R. R. Tolkien

The Canterbury Tales (selections)

The Merchant of Venice
William Shakespeare
The Divine Comedy
Dante Alighieri

The Oedipus Cycle

William Shakespeare

Teacher Selection


Animal Farm
George Orwell


The Old Man and the Sea
Ernest Hemingway

The Pearl
John Steinbeck

The Hiding Place
Corrie ten Boom

Treasure Island
Robert Louis Stevenson

To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee

Jane Austen

Jane Eyre
Charlotte Bronte
Murder in the Cathedral
T. S. Eliot

Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens

The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck

The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne

A Man for All Seasons
Robert Bolt

Dr. Faustus
Christopher Marlowe

A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

The Gulag Archipelago
Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Robert Louis Stevenson

Mary Shelley
The Song of Roland

The Poem of the Cid

Till We Have Faces
C. S. Lewis

The Great Divorce
C. S. Lewis

The Man Who Was Thursday
G. K. Chesterton

The Everlasting Man
G. K. Chesterton

The Odyssey

Death Comes for the Archbishop
Willa Cather

A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens
Kristin Lavransdatter
Sigrid Undset

The Wreath
Sigrid Undset

The Aeneid

The Oresteia

The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Leo Tolstoy

The Betrothed
Alessandro Manzoni

Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoevsky

George Orwell

The Jeweler's Shop
Karol Wojtyla

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott FitzGerald

Jayber Crow
Wendell Berry

Teacher Selection

Short Stories

Mythology (excerpts)
Edith Hamilton

All Summer in a Day
Ray Bradbury
Billy Budd
Herman Melville

Bartleby the Scrivener (and other short stories)
Herman Melville
The Selfish Giant
Oscar Wilde

The Happy Prince
Oscar Wilde
Short stories
Flannery O'Connor

No Exit
Jean-Paul Sartre

The Plague
Albert Camus

Teacher Selection


The Charge of the LIght Bridgade
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Break of Day
John Donne

The Second Coming
William Butler Yeats

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae
The Raven
Edgar Allen Poe

The Caged Skylark
Gerard Manley Hopkins

First Fig
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Ode to Silence
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Song of Myself
Walt Whitman

Good Friday: Riding Westward
John Donne

Holy Sonnet 14
John Donne

The Starlight Night
Gerard Manley Hopkins

In Praise of Solid People
C. S. Lewis

How Do I Love Thee?
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

She Walks in Beauty
Lord Byron
Paradise Lost
John MIlton

The Ballad of the White Horse
G. K. Chesterton

Humanities Electives

Below is a sampling of the foundational texts used in the high school Humanities elective courses.  

Introduction to Philosophy


Humanities Seminar






Nicomachean Ethics
Understanding Poetry (4th ed.)

The Norton Anthology of English Poetry
(3rd ed.)

The Complete Rhyming Dictionary


The Elements of Rhetoric
Ryan Topping

The Art of Argument 
or Socratic Logic
Peter Kreeft

On Duties

Treatise on Law
Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Hobbes

On the Social Contract
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Second Treatise of Government
John Locke

Letter from Birmingham Jail 
and "I Have a Dream" Speech
Martin Luther King Jr. 
On Social Justice (Popular Patristics)
St. Basil the Great

Wealth of Nations
Adam Smith

Economic Manuscripts of 1844 (The Communist Manifesto)
Karl Marx

Economics for Helen
Hilaire Belloc

Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
E. F. Schumacher

Dual Enrollment

Juniors and seniors are eligible to receive college credits, thereby encouraging vocational discernment for life after Mount Royal Academy and reducing the cost of post-secondary education. Courses can be taken so long as the graduation requirements are fulfilled. These courses are offered on local campuses and online.

River Valley Community College

There are two programs available to high school juniors and seniors by virtue of MRA's partnership is RVCC:

1. Running Start

The Running Start Program allows high school students, in participating high schools, to enroll in RVCC courses taught at their own high school by their high school teachers. This dual-enrollment program provides students with both high school and college credit for these courses. College credits may be used towards completion of a degree, diploma, or certificate at this College or credits may be transferred to other colleges and universities throughout the country.(Please note that the determination of transfer credit is at the discretion of the receiving institution.)

Running Start Program students realize significant advantages: college credit awarded in high school, reduced tuition costs ($150 per course registration), reduced time to complete higher education requirements, and increased confidence in high school to college transition.

2. Bridge2College

Bridge2College is River Valley Community College's on campus, college faculty taught early college program formerly called Catch the Wave. Bridge2College enables high school juniors, seniors, and older homeschooled students to earn college credit for certain courses at half the cost of tuition of a regular course with no additional lab fees.  

3. eStart

eStart is an online dual credit program that enables high school students to take community college courses for dual high school AND college credit. Courses offered through the eStart program are 100% online college courses.

  • Earn high school and college credit for the same online course.
  • Access your class anytime/anywhere to fit your busy schedule.
  • Learn from highly qualified CCSNH faculty.
  • Gain valuable experience with college coursework.
  • Transfer credits to many colleges and universities.
  • Save money – tuition is only $150 plus the cost of course materials.