Scholars Online — Teaching Online since 1995
Scholars Online has been offering exceptionally rigorous academic content to students around the world for over a decade, and some of our teachers were among the pioneers of online teaching in the mid-1990s. Our students have gone on to the most competitive colleges and universities in the world, and proven equal to both the academic and the human challenges of that encounter.
We believe that genuine classical learning is hard and challenging — hard, because the material itself is hard, and living a committed and serious life in the world is hard; challenging, because rising to a challenge uniquely builds character. We believe that it cannot be achieved by shortcuts, or reduced to a formula.
We believe that Christian learning is rooted in a recognition of our God-given nature and charity for all, even those with whom we most vehemently disagree. We believe that we can thereby mediate the love of Christ, and also model an alternative for a world that is being torn asunder by shallow and divisive discourse.
At the core of classical Christian education, therefore, lies the difficult task of understanding one another with both charity and critical acumen. It depends directly on the close interpretation of words, arguments, and ideas, and also on the cultivation of precise expression of ideas. We are unabashedly logocentric — we prize the written word as the medium through which the most critical ideas have been conveyed throughout the generations. This underlies our approach to our source material, and also our instructional media.
We’ve framed our academic community and named ourselves accordingly: we see ourselves — students and teachers alike — as scholars, engaged in a common and respectful exploration of ideas. We expect our students to take the ideas of their teachers, of the sources they are studying, and of each other, seriously and respectfully. We believe that they deserve like consideration in their turn. We will challenge, and we encourage our students to challenge, glib explanations or unsupported claims from any quarter, provided only that it be done courteously and respectfully. We will not lay down anything that must be believed without question.
We require no statement of faith from our students; we merely ask that they engage in our common enterprise honestly, with respect and the seriousness with which they themselves would hope to be met. We welcome open and frank discussion of matters of faith, as we consider these questions of the highest importance, both now, and into eternity. At the same time, we do not see our goal as primarily one of indoctrination in the faith: that is something we believe is best left to our families and their religious leaders.
From 2009-2017, Scholars Online was fully accredited by NWAC and AdvanceED — the leading accrediting body in the world. We are currently pursuing accreditation through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools, whose processes more closely align to our mission and goals. We have never had to change our course content to meet any standards, however. We continue to be accountable only to higher authorities for what we hold to be true.
We welcome college-bound students, but also adults who would like to achieve a better grasp of the essentials of a true liberal arts education. We offer a number of subjects that even many colleges do not routinely offer, and are eager to work with institutions of secondary or higher education to extend and enhance their curricula. We are willing whenever we can to adapt to students’ particular requirements. If you have questions, feel free to write us and ask.
Scholars Online began as part of the Institute for Study of the Liberal Arts and Sciences (ISLAS), founded in Baton Rouge in 1994 and chartered by the State of Louisiana, as a nonprofit corporation establishing two schools: Scholars' Online Academy (SOLA) to offer support of classical Christian education and Regina Coeli Academy, to offer additional curriculum of interest to Roman Catholics. Bruce McMenomy taught an English Literature course for the inaugural year of SOLA/RCA operation, and Christe McMenomy joined the SOLA staff in 1996 with courses in Biology and Chemistry. Both Drs. McMenomy served on the ISLAS Board of Directors and taught for ISLAS through June of 2006, offering a range of courses in Greek, Latin, literature, history, biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and general science.
In April of 2005, a decision was made to separate Regina Coeli and Scholars' Online Academy. A separate legal entity, Scholars Online, was created as a Washington State nonprofit corporation. Dr. Bruce and Dr. Christe were joined for the 2006 summer and the 2006/2007 academic year by Mark Johnson, Sandra Howard, Susan Dennis, and Mary McMenomy, all of whom had taught for ISLAS, teachers Art Mabbott and Jill Byington (then new to Scholars Online), as well as Rachel Ahern, Sasha Decker, and Sarah Miller Esposito, themselves once students at ISLAS.
We have continued to add faculty and new subjects each year. In 2007, Fred Williams began teaching Calculus and Algebra I, and in 2008, we welcomed Paul Christiansen (American History), Christy Frary (Algebra), and Rose Hodge (Modern Languages: Old Norse). In 2009, Karl Oles taught Philosophy and John Hogan offered a full-year course in programming. In 2010, we added the first year of a planned four-year Spanish sequence taught by Brian Reeves. In 2011, we added French and a new sequence of music instruction.
While increasing our curriculum offerings, Scholars Online has also sought to meet sound business practices. It established itself as a non-profit organization, and after a formal two-year review process, was fully accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission and AdvancEd through 2017. We are currently undergoing evaluation by MSA-CESS for accreditation for 2017-2018 and beyond. Credit for courses taken at Scholars Online may be transferred to most private or public schools in the United States.
For over a decade, students enrolled with either Scholars' Online Academy or Regina Coeli Academy could take part in homeschooling courses that allowed them to explore areas of common faith and interest, and identify areas of disagreement, in an environment that encouraged honest inquiry and mutual respect. Scholars Online continues the tradition established at ISLAS to foster communication and exploration of areas of common faith and interest among Christians of different traditions, and to provide courses and tutorials that support a classical Christian education for college-bound students and others interested in furthering their education to serve God in the world. We cooperate with other Classical Christian Education institutions to provide our students the best instruction and support that we can.For more information, see the Scholars Online Wikipedia article.
Scholars Online is a nonprofit corporation registered in the State of Washington, operating under IRS Code 501(c)(3) as a tax-exempt public charity.
Scholars Online is currently engaged in accreditation evaluation by MSA-CESS for the 2017-2018 academic year and following years. Courses taken from Fall 2009 - Spring 2017 were fully accredited by AdvancED and NWAC. For more information on accreditation, see our Scholars Online Accreditation page.