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University of Dallas Unveils New Concentration in Jewish Classical Education

IRVING, Texas (Feb. 9, 2024) — In partnership with the Tikvah Fund, the University of Dallas has launched a new concentration in Jewish classical education. The first cohort of students began working toward the concentration last fall.

Similar to UD’s current concentration in classical education, students seeking a Master of Arts (MA) in humanities may concentrate in Jewish classical education with the added option of studying Hebrew to fulfill the foreign language requirement.

“The University of Dallas’ unprecedented efforts to support K-12 classical education through an online graduate program have been an unparalleled success,” said John Peterson, PhD ’18, assistant dean of Braniff Graduate School and director of the classical education concentration.

“Tikvah, for its part, has long been a leader and innovator in designing educational programs inspired by the classical liberal arts tradition for students at every level. This is a natural partnership, and I'm excited to see it develop in the years to come.”

Enrollment for the upcoming program is already strong.

The concentration is a first in American education, according to Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin, PhD, who leads the new program. The collaboration between the Tikvah Fund and the University of Dallas aims to promote the creation of more Jewish classical schools. 

“The new concentration in Jewish classical education is the only program of its kind, equipping teachers with a thorough knowledge of Western culture with an eye toward Judaism’s civilizational influence,” Rocklin said.

“Tikvah is very grateful to the University of Dallas for partnering with us as we embark on a project which is new in our time, though deeply rooted in Jewish history: the establishment of Jewish classical schools.”

To this end, students will be trained in classical pedagogy and learn the history, literature and culture of the West in light of its Jewish heritage. 

“To build a classical movement within the Jewish educational community, we must have teachers trained in the texts and pedagogy of classical learning,” Rocklin said.

The new program emphasizes the primacy of the Trivium — grammar, logic and rhetoric — in the classroom, the Jewish influence on Western thought, and the responsibility of Jews to preserve and strengthen this classical legacy.  

Offered online, the program includes a one-week intensive summer course in New York City. Students take courses taught by both University of Dallas faculty and Tikvah professors.

Rocklin expressed excitement for what the partnership with UD will accomplish.

“We look forward to working with the University of Dallas in the years ahead,” Rocklin said.

To apply and learn more, click here.

About the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts

The Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts is committed to the renewal of the Western heritage of liberal arts and the Christian intellectual tradition. Through master’s programs in American studies, art, classics, classical education, English, humanities, philosophy, politics, psychology and theology, students receive an academically rigorous education for virtuous leadership. At the doctoral level, the Institute of Philosophic Studies offers degrees in literature, philosophy and politics rooted in a Great Books core curriculum. For more information, visit udallas.edu/braniff.

About the University of Dallas

The University of Dallas is the premier Catholic liberal arts university in the country, known for its rigorous undergraduate Core Curriculum and robust graduate and professional programs in business, ministry, education and the humanities. According to national rankings, the University of Dallas has one of America’s most challenging, comprehensive, interdisciplinary undergraduate programs, offered at an excellent value to some of the happiest students in the country. With campuses in Texas and Italy, UD stands apart as a thriving community of learners committed to an education that forms students intellectually, socially and spiritually for a life well-lived. For more information, visit udallas.edu.

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