Course Description:  The capstone of rhetorical study at PCCA is the production of the senior “thesis”:  an extended academic essay (appropriately researched) within a certain range of topics approved by the faculty.  In addition to the written essay, students will present and defend their thesis before a panel of judges.  The research and composition of the project lasts throughout the 12th-grade year.

For the 2016-2017 school year, the senior rhetoricians and their topics are:

  • Josh Creed: “Should Christians Listen to Rock Music?”
  • Rebecca Doctor: “An Analysis of the Cost, Access and Quality of the Affordable Care Act.”
  • Shannon Egan: “From Sam to Sauron: Tolkien’s Augustinian Solution to the Problem of Evil.”
  • Abram Egger: “Free Exercise and Public Safety.”
  • Eliott Gathman: “Creation, Science and the Age of the Earth.”
  • Ashley Hatfield: “The Deistic Presuppositions underlying Hume’s Argument Against Miracles.”
  • Brandon Haverdink: “Basketball Analytics: Is the Statistical Revolution Justified?”
  • Trey Johnson: “Just War Theory Applied to the American Civil War.”
  • Josh Marcotte: “The Problem of Moral Evil and Stump’s Redemptive Suffering Defense.”

Course Objectives:  Students will:

  1. Practice responsible and effective techniques of research in order to provide the necessary background and evidence for their thesis;
  2. Cultivate personal discipline, in meeting the assigned composition deadlines with little or no “hand-holding” on the part of supervising faculty;
  3. Apply the principles of their previous rhetorical study to the composition of a coherent, pleasant, and persuasive argument, in a way that is charitable and that accounts for the complexities of the subject;
  4. Develop confidence in their ability to orally present and defend an argument, “thinking on their feet” when necessary.


Course Description: This course surveys modern and contemporary history, literature, and philosophy. Great emphasis is placed on understanding each author and work in their historical context. Classes are conducted using the Socratic method to encourage independent research and critical thinking skills. Great emphasis is also placed on practicing the art of literary/textual analysis and evaluation.
Course Objectives: Students will:

  1. Identify key elements of poetry and prose;
  2. Identify the central themes and ideas in poetry and prose;
  3. Evaluate elements and themes of poetry and prose;
  4. Write persuasively and originally about the elements and themes of poetry and prose;
  5. Know and understand important events and ideas that developed in the 1800s-1900s especially in America;
  6. Understand the rise, fall, and resurrection of modern materialism;
  7. Evaluate modernity and to a lesser extent, postmodernity, in light of a Biblical worldview.

Theology IV: Living with Wisdom, Virtue, and Eloquence in a Post-Christian World

Course DescriptionThis course is the capstone for the entire Bible and Theology curriculum at Providence. It comes at the confluence of students’ study of Scripture (7th and 8th grades) and historical theology (9th-11th grades), as well as their imminent graduation. Students should leave this course having a firm grasp of the concept of worldview, while being competent articulators of a Christian worldview rooted in the story of Scripture. They should have begun to think critically about the implications of a Christian worldview for all of life. Finally, they should be equipped to live with wisdom, virtue, and eloquence in an increasingly post-Christian world.

Course Objectives: Students will:

  1. That students would fall more in love with the person of Jesus, the beauty of the gospel, and the truth of the Scriptures.
  2. To identify and define the concept of worldview.
  3. To help students become better adopters of a Christian worldview.
  4. To define, articulate, and defend a Christian worldview based on the testimony of the Scriptures.
  5. To begin thinking critically about the intersection between Christianity and culture.
  6. To prepare students to apply their worldview to various real-world ethical dilemmas.
  7. To equip students to to live with wisdom, virtue, and eloquence in an increasingly post-Christian world.


Course Description: Calculus is a survey of integrals and derivatives. Calculus is an introductory course, covering the basic concepts of derivative and integral as well as its applications. It includes derivatives of basic trigonometric, polynomial and logarithmic functions. It also includes the foundational concepts that underpin the derivative and integral.

Course Objectives: Students will:

  1. Recognize the order, design, and beauty in the world around us, both in nature and in man-made inventions;
  2. Graph a wide variety functions without use of calculator;
  3. Apply analytical thinking to new situations and problems;
  4. Find the derivative and integral of a variety of standard functions;
  5. Use derivative and integrals to solve word problems;
  6. Use the definition of the derivative to find derivative rules;
  7. Use integrals to find areas and volumes of figures.

Advanced Science

Course Description: Advanced Science is a yearlong overview of motion and energy and it’s interaction with everything in the Universe. This course uses the advanced concepts of Calculus and Vector Analysis to delve deeper into the fields of Physics. The study begins with an introduction of motion in one and two dimensions and the derivation of Newton’s motion equations. The course then progresses from the basic building blocks of motion to rotational motion and orbital mechanics using Kepler’s Equations. The course of study develops these laws into quantifiable descriptions that can be used to study orbital periods, eccentricity, and escape velocity. The second semester begins with a detailed overview of the planets, solar system, our galaxy, and the universe. The rest of the semester is devoted to a study of astronomy to include several field trips to planetariums and observatories.

Course Objectives: Students will:

  1. Understand motion in one and two dimensions and be able to derive the equations using calculus and vector analysis;
  2. Identify the forces affecting the motion of objects and analyze the results;
  3. Understand rotational motion and the effects of gravity on objects in orbit using Kepler’s Equations;
  4. Know and understand the forces affecting orbital parameters and be able to predict the correct orbits;
  5. Know the basic descriptions of the planets in our solar system and compare this information;
  6. Will be introduced to the concept of the solar systems motion relative to the Milky Way Galaxy and its motion relative to other galaxies;
  7. Will be introduced to time and space dilation caused by very high velocities and very large masses.

Upper School Choir

Course Description: Composed of all 9th – 12th grade students, students practice proper singing technique and study elements of music theory while learning quality choral literature. Literature is chosen from a variety of musical periods, incorporating different styles and languages. The choir then shares this music with our community, singing for various events throughout the school year.  Music education contributes to a stronger body and mind, and develops valuable life skills such as confidence, self-discipline, responsibility, and cooperation. The Upper School Choir is intended to provide a supportive and fun environment in which to foster growth in all of these areas.