Hill Abbey


Hill Abbey is a study, educational, and retreat center on a hill in northern Idaho.

The study center is Hill Abbey Hall, a one year resident program for the study of the ideas of Old Western Culture and the philosophy and daily prayer practices of historic Christianity.

The educational aspect is embodied in Schola Classical Tutorials, an online tutorial service teaching the subjects of the classical Christian liberal arts curriculum – the great books, classical languages, rhetoric, and church history – to high school level teens.

As a retreat center, Hill Abbey offers one and two week summer courses – Hill Abbey Summer Hall – in church history and the early church fathers for students of all ages, and a peaceful and beautiful environment for weekend (or longer) getaways for pastors and other church leaders and their wives.


Hill Abbey Hall

Hill Abbey Hall is a resident study program lasting a full academic year in which a small group of students read meditatively in the works of historic western culture, write thoughtfully, discuss ideas leisurely, and work with their hands – all in the quiet, rural, family atmosphere of the Callihan farm in rural northern Idaho.  Hill Abbey Hall is designed for high school graduates – before going to college, or taking a year off in the middle of college, or having completed college but wanting a year of reflection to put it all together, or not intending to go to college at all – for anyone who wants a slower-paced, non-graded, contemplative study experience with little pressure and more space and time to reflect: before or in the middle of the greater pressures and high speed demands of college, career, and family life.

The daily rhythm is bracketed with Morning and Evening Prayer, we attempt to incorporate some elements of the ancient practice of lectio divina into our daily rhythm, and we encourage (and give time for) private reading in the library, walking in our woods, and fire and star gazing at night.  One of the main goals of Hill Abbey Hall is to establish patterns and habits of thoughtfulness and the pursuit of wisdom that will last a lifetime.


Schola Classical Tutorials

Schola Classical Tutorials offers live group classes over the internet for teenagers in the subjects of a classical Christian liberal arts curriculum: the classical languages, the great books of literature  and history, church history, and rhetoric.  These are the subjects that teach students the skills of thinking and learning, the history of the ideas that have shaped our culture, and an appreciation for wisdom, beauty, and virtue.  These skills, and a knowledge of these ideas, are the foundation for further study and for a lifetime of learning and intelligent participation in our culture.  Schola’s tutorials are offered for students who are willing to devote themselves to a course of serious liberal arts study before they enter college or the world of employment and family.  Schola’s tutorials provide guidance for the self-motivated student who understands that the real work of learning takes place in his own study time with a book, a pencil, and an active mind.  Participants in Schola’s tutorials, both teacher and pupil, constitute a body of followers of classical education.


Hill Abbey Summer Hall

Hill Abbey’s Summer Hall is a one or two-week summer program devoted to the slow reading of one of the early church fathers, with a small group of like-minded people in pleasant, quiet surroundings and a structured, rhythmic schedule.  The daily rhythm is begun with matins (Morning Prayer) and ended with vespers (Evening Prayer); and it is varied with walks in the woods, evening fires, short-story reading, and star-gazing.  Hill Abbey’s summer session, located in beautiful northern Idaho, is more like a temporary monastery than a college study program or summer camp, and is dedicated to the idea that wisdom and happiness require periodic times of withdrawal from the tyrannical pace and myriad distractions of “normal” life for the sake of reflection, meditation, and focus.  In this time we find our focus in listening attentively to the wisdom in the voices of the great fathers of the Christian church.



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