The Fables of Aesop is out now!

Your Partnership Equips Us to Serve.

The CiRCE Institute is a 501c3 called to provide Classical Education resources and training for the school and for the home.

*Please give our website 10 seconds to load your donation order after you press ‘Add Donation’. You will be automatically redirected. If you are not, please contact us here.

Donation Amount

Select Cause

  • –Select Cause–
Item Charge
Donation $NONE
Fees ( 3% ) $NONE
Total $No Charge


Dear Friend of the Hungry Soul,

I’ve been fiercely wronged, he wrote. 

I come to you in desperate need of help.  

When Niko was eight years old, his family migrated to the US from the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.

A middle class, Christian family, they valued education, so they pushed their son to excel.  

For 13 years, Niko complied, even though he became aware very early that something was wrong.  

I’ll never forget the astonishment I felt at how far behind the school curriculum felt here as compared to that of Georgia, he wrote, even though in Georgia – “a third-world country” – they don’t have a quarter of the resources of American schools.

Niko tells me he becomes angry and jealous when his cousin describes to him the history he learned in Georgia, how they taught there, and even the subjects taught.

I should have been made use of the fullest extent. 

After all, that is what my parents say is the greatest reason for coming to this country.  

Niko’s words strike me with extra force when he writes,  

Everything that I’ve learned up until… my graduation could have been summed up in three years of basic teaching.

The ghosts these words disturb are hard to ignore.  

How much of my childhood was wasted complying with a system designed for everything but students’ souls, following the arbitrary whims of ever-changing policies, compelled to cherish those few teachers who respected me as a person – even though they were prohibited from expressing their belief that I was the image of God.  

For 13 years.  

But, says Niko, all those thoughts are now in vain. 

Here, thank God, I had to disagree.  

He doesn’t say why directly, but he tells me,  

Since my junior year, I’ve attempted to tackle the works of the great thinkers. 

My ears perk up. 

Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics literally transformed me.  

Now, he tells me, he is studying the Politics and the Bible, regardless of my loss in faith. 

Why did he attempt to tackle the great thinkers? Why was he reading Aristotle? And why did he lose his faith?  

What is it he is looking for?  

I’m looking for real education that doesn’t necessarily have pragmatic ends. I just want to know.  

I can hear the voices around him, because they are the same voices who whispered their poison in my ear: Get over it. Grow up. Life is hard. Meaning is a luxury we don’t have time for.  

I started the CiRCE Institute to fight those voices. Even as I write, I can feel the anger and resolve rise to my chest (they haven’t removed my chest!). Because it is true: Niko was fiercely wronged.  

And he is not alone.  

Then what does he want? Vengeance?  

Not even close.  

What I want out of college is to mature intellectually and morally and really become elevated. 

And I don’t know why, but it seems like too much to ask for… 

Wouldn’t such an education be a common good?  

But the more I speak with people, especially college students… the more I understand that… if that’s what I am looking for from a university, I’ll be disappointed.  

Do you remember when you entered college: that idealistic desire?  

Are your children college age? Does that describe your desire for them?  

Are you hopeful?  

Or have you resigned yourself to the vanity of human wishes and the impossibility of ever doing more than seeking food and clothing? 

Does your heart stretch out to Niko like mine does?   

I am not a crier, probably because of my mostly Germanic heritage. But I ask: how would you respond if somebody wrote these words to you: 

I feel that I am already late… and the time to lay my foundations is flying, so I’m reaching out to you in hopes of pulling me out of the quicksand… and guiding me toward the true, the good, and the beautiful.  

I know you understand when I say that the CiRCE Institute was formed to save people like Niko from their despair.   

What led this young man to reach out to me?   

I feel like I have so little to offer, like I have just been saying the same simple things for 30 years: education is the cultivation of wisdom and virtue by nourishing the soul on the true, the good, and the beautiful.  

So what led him to reach out to me?  

Seeking out educated people and milking them dry… I stumbled upon your post.  

I familiarized myself… with Classical Education, and realized that that was precisely what was missing; what I was, and am, looking for. 

Which of us hasn’t uttered this thought.  

How many times I have said these words.  

How many times I have heard them.  

How many times we have all felt “fiercely wronged” for the years the schools stole from us.  

This is where I hit a wall… and can’t see the next step. 

So I’m reaching out to you.  

And that is why I’m reaching out to you. 

What Niko might not realize is that the Lord has made it clear that we don’t get to do this without you.   

We are a not for profit, both legally and in fact.  

As Niko needs us, we need you, for so it has pleased our Lord to order things for His glory and to humble us.  

And while I admit that this sometimes creates uncertainty and stress, I accept and rejoice in His wisdom, because I am pleased to need you.  

I have learned that I can rely on you.  

I have learned to love you.  

Because we have served together for so many years in so many battles.  

When I have been exhausted you have lifted me up 

When I have been anxious you have lifted my heart 

Because when I have not known what to do you have prayed for me and advised me.

And because over and over you have responded when I have asked for your help 

Will you help us meet the cry of the heart from young men and women like Niko?  

From teachers and parents?  

Will you help us help Niko? 

Today we find ways to help:

  • Over 75 teachers and parents through our apprenticeship 
  • Dozens of clients in schools and homes through our consulting 
  • Who knows how many people through podcasts and videos and social media  
  • Moms and dads with a hunger like Niko’s who we meet at conferences  
  • Heaven knows how many people through emails and phone calls 
  • And at least one hungry young man through at least one blog post 

Has CiRCE blessed your home or school? Have you seen CiRCE nourish a child’s soul or support a discouraged teacher? Have you seen a Niko who needs to encounter Christ in classical education. 

If so, may I humbly request, with hope and gratitude, that you contribute what you are able to the ministry you and I have been called to share, like two parts of the body of Christ, each unable to serve without the other, each sharing the mind of Christ our head.  

Niko humbly ended his letter with these words: 

If you could give me advice and recommend what to do, I would be eternally grateful. 

I have had the joy of giving some advice to Niko.  

I have learned more about his Georgian culture and am anxious both to share what I’ve learned with you and to learn more from Niko. 

I am excited for his future.  

Still, I can echo Niko’s words: 

If you could enable us to give Niko – and the many Nikos of the world – the advice and the education he thirsts for, we would be eternally grateful.  

Because of the many transitions we have encountered this year, our year-end need is twice what it was last year, going from $30,000 to $60,000.  

Will you help?  

There are several ways you can participate:  

  • Above all, please pray for us 
  • Provide a one-time gift in any amount 
  • Join our monthly giving program 
  • Become a CiRCE patron by contributing $1000 or more 
  • Call, email, or send a carrier pigeon to become a Legacy donor and equip us to help even more people  

Make a one-time donation or join our monthly giving program. Or if you prefer you can reduce the processing fees and mail a check to 6125 Lumber Lane, Kannapolis, NC 28083.  

For all that you have done to support CiRCE and the Nikos who hunger for the true, the good, and the beautiful: THANK YOU! 

 May our Lord remember you in His Kingdom! 

-Andrew Kern 

Donation Amount

Select Cause

  • –Select Cause–
Item Charge
Donation $NONE
Fees ( 3% ) $NONE
Total $No Charge