Chesterton Academy Hosts Counterpart from Across the Globe

(Minneapolis, MN - August 28, 2014) – A group of 35 students and faculty from Italy arrived in the Twin Cities this week to learn more about our nation’s heartland and visit with their American counterparts at Chesterton Academy, a rapidly-growing classical high school located in Edina.

Founded in the same year (2008) with no knowledge of one another’s existence, Chesterton Academy and the G.K. Chesterton School of Italy have similar educational philosophies, humble beginnings, and have experienced exponential growth since their founding. Chesterton Academy in Minneapolis opened its doors in the fall of 2008 with just 10 students; 130 students are expected to enroll when school begins this September.

Chesterton Academy is named after prolific English author G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), who wrote prophetically about modern society, but represents the model of complete thinking: well-versed in the classics, art, philosophy, theology and logic. “Education,” said Chesterton, “means truth in a state transmission.” The school focuses not only on students gaining knowledge, but on developing virtue and wisdom. Chesterton Academy offers an integrated college preparatory curriculum that prepares students to think both rationally and creatively. Students learn through lecture and the Socratic method, with all students participating in art, music, drama and Latin as well as mathematics, science, philosophy, theology, history, and literature. What makes the school even more distinctive is that it offers its unique and rigorous curriculum at one of the lowest private school tuition rates in the Twin Cities.

“G.K. Chesterton describes the modern world as one wild divorce court: everything has been separated from everything else. When we created Chesterton Academy, with its integrated, classical, and Catholic approach to learning, the response was tremendous. This is what parents want,” says Dale Ahlquist, co-founder of Chesterton Academy and founder and president of the American Chesterton Society.

Fr. Spencer Howe, a member of the local chapter of the America Chesterton Society and now associate pastor at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Eagan, learned about the Chesterton School of Italy when he was studying at the North American Pontifical University in Rome a few years ago. In March of 2013, the two schools met for the first time when students and parents from Chesterton Academy and members of the American Chesterton Society traveled to Rome on pilgrimage. About a year ago the Italian Chesterton School began planning a visit for some of its students and staff to visit Chesterton Academy in Minneapolis.

Visitors from the Italian Chesterton School, located in San Benedetto del Tronto about two hours northeast of Rome on the Adriatic Coast, were welcomed to the Twin Cities on Thursday, August 28th. While here, the students from Italy will attend classes for a week at Chesterton Academy. The visit includes a welcome picnic, Labor Day soccer match vs. Chesterton Academy, a day at the Minnesota State Fair, and visits to the Cathedral of Saint Paul and other historic, cultural and educational sites throughout the metro area. The delegation will wind up its time in the U.S. with a brief visit to the Chicago prior to returning to Italy.

The Chesterton Schools Network – a joint project of Chesterton Academy and the American Chesterton Society – was recently established to respond to nation-wide interest in the Chesterton Academy model. Grass-roots, parent-driven schools are slated to open in New York State, Chicago and Michigan, all modeled after Minneapolis’ own Chesterton Academy. To learn more about the Chesterton Schools Network, visit


Chesterton Academy is an independent high school in Minneapolis, Minnesota that provides a rigorous classical education at an affordable price. Focusing on the classics, the school offers an integrated college preparatory curriculum centered on the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Academy develops complete thinkers who learn to draw on faith and reason for the purpose of building a culture of life.