Epistula | 4 Minutes

25 Years...and Counting

Marlin Detweiler Written by Marlin Detweiler
25 Years...and Counting

R.C. Sproul encouraged Laurie and me to read Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning. He did so in a response to questions I had asked him about education. The conversation was prompted by an issue with our oldest two sons’ school. The book was eye-opening, and it didn’t take long before we were planning to start a school. We wanted our children to get a classical Christian education. We knew it was the answer.

The road was filled with great joys and challenges. Of course, there were some regrets and much satisfaction mixed in, too. This month marks the 25th anniversary of Veritas Press. It was September 1996 that Veritas began.

Veritas was formed first and foremost to be a hobby business for my wife and me. It would produce the grammar school history and Bible curriculum that many families have used for decades. We created the curriculum with a strong desire to see young students learn a timeline of history, a timeline of God’s revelation in Scripture, and to gain a comprehensive understanding of what is taught in Scripture and where it is taught. The first 18 months in the life of the business involved planning the grammar school history & Bible cards and songs. It wasn’t until the spring of 1998 that we mailed our first catalog. And that’s where it got interesting …

Laurie’s parents were very encouraging. They saw what we didn’t—that what we were doing could have a far-reaching impact. They offered to put up the money for our first catalog. As Laurie likes to remind me, my first reaction was less than agreeable. It went something like this, “It will be a cold day in hell before I sell books for a living. You can’t make money selling books.” Pardon my French. But I saw what we were doing as a hobby business—not a career, just something for Laurie and me to do together. God has a sense of humor, though, and had other plans for us.

Today Veritas serves most classical schools, many classical co-ops, a whole bunch of businesses, and more than 20,000 families—way more. We now offer curriculum well beyond grammar school history and Bible. In fact, it is our goal to be the source for the best curriculum for every grade in every discipline. Here’s a bit more Veritas history. If the numbers resulting from our students’ accomplishments are to be trusted, I think we are meeting that goal. Not only is the work fun, but it’s incredibly rewarding. Here’s a link to some kind expressions from the Veritas Family.

In the early days we did a good bit of public speaking. We asked folks to use their imaginations about what could develop through classical Christian education. We believed this was the answer to education for your children. Many agreed. It was an exciting time—especially when we thought of the education our children might get that we didn’t. Many parents expressed this same thought, wishing they too could have had such an education.

What we once believed 'could be' is now a reality. Classical Christian education is the answer for how to educate children. Don't take my word for it. Take a look at this survey. The benefits are clear, broad, and substantial. The evidence is undeniable.

With Veritas you can now get your curriculum and teach it yourself. We call it You Teach. You can take Self-Paced classes--an offering that no one else has. The cleverness and effectiveness programmed into these courses is spectacular. Learn more here. Finally, children can take Live Online classes. I honestly believe we have the best collection of teachers anywhere. We call this Three Ways to Learn with Veritas: You Teach, Self-Paced, and Live Online.

Of course, we developed many other features over the last 25 years, too. Here are just of few:

- Scores of copyrights in many disciplines;

- Dual enrollment that allows students to get college credit for our regular courses;

- The Diploma program (for full time students) allows students to earn a diploma;

- College scholarships that are available only through Veritas.

If this sounds a bit self-congratulatory, I’m sorry. It’s not my purpose. In fact, it bears noting that there are literally hundreds, maybe more than 1,000 people who have played significant roles in what has been accomplished. And it’s important to acknowledge that it was God’s grace, leading, and provision every step of the way. We truly have much for which to be thankful.

There is little doubt that Laurie and I won’t be at the helm of Veritas for the next 25 years. I just celebrated my 65th birthday and Laurie is … well, let’s just say she’s younger than I am but not enough to be around for 25 more years.

That’s where our executive team, teachers, and staff come in. We believe we’re positioned to see things go even further up and further* in with the incredible team that God has provided. Finally, if you’re one of the many who, like me, wish you had gotten an education like this, realize it’s not too late. Remember Billy Madison?

* C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle (New York: HarperTrophy, 1994)