Alexandria Tutorials



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Alexandria Tutorials is an educational service providing instruction for students in subjects approached from a classical and Christian perspective.  Since the year 2000, this tutorial service has been meeting the needs of families who have a student (or students) desiring specialized study in literature, history, the Great Books, or writing.   

We seek, in whatever subject studied, to accomplish several things. Our primary goal is to nurture a vigorous mind and an active intellectual curiosity that is founded upon the notion that God created the mind and that He has willed us to think for His glory.  In concert with the first aim, we underscore the belief that discovering truth in an area of inquiry is a process of pursuing God's mind on a matter. 'Faith seeking understanding' succinctly describes the foundation as well as the motive for study. Finally, we seek to place all that we learn in the context of the flow of history and see it as part of a great conversation that has been continuing throughout the ages of Western civilization.   

Academic year classes

Great Books II

Writing the Essay

Intermediate English



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The Tutor

My name is Matthew Turnbull and I am the founder of Alexandria Tutorials.  Born in Iowa, and living for several years in Chicago, we moved to Utah when my parents decided to leave the corporate world for the glories of the West.   I had a great childhood.  Between the ages of five and ten I got to hike some of the sandstone canyons of the southeastern Utah desert with my family.   In 1976, we moved  to Leavenworth, Washington, where my parents edited and published The Leavenworth Echo newspaper. I completed high school in 1983 and it was through the influence of several great friends that God mercifully opened my eyes to the miracle of being forgiven of my sin and having fellowship with Him. 

In 1987, I graduated from Linfield College in Oregon with a B.A. in Psychology and minors in both Art and Music.  For the next four years I worked with college students at Washington StateUniversity and the University of Idaho as a staff member with CRU.  In 1991, I returned to school at Washington State and earned a B. A. in English and a teaching certificate (which is still current).  Between 1994 and 1999, I taught  junior high, senior high and college students as an associate pastor at a local church in Leavenworth.  For the following three years I served as the high school English and History teacher at Upper Valley Christian School. And since the early 2000's, I served part-time as a teaching elder at our fellowship--Cornerstone--and I spent my work-week teaching literature, Great Books, Latin, writing and other courses to students locally and online.  

In 2017, I was accepted into the Ph.D. program in English at Baylor University.  As a family, we thank God for the privilege of being at Baylor, living in Texas, and meeting so many thoughtful people. Although I am a full-time student and a composition instructor at Baylor, I continue to teach several classes online.  

It is daily evidence of God's kindness to me that I am married to an excellent woman and get to be the dad of eight children (many of whom are grown).


Statement of Faith

As it has served as an expression of the essentials for the body of Christ throughout the centuries, and in total unity with its statement, we (that would be the tutor), at Alexandria Tutorials, uphold that which is articulated in the Apostle's Creed . . .

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.  I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary.   He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, deadand buried.  He descended to the dead.  On the third day He rose again.  He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again to judge the living and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic [universal] church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


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What parents have written about Alexandria Tutorials:

Thank you so much for all the great love, philosophy, theology and writing instruction that you’ve poured into my kids all these years. You were always their favorite class!
— Mrs. Gillis
My children fell in love with classic literature, found their voice in writing, and were inspired to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord in their online classes with Mr. Turnbull. The classes pull from motivated students around the country and include lively and inclusionary discussion, literary analysis, writing instruction and practice, and lots of laughter and joy. We took 2 years of Writing the Essay, the Great Books classes, and multiple summer seminars on Plutarch, Shakespeare and Grammar. The classes are all conducted live, and Mr. Turnbull establishes a personal rapport with each student. Homework assignments are rigorous, but not overwhelming, and are communicated directly to the students immediately after the class. We enjoyed these classes so much that even when our homeschooling ended, I myself enrolled in Great Books III as an adult! There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Turnbull inspires and guides a dynamic love of literature for students of all ages.
— Jenny Lancaster
Excellent mentor! Because we want our children to read, think, discuss and write, Alexandria Tutorials is a good fit for our family. Mr. Turnbull is a godly man who loves mentoring young people and challenges them to think biblically as they read through great books from antiquity to modern times. After learning how to write an essay in Mr. Turnbull’s Writing the Essay course, our scholars eagerly enrolled in Great Books I and are currently taking Great Books II. In order to become better writers, our students must write. When they write, they express their understanding of what they have read. Mr. Turnbull gives weekly writing assignments as they read through each book: one to two paragraphs per week leading up to the five-paragraph essay at the end of the book. During class discussion, he passes the microphone to various students (from around the country) who answer questions and give insights on the reading assignments. Because of how he engages the students and appreciates their writing efforts, they want to improve their writing skills. Average writers become good writers. Good writers become better writers. It really happens! Also, because some of these books are tough to read, our children do a lot of mental stretching, exercising their minds in preparation for the challenges they will face as adults. Mr. Turnbull helps them to address difficult subjects as they constantly turn to Scripture for guidance. Money well-spent! Peruse the Web site for additional course offerings.
— Kimberlynn C.
I would highly recommend (and in fact already have recommended) this tutorial to other students and families. While distance education may not be the best format for all students, this Internet tutorial was a great match for my son. [He] especially enjoyed the discussions and the application of logic principles in writing arguments.
— The Youngs
Every home educator has areas (s)he is not comfortable teaching. I liked the books you chose and I liked the fact that you gave the students papers to write on a regular basis so they could put to practice what they learned. The variety of homework was appealing to me and kept the class interesting.
— The andersons
As a tutor you had an excellent balance for Thomas of knowledge, humor, Godly wisdom, patience and expectations.
— Paula W.
Thought-provoking questions and comments from the instructor illuminated the subject - Mr. Turnbull connected literature to modern life and to the broad academic world of ideas. The instructor nurtured the budding philosopher in all the students with positive remarks, ever-present humor, and gentle encouragement. Mr. Turnbull’s encouraging teaching style can be described as engaged, thoughtful, challenging, and delightful. A rare treasure.
— Lisa B.

What students have written about Alexandria Tutorials:

Refinement, encouragement, and advice are simply indispensable to good writing. I received each of these in full measure from Mr. Turnbull.
— Matt K.
Eximious! It was a great class and I enjoyed it immensely. I hope future students have as much fun as I did. I also really liked rewriting essays. It really stretched my brain.
— Meredith S.
Your tutorship was my guide when I discovered my now favorite book, Les Miserables, and more recently, as I lived vicariously through the ever relatable works of St. Augustine. My love of words I impute to you, who taught me the beauty and power of a clearly turned phrase.
— Sierra K.

Tutorial Services

  • Schola Classical Tutorial - Wes Callihan, Tutor

  • Escondido Tutorial Service - Fritz Hinrichs, Tutor

  • Oxford Tutorials - Norm Lund died in January of 2016. What a scholar! What a disciple of Jesus he is! His generous assistance and wisdom were crucial in the founding of Alexandria Tutorials. We miss him and his scholarly humility greatly.