What is Christian education?
Many people have heard of Christian schools but what does it mean to have Christian education and a Christian school? Is the education any different? Whether it’s learning how to run a 400m race, learning how to spell “rendezvous”, or learning to factorise a polynomial, all knowing has its ultimate meaning and purpose when framed by God’s big picture story anchored in Jesus.
All forms of education will have a particular perspective on life. It may not always be obvious or overtly stated, but it will shape how things are understood and spoken about, how things are done, and what is chosen to be taught. This might be in the form of assumptions about the nature and origins of the world, or it might be evident through suggestions about the purpose of life and indeed what it means to be fulfilled as a human. No form of education is neutral as it will always be providing a particular lens through which the student sees the world and their place in it.
A different perspective
Christian education invites young people to see and understand the world through the perspective of God’s truth. The Bible becomes the lens in which students view what they are learning. The lens focusses their thinking on ultimate truth–a biblical vision for life where the world is created and sustained by God; where God has acted in history to deal with the distortions of creation caused by human rebellion; and where history is advancing towards a new creation in which all things are reconciled to God through Jesus who is not only the climax of the biblical story but is also the focal point of the lens.
A way of living
However, Christian education is not just about a Christian way of understanding. It is also about a Christian way of living. When Jesus said “Follow me”, he was expecting people to dedicate their whole lives to serving God. Christian education informs, invites, and inspires young people to live this way. The Christian school offering Christian education seeks to teach this way of life every day through all that is done and taught. It does this in a setting of a unified community of love and learning between parents, children, and teachers.
Partnership with parents
Parents have the ultimate responsibility to educate their children towards a biblical way of knowing and a Christian way of living. The Christian school community is a partnership with parents and the school sharing in this vision.
How can I be involved?
Your Christian school exists because of faithful parents and is ultimately governed by Christian parents. Your involvement is not only something that will be welcomed but is crucial for the life of the school. Join in. Bring other parents with you. Ask your child’s teacher how you can help. Join the parent association. Participate. Vote. Pray.
A different starting point (article about the uniqueness of Christian education)
Nurture (magazine for parents in Christian schools)
Why Christian schools (website with helpful perspectives and interviews)