Why I Love Christian Education
Before I start, please hear me when I say this isn’t a rant against public education. I am a product of America’s public education system. I am proud of what I learned and where I attended. My character was shaped by Christian teachers who invested in me and even by non-Christian teachers who challenged me to to examine what I believed.
But God has called me (ME – not everyone) to be a teacher in a Christian school. I think we should all be passionate about what God has called us to do, and I am quite passionate about my calling. I love teaching in an environment where I’m not just “allowed” to talk about my faith, I’m required to.
Christian schools – like Christian churches, Christian families, and Christian organizations – aren’t perfect. You can find those schools who are only Christian in name, schools where academics are pitifully weak, schools where rules trump everything else…But, as someone who has been in and around Christian schools for almost a decade, now, I can tell you there are many Christian schools that are fabulous.
Here are just a few of the reasons why I love Christian education:
- Every subject is taught in light of God’s word. As a firm believer in the supremacy of scripture, I want my children to learn everything from a biblical perspective. I don’t believe “faith” has one place and “education” has another. Nor do I believe that ‘intelligent Christian’ is an oxymoron. I believe that intelligent Christians examine what they see, what they learn, and what has been presented to them through the lens of scripture. If my purpose on earth is to glorify God and make Him known, then that should color everything. Especially my education. My goal as a Christian educator is to challenge my students to know God better, to love Him more, and to use the Spirit-enhanced brain they have to go into the world and accomplish great things for God’s glory.
- Christ-Centered service is valued. I was part of one Christian school that took a week out of every year to take students on missions trips. Our group went to an orphanage in Honduras. Another group stayed local and served a women’s shelter. Others went to cities in and out of the US. At my current school, we take a day off every quarter to serve somewhere in our community: groups feed the homeless, help at the Ronald McDonald House…our group went to a local church and blessed the staff by cleaning it, top to bottom. The purpose is not just to “do good things” – it’s to be obedient to the commands of scripture to love others, care for the hurting, provide for those in need — for God’s glory.
- Opportunities abound. Christian schools tend to be small. Admittedly, there are some disadvantages to a smaller school. But there are also advantages — small schools need more participation. Kids who play sports are also often in the school plays and participate in
the Science Fairs and are on the Homecoming Court. While those might not be as competitive as in larger schools, students in Christian schools can graduate with far more experiences than a students at a huge school. My daughters have done everything from playing volleyball, tennis, and basketball, to playing leads in plays, running lights and sound for shows, competing in choral and drama events, and tutoring younger kids.
- The community is huge. Though the majority of Christian schools are small, they are typically PreK-12th grade. This means younger students interact regularly with older students, and vice-versa. A few years ago, when my son was in 4th grade, he was “friends” with several of the Senior boys. These boys were kind, fun, and “cool”. They’d pass Thomas in the hall and ask how he was doing, they’d throw a football with him after school. One even invited Thomas and a friend over to tube in his lake (he still talks about that day!). The boys didn’t know the impact they had on Thomas, but I did. And I was thrilled to have him look up to boys who loved Jesus and loved others so well. They mentored Thomas without even realizing it was happening.
I could on, but you get the idea. I love Christian education, love teaching at a Christian school, love that my kids get to attend a Christian school. I love doing what God has called me to do where He has called me to do it.