Since the majority of a child’s day is spent at school, it’s important to consider the influence a school has on his or her life. With that being said, the school environment has a great impact on how a child develops. Please take a few moments to review the information below on how a Christian education can make a difference in your child’s life.
What is a Christian education?
Christian Central Academy will provide an environment where faculty, staff and students will grow “…in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). This is our mission statement: through a Christian education, students will not only learn about the world around them, but will also cultivate a deep and lasting relationship with God.
The goal of any school is to educate children about life, the world, and their purpose in it. Christian education seeks to teach children about the world God created, how our faith is woven into each area of learning, and how to find purpose and meaning through God’s Will for our life. We believe that only through an understanding of God, His Word, and His works, can we know truth and show His love to those around us.
A Christian education isn’t just having a Bible/religion class in addition to normal classes, but an integration of a biblical worldview into every area of study. In a science class, students may learn about how God’s handiwork is seen in the natural laws and design of the world; in physical education, they may learn about setting a Christ-like example both on and off the field. Through these experiences, students learn that following God isn’t limited to one area of life.
Consider this example: for most families, church is once a week. As a result, we can unknowingly infer that we only learn about God once a week. With a Christian education, children learn that God doesn’t only exist on Sunday, but is constantly at work in the world each and every day. A Christian school seeks to build on what’s taught at church and in the home. Building a faith that exists outside of the church and home is essential to establishing a deep and mature spiritual foundation later on in life. We strive to kindle a desire in students to learn about God and the Bible, preparing them to follow Christ after they leave school.
What if we can’t afford a Christian education?
The fact of the matter is that private schooling isn’t cheap. It makes more sense, from a strictly financial point of view, to consider public education instead, seeing as we already pay school taxes. Many families appreciate what a Christian school has to offer, but hesitate to apply due to the financial commitment.
We believe that if it is God’s will that your children attend a Christian school, He will make a way. This may sound a bit cliché, but it’s true. It may mean unexpected income, such as a bonus or a raise at work, or it could mean learning to cut back on certain expenses. A scholarship or financial support could be available through your church. For those families who qualify and apply, CCA will provide financial aid. The opportunities for provision are there. Our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50), and he owns the hills, too.
Choosing a school is a big decision any way you look at it. The right school will encourage your child to succeed and enrich his/her understanding of God. We know “…that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Ultimately, our hope and prayer is that God guides your family to make the decision that will best help your child grow in his or her faith and knowledge of Christ.
Can’t Christians go to public schools and turn out fine?
Indeed, they can. Just because a school is public doesn’t mean it can’t provide a good education and teachers who care about their students. However, keep in mind that the goal of the public school is to educate according to the world’s standards and beliefs. As stated earlier, Christian schools integrate Christian morals and principles into each class. The whole atmosphere of a Christian school is one that both promotes and points students to the love of Christ. What’s more, every teacher will seek to help your child grow, both academically and in their walk with Christ.
Christian schools hold students to both a higher level of academic achievement as well as accountability in their walk with God. They are challenged to achieve their fullest potential in school, and aren’t just seen as a number. From a spiritual standpoint, they are encouraged to grow in their faith and ask the questions that help them understand why they believe what they believe.
The Barna group, a faith-based research company, recently found that many church leaders in both Protestant and Catholic churches see public schools as a negative influence on a child’s faith. Ultimately they concluded,
“Clergy view parents, churches, and Christian communities, as positive influences on a child’s spiritual formation and development. However, children are spending most of their daytime weekday hours each at school, which is perceived by many church leaders as a negative influence on a child’s spiritual formation. In fact, schools are ranked alongside a child’s friends and peers as primarily negative influences—a view held by 61 percent of Protestant leaders and 65 percent of Catholic leaders. In some cases, the perceived negative influence of a child’s school or friend group outweighs a perceived positive influence by double.”
“While it is great that some churches have partnered with or served at local public schools for the purposes of outreach, the decision of where a Christian parent should send their child to school should take into account the whole-person formation of the child,” Brooke Hempell, Barna’s senior vice president of research, says. “And if public schools are perceived to have a negative influence on the spiritual formation of a child, parents need guidance on how to navigate this decision.”2
Shouldn’t we as Christians be “salt and light” in the public schools and not shelter them from the “real world”?
A Christian school shouldn’t seek to shelter its students from the world, but rather to teach them how to transform it. Just as churches equip Christians to learn about God and show His love to others, a Christian school allows for a more hands-on approach to this purpose. A Christian education trains students to understand the truth in the Bible and then share their faith confidently with others. Learning how to defend their faith and effectively share the Gospel is what will allow people to change the world through Christ.
We’re all human, and regardless of our background or upbringing we all need to experience the love of Christ. Children in a Christian school are no different. They can experience the same issues and have the same questions as those in a public school can. The difference is that in a Christian school, the focus of education is to draw students into a deeper and fuller understanding of God and the world He created. This, coupled with the Christian witness of the teachers, encourages students to ask the important questions and work through issues in a way that is pleasing to God and sets them up for long-term success.
Again, we understand that choosing a school for your children is a big decision and pray that God guides you to the best choice for your family. If you have any additional questions or concerns, you can always reach out to the Admissions office or arrange to speak with another faculty/staff member.