Philosophy of Education and Guiding Principles
Christian Core Beliefs and the Purpose of Education
Our philosophy of education is built upon truths that are essential to our Christian faith, found in both the Old and New Testaments. First, we believe in one God, creator of all things, and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe Jesus Christ is true God and true man, and that out of his great love for us, he died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. Having risen in bodily form from the dead, Jesus Christ now sits in heaven at the right hand of God the Father and serves as our advocate. We believe that without Christ all people are lost and sinful and that the gift of salvation must be received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior breaks the power of the evil one and restores our ability to rightly reflect the image of God through the Holy Spirit. We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit to guide and empower believers for Godly living, service, and love for one another and the world.
Nature of the Learner
The image of God is present in every learner and as such they have the capacity to know, understand, organize, and create. The nature of the learner is influenced by age, individuality, and culture. Common to all learners is the need for self-worth and belonging which fosters security. Learners want to know and understand the world through purposeful, engaging experiences that require such skills as analysis, problem solving, creativity and reflection.
Nature and Role of the Teacher
Teachers are friendly, kind, and engaging men and women who recognize the importance of a supportive school community which appreciates the individual uniqueness of every student. They are well rounded individuals who possess strong knowledge of their subject matter and can lay a firm foundation of knowledge for their students that leads to engaging, relevant and purposeful learning. Teachers model the love of Christ by listening to students, celebrating student achievements, recognizing effort, and encouraging citizenship.
Nature of the Learning Process
The learning process begins in a secure environment where there are clearly established expectations for respect, responsibility, honesty, and civility. Next, essential skills and knowledge which students need to master are presented in an organized manner that piques a student’s curiosity and engagement. Depth of mastery is achieved as students commit to relevant and rigorous assignments that utilize higher order thinking skills such as analysis, problem solving, evaluation, creativity, and reflection.
Christian View of Subject Matter and Curriculum
We believe that curriculum should reflect an organized progression of topics with clearly defined outcomes for student learning. All subject matter should be based upon timeless truths and not subject to the whims of society or the individual. Biblical truths and a Christian worldview will be presented and considered alongside the curriculum to enhance students’ understanding and prepare them for thoughtful dialogue in a secular society. We recognize that the ability to thoughtfully engage with society also depends upon a culturally sensitive curriculum that values the history, experiences, and perspectives of all its people.
The Goal of Christian Education and Resulting Practice
The goal of Christian education is to honor God with excellence in thought, word, and service.