Describing What is Distinctively Christian About Christian Education

Over the past several years I have been wrestling with ideas and words that would provide a succinct and easily understood definition of what is distinctively Christian about Christian education.

I would submit that distinctively Christian education happens through the means of Curriculum, Classroom, and Community. The diagram below gives further explanation of what is meant by these words.

I think that if we can use common language it will provide helpful handles for describing what we do to others and for ourselves. You may have noticed that I have already been using these terms in parentheses behind some posts as organizers.

Click on Diagram below for a larger view:

otsisais.jpg

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6 Comments

Filed under classroom, community, curriculum, distinctively Christian, Member Community Center

6 responses to “Describing What is Distinctively Christian About Christian Education

  1. I like Dan’s efforts “succinct and easily understood definition of what is distinctively Christian about Christian education.” His 3Cs (curriculum, classroom, and community) work for me. I’ve been playing around with the “4 differences” in response to the question “What happens at a Christ-centered school?”

    (1) At a Christ-centered school, students learn “different content, skills, and values.”
    They learn to…
    • Understand Bible stories, the plan of salvation, and a biblical perspective of what they study.
    • Apply a biblical perspective to what they study.
    • Respect themselves and others as image bearers of God.
    • Use their learning to serve God and others, and to take care of God’s creation.
    • Value and maintain spiritual, moral, physical, social, and emotional health.

    (2) At a Christ-centered school, students learn for a “different purpose.”
    They learn in order to impact the world for Christ. They learn in order to be Christ-like. The primary purpose of a Christ-centered school is not to help students get into college or get a job.

    (3) At a Christ-centered school, students learn from “different people.”
    They learn from God’s people. People with new hearts who live for God. People who bear the fruit of the Spirit. People who are passionate about helping all students increase their understanding and application of a biblical perspective.

    (4) At Christ-centered school, students learn in a “different environment.”
    A Christ-centered environment. An environment that is safe, healthy, and nurturing. An environment that is characterized by love, gratitude, trust, respect for differences, and high expectations.

    Any thoughts about the “4 differences”?

    • Flensted Omiunu

      I am not a teacher yet, so I am kinda new to this but I was wondering, isn’t the Christian schoool taking over the job of the church?

  2. Lisa Had

    This blog really caught my attention at first due to the fact I have been a public school student since kindergarten up until I entered Trinity Christian College. I wanted to get a better understanding of the core to a Christian education and maybe compare it to public education. I believe CSI has a great outlook on the goals of Christian educations and the connections within it that make it work. Like the connection between curriculum, classroom and community, which Trinity also emphasizes. I escpecially like the goal of “head + heart + hands” which shows the reception and outreach of a Christian Education. This was well-organized into a chart to explain the pieces of Christian education to make it whole. I found it easy to understand, and heartwarming in acknowledging the message.

  3. Faith Vruggink

    Help!
    As a past board member at a CSI school and a current parent, I think our greatest challenge is to use vocabulary that strikes the hearts of Christian parents, who themselves, may not have any experience with Christian education. In our communities there are many parents who became believers as adults. They love the Lord and seek to do His will in their lives and the lives of their children. They desire a Biblically informed life in an increasing secular world. However they have never had any encounters with real Christian education. An education that is not just “Bible class” added to the curriculum. (Why pay several thousand dollars/year for a Bible class?) We must be able to reach out to these families with the idea of Christian education that resonates in their spiritual hearts.
    Any comments will help all of us who love and support Christian Education.

  4. Flensted Omiunu

    Hi,
    Faith, I very much agree with you because I grew up attending public schools and now I love God and I desire to serve Him. So the tendency is to try and give my children a sound education and trust the church and us the parents to do the rest.
    Just like you said, “Why should I pay so much money for what seems like a Bible class?”

  5. Pingback: Bringing shalom to our teaching |

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