What happens at a Christ-centered school?

(Blog post written by Michael Essenburg, Christian Academy in Japan)

Shortest answer:  The “4 differences.”

Short answer: At a Christ-centered school, students learn “different content” for a “different purpose” from “different people” in a “different environment.”

Longer answer:
(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 a 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.

What’s on my heart? I’m passionate about helping students apply a biblical perspective to what they study. So one of my answers to “What happens at a Christ-centered school?” is: Students learn to apply a biblical perspective of what they study in every class so that they are equipped to impact the world for Christ. Students learn from teachers who are passionate about being Christ-like, helping students develop the mind of Christ, and cultivating a Christ-centered environment.

Please consider this question: “What’s one thing you can do in the next five school days to help your students increase their proficiency in applying a biblical perspective to what they are studying in class?” After you consider this question, use your answer.

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2 Comments

Filed under distinctively Christian, mission development

2 responses to “What happens at a Christ-centered school?

  1. Michelle Schurman

    Having gone to both a Christian and a public school, I can honestly say that I have personal experience in noticing that a Christ-centered school works for a “different purpose,” “different people,” a “different environment,” and with “different content.” As I am training to become a teacher in this type of setting, it is important for me to recognize this difference and contemplate ways in which I can apply this perspective in my classroom. One way that I hope to help my students see life through a biblical perspective is through our personal everyday devotions. I took this idea from one of my professors. Everyday when we have devotions together, she relates something in the bible to the topics that we are studying in class. For example, when we discuss the concept of infinity in math, she relates this to the infinite love, surpassing greatness, and everlasting being of God. If students have constant references from the Bible to their everyday lives and school work, then they will begin to relate the Bible to all aspects of their lives and actions. Thus, the goal of Christ-centered learning will be well on its way to completion.

  2. Bethany Zapata

    I think that the four aspects of what happens at a Christian School by Mr. Beerens are exceptional. I much like Michelle went to public school until I went to high school and I think that because of my first hand experience with Christian education that includes the“different content” for a “different purpose” from “different people” in a “different environment.” I value and treasure the gift of embracing my faith now more than ever

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