Philosophy


Our Approach

All educational endeavors, whether secular or religious, operate under a set of beliefs.  These beliefs can be expressed either implicitly through traditions or certain practices, or they can be expressed explicitly through stated philosophies.

Through these statements, individuals or organizations are attempting to define what makes their approach to teaching and learning tick, what makes it work.  As with any philosophic statement, we must begin with a strong foundation and build from there, constantly striving towards the goal set before us.

We approach education from a set of biblical parameters that guide us through the educational process.  An easy way to picture this is through a simple set of building blocks.  Children learn at an early age that in order to build a tall, sturdy building, a strong foundation is necessary.  The same is true for education.  All too often we want to attain new levels of academic achievement, but cannot understand that it is the lack of a strong foundation that prevents us from accomplishing our goals.

Level One - The Foundation

The first blocks, or pillars, of our approach address the biblical teaching about God, creation, existence, and man.  If we are to be successful in the classroom we must know what we believe about these crucial areas, for our beliefs here inform virtually every decision we make.  Our beliefs about the nature of God drive us towards the one who created us, sustains us, cares for us, and made our salvation possible.  Our beliefs about the origin of all things and the reality of our existence likewise point us back to God and prepare us to seek the answers of life's many questions.  Finally, our beliefs about the nature of man drives us toward our knees in contrition and humility, which of course is where true education must begin, in humble recognition of the supremacy of God and responsibility of man.

Level Two - Knowledge

Upon this foundation we begin to concern ourselves with knowledge, specifically, its source, limits, and purpose are in view here.  As we consider the educational task, we should take what we believe from level one and begin to intentionally move towards God's goal for our lives.  This inevitably requires not only the use of the mind, but the understanding of how and why God granted us the use of such a powerful tool.

Many skeptics claim that we cannot know anything for certain and that the search for truth is vain.  Others believe that truth changes over time, believing that it is relative to culture.  A God-centered understanding of knowledge, however, lives by the belief that truth is not fluid, it does not change with the wind of culture.  Instead, it is consistent, regardless of social, religious, or political pressure.

Level Three - Asthetics

Knowledge is not meant to merely inflate our minds.  Rather, it is meant to enable us to both understand God better and rightly live for him.  To say this differently, an adequate educational philosophy must seek to develop a firm foundation of belief within the minds of students and then move toward seeing God's goals for them manifested through their actions.

"So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

1 Corinthians 13:13

Essentially, this area of our system concerns the difference between right and wrong, as well as what constitutes beauty.  In other words, as educators working under a God-centered approach to teaching and learning, we must define and pursue what it is that God wants us to foster in our students.  We should ask ourselves several questions: "How does he want them to think and act?" "What ethic should they live by?" "How will they discern the difference between right and wrong?" "What criteria will they use to classify objects or events as either detestable or beautiful?"

A great way to work this out practically is through the context of Paul's words to the Corinthians.  In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul speaks directly about love and its importance in our lives.  It is interesting to note that throughout his many epistles Paul continually urges us towards maturity in Christ.

Yet, here he is equally emphatic that no matter how spiritually mature we become, if we do so in the absence of love we are nothing.  We may know Scripture very well; we may even have faith enough to move mountains, but if love is absent, we are nothing.  Paul concludes, "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13, ESV).

Therefore, if we desire to train our children to hope in God (Psalm 78:1-8), then we must strive to develop within their minds a definite understanding of the source of our hope and not only how to love, but whom to love.  Based on a fundamental belief in the nature and character of God, we must lovingly teach them to find hope in the promises and power of God.  In view here are his promises to never give up on us (Genesis 15:17-21), his promise to redeem us (Romans 10:9-13), and his promise to return and take us to where he is (John 14:3), just to name a few.  We must also teach them about love, specifically that our love for Jesus Christ informs all other expressions of love, including our love for other people.

As a whole, this educational philosophy is meant to point students toward Christ.  It is designed to develop a firm foundation based upon God's revealed word as it relates to himself, creation, our existence, and man in general.  Based upon this core system of truth, we as educators are to lead students in their pursuit of knowledge as they learn to place supreme value upon God.