Christian Education: An Overview of the Purpose and Scope of Christian Education
What is Education?
Education, as defined by American scholar and biblical thinker Noah Webster’s personal philosophy, “comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations.” Webster’s definition is itself a demonstration of the chief aim of Christian schools and education—a biblical worldview. The Apostle Paul, in his treatise on the value and authenticity of Scripture, explains that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for correction, for reproof, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16-17)
Does the Bible Talk About Education?
II Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”
I Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts receive Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”
Proverbs 3:13 says, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.”
Proverbs 2:10-11 says, “For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”
II Peter 1:5 says, “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge.”
Of course, there is the biblical mandate on parents to “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Noah Webster goes on to say, “To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable, and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.”
Scripture and Webster’s definition reveal the very heart of education and form the foundation for the philosophy of education at Dayspring Christian Academy.
The four major tenets of this Christian education philosophy are:
1. The Development of a Biblical World View is the Goal of Christian Education
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and perfect and acceptable.” Romans 12:2
The Bible is the primary source for all learning. Through principles of truth, it provides the foundation from which the learner can reason to every subject and area of life. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10) The Bible does not provide the necessary fact base required to gain knowledge of most subjects. However, knowledge of Biblical principles is absolutely essential to develop understanding and wisdom –the high orders of learning and application—in any given subject matter.
2. Christian Character Development is Primary in the Education Process
Throughout human history, the educational process works from the internal to the external. First, the heart of man must be regenerated, then his mind must be renewed, and finally, he will “walk in a manner worthy of his calling.” Christ opens the doorway into the Kingdom of God for the individual. The sanctification process that ensues occurs in the character realm first and foremost and is a lifelong progression. Lasting external change and growth come only by way of internal character growth.
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about
perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope…” Romans 5:3-4
3. Academic Excellence is an Expression of Worship of Almighty God
“Great are the works of the Lord; They are studied by all who delight in them.” Psalm 111:2
The student’s academic capacity is addressed and developed as the foundation in Christian character is being laid. Each child is an expression of God’s Principle of Individuality. He is seen as an individual created in God’s image, unique and possessing certain gifts and qualities that set him apart from all others. As his strengths and weaknesses are identified, the education process both affirms and stretches him, calling him up to excellence in every area of everyday life so that he may effectively exert Christian influence in his life spheres.
4. Christian Education Requires a Christian Philosophy, Curriculum, and Methodology
Philosophy, curriculum, and methodology comprise education. Likewise, each and every subject that is studied has a unique philosophy (presuppositional truths), curriculum (content) and methodology (application). Philosophy gives rise to both the curriculum and the methods used in studying (teaching and learning). It is the relationship of these three components that provide both the means and the ends for mastering a given subject or topic.
Dayspring Christian Academy partners with parents to raise citizens of excellence and character. At Dayspring, students learn to think creatively to become problem-solvers. With a high level of emotional and social intelligence, students can discern truth and meaningfully engage in persuasive discussions, applying Biblical principles to every area of life. To learn more about Dayspring Christian Academy, please call Karol Hasting at 717-285-2000 or register for a personal tour.
To learn more, check out our blogs in this series!
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION: Philosophy of Christian Education – COMING SOON!
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION: Methodology of Christian Education – COMING SOON!
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION: Curriculum of Christian Education – COMING SOON!
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION: Principles of Christian Education – COMING SOON!