The reasons are as numerous as the number of families in a school. All parents must choose for themselves the best educational opportunities for their children. Here, we offer you six reasons – both Biblical and practical – why we believe a Christian Education is very important.
1. God's Word is taught
"You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul .... And you shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up." (Deuteronomy 11:18-19)
What we have here is a clear biblical mandate to saturate our children's minds with the Word of God. He wants to be the center of our world, on our minds at every moment…even when we’re in school studying algebra, social studies or handwriting. It's a difficult task under the best of circumstances, but virtually impossible in a public school setting. Once inside those doors, children spend 30 to 40 hours a week being told that God, if He exists at all, is no longer relevant.
In reality, only a Christian school can teach the whole child, the whole truth the whole time. Not only is the Bible taught for what it is - the inspired Word of God - but it forms the foundation of all other texts. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness." In math, in English, in biology, all academic roads lead to God, in whom all knowledge has its origin. Only a Christian school partners with you to ensure that your children learn the same values in the classroom as they do at home and at church.
"I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount.” Martin Luther
2. Formation of Christ-like character and a relationship with God.
Luke 6: 39, 40 reads: “He quoted a proverb: “‘Can a blind man guide a blind man?’ Wouldn’t they both end up in the ditch? An apprentice doesn’t lecture the master. The point is to be careful who you follow as your teacher.”
When your children have grown to adults, they will likely forget the details of scientific formulas or algebraic equations, but they will remember who taught them. They will recall their teachers’ love and concern for them, the way they prayed for them or encouraged them with Scripture, and how they modeled a Christian life. As ambassadors of Christ we should teach, model, and live a life as a reflection of Christ - one that we want our kids to copy. While there are wonderful Christian teachers in other school settings, only in a Christian school can you be guaranteed a Christian role model and a supportive environment that allows the teacher to freely share Christ.
Teachers are a school’s heartbeat, its pulse. They are also among the most influential role models in students’ lives, spending 30-40 hours together each week. And while you can certainly find Christian educators at a public school, the best of all academic worlds exists when everyone- the school board, the principal, the teachers, and the parents – is operating under the same educational paradigm.
However, no matter how much Christian influence you have, having the character of Christ begins with having a relationship with Him, something we prayerfully encourage at ACA. Students are taught and challenged to know, understand, and apply God’s Word in their daily lives. Parents can be assured that their students will be taught and encouraged to be actively involved in their local church, serving God and others – carrying out the great commission, both locally and around the world: “Go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19)
"For by wise guidance you will wage war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory."
3. Positive peer pressure in a safe, supportive environment
1 Corinthians 15:33 teaches that, “Bad company corrupts good character.”
Don’t be mistaken, children will be exposed to some “bad company” no matter what school they attend; sometimes they may even be the bad company. But in a Christian school, they’ll be less likely to be surrounded by destructive influences and more likely to develop Godly friendships with students who share similar values.
While not devoid of problems, Christian schools provide a safer environment where problem behaviors are met with firm disciplinary action. Beyond physical safety, Christian schools also offer better emotional and spiritual safety from verbal insults, sexualized conduct, foul language, and other direct assaults on your children’s well-being.
A positive, supportive environment reinforces the truth you are teaching your children at home. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, “Point your kids in the right direction - when they’re old they won’t be lost.”
Even a quality, secular education cannot instruct a child the way God desires him to go, because, by law, God is prohibited from being a part of the curriculum. In reality, a school that teaches values contrary to the Bible (evolution, sex education, moral relativism, etc) and a sin-filled environment may instead callous the child to view sin as normal, hardening them to care less about God, and desensitizing them to God’s calling in their lives.
4. Individual Attention
In addition to having a higher percentage of caring teachers, Christian schools can almost always offer more individual attention than public schools, too many of which are understaffed and overcrowded.
Christian school classes generally have fewer students. They’re smaller, more intimate gatherings that encourage students to be participants rather than spectators. Students learn how to think quickly, and gain valuable experience sharing their thoughts and opinions in a public forum. A smaller class size means being able to tailor a child’s studies more to them.
"But Jesus said, "Let the children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for such is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:14
5. Academic Achievement
Contrary to popular opinion, students at Christian schools consistently out-perform their public school counterparts. Their standardized test scores are way above the curve, and they're better prepared for college upon graduation. Even in the areas of math and reading, subjects that are "less spiritual" in content, students at Christian schools have proven their superiority.
The sad truth is, despite their claims of excellence, our nation's public schools are far less academically rigorous than they once were. Only 73 percent of all public school students entering ninth grade graduate with a regular diploma four years later. United States competency in math and science lags behind a host of other countries. And despite the vast amounts of government money being funneled to public education, our SAT scores continue to slip.
According to the Cognitive Genesis Study, students in Adventist Christian schools tested ½ grade higher than students from other schools. It also shows that students consistently out tested their public school peers in science – showing that the longer they are in an Adventist Christian school, the higher their scores.
Christian schools are far from an academic liability. In fact, in the aftermath of 2002's "No Child Left Behind" Act, college recruiters are more likely to view public school transcripts with a skeptical eye. The best colleges are likely to pay your children more attention, not less, if they attend a Christian school.
"A truly Christian education is possible only when Christian education underlies not a part, but all, of the curriculum of the school. True learning and true piety go hand in hand, and Christianity embraces the whole of life - those are great central convictions that underlie the Christian school." J. Gresham Machen
6. Equipping for high school, for life, and for Heaven
The ultimate advantage to having your children in a Christian school is the eternal benefits. Matthew 6:19-21 “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” We all want to be in heaven – so that’s where we need to put our treasures.
If we expect our children to mature into adults who love and serve the Lord, we must equip them. A Christian school exists to prepare each of its children for academic excellence, physical well-being, spiritual maturity, and ultimately a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and a place in His eternal kingdom.
For real education reform, take a cue from the Adventists
Amid all the buzz on education reform, the Seventh Day Adventist school system might seem an unexpected place to look for models in improving student achievement. But by educating mind, body, and spirit, Adventist schools outperform the national average across all demographics....