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What is Christ-Centered Education?

Christ-centered education is rooted in the Great Commission, Christ’s command to His followers to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…” (Matthew 28:19-20). These words touch upon the essential educational mandate in Christ’s command.  Making and teaching disciples must begin with our own children.

Christ-centered education is far more than helping ensure students’ mastery of traditional academic disciplines.  At its core, it should inspire within the young person a love for truth, because the pursuit of truth ultimately leads one to God and His revelation to man through Jesus Christ.  One Grace Christian School graduate attributes his love for truth and his ongoing pursuit of it largely to his Christian schooling.  Indeed, this is the ultimate goal of Christ-centered education.

Furthermore, Christ-centered education is rooted in the belief that the Bible is infallible in all its truth claims.  Therefore, the Bible is not only the most important class taught in a Christian school, but Biblical truth must also be integrated into all academic subjects.

A traditional, Christian liberal arts education also emphasizes the mastery of basic knowledge in the fundamental academic disciplines, including language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.  Unless a student becomes proficient in the content of these subjects, he or she will be unable to progress effectively to the next level of learning: the mastery of critical thinking skills.

Teaching students to become independent, discerning thinkers is essential to their growth as mature Christians who will not only function as productive citizens of our culture but who will do so as thoughtful representatives of Christ.

Lastly, a Christ-centered education can achieve its goal only by the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit at work through the teacher and in the students.  Thus, Christian teachers must be those who understand their utter need, regardless of the subject they are teaching, for the Holy Spirit’s anointing upon their teaching and students.  Such godly teachers will bathe both their teaching and their students in ongoing prayer.

Francis Schaeffer, a twentieth-century theologian, sums up the vital role of Christ-centered education: “The Holy Spirit can do what He will, but the Bible does not separate His work from knowledge; nor does the work of the Holy Spirit remove our responsibility as parents, pastors, evangelists, missionaries or teachers.”[1]

Christ-centered education is an essential part of “training up a child in the way he should go,” so that “when he is old, he will not depart from it!” (Proverbs 22:6).

[1] Francis Schaeffer, The God Who is There (Intervarsity Press; Downers Grove, Ill, 1968), p. 139-140.