What Is Christian Education?

Christian 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!”

Christian 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…” These words touch upon the essential educational mandate in Christ’s command. Making and teaching disciples must begin with our own children.

Christian 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. Ben Paulus, a Grace Christian School graduate, attributes his love for truth and his on-going pursuit of it largely to his Christian schooling. Indeed, this is a primary goal of Christian education.

Furthermore, a Christian education is rooted in the belief that the Bible is infallible in all its truth claims. Therefore, while Bible is the most important class taught at Grace Christian, biblical truth must also be integrated into all academic subjects.

A traditional, Christian liberal arts education also emphasizes 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 fundamental 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 contributors to our culture but will do so as thoughtful representatives of Christ.

Lastly, a Christian 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 their subject, for the Holy Spirit’s anointing upon their teaching and students. Such godly teachers will bathe both their teaching and their students in on-going prayer. Francis Schaeffer, a twentieth century theologian, sums up the vital role of Christian 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.”

Christian 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!”

By John Morrison – Headmaster, Grace Christian School in Staunton, VA


This article originally appeared in The RENEWANATION Review, Volume 5 Issue 1. If you would like to become a member and receive a print edition of the magazine, please click here. If you would like to learn about other ways you can get involved, please click here.