SCA Blog – A Christian Focused Education
What makes a Christian-focused education different from other options? Shalom Christian Academy Administrator Mrs. Angie Petersheim shares how Shalom incorporates a biblical perspective into learning.
When it comes to education, a Christian school differs from public and private schools in its approach to learning. Christian educators recognize that God calls them to teach content from a biblical perspective. At Shalom Christian Academy, literature is read and discussed considering how themes and the choices of the characters align with God’s word. When studying history, students reflect on the lessons that can be learned when God’s principles are followed or rejected.
Academics with this perspective helps students learn that God is part of all aspects of their lives. They see that a relationship with God is more than saying a prayer or reading a Bible verse. Christianity is more than being saved so we live eternally with God. It is being involved in this world through caring for others and serving them. This helps students learn that their lives have purpose and meaning.
In a typical school setting, children are there for a minimum of 6 hours each school day and the adults who students interact with have the opportunity to be highly influential. Our public schools have many Christian teachers, but they can be limited in their ability to actively provide Christian influence to the students they teach. In a Christian school environment, teachers can openly give godly-focused guidance as well as filter academic lessons through God’s word. These interactions can have significant impact on the formation of a student’s spiritual development. The spiritual aspect of an individual is not compartmental—it influences all life decisions and choices.
A Christian school’s most valuable asset is the teaching staff. They are the living curriculum because they model Christ for students. Their knowledge of content is essential; however, their personal relationship with Christ must be foundational. As students grapple with question about faith, teachers can engage them in meaningful discussions that go beyond pat answers. Teachers can acknowledge the difficult issues and assist students in finding ways to live out Christ’s call on their lives even when there are not clear answers.
Everyone has a worldview. If we are not intentionally teaching our students to view life from a perspective that is godly, then our culture will shape their worldview. A Christian worldview acknowledges that God is our creator and people are created in His image—this impacts how we interact with others. Understanding this provides a basis for our students to recognize the value of living in community and in serving others.
Teaching our students how to defend their faith in a respectful and knowledgeable way is essential as they encounter perspectives that are different than their own. A Christian school setting allows students to establish their own faith in an environment that provides Biblical support, resources, and guidance. They see Christ-like behavior being modeled. They hear stories of faith from their teachers and other leaders. This provides a foundation as they discuss faith issues with peers and others who may not agree.
Beyond Shalom’s Campus
At Shalom Christian Academy, we see how a Christian school environment can have an impact on students for a lifetime. Shalom’s graduates continue to serve God and others in many capacities. A graduate who is a nurse said, “I love relationships…I love serving….these patients are people with stories.” She noted that her fulfillment comes from the people she serves.
Alumni have served with Youth Evangelism Service (YES) and Teach for America. They have done short-term missions and had permanent roles in places like Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Tanzania, and Appalachia. They are involved in local ministries in their towns as administrators, employees, and volunteers. Many are actively involved in their church. Whether working as a welder, a therapist, or an educator, many Shalom graduates live lives of consequence as they impact the world for the kingdom of God.
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