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Philosophy of Education

Our Phi­los­o­phy of Edu­ca­tion at Agape Christi answers the ques­tion, “What is edu­ca­tion for?” We believe that man’s chief end is to glo­ri­fy God and enjoy Him for­ev­er. Fur­ther­more, we believe that clas­si­cal, Chris­t­ian edu­ca­tion is an impor­tant means to this end. As we as indi­vid­u­als glo­ri­fy and enjoy God, the world around us is trans­formed. To express this phi­los­o­phy in a three­fold man­ner, we believe edu­ca­tion is a gift from our Tri­une God that He uses to glo­ri­fy man, so that man can in return glo­ri­fy God and the world.

The Triune God

As Chris­tians, we wor­ship a Tri­une God. This Tri­une God is the Father Almighty, Jesus the eter­nal­ly begot­ten Son, and the Holy Spir­it who pro­ceeds from both Father and Son. We do not wor­ship a gener­ic deity. Nor do we wor­ship many deities. But nei­ther do we wor­ship a god who is only one per­son (as in Uni­tar­i­an­ism). The three Per­sons of the Trin­i­ty glo­ri­fy one anoth­er by man­i­fest­ing or “bring­ing to light” each other’s par­tic­u­lar attrib­ut­es. The Father eter­nal­ly glo­ri­fies the Son and the Spir­it, and the Son eter­nal­ly glo­ri­fies the Father and the Spir­it, and the Spir­it eter­nal­ly glo­ri­fies the Father and the Son. This same process of mutu­al self-giv­ing forms the basis for our edu­ca­tion­al approach at Agape Christi Acad­e­my.

Purpose of Education

Glorify God

The Scrip­ture teach­es when we hum­ble our­selves and exalt God’s name, He in turn bestows knowl­edge, under­stand­ing, and wis­dom (Prov. 2:6, Prov. 9:10, James 4:6). We do not believe that edu­ca­tion is mere­ly for the sake of self-enlight­en­ment, self-improve­ment, self-esteem, or worst of all, self-glo­ri­fi­ca­tion; but rather, we believe that the pri­ma­ry pur­pose of edu­ca­tion is to glo­ri­fy and love God, a com­mand­ment which is ful­filled in love and ser­vice to oth­ers.

At Agape Christi, the focus is edu­ca­tion for the sake of ado­ra­tion – edu­ca­tion for the sake of learn­ing to bet­ter love our Lord through every­thing we think and do. The fun­da­men­tal anthro­po­log­i­cal approach to edu­ca­tion at Agape Christi does not revolve around the mod­ern enlight­en­ment edu­ca­tion­al notion of mankind as homo sapi­ens (know­ing man), but rather mankind as homo ado­rans (wor­ship­ing man). That is, mankind was not cre­at­ed by God in the begin­ning to sim­ply know about God, the world, and him­self, but was cre­at­ed pri­mar­i­ly to wor­ship God in the beau­ty of holi­ness. Knowl­edge is an inte­gral aspect to this wor­ship, but it is not the only thing for which man was cre­at­ed. Man knows cer­tain things so that He may learn to love God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength in every area of life. This is the bib­li­cal rea­son for rig­or­ous aca­d­e­mics.

Right-wor­ship (the orig­i­nal mean­ing of ortho­doxy) must pro­ceed right-think­ing (the mod­ern notion of ortho­doxy). As the Scrip­ture says, “The fear of the LORD is the begin­ning of wis­dom: a good under­stand­ing have all they that do his com­mand­ments: his praise endures for­ev­er” (Psalm 110:10). Ulti­mate­ly, no one can think right­ly who is not wor­ship­ing right­ly. In oth­er words, knowl­edge is not an end in itself. Knowl­edge is noth­ing if it is not con­tin­u­al­ly direct­ed toward wor­ship­ing and serv­ing our Tri­une God.

Glorify Man

We believe that as faith­ful edu­ca­tion glo­ri­fies our Tri­une God, He also bestows His glo­ry upon us. Only He can glo­ri­fy us, and not we our­selves (Romans 8:30, 2 Cor 3:18).  Since God is the source of all lib­er­ty (2 Cor. 3:17), so it is only He who is the source of all lib­er­al edu­ca­tion. Clas­si­cal, Chris­t­ian edu­ca­tion, then, is not glo­ri­ous in, of, and for itself. It is glo­ri­ous because the God who cre­at­ed heav­en and earth makes it so as we seek to glo­ri­fy Him with it in response to His grace. This means that if He does not freely give us this glo­ry, then we are not able to glo­ri­fy Him. Since we receive edu­ca­tion as a gift from God, our response should be to thank Him with fruit­ful­ness in our lives with the gift of edu­ca­tion. In doing this, not only is edu­ca­tion sanc­ti­fied for His ser­vice, but also stu­dents are sanc­ti­fied as they seek to hon­or God in all of their aca­d­e­m­ic pur­suits (John 17:17).

Glorify the World

God’s glo­ry does not end when an indi­vid­ual receives it, but is to be extend­ed out to the very cor­ners of the earth, even­tu­al­ly engulf­ing the world (Isa­iah 11:9, Hebrews 8:11, Psalm 72:19, Psalm 86:9). Since God cre­at­ed the world and man in it, com­mand­ing him to take domin­ion over the world, it is man’s duty to bring God’s glo­ry to the world (Matt. 5:14–16). This can only be done through the pow­er of the Holy Spir­it and the knowl­edge giv­en to us through the Word of God. Thus, we at Agape Christi are com­mit­ted to Chris­t­ian edu­ca­tion that will not only be for indi­vid­ual stu­dents but also edu­ca­tion that will glo­ri­fy God and there­fore man­i­fest His glo­ry more ful­ly in our world and cul­ture.

In edu­cat­ing stu­dents with this in mind, we work in con­cert with their church­es and fam­i­lies, prepar­ing them to go out into the rest of their lives to ful­fill the cul­tur­al man­date of fruit­ful­ly fill­ing and tak­ing domin­ion of the earth for our Tri­une God’s con­tin­ued glo­ry.

Source of Education

All knowl­edge is revealed knowl­edge, whether gen­er­al­ly revealed to us in cre­ation or spe­cial­ly revealed to us in His Word. All knowl­edge is giv­en to us by God to enable us to adore Him more and is not some­thing that we can attain on our own.

Revealed Common Knowledge

As Chris­t­ian par­ents and teach­ers, we must under­stand that ulti­mate­ly noth­ing can be known, and there­fore taught, unless God has made it known. With­out God there would be noth­ing to know and thus noth­ing to teach. For exam­ple, we can­not teach the parts of a flower unless God first cre­at­ed that flower and gave us the capac­i­ty to under­stand it. Even a seem­ing­ly “non­re­li­gious” sub­ject such as math can­not be taught unless God has first made it known. The only rea­son that 2+2=4 is that God cre­at­ed an order­ly world which can be observed in lan­guages such as math­e­mat­ics. True, con­sis­tent edu­ca­tion, then, is Chris­t­ian edu­ca­tion.

Revealed Scripture

Chris­t­ian edu­ca­tion uti­lizes the whole Bible as its edu­ca­tion­al foun­da­tion. The apos­tle Paul tells us in 2 Tim­o­thy 3:16 that, “All Scrip­ture is God-breathed and use­ful (or prof­itable) for teach­ing, reproof, cor­rec­tion, and train­ing in right­eous­ness.” Not only is all Scrip­ture inspired by the Holy Spir­it, but all of it is use­ful for teach­ing. The six­ty-six books of the Bible, there­fore, must be the final court of appeal for the cur­ric­u­la. We should not empha­size the New Tes­ta­ment as if it is not intrin­si­cal­ly con­nect­ed to and begun in the Old Tes­ta­ment. Nor can we ignore dif­fi­cult pas­sages of Scrip­ture that we may not yet under­stand right­ly.

Giv­en this, all teach­ers at Agape Christi must have a well-informed under­stand­ing of how the Bible forms the basis of, and applies to, their spe­cif­ic areas of edu­ca­tion. Addi­tion­al­ly, teach­ers need to work togeth­er to show stu­dents how each of their spe­cif­ic areas relate to one anoth­er. Since all sub­jects come from the same God, all sub­jects (whether music and math or his­to­ry and lit­er­a­ture) share com­mon fea­tures. Agape Christi will con­tin­u­al­ly revis­it the cur­ric­u­la in order to teach stu­dents how dif­fer­ent sub­ject areas con­nect with one anoth­er accord­ing to God’s design.

The Proper End of Education

Edu­ca­tion between Mon­day and Fri­day (though impor­tant) should not be con­sid­ered the focal point of the week. Rather, the Lord’s Day should be con­sid­ered as such. There­fore, at Agape Christi, the empha­sis dur­ing the school week will be not only to train chil­dren in God’s truth but look for­ward and pre­pare our­selves for the fol­low­ing Sun­day at our respec­tive church­es. Edu­ca­tion, like every­thing else we do dur­ing the week, is what we bring before the Lord in wor­ship (Romans 12:1). By faith we offer up to Him all that we’ve put our hands to dur­ing the week, and we do so know­ing that He will be pleased with the works of our hands and bless it fur­ther as we offer it in faith (Hebrews 12:28–29). In oth­er words, it is our con­vic­tion that our Tri­une God will not ful­ly bless our work of edu­ca­tion until He finds us seek­ing to glo­ri­fy Him in all that we do—which is the prop­er end of edu­ca­tion.

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