Philosophy Of Our Christian Education

As we continue to look at Curran’s and other researchers signs of a flourishing school we are confronted with the question, “Does your school have an adequate and realistic philosophy of education?”   There are so many ideas on how to teach.  And, SCS continues to evolve and grow in its delivery of the program.  However, within the mix of methodology and other items, foundation underpinnings of the school’s philosophical approach needs to be present.  That fundamental philosophy is the characteristic that make a Christian school Christian.   The philosophy behind a Christian education is distinctive in itself and deserves to be specially noted.

Education has been defined as “the process by which children and youth develop knowledge, skills, and character, especially through formal instruction, training, and study.  Philosophy, according to Webster’s Dictionary is “a pursuit of wisdom; a search for truth through logical reasoning; an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs.” The Greek define philosophy as “the love and pursuit of knowledge and truth.”

Adding Christianity, the essential ingredient, our philosophy of Christian education is like an artist who steps back from his work to view the masterpiece in its entirety. How he relates the parts to each other and to the whole reveals the mastery and success of his work. The effectiveness and outreach of our ministries hinge upon the development of our philosophy of Christian education.

A common phrase among Christian educators is “Kingdom building”.  Christian education in a broader sense is a lifelong, Bible-based, Christ-centered process of leading a child to Christ, building a child up in Christ, and equipping a child to serve Christ. There are five pillars required in order to  be considered a true philosophy of Christian education: Bible-based, Christ-centered, Holy Spirit-controlled, pupil-related, and socially oriented.

A Bible-based philosophy of Christian education presents the Bible as the foundation of all knowledge. Every aspect of education must be integrated into God’s truth. This would imply that the scope of God’s truth is universal. God’s truth is not dependent upon what education does.  Education uncovers that Truth and then facilitates the learning of the Truth for the student.

A living union of all aspects of education must take place. The home, church, and school must establish their precepts upon the Bible. Their premise must be that all truth is God’s truth; their communication must speak the truth in love seasoned with grace; and their conduct must speak louder than words realizing the powerful influence of godly behavior.  The hope is that  the result will be children of integrity and honesty balanced by God’s Word.  As a Christian school it is imperative to integrate the Truth in every discipline. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16).

A Christ-centered philosophy of education recognizes that Jesus Christ is our authority and Lord of Truth. “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Jesus Christ is our foundation. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 3:11). “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 3:3). Christ is to have the preeminence in all things.

Dr. Paul Kienel said:

“The purpose of Christian school education is to show children and young people how to face Christ and then with the vision of Christ in their hearts to face the present world and the world to come.” We should lead our students to salvation in Christ, build them up in their faith, and equip them to serve Him. The result will be a spiritual haven where Christ reigns and learning is paramount.

Oswald Chambers said it best:

“The sweet sign that God has done a work of grace in our hearts is that we love Jesus Christ best; not weakly and faintly, not intellectually, but passionately, personally, and devotedly, overwhelming every other love of our lives.”

This is the work of a Christ-centered philosophy of Christian education. A Holy Spirit-controlled philosophy of education acknowledges the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of parents, teachers, and students. The parents and teachers must have His guidance to impart the truth to their students effectively and appropriately. “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide in you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17). Parents and teachers must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to think Christianly and to effectively communicate the truth in the education of their children. Students need the leadership of the Spirit to love him with all their being. Romans 12:2 tells us, “And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The Holy Spirit correctly focuses the student’s knowledge to bring about moral conformity and wisdom

A pupil-related philosophy of Christian education focuses on what God intends every child to be. Parents and teachers understand that each child is a special creation of God (Psalm 139) and made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Yet, due to sin, they are fallen and in need of a Savior. Without this circtical ingredient, the rest is for naught and hollow.   Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are you saved by faith, that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God.” Ephesians 2:10 shares that “we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus.” Christian education is to instill in a child the knowledge of God; guide him in the development of his personal faith; and help him in the establishment of his Christian worldview.

A socially-oriented philosophy of education teaches young people how to interact and relate with the world. The student understands that all of life is God’s. There is no secular and sacred. All truth is God’s truth. The parents and teachers integrate faith and Biblical values into a lifestyle reflecting a Christian worldview by example and instruction to their students. “And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him” (Colossians 3:17).

Head of School Blog


Share : Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Joy of Changing Lives

Have you ever experienced the joy of changing a life?  That is precisely why Salem Christian School exists.  We desire to change lives and make an eternal impact.  If I may, I would like to share with you why Salem Christian School is an eternal investment worth making.  This school, since its inception in 1979, has been dedicated to developing students who love God with all their mind, body, and soul through challenging academics and a vibrant student life.  Furthermore, we are seeking partners who understand our mission and share our passion for the next generation.
It is exciting to be part of a growing school.  Salem Christian School has been growing in many aspects beyond enrollment and programs.  Our school has grown in its hunger for excellence.  It has developed a strong college and career guidance program.  It has added numerous programs and academic courses for students.  We have seen God answering prayers, giving direction, and blessing us in ways that were unexpected. God willing, our future looks bright.

In addition to some positive growth, during our recent self-study we found some areas that we need to address within our strategic plan.  Currently, we are engaged in procuring 6 desperately needed classrooms in addition to refurbishing some current space in order to accommodate an expanding program and student body.  Additionally, we have begun addressing our gymnasium needs.  We have been blessed with a gymnasium that is heavily used for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.  In fact, 96% of our students are involved in extra-curricular activities that use the gymnasium.  We are very grateful for what God has provided and continue to use what we have to His glory.  We are committed to no debt; therefore, we need to raise an additional $200,000 to meet these completion and gymnasium renovation needs.   But, we know that He has great things in store for this important ministry in the future and always supplies what His ministries need.
We humbly request that you invest into Salem Christian School so that we can address the needed programmatic, infra-structure, and physical plant upgrades.  If you desire any additional information, please let me know.  We want you to be as confident in your investment of financial resources as we are.

Head of School Blog


Share : Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Things I Remember

Submitted by Taylor Reinhard ’12

One of the best things Salem offers is that it is a place where both great memories along with lasting friendships are formed. Some of my favorite memories in life stem from things that happened at Salem, whether it was during class, sports, or trips, and I still have friends that I graduated high school with that I see on a regular basis, because our friendships went beyond the time we spent with each other from 8:30am to 3:00pm Monday through Friday. These however are not the only friendships I developed at Salem, and this leads to what I think is the most special part of Salem, the teachers. I would be lying if I said that I loved every single subject and class I took during my time at Salem, but I would not be lying if I said that I felt like every teacher I had, especially in high school, carried a genuine care not only for the education of their students, but for their overall well-being and walk with Christ.
I recently graduated from college with a Bachelor’s of Science in Music and Worship, and will be using my gifts in music at a church in North Jersey to help them in their effort to further God’s kingdom in their communities. I didn’t even realize I had a passion for music until my senior year of high school when I first began taking guitar lessons, so I can safely say that no one at Salem pushed me to study music. What they did push me towards was the idea that a life in which we follow God’s plan and will for our lives instead of our own is the fullest life that we can live, and that often that means putting other people ahead of ourselves. It’s not important by what means I reach people for Christ, only that I reach them. These are the values Salem instilled in me, and continues to instill in its students today.
I learned plenty at Salem academically, and even felt confident in my education throughout college compared to other students, but it’s the things I learned outside of my textbooks that changed me forever. I may never be able to remember everything I learned about World War 1, or how to find the area of a trapezoid, and my grammar would not be nearly as good as it is without modern technology, but whose would? What I know I’ll never forget is that my life should always be pointing back to Christ, and that there is nothing more important than loving other people the way that Christ loves them. These are the things that were not only taught, but shown to me during my thirteen years at Salem Christian School, and for that, I am forever grateful.

By Taylor Reinhard, ‘12

Head of School Blog


Share : Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin
Orrnament Transparent

O’Come, O’Come Emmanuel!

I grew up in a Christian home with a history of many generations of family on each side that would consider themselves followers of Christ.  Because we worshiped in a Baptist church, we never practiced all the liturgical parts of the Christian faith that many other denominations practice.  Needless to say, I didn’t know much about Advent.  As an adult, I have come to value some of these traditions of the faith, like Advent.   I have come to appreciate the desire to focus myself on what this holiday is declaring.  Christmas is a highly symbolic holiday.  I hope that it brings me and you to a place of worship.

I have no doubt that Christmastime is always a special time for most everyone and moreover so for those of us who are followers of Jesus. Christmas is celebrated all across this planet in a variety of ways. Families have traditions that are often passed down from generation to generation.

Sometimes the traditions are not even understood by younger family members but are practiced and celebrated anyway.  Churches and religions have traditions too. One such tradition practiced by many religions is the Advent Season.  But what does “Advent” mean?  The word “advent” comes from the Latin “adventus” meaning “arrival” or “coming,” particularly of something having great importance. The first coming of Jesus Christ was the most significant historical event that has ever occurred.  The “arrival” of the promised Messiah has changed the world forever.

You are probably aware that Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas Day.  Advent means ‘Coming’ in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world.  Many Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas.
Interestingly, there are three meanings of ‘coming’ that Christians describe in Advent.  The first, and most thought of, happened over 2000 years ago when Jesus came into the world as a baby to live as a man and die for us. The second can happen now as Jesus wants to come into our lives now.  And the third will happen in the future when Jesus comes back to the world as King and Judge, not a baby.  Knowing this has given me a newfound love for an already beloved Christmas hymn, ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel!’

As a believer I want to absorb everything this holiday represents.   I want t to look forward to Jesus.  I want to look forward to his birth.  Furthermore, I want to look forward to his coming again.  I hope that the symbolism of Advent will help me meditate more on what Jesus means to me and the world.  I want to better recognize his authority as the King of Kings.  I am thankful that I have a source of truth in a culture that doesn’t recognize the existence of Truth.  I want to revel in the miracle of the Virgin Mary’s giving birth to Jesus Christ.  And, I want to be able to share the good news and prepare myself for the teaching of Jesus Christ in anticipation of His return.  Will you join me in celebrating all that is yet to come because of what Jesus Christ did for us?

Head of School Blog


Share : Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin