The decision about higher education often comes down to cost. However, there are other considerations.
Christian education might be explained in several ways. Let me propose three areas in which Christian education differs from other kinds of higher education.
Purpose: Most schools say they study only the facts. Professors must not raise issues of faith. Secular society demands that the two, faith and facts, be rigidly separated. A Christian education insists that life only makes sense when they are combined.
In the best kind of Christian education, each professor links the principles of their discipline with the Christian worldview. This integration allows a holistic view of life. Life is not just about making money, but about making a difference. We don’t work a life time just to retire; we work to establish a legacy. Christian education has a unique purpose.
Most schools reflect the standards of our secular society. A Christian school upholds the standards of God. Daily chapel forms the core of this principle. At chapel the entire campus community comes together to express allegiance to God and His standards for life. The academic study of Scripture lies at the core of the curriculum as a source of these standards.
The best Christian education seeks to embody the ethos of Christ. Our goal is to transform young lives into the image of the Savior. Life is not simply about pleasure and accumulation, but about satisfaction and service. We don’t work a lifetime just to build up a bank account; we exist to build up a heritage.
People: Most schools employ those who are experts in their discipline. A Christian school seeks those who excel in their fields of study but who also embody the Christian faith. The majority of universities admit students based on academic achievements. A Christian school seeks bright students who also have a heart for God.
In the best Christian education, the faculty, staff and study body affirm the purpose for which the school exists. They also embrace the principles of the Christian worldview. We don’t just seek any community, but we aim for a Christian community that creates a place where young lives are transformed by the integration of faith and learning and service to God and humanity.
Two final thoughts: First, while we seek these goals we sometimes fail to reach them. Yet we do not give up. Join us in our effort to create a Christian school with its lofty purpose, its godly principles and its wonderful people. Second, if you want to read more, you will find these three basic points outlined in Robert Benne’s Quality with Soul (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001).
By the way, Christian education is worth the cost.