The Vision for Classical and Christian Education
In the realm of education, we live in a time of tremendous opportunity and change. A few generations ago, the idea of universal government education was accepted by virtually everyone. Now, as this once proud system of socialist education is toppling, we hear – everywhere – the exciting hum of a free-market school system starting up. No longer is private education an alternative for just a few. In the years to come we will see free-market education replace the failed experiment of government schools.
Because free-market alternatives are not mandated by someone in a central office somewhere, these alternatives can be quite different from one another. And quite honestly, some of them represent genuinely bad ideas –but we are still protected by the freedom of the market. In the long run, in a free market, poor ideas don’t work. Parents, as consumers, realize that Johnny can’t read, write, or think, and they vote with their tuition checks.
Many of the other education alternatives in the private sector are good, but still quite different from one another.
To say that an education is not Christian is to say that it is deficient in essential respects. The existence, nature, and attributes of God are not a detail about the world which can be safely ignored. If a student never learns who Oecolampadius was, he may still receive a sound education. But if he never learns who God is, it can hardly be said that he has received an education at all. As Christians, we obviously must insist that Christian education should be for everyone. After all, Christ commanded us to disciple (educate) the nations in the light of all His commandments. There is no way to separate the requirements of the Great Commission from the process of education – the instruction of the nations in the light of God’s Word.
This is not the case with classical education. It is not desirable for us to try to make classical education universal for each and every student. The goal of our association is not classical education provided for every student.
At the same time, classical education is for everyone. Not every family needs to have their children in a classical and Christian school. But our culture needs to have a significant number of her future leaders thoroughly educated in the heritage of the West. The goal of classical and Christian schools is, therefore, to assist parents who desire to bring up their children to be such leaders and thinkers, well-equipped and trained in the history and letters of western culture. As this happens, everyone will benefit.
We believe that classical and Christian education is an idea whose time has come. We invite you consider the small number of schools which belong to ACCS now as merely a small cloud on the horizon, the size of a man’s fist. If the Lord is merciful to us, our modern Ahabs may get a little wet. We fully expect that we shall have hundreds of member schools within just a few years. We look forward to an expansion of conferences, teacher training seminars, and other related services. In the years to come we seek the Lord’s blessing on this work, for His glory.
As mentioned above, we want every school to be a Christian school. We do not want every Christian school to be a classical Christian school — such an idea is more in line with modern democratic sentiments than it is with the older classical approach to education.
But we do pray that the time will come when every Christian parent who so desires has the opportunity of providing this kind of education for their children. – DW