We typically seek education in order to realize external goods. For example, we ask, “Will this education make me more successful, more employable, more desirable?” But those are the wrong kinds of questions to ask, and orienting education as a response to those kinds of questions distorts our practice of education. What we must ask instead is this: “Does our practice of education participate in God’s work of redemption, habituate us in that work and extend our ability to participate in God’s work of redemption?”
Jonathan R. Wilson, Gospel Virtues: Practicing Faith, Hope and Love in Uncertain Times
What makes a school Christian? Is it chapel services once or twice a week? Prayer in the classroom? Bible verses in the textbooks? Christian teachers behind the podiums? Even with all these things, there is no guarantee that a school will be Christian.
At Regents Academy we answer this question in two ways: for a school to be Christian, it must be Christian in its curriculum and in its methodology. That is, a Christian school reveals Christ to students through the curriculum and forms Christ in the students through discipleship. As we say in our educational philosophy, “The goal of true education is to find the true relationship between both God and man and God and all of the particular details of the universe. To be known truly, all subjects must be studied in the light of God’s Word. All truth is ultimately religious, and all education must be conducted in light of God’s perspective on the subject.”
But there is still more that needs to be said. Education is a very personal process. A school is a very personal place. It is filled with persons — teachers — teaching other persons — students — in the presence of another Person — the Triune God. Therefore, as a Christian school Regents Academy must take seriously the spiritual life of its students. Along with the local church and parents, Christian schools form a sacred triangle that ministers to the spiritual needs of children. Parents are given the primary role of bringing up children in the training and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4; see Deut 6), while the local church is the community of the redeemed who together are being shaped into Christ’s image through the Word, prayer, and the sacraments. The Christian school comes alongside parents and local churches, aiding them in these responsibilities. Teachers and school administrators minister to families and churches by training children to see all of life from a Christian worldview and to live out the wisdom and virtue of the Christian life.
Regents Academy strives to nurture the spiritual lives of its students by immersing them in the Word and love of Christ. Each day begins with the reading of the Word, singing hymns to God, and corporate prayer. Then throughout the day teachers come alongside students, helping them to change, striving to direct students toward a life that glorifies Him. Through encouragement, instruction, and sometimes correction, teachers minister not just to the minds of students but also to their spirits. The school’s chaplains provide counsel and direction to the school and its families. The administration aids teachers in their daily task of discipling children. Each day Regents Academy seeks to cultivate the souls of its students to love learning, to honor authority, to understand the world through new eyes — to love and honor the Lord God.
G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Of course, the main fact about education is that there is no such thing. It does not exist, as theology or soldiering exist. . . . education is a word like ‘transmission’ or ‘inheritance’; it is not an object, but a method. It must mean the conveying of certain facts, views, or qualities to the last baby born. They might be the most trivial facts, or the most preposterous views, or the most offensive qualities; but if they are handed on from one generation to another they are education.” God has called Christians to pass on the knowledge of Him to the next generation, to shape their souls and minds in faithfulness to Jesus Christ. We understand this to be the heart of our task.