christian education


Things You’ll Never Hear at Regents, Lord Willing

As we close out another school year, I offer my gratitude to God and my congratulations to you on a great year of learning, growth, perseverance, and peace. Here at the close of the year, it’s good to stop and consider just what our children are receiving in this distinctly Christian and classical education in which they are being nurtured.

So, here are a few things that in the years ahead you and your children, Lord willing, will never hear at Regents Academy.

“God is irrelevant. You know, 1+1 is still 2 even if you don’t worship Jesus.” In fact, your child will be told over and over again that we know reality only because the Triune God is, and His Son, the Divine Logos, is the meaning of all math and history and language and literature and science. We aim, unapologetically, for the Lord Jesus Christ to be the center of every lesson and every subject and every classroom.

“You have to decide for yourself what’s right and wrong.” In fact, your child’s teachers and administrators are under the authority of the Word of God, and they seek to apply the truth of Scripture to every heart and life, beginning with their own. God is the author of all that is right and just, and He alone decides what is right and wrong. It is our job, as His redeemed people, to know His truth and follow it in order to glorify Him. Your child will be told “No” when their actions, words, or attitudes are sinful, foolish, or unloving. This is what Christian love looks like.

“We’re spending class time getting ready for the STAAR test.” In fact, at Regents Academy standardized testing serves as an objective way to measure the learning we are already providing – something we believe accords with the actual educational value of standardized testing. In other words, we aim actually to teach the Trivium, not test scores. Every day in class, students are being trained and educated according to our school’s mission statement, not any standardized test.

“The only thing that matters, at the end of the day, is academics: test scores, college entrances, scholarships, and careers.” In fact, we are interested in so much more than the gray matter and future earning potential of your children. We desire to shape their virtue and habits and hearts and relationships as human beings and image bearers. Regents Academy is not a prep school, though we provide many of the same academic benefits of a prep school. Our vision for our students reaches far beyond academics to the character, passions, and personhood of our students. This is why we partner with parents.

“There’s a new educational fad that we’re going to try out next year. We hope it works!” In fact, the beauty of classical Christian is its embrace of what educator Christopher Perrin calls a well-walked path of the tried and proven. Theologian Thomas Oden referred to “the cheap promise of radical newness” which is “the most boring and repetitious of all modern ideas.” Classical Christian education rejects the whole notion of fads and instead seeks to embody an older, deeper way of educating that is more relevant than ever in our fragmenting culture.

Now, maybe you’re thinking of other things you’ll never hear at Regents Academy:

“Tuition is going down and there’s no more fundraising.”

“Homework is cancelled forever.”

“We are so over reading.”

Well, yes, in fact nothing is getting cheaper these days, and we do need to fundraise. Sorry, but homework is indispensable. And it’s true: we will never fall out of love with books!

But we hope you can continue to be such faithful parents who so lovingly support your children’s school and sacrifice daily to provide an excellent education for your most precious responsibilities – your children.

We look forward to keeping our end of the bargain, however imperfectly, in the years ahead and seeking to fulfill our mission of serving your family by providing a classical and Christian education and training your children to view all areas of life and faith from a Christian worldview and equipping them to lead lives of virtue, display mature character, love learning, and serve the Triune God.

May God bless your family this summer!


Repairing the Ruins Conference 2018

What are your summer plans? I have a great idea for you, Regents parents. Come with us to the ACCS 2018 Repairing the Ruins Conference.

The Association of Classical and Christian Schools 2018 annual conference is in Frisco (near Dallas) this year. Most of our teachers, staff, and board will be attending the conference on June 21-23. The conference truly is an amazing experience for teachers, administrators, board members — and parents alike. You’ll catch the classical vision from inspiring and profoundly insightful speakers, connect with other parents and teachers, and learn more than you’d ever thought you could know about classical Christian education. At the conference you really get the sense that we are part of a movement that God is bringing about to renew and redeem education.

Please go to 2018.repairingtheruins.org to learn more and to register. Repairing the Ruins will be an investment in your children’s education and well worth your time and money.


What is the Proper Goal of Education?

Some wonderfully incisive thoughts from our school chaplain, Pastor Randy Booth:

What is the Proper Goal of Education?

Is the proper goal of education to insure a good job and income for adult life, or, is man’s chief end to glorify God and enjoy Him forever? “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and loose his own soul?”

The child is created in the image of God. To remove this central fact from the child’s education is to pervert the God-given intent of education. The goal of moral education (and all education is to be moral) is to teach the child to distinguish that which is genuinely good from evil?that which is true from false?on God’s terms. Fallen men seek to do this one their own terms, even as Adam and Eve did in the Garden. Hebrews 5:14 tells us that only those who have had their sense “trained in the word of righteousness can discern good and evil.”

How can an education that is based partly on the assumption that the child is created in the image of God and partly on the assumption that the child is but an animal, possibly produce a unified life? This can only lead to a divided life and confusion! This is strongly condemned by our Lord in Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters.” The most fundamental truth?that the child is the image-bearer of God?cannot be ignored or diluted except at a devastating cost.


Why Parents Should Attend the ACCS Conference June 21-23

Regents Academy is a member of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS). This organization is a great partner for our school as we seek to provide an excellent classical Christian education for our children. The ACCS national conference is in Dallas this year on June 21-23. Most of the staff and board are attending, but it will be a great conference for parents also.

I want to encourage all Regents parents to consider going. I promise: you will not regret it!

Recently ACCS listed some benefits for parents who attend:

  • Insight into the differences of the classical classroom;
  • Encouragement by seeing the “big picture” vision of the classical movement: i.e., we are not alone in this endeavor and we are not crazy. This reinforces the commitment to a classical and Christian education;
  • Answers to questions parents are either reluctant to ask or don’t know how to ask;
  • Better understanding ofthe parental role in the education process, the distinct advantages of a classical and Christian education, the Trivium and the important differences of each stage, and the need for a rigorous program of study.

If you are interested in attending or want more information, please see me. You can also visit the ACCS website at accsedu.org. We would love for a group of parents to accompany us on the trip!


The Faith, the Family, and Education

At the 2011 Association of Classical and Christian Schools national conference the keynote speaker was Pastor Voddie Baucham Jr., whose book Family-Driven Faith has had a noticeable impact on many families and churches.

In the latest edition of the ACCS’s publication Classis, Pastor Baucham’s article “Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk With God” appears. His article sums up the thesis of his book and his presentations at the conference.

For Christian families interested in raising godly sons and daughters who will receive the maximum from a Christian education, this is must-reading.


Classical? Christian? Both?

What a classical education? What is a Christian education? What is the relationship between the two?

Those are three questions that continually come up. I would guess that they are questions that current Regents parents seek answers to, and they also hear them asked of them and so they need answers for others also.

Dianne Scouler at the ACSI publication Christian School Education asks these very questions and offers insightful meditations in response in her article called “Classical or Christian or Not? That Could Be the Question,” taken from the February 2011 edition.

I would encourage you to know the answer to those three questions.


On Watching Out for the Pork

Here is an article from the blog at DiscoverChristianSchools.com. The author reminds us of the high priority of giving our children a Christian education. In the midst of many secular schooling options, Regents Academy stands alone as the sole K-12 Christian schooling option in the Nacogdoches area.

It is always good to stop and consider the high calling of Christian education.

You Have to Watch Out for the Pork on Thursdays: The Trouble with Being Sheltered from Reality, by Mark Kennedy (this article has been slightly edited for length)

My childhood friend Bill grew up to be a respected and successful bank executive – a man who occasionally helps financial institutions beyond our borders. A few years ago while consulting for a bank in Dublin he made his temporary GHQ in a small hotel that boasted a dining room for its guests. On a Thursday evening he ambled down to this quaint eatery for a taste of Celtic cuisine not suspecting the violent conflict that would arise later in his stomach.

“I was sick all last night after eating in your restaurant!” he told the manager the next morning. “Well, what did you have for dinner?” “Roast pork!” said Bill. “Ah yes,” replied the manager philosophically in a lilting Irish brogue. “You have to watch out for the pork on Thursdays.”

You can imagine the questions in my friend’s mind after his initial shock wore off. Perhaps foremost was “Why didn’t someone tell me?!?” Sheltering someone from reality can be dangerous. And sometimes the consequences can be much more serious than a minor case of food poisoning.

Consider the effects of an education that intentionally shelters students from the most essential realities about life and living – a secular education where the daily presence of the living God is ignored and the authority and guidance of scripture is dismissed – an education that edits out the creator and sustainer of the real world.

It’s not that a secular education necessarily speaks out against the God of the Bible or openly denies the authority of the Scriptures. It simply remains silent about them. And that’s the problem. If a student from a Christian family receives a consistently secular education, how surprising can it be if he concludes that God can’t be very important? “After all, they never talk about Him at school,” he might reasonably say to himself – and his logic would be pretty hard to refute. He got the message that silence implies.

Robert Louis Stephenson expressed it plainly: “The cruellest lies are often told in silence.” So when important, even vital truths are withheld from people who desperately need to hear and experience them, Stephenson says it is a cruel deception.

The silence in secular education has implications for the way children learn, believe, think and face life’s challenges. When students are sheltered from God’s reality, they are vulnerable to the deceptions Paul warns about in Col 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Philosophies produce actions, and actions produce consequences.

So it should be no surprise that sex education that ignores biblical standards produces ever growing rates of sexually transmitted diseases, abortions and accompanying psychological problems; that a purely mechanistic and evolutionary view of humanity convinces some students they are worthless genetic accidents so that suicide becomes a reasonable option; and that personal troubles for which secular minds have no real answers cause some students to turn to illicit drugs in a hopeless attempt to escape. The world of drug and alcohol abuse and promiscuous or perverse sexuality is so often a false refuge for people who have not been equipped to deal with the real world.

In Christian schooling we don’t shelter students from reality. We prepare students by telling them the whole truth about the real world and by honoring the presence of the source of all truth and by teaching future generations about his standards for living. As the Psalmist says, “We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power and the wonders he has done.” Psalm 78:4

In the early 1990s after Russian Communism collapsed I found myself on a team of North Americans instructing hundreds of Russian educators about how to teach the Bible to Russian public school students. Evgenity Kurkin of the Russian Ministry of Education explained why we had been invited to do that, “Seventy years ago we closed Him [God] out of our country and it has caused so many problems in our society we cannot count them. . . . We must put God back into our country, and we must begin with our children.”

And what about the future cost for North American students, especially those from Christian homes, who have been sheltered from the realities that matter most for living now and for the life yet to come?


Yet Another Contrast

Here is yet another contrast between two views of man.

If the first statement is true, would the nurture and education of our children have a real purpose? If the latter is true, would anything else matter?

“The plight of man is pitiable. We are wanderers in a vast universe, helpless before the devastations of nature, dependent upon nature for food and other necessities, and uninformed about why we were born and what we should strive for. Man is alone in a cold and alien universe. He gazes upon this mysterious, rapidly changing, and endless universe and is confused, baffled, and even frightened by his own insignificance.” Morris Kline, 20th C. mathematician and historian

“In the infinite wisdom of the Lord of all the earth, each event falls with exact precision into its proper place in the unfolding of His divine plan. Nothing, however small, however strange, occurs without His ordering, or without its particular fitness for its place in the working out of His purpose; and the end of all shall be the manifestation of His glory, and the accumulation of His praise. This is the Old Testament (as well as the New Testament) philosophy of the universe — a world view which attains concrete unity in an absolute decree, or Purpose, or plan, of which all that comes to pass is but its development in time.” Benjamin B. Warfield, 20th C. theologian