Regents Academy is a Christian school. We make no apologies about it. But what does it mean to be a Christian school?
“Christian” is a description that seems to be applied to just about anything: stores, music, online dating services, you name it. But what about a Christian school? What does it mean to place the word “Christian” before “school”? Maybe it will be clearer if we begin by saying what a Christian school is NOT.
First, to be a Christian school does not mean simply that we have Christian teachers and prayer in our classrooms. Every truly Christian school has Christian teachers and prayers, but non-Christian schools can have them also – and can still be non-Christian schools.
To be a Christian school does not mean simply that we have Bible classes. Again, Christian schools teach the Bible. But if we are just adding Bible classes to a curriculum that is not that much different from what is found in a non-Christian school, then what we have is a non-Christian school with Bible classes.
To be a Christian school does not mean simply that we are withdrawing from the world. Some parents are drawn to a Christian school because they believe that the school is a safe place that is insulated from much of the ugliness in our culture. And yes, a Christian school is a safe haven, but it must be much more than a retreatist institution.
Finally, to be a Christian school does not mean simply that we have stringent moral standards. Yes, we believe that lying, cheating, and stealing are sins against a Holy God and must be called such and then dealt with in Christian love and with biblical principles. Yes, we believe that etiquette and respect are Christian graces, and we require our students to display them. But a Christian school is so much more than a set of moral standards. The theological word for producing morals without a changed life is legalism. A Christian school is by definition a grace school, not a legalistic school.
So then, we are still left with the question: what is a Christian school?
I offered some thoughts on what a Christian school is not. Next week, I will offer some thoughts on what a Christian school really is.
What do you think?