Monthly Archives: June 2011

The Mission of the Mission Statement

Here is the Mission Statement of Regents Academy:

Regents Academy, as a Christian ministry to families, provides a Christian and Classical education that trains students to view all areas of life and faith from a Christian worldview and equips students to lead lives of virtue, display mature character, love learning, and serve the Triune God.

Two foundational questions come to mind.

First, what is a mission statement?

A mission statement is a clear and succinct representation of an organization’s purpose for existence. The mission statement answers the question, “Why do we exist?”

And second, why is a mission statement needed?

1.    To clarify to the members of the school’s community why it exists.
2.    To make clear to those outside the community the distinctive work and purpose of the school.
3.    To differentiate yourself from similar organizations; to state what is unique about you that separates you from others.
4.    To hold those accountable who are tasked with accomplishing the work of the school.
5.    To hold before the members of the school community what is essential and abiding, and what is temporary and negotiable. That is, to preserve the school’s unique and God-glorifying purpose for generations to come.

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Means of Grace

In a Christian school, learning is not an end in itself.  Instead, the classical Christian teacher asks God to use his or her teaching, dispositions, and actions as an instrument in His hand to cultivate the students’ souls toward holiness.  In this sense, learning can be a means of grace.

This is a far cry from contemporary education, which all too often is idolized as a messiah.

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The More We Are Like God

Since we are able to know things with which we have a common nature, the more we are like God the better we can know Him. A student gives glory to God when he is like Him.

“The glory of God is the man fully alive, ” wrote St. Irenaeus.

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Yes, But Why?

The purpose of classical education is to cultivate virtue and wisdom in students.

The classical Christian student does not ask, “What can I do with this learning?” but “What will this learning do to me?” The ultimate end of classical Christian education is to enable the student (disciple) to better know, glorify, and enjoy God.

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The Heart of the Matter

The sole true end of education is simply this; to teach men how to learn for themselves; and whatever instruction fails to do this is effort spent in vain.

— Dorothy Sayers, in “The Lost Tools of Learning”

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Why Laziness Means More Work

Teachers will tell you that the laziest boy in the class is the one who works the hardest in the end. They mean this. If you give two students, say, a proposition in geometry to do, the one who is prepared to take the trouble will try to understand it. The lazy student will learn it by heart because, for the moment, that needs less effort. But six months later, when they are preparing for the exam, that lazy student is doing hours and hours of miserable drudgery over things the other student understands, and positively enjoys, in a few minutes. Laziness means more work in the long run.

— C.S. Lewis (from Mere Christianity)

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On Reading and Thinking

Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

— John Locke (English philosopher)

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