Searching for a private Christian school that truly fits your family values requires research that goes beyond asking about class offerings and extracurriculars. If you want your child to experience a truly Christian education, look into the extent to which the school’s curriculum harmonizes faith and learning. Often, it will be presented in one of three ways: faith and learning in isolation, interaction, or true integration.
Faith and Learning in Isolation
In cases of private schools teaching faith and learning in isolation, teachers often struggle to make connections between their curriculum and faith. Often, in schools such as this, you will hear of a standard lesson plan in the classroom and extracurricular classes that offer Bible studies or prayer meetings before the first bell. In this environment, your student will not learn the way that God has hands in every subject imaginable. When faith and learning are taught in isolation, it often means that the teachers and administration will express neutrality (“It doesn’t matter how I feel, it matters how you feel”) towards controversial matters brought up in school, whereas most parents are seeking conviction of God’s will towards issues that will be brought into your student’s attention.
Faith and Learning Interacting
In a school where faith and learning are interacting, you will often see somewhat haphazard or irregular integration of faith, but not as a whole school. Art teachers may ask students to paint depictions of biblical scenes and English language art teachers may ask students to read psalms as literature, but, oftentimes, the focus is not Christ-centered. Teachers of subjects such as physical education or math may struggle to implement any faith-based learning in their classroom at all, simply shrugging and saying, “I’m not sure how to bring God into my class.” While these schools help to normalize Christianity in the classroom, students may leave these schools still unaware of the will of God in their education.
Faith and Learning Integration
At the point where a school has full faith and learning integration, teachers and administration have worked together to craft a comprehensive curriculum that teaches and celebrates God’s hand in all matters of life, including every subject that can be taught in a classroom. Teachers at this type of private Christian school emphasize a Christian worldview and seek student responses to life’s difficult lessons to assure that they are growing in the Lord. Perhaps most importantly, a school where faith and learning are truly integrated invites students to bring their own learning styles into the classroom, allowing the teacher to flexibly cater to the learning needs of the individual while bringing all students together in their faith.
Maranatha Christian Academy of Minneapolis has discovered the secret to teaching your child in an environment that is faith-centered and modern in its approach to student achievement. From our use of STEAM centers to our base curriculum, we seek the growth of the whole child, both in their faith and in their education.