Must We Eat the King's Food?

Must College Preparatory goals secularize a Christian school's mission?
My kids have gone to a Christian school that (as many) targets high income earners. Though most of the students are “locals,” a good number are in the boarding program and represent well-to-do families from many nations of the world. The “College Prep” nature of the school was likely a more decisive criteria for most parents to enroll their children than the school’s Christian association.

Thus, I was not particularly surprised when my suggestions to bring more Christian influence into the curriculum came up against the priority of being "college preparatory."

I want to challenge us in the Christian education community to not be too easily stopped by the stifling influence that college preparation seems to bring upon our Christian mission. The highest test scores possible are not to be gained at all expense. Neither God nor admissions councils look only at a students academic record. We need schools focused on preparing children from families in the "leadership culture" to be our future leaders. However, this may be less associated with classroom academics than we tend to think.

Take the Bible hero Daniel. In exile, his captors firmly believed that only a kingly diet could keep one healthy. Confidently, Daniel followed God's dietary commands and proved his captors' "tried and true" dietary beliefs to be (unexpectedly) wrong. God desires Christian school students to be strong in faith, philosophy, skill, and academic knowledge. While keeping our aim towards preparing young people for societal leadership, let us also confidently seek Him for the ideals of true Christian education.
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