"My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:2,3)
A Christian Philosophy of Education must begin, have as its continual frame of reference, and end with the eternal God. Based upon the assertions listed in the Trinity Oaks Christian Academy STATEMENT OF FAITH, CORE VALUES, AND DISTINCTIVES, it is possible to establish certain definitive statements in regard to the education process. Christian education will recognize that:
- A differentiation must be made between human knowledge and godly wisdom and truth (1 Corinthians 1-2, James 3:13,17), acknowledging that the source of all true wisdom and understanding is God Himself (Proverbs 1:7, 9:10, 15:33).
- The purpose of Christian education is to guide the student to the awareness of his/her need of a personal, saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and to nurture, admonish, and encourage the student to live in community with the revealed will of God through a life of service, wholly dedicated to and dependent upon God (Romans 12).
- The process of Christian education requires the natural integration and consistent application of God’s Word into every area of the child’s life so that the child may achieve his/her maximum individual learning potential (Ephesians 4:4-6).
- While Scriptures permit Christian parents to delegate the authority to teach their children, God’s Word holds parents responsible for the godly education of their children (Deuteronomy 4:10, 6:6-7, 20:17-18, Psalm 106:34-37, Jeremiah 10:2, Matthew 12:30, 2 Corinthians 6:17, Ezekiel 44:5, Proverbs 22:6).
Philosophical Approach to Content Areas
The Christian school has been given the privilege and glorious opportunity to participate as educators within God's original purpose: to grow in truth, wisdom and understanding in authentic, relevant and personal ways (Luke 2).
Our ultimate purpose is to build up the whole person (Ephesians 4) - the heart, mind, and soul. That is why Paul's gentle admonition to Timothy - "the goal of our instruction is love" - is the focal point of our educational philosophy fully cognizant of our equal responsibility to prepare the next generation to be literate and productive citizens.
Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). We believe the way to life is contained in the Holy Scriptures. The integration of Truth leads students into the Way and the Life (John 15:1-10, John 3:16-21).
God has blessed us with His words, the Bible (Psalm 119). As students incorporate biblical truth into all other areas of the curriculum and their daily lives (Romans 8:28-29, Romans 12:1-2), they will be prepared to discover their gifts and further God’s kingdom, sharing His message of hope with the world (Philippians 4:8, John 10:16).
At Trinity Oaks Christian Academy, chapel (Gro’ Zone) is regularly scheduled throughout the year to bring students into a deeper understanding of a relationship with Jesus and His truth (Romans 10:9-13). Gro’ Zone aspires to create “spiritual moments” in the lives of every student (and staff member) where God can be worshipped and His Word creatively applied (Psalm 100:1-2). Christian educators come together to instruct students in creative and practical activities that will strengthen their maturing faith. Gro’ Zones are God-honoring, child-sensitive, participatory and relevant to student concerns (Ephesians 3:17-19).
God is the originator of language, and He communicates to us through language (Hebrews 1:1-2; Romans 10:17). As students learn to appreciate this gift, they find that it reflects God’s order and is the foundation of expression in all other subjects (1 Corinthians 14:33,40). As a student matures in language skills, he will be empowered to become an effective witness for the gospel of Jesus Christ in both speech and writing (Acts 6:4, 7 Luke 10:16). Children are brought closer to the image of God as the revealed living and written Word (John 1:1).
To understand the universe, we must understand the complex order and systems of mathematics, which are central to and permeate the natural order of God’s creation. His creation is blessed with structure and order through nature, art, and the perfect congruity of the stars. As students appreciate God’s mathematical laws, they will develop a deeper relationship with God. A heart of praise and thanksgiving will flow from an appreciation of God’s unchanging world of mathematics universals.
God has endowed us with musical gifts that allow us to connect with Him, express ourselves, and communicate with others. We encourage the worship of God through the application of musical skills by instilling in students a love of music and allowing them to creatively participate in and experience different musical genres (Ephesians 5:19-20, Psalm 100:1-2, Psalm 108: 1-3).
Physical education enables students to understand the importance of caring for their physical bodies that were formed in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). The Holy Spirit dwells in the bodies of believers (1 Corinthians 3:16). God made us exactly as we are, the way He wished us to be (“and it was very good” Genesis 1:31). In physical education, we learn teamwork, sportsmanship, discipline, and the joy of accomplishment, along with life habits that encourage good health (Romans 12:1-2).
The supreme aim of education is to teach the child to read and understand the Scriptures. Through phonics, comprehension, and vocabulary, the child will decipher and internalize the printed word (Deuteronomy 17:19). Reading stimulates interest and appreciation of the things of God and is the basis for all other subjects, broadening the student’s discovery of God’s world (1 Corinthians 2:12,13).
Science for the Christian is the study of God’s creation. Exploration and discovery of the principles of life, physical and earth science should lead to knowledge and appreciation of the Creator. Understanding God’s created order allows mankind to apply the knowledge of science in faithful stewardship to benefit all in a world God lovingly provided as our temporary home. Faith grows as students learn to accept that God’s creation is replete with divine mystery.
God is in control of all governments and nations (Psalm 22:28, Daniel 4:17, Romans 13:1). As such, history is his story, the unfolding of his plan to bring glory to himself. He has created man in his image to serve him and to share his story with all the nations. Each individual has unique relationships to other people: in families, communities, state, nations and the world. A focus will be on the relationship between individual and national actions and God’s righteousness (Proverbs 13:34). Past actions can be examples for the future, using God’s standards as a comparative tool for human actions in various cultures and societies around the world (1 Corinthians 10:11). The understanding of God’s actions in the past should result in increased faith and praise in the hearts of our students (Psalm 107).
In order to be effective communicators in an increasingly global community and to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28), Trinity Oaks Christian Academy seeks to prepare and equip students to communicate in a world that is ever-growing in its reliance upon technology. Through exposure to keyboarding and current computer applications, Trinity Oaks will focus on responsible, discerning, and God-honoring uses of technology. As technological advances bring the world into closer communication, students will be introduced to the responsibility of using technology as a means of spreading the Gospel and ministering to others.