Christian Philosophy of Education

by Margaret Tolosa
Principal
Timothy Academy, Philadelphia, PA
Keys to Christian School Administration
Bulletin of the National Fellowship of Christian School Administrators, 1977


Part 1 of 3

INTRODUCTION

The biggest job of the Christian School Administrator is communicating and instilling the Christian philosophy of education in the faculty, staff, parents, board and himself. As a general rule the present generation of teachers and administrators have been raised and trained in a secular philosophy of education. The writer’s education consists of public elementary and high school, State Teachers’ College, and Temple University, all of which indoctrinated the student with the humanistic philosophy and left God out completely. In contemplating the establishment of a mission school, the only change from the public school set up, envisioned by the founder, was the addition of a Bible class to the curriculum and a Christian faculty. The thought of Bible integration into all areas of teaching was completely foreign and a Christian philosophy of education, unheard of.

While it is true that Christian teachers, per force, must have a Christian philosophy, it is also true that a life-time indoctrination of humanistic philosophy has a tendency to overshadow the Christian influence in one’s behavior in the classroom. The belief that if we can just get everybody educated, our troubles will be over; that we mustn’t inhibit children or we will be stifling great creativity and rob the world of possible greatness; that children will learn more if they are allowed to choose what they want to study, instead of prescribing a course of study for them, all tend to blot out the Biblical teaching of the total depravity of man; and that to spare the rod is to spoil the child, etc.

Although there were feelings of misgivings at times and a sense of inconsistency, it never occurred to the writer to question the principles taught by the world’s school system. If serious thought was ever given to the subject it was with an effort to reconcile the two philosophies rather than to disqualify one in preference for the other.

This, to a greater or lesser degree, is the experience of most teachers and parents who have been trained in public schools. Therefore a comprehensive effort must be made to help the board members, teachers and parents see the difference and to dedicate themselves to indoctrinating the children with the Christian philosophy.

WHAT IS IT?

Basically, what is the Christian Philosophy of Education? It is a set of principles or beliefs on which Christians base their decisions with regard to education. It forms a background for their life and practice. It gives reason and direction to their mission in life. What they believe regarding God, man, truth, knowledge determines their actions, dealings with people, manner of teaching, content of curriculum, etc., etc.

Some of the plain truths from the Bible that make up the framework of the Christian world view are:

  1. The existence of the living God, maker and sustainer of heaven and earth.
  2. Man’s creation in the image of God; the image ruined through the fall beyond human power to repair but not beyond God’s power to regenerate.
  3. The incarnation of God the Son in Jesus.
  4. His redemption of lost humanity through his death on the cross.
  5. The activity of God, the Holy Spirit, in calling out of this present world a community of believers – Christ’s body, the Church.
  6. The end of earthly history through the glorious appearing of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.

Christian education builds upon and works within the framework of these foundational truths.

Last updated by Lisa Lanpher Jan 15, 2013.

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