Around the world there is a wonderful diversity of Christian schools. This blogsite includes articles and promotional videos for, and about, Christian schools. The inclusion of material is not an endorsement.
Hopefully these articles, videos and examples from around the world will help parents better understand the different visions of Christian schools. The goal is for parents to be better equipped to ask questions. It may help Christian schools evaluate what messages they are sending out to their community.
The Australian Christian College in Marsden Park NSW Australia includes a video on their website homepage to help visitors know what is important to them. The video is of three parents sharing their story. It is clear that the school aims to be Christ-centred. A parent prayed for godly mentors and teachers for their children so are delighted with the school. Children are challenged academically and spiritually. Students talk about how God plays a part in all subject and are encouraged to pray. One parent clarifies that is it more than memorisation of scripture.
Cornerstone Christian School Scotland chose to use a video to help launch the school in 2010. The video makes it very clear they believe that God wants something more than state education can provide for His children.
The video is very simple combining Christian music tracks with a slideshow of photos with text. The video starts with baby photos and uses many scriptures. It states that schools have pushed God out of classrooms and that 1,000 teenagers are leaving church each week. Their vision for the school is to let God back into the classroom and have a school which works in partnership with parents.
Trinity Christian School in Texarkana, Arkansas apparently made this promotional video in 2004. The school video doesn't seem that old. however the video introduces each of the Administration by name so does limit the life of the video for promotional use. There are also a few empty shots of classrooms and parking lots.
One staff member explains that the school has a biblical mandate for education. The video includes student testimonials including one who says he is free to read his Bible and pray. He also highlights the Christian curriculum in every subject. Another student says God is in all of our text books.
One teacher describes the school as a family environment. Another says she worked for 12 years in public schools and this is her favourite place to work. Another teacher is thrilled she is free to nopt be ashamed of her faith and not having to hide it as she would in a public school.
A parent explains how financial assistance has helped him enrol his son in the school.
Valley Christian School is not shy about their Christianity. This video is rare as a school promotional video in that it includes parent's emotion. While the video does show some of the school facilities, sports program and students interacting with one another it is almost all parent testimonies.
Many of the parents talk about their negative experiences, and roller coaster ride, with public schools and the contrast they found at Valley Christian School. A former student explains how the teachers "cared for my whole being". Another parent says the teachers love my children.
Some parents talk about how friendly and welcoming the community was - both staff and students.
It's a video which presents a vision of the power of Christ centred knowledge and the power of Christian education. Enjoy...
Covenant Classical School's video flows very well between testimonies by children, staff and a couple of parents.
It feels very natural and unscripted. Kids talk about their favourite subjects and how they relate to teachers and friends.
The school sees itself as integrating of faith and learning in a place where community reallly matters.
The video explains why they called their school Covenant - not to align itself with a particular church or denomination but because of the relationship it speaks of.
The benefits of studying of latin helps are explained including how it helps with grammar and understanding languages
Classical education is described as the pursuit of wisdom with wisdom being found in Christ.
The staff mention the oursuit of excellence in humility by being Christ like. It is one of the few school videos which emphasis their school vision statement being more than a statement.
It is clear that Holland Christian School takes Christian education seriously. This promotional video makes it obvious that teachers and students take their Christian faith seriously and expect it to have an impact on their lives.
One student explains how their coach wants them to be better Christian young men and then better basketball players.
Teachers are seen as living a lifestyle rather than their role being an occupation. Another student describes how there is a lot of love and respect shown after a game regardless of the result of the match. They wish to compete in God honouring ways.
They wish to bring God into every classroom. "We don't separate science, maths, history and religious studies. God is in everything".
One of the school's aims is to "transform the world for Christ". Kid's souls are a priority and students are expected to do something with their faith.
Oakland Christian School decided to make their promotional video in a different way. The viewer is taken on a journey around the school. The variety of locations, the lighting, the warmth and the script is very well done. However what sets the video apart is its' use of the dramatisation taking place in a coffee shop.
The video likens what makes a good coffee shop stand out from another is a whole collection of smaller factors. Each factor is likened to what is happening at the school.
The presenter explains how there are parents from 109 churches coming together at the school. There is diversity in our Bible believing Christian family. They don't claim to be perfect people but they do ask for feedback. The feedack indicates they are making a lasting impression on the lives of students. The video honours their staff as being the best. They teach the curriculum rather than to a test.
You do get the feeling that the home, school and church are partnering together. Viewers are invited to have a cup of coffee and discover the culture at Oakland Christian School.
The school also has a more traditional school promotional video. It includes a Christian backing song, scriptures on the screen but is mostly just unrehearsed snapshots of life at school. There are some interviews.
Pastor Shane Anderson discusses his book How to Kill Adventist Education. He has pastored several churches and each one has been linked with a school. His intent in writing is not to kill off the schools but actually help give them a fighting chance. This is a series of three videos.
Ostego Baptist Academy is not shy with its' Christian faith and how it impacts on the life of the school community. The video - rather than talking about academics, sport or faith talks about atmosphere. It is described as a loving and warm artmosphere. They love the Lord and Love the kids.
Students describe how they get to be themselves, have fun, have grown in their faith and have opportunities. One Dad says it as the smartest decision he ever made sending kids to the school.
The Baptist minister shares scriptures about the importance of Christian parents teaching their children and questions parents on their view of scripture if they don't see the role of Christian education.
A parent says the school doesn't have a cookie cutter approach expecting everyone to be the same.
The use of interviews with students of various ages works well in the video. This combined with happy parents makes it a good promotional video.
A mother expresses pride at her daughter's award and states that 'the little school didn't hold her back at all'. Another mother expresses regret that she didn't send her daughter to the school as felt the public school did not help her with life choices.
Parents talk about the cost and say it is worth it. One says the stakes are too high. Your child's worldview is being formed while they are at school. Another describes Christian education as the greatest gift for a child.
Hickory Grove Christian School partners with parents and believes the Holy Spirit is their guide. (It is interesting how few Christian schools even mention the Holy Spirit). Kingdom Education is their focus as they seek to integrate biblical principles into the daily curriculum.
A student claims that teachers love their job and God. Clubs and academics as well as sport and creative arts are all mentioned.
The majority of referrals of new students are from existing parents and students.
Teachers are expected to infuse God's word into lessons so that students see God's word is connected to everything we do in life.
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Why choose a Christian School? It's a question every Christian parent should be willing to ask... and prepared to give a considered answer. This website and videos are designed to help you consider your own beliefs on the role of both education and schools.