We live in a time of lively discussion among Christians about how they will educate their children. This is due in part to the steady decline in both academic and moral standards within the public educational system. But it is also a result of a reevaluation of the intersection between our Christian faith and the culture in which we live. Many are recognizing that even a good public education, rooted as it must be in a pluralistic worldview, is not adequate to prepare Christian children to be salt and light in the world. God must be at the center of education, and not an add-on, if Christian children are to understand their world and conduct themselves in a way that best serves the kingdom of God. Furthermore, the recent reemergence of interest in classical education is an exciting trend. Both Christians and non-Christians have been discovering the benefits of a classical methodology that was jettisoned about 150 years ago. For most children, a classical education is still the best way of preparing them for whatever vocation into which the Lord calls them. Numerous new classical Christian schools have been started over the past twenty years providing remarkable confirmation of the value of this method.
What is Classical Christian Education?
At the center of the SFS curriculum is our Creator God and His Holy Word. Our Christ-centered goal is to guide students to a personal knowledge of the triune God and His truth as it is revealed in Scripture, in the world around us, and through each subject that is taught. Students will learn that all knowledge can be traced back to the one true God and that only as we recognize His sovereignty over all things can we gain true wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 1:7).
The God of the universe is a God of order and beauty. Children, being made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), learn best in an atmosphere of order and beauty. SFS strives to create an atmosphere that helps each student rise to his or her God-given potential by providing an environment that is conducive to learning.
Students are encouraged to develop a love of learning and an ability to think that will bring them true satisfaction and serve them well for the rest of their lives. This is achieved through implementation of a classical curriculum with the following distinctives:
The Basics. Reading, writing, and mathematics.
History. It is impossible to serve effectively in our own time unless we know where our time fits in the full scope of human history. We are all part of the human family, and history is our family’s story. Furthermore, as Christians we are part of the family of God which has its own particular history. Ultimately history is God’s story, for He is sovereign over all.
Language. Not only do we speak with language, we think with language. The structure of language is the structure of our thinking. We teach Latin as a tool in learning the fundamentals of language and as a foundation for English vocabulary. It is, of course, also the language in which much of Western Civilization’s greatest literature has been written.
Logic. Those who cannot think clearly are left to the whims of emotion and charismatic persuasion. It should be no surprise that the rise of the era of sound bites corresponds with the abandonment of the teaching of critical thinking. We teach formal and informal logic both as a defense against error and a tool in the pursuit of truth.
Excellence. We encourage every student to do his or her very best. More capable students may achieve more, but all students will be challenged to maximize their God-given abilities and honored for doing so.
Character. Education is about training the whole person for life in God’s world, and that includes character. Integrity, industry, courage, fortitude, honesty, loyalty, respect, compassion, goodness and humility are among the virtues we attempt to cultivate. These and many others are included in what the Christian calls “Christlikeness.”
Samuel Fuller School is a member of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS).
“ACCS is organized for the mission of promoting, establishing, and equipping member schools committed to a classical approach to education in the light of a Christian worldview grounded in the Old and New Testament Scriptures, commonly known as the Bible. This mission shall be accomplished through national and regional conferences, publication and distribution of books, bulletins and newletters, consulting services, accreditation, testing, and any other necessary, proper, and lawful means.”
Parents of Samuel Fuller School students are subscribed to the Classical Difference magazine. The Classical Difference is an organization dedicated to promoting classical Christian education (CCE) by encouraging parents, educating seekers, and uniting the existing national community. As affiliates of the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS), Classical Difference promote classical Christian education through our magazine publication in addition to our online community.ClassClassical Difference magazine.
An Introduction to Classical Education: A Guide for Parents by Christopher A. Perrin
The Case for Classical Christian Education by Doug Wilson
The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers
Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning by Robert Littlejohn and Charles T. Evans