Education at any school should be a partnership between the family and the school, and the same holds true at a Christian school, whether it's fully private or alternative in nature.
A Christian school's purpose is to include spiritual training aligned with teaching children the academic curriculum. A Christian education shows students how they are complete as a person—spiritually, mentally and physically. For many Christian schools, the goal is to help students understand who Jesus is, why and how they can have a relationship with Him and how as future leaders, their passion for Jesus Christ can impact the world around them.
The main difference between Christian schools and regular public schools is the teaching approach. While the academic standards are the same, the values for the Christian school are determined by Biblical truths. As well, the staff typically subscribe to the same beliefs and values, basing their classroom teachings on that faith system. Prayer is encouraged, as are Bible readings, devotionals, chapels and other opportunities to help students understand how the Christian faith fits in with bigger picture ideas and society's view on many subjects.
Many parents often wonder how Catholic and Christian schools are different. Christian and Catholic schools are similar in that they both teach children values and morals central to the core of their faith. Christian schools vary as they would with any faith-focused school.
Each school's approach to teaching depends on their faith values, purpose and mission. For some schools, the faith teaching is more outwardly evident. Parents should understand the school's vision and values and ensure they line up with their own personal values. This way, they can support the school as the core of their faith component is included in their child's education. To read about the differences between Christian and Catholic schools, check out our guide.
Before choosing the Christian school, parents should ensure they have arranged a tour, talked with the principal, interviewed families who attend the school and looked over the faith statement, purpose and values. Some Christian schools require that the students and their families are practicing Christians, while others do not. Just as parents would consider the academic standards of a school, in the case of Christian schools (or any faith-based schools), the spiritual teachings should also be in line with their overall educational vision for their children.
Aligning the spiritual and academic components of the Christian school brings great value when building an educational community and encouraging the growth and development of each child.