This page serves to better acquaint you with Reformed education. Many good articles have been included at the bottom for your reference.
1. What are the characteristics of a Reformed Christian Day School?
1. Principled: It is a school established on principles. It is not established for practical reasons (i.e. separation, fear of public schools, better academics, etc.).
The following list encapsulates these principles commendably:
a. God is knowable but not comprehensible. God, furthermore, has decided to make Himself known through revelation. According to Article 1 of the Belgic Confession, God has revealed Himself in two books: nature and scripture. The chief end of man, according to the Westminster Confession and Calvin’s Confession is to know God and enjoy him forever. This necessitates that the children of God must exercise all their faculties to the fullest extend in appropriating this knowledge. Of particular application to the Reformed Christian school is that the children of God are to love God with their mind. As Jesus said: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they MIND.”
b. God is a covenant, family, Trinitarian being who takes his elect people into his covenant fellowship to be his friends and to share his own life with them. In this relationship God demands and his people desire to know God in every respect of his being and his works through his revelation in the scriptures and in creation. The acquisition of this knowledge is a life-long task, greatly aided by the work of the Reformed Christian school. The covenant of grace, therefore, serves not only as the foundation for the Reformed Christian school, but also as incentive for the Reformed parent to establish these schools and to the Reformed child to attend them.
c. The people of God, in their redeemed, restored state, have regained the image of God lost in the fall of Adam. The image of God is defined as having true knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. This restoration of the image of God necessitates that these virtues be developed to the fullest extent possible here on earth. The development of all these virtues becomes the focus of the work of the Reformed Christian school.
d. The central revelation of God is through Jesus Christ as revealed in the Word of God, the Bible. The Bible reveals the truth and gives the principles for interpreting all that one thinks or experiences or observes. The truths of the scripture are the foundation upon which all subsequent truths are determined. The Bible thus serves as our only rule for faith and life. As Calvinists we agree that we look at the world, history, and all reality through “the spectacles of scripture.” All learning, therefore, has ultimately to do with revelation.
e. The Reformed creeds explicate and systematize the truths of the Bible. As such they also become foundational for instruction in the Reformed Christian school.
f. God commands parents to educate their children (Deut. 6). This command is all-comprehensive, including all aspects of a child’s life—spiritual, intellectual, social. As the body of knowledge grew and society became more complex, parents delegated part of that education to the school and its teachers. The school, then, becomes and extension of the home, as fathers and mothers exercise their duty to instruct their children in an all-comprehensive way, and the teacher becomes the agent of the parent to aid them in the fulfillment of their God-appointed duty to instruct their children.
(written by Jon J. Huisken, 1998)
2. Parental: It is a private, parental school. We recognize three different types of schools in North America… a parochial school (church-run), a state school (public/charter school) and the parental school (parent-run).
As a parental school, we are governed by a body of parents and supporters known as the Association for Christian Education. This Association elects a 9 member Board of Trustees to govern the school and administer policy. Only Association members may be elected to the Board.
Because parents are given the responsibility to educate their children, a Reformed Christian school is governed by the parents. The teacher becomes the employed-servant by which the parents have their children educated.
This school receives no governmental funds.
3. Calvinistic: It is a school that has roots in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. It recognizes the complete and all-encompassing sovereignty of God, the spiritual antithesis between the church and the world, the total depravity of human nature and the free, unmerited Grace of God towards His people alone. It is a school that views children as covenant children in which the school imparts knowledge of God as their Lord and Friend.
4. Biblical: It is a school in which all content and curriculum is taught in the light of scripture. Because of this, it is a school that is highly specific in its instruction. There is no neutrality in the Reformed Christian school. This is true because the Bible is not neutral. The Holy Word of God is the touchstone by which all knowledge is tested, informing us of what is truth and what is a lie, what is wise and what is foolish, what is good and what is evil, what is to be embraced and what is to be rejected.
2. Is Adams Protestant Reformed Christian School denominationally based?
No, we receive no synodical, classical or consistorial oversight or funding.
3. Why is the name “Protestant Reformed” in the school title?
We apply the doctrines taught in the Protestant Reformed Churches in our instruction of our students. This does not mean we systematically teach doctrine (catechism), rather we infuse this doctrine in our teachings.
4. Must I be a member of a Reformed church in order to enroll my child at Adams?
We have strict enrollment requirements. In order to enroll a child at Adams, the parents must agree with our statement of purpose, basis of belief, exclusive use of the KJV Bible, enrollment policy and tuition policy. We do not limit enrollment to a specific denomination; however, because of these requirements, we naturally have the majority of our families being members of our Protestant Reformed Churches.
5. What are good resources to read in order to better understand Reformed education at Adams Christian School?
Christian Education by Rev. Herman Hoeksema
The Place of Doctrine in the Christian School by Rev. Herman Hoeksema
Reformed Education by Prof. David Engelsma
Imparting Wisdom, Knowledge, and Joy: The Calling of the Reformed Christian School Teacher by Rev. Cory Griess
The Necessity of Good Christian Schools by Prof. David Engelsma
Scripture in the Schools by Prof. David Engelsma
A Covenant School by Prof. David Engelsma
Goals of Protestant Reformed Education by Mr. Fred Hanko Sr.
Course Readings for History and Principles of Reformed Education (115 MB file)
Visit www.rfpa.org and search the Standard Bearer archives for many other great articles on Reformed education and Christian Schools!