A Private School For The Public Good

I recently listened to a lecture arguing that a well-conceived, private Christian school is a mighty tool in the hands of God for the public good.  The speaker’s context was urban-inner city.  Mine is rural.  Nevertheless, he challenged me to think through how CLA is a private school for the public good.  Some of these are borrowed from the speaker Rugg Gregg, and some are my own.  Here are just a few ways we seek to leave this place better than we found it.


1. It is a public good that CLA trains students with a biblical vision of the family and a passion to live it out.  

Fatherlessness and broken homes are not exclusively inner-city problems; they are everywhere problems.  And, we want to be part of the solution.

2. It is a public good that CLA students learn the fundamentals of the Protestant work ethic that has led to great innovation and productivity, and will do so again.  

There was a time when Christians believed that all work was done to the Lord and for the Lord.  This led to industriousness and innovation that catapulted America forward as a true global leader.  

Hence, we are intentional about every part of our program.  And, we have designed a program where students leave knowing how to work an 8-hour day and thriving as they do.

3. It is a public good that integrity, respect for authority, and self-control mark our citizens.  These qualities are not innate to fallen humans.  They must be trained.  

Thus, CLA explicitly and unapologetically attempts to train the whole person in ways that make citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven gifts to the citizens of the Kingdom of man.

4. It is a public good that leaders engage in public dialogue powerfully, winsomely, and graciously.  That is why we train students in the ancient art of Rhetoric and persuasive communication.  

Leaders win people to their view through powerful communication, and we give the tools to do just that.

5. It is a public good that leaders have a broad vision.  Many people gravitate toward specialists, but the world is run by generalists.  

We need people who have a broad vision, who can see across disciplines, and who can make the best decisions for the good of the most people.  That is what classical education seeks to do.

There are many more ways we try to leave this place better than we found it.  And for the good of future generations, we will stay at it.  May God bless the work of our hands.


– Dr. Shane Arnold, Head of School