Christ-Centered, Classical Education: What Does it Mean?

Often people ask me to describe what it is that makes CLA different.  Are we just a school with a chapel service?  What is classical?  How is it relevant for today?

Here is my short description of our educational model.

  • We are Christ-centered: We take the claims of his Lordship seriously and attempt to help students apply this to all of life. Christ is the only center that will hold in good times and bad.  Therefore, we aspire to put Christ at the center of our studies through the text of scripture.

 

  • We are Classical, which means we are:

 

  • Strength-based: We teach to a person’s developmental strengths when they are best ready to use them. While we realize that no two kids are exactly the same, we also realize there are some distinct patterns in human development.  Hence, we aim to cut with the grain, because we believe this takes the student further, faster in their educational journey.

 

  • Time-tested: We read the great books for understanding not tidbits for testing. We read great books to join the great conversations with the best writers.  We do not read small excerpts designed to raise a test score.  We read great works to prepare them for life.  In other words, we believe in being timeless not trendy (which seems like a better and better idea anytime I look at my high school yearbook).  Trends come and go; great ideas do not.  This type of education has worked for generations, and it is working in this one.

 

  • Leadership-focused: In his book “A View from the Top,” D. Michael Lindsay presents the results from the largest leadership study in history. From his vast interaction with some of the most accomplished leaders in the world, Lindsay concludes that the most effective leaders have what he calls “a liberal arts approach to life.”  What he means is effective leaders have the ability to connect the dots across various disciplines and make wise decisions.  This makes them valuable in a rapidly changing world.  They can see, respond, and lead toward greater effectiveness.  Classical education has always been a tool for training leaders and statesmen, and anyone who wants to make a difference in the world.  We un-apologetically equip students to be difference-makers.

 

For these reasons and many more, we seek to provide a Christ-centered, classical education. We are, thus, excited for the future, as we launch the next generation of Christian leaders into a world that desperately needs them.