Independent Christian Education is Making a Comeback Thanks to COVID-19

Landmark Christian Class of 2019 by Marcom20 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Coronavirus school closings have spurred a comeback in Christian education. Instead of leaving their kids in front of Zoom all day, more and more families are deciding to try out independent faith-based education.

Bringing God Back into the Classroom

As school closures swing back and forth, many parents are noticing the advantage of sending their children to private schools and taking part in “learning pods”: neighborhood drop-in schools taught by teachers, parents and community leaders. In many cases these are being held at churches.

These schools often have a religious or moral component. Churches and pastors have been instrumental in leading this educational revival and providing the learning opportunities with a faith-centered element.

As National Home School Education Research Institute leader Brian Ray put it: “with so many parents looking for places to safely educate their children, the use of religious settings has clearly accelerated.”

Expanding Opportunities to Rethink Education

The growth of having schools hosted in church has been uplifting to many communities and helped keep costs low. Students sometimes attend the makeshift schools while also getting to use science and sports facilities of nearby Christian schools.

Other examples include schools like Bridge Elementary Tutorial Homeschool Ministries in Bowie, MD, led by the Mount Oak Fellowship Church, which teaches students on a course by course basis, as well as a broad range of Christian academies and private learning institutions that are excelling in education and in shaping future generations.

The Growth of Christian Education

There are so many examples of successful Christian schools in America that it’s hard to keep count. Hope Academy in Minneapolis was started by Russ Gregg in one of the city’s worst neighborhoods in a church basement with only 35 students. It’s now in a seven-story school with 500 kids and a 95% college acceptance rate.

The comeback of classical education is a pushback against the materialist secular philosophy of educators such as John Dewey, who taught that the point of education was just to teach kids how to learn practical skills and knowledge that could prepare them for careers in industry, business, medicine, law and other fields.

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There has been an ongoing loss of teaching patriotism and moral values in the educational system with results that are clear for all to see.

Christian educators, private schools, learning pod participants and homeschoolers are bringing back more of a well-rounded way of teaching that sees the whole human being instead of just a tool to be trained for jobs.

As the world-renowned writer C.S. Lewis wrote in his book the Abolition of Man, education used to be about raising up valuable human beings who cared what was right but that has all changed. As Lewis writes: “the old was a kind of propagation — men transmitting manhood to men; the new is merely propaganda.”

It’s also about dealing with common school problems in a more comprehensive way.

“What do we do if we have a student bullying another student? There’s good news from the Gospel both for the bully and also the one being bullied that could cause repentance and bring about reconciliation,” Gregg explained, adding “What kind of citizen and human being and Christian will they be at age 30? 40? 60? What kind of old men do we want these fifth graders to be?”

Get Ready for an Even Bigger Surge in Christian Education

As Dr. Steve Turley notes in his 2019 book the Coming Rise of Christian Educationpolitical and religious trends are fueling a major rise in Christian education and that’s only going to increase.

Both educators and parents understand the frustrations of public education and the Common Core curriculum, but the coming renaissance of Christian education is something to look forward to.

There are many excellent Christian homeschool programs as well and the future looks bright for parents who want to provide their kids with an alternative to the secular progressivism of the public school curriculum.

Homeschool programs such as Sonlight and Abeka provide excellent curriculums to help guide parents through this process and ensure their children learn all the necessary academic essentials while also understanding the central teachings of the Christian faith.