Saturday, 23 September 2017

C Columns

Nampa Christian Schools Educational Adherence to Deuteronomy 6:5-7

By Konrad Ziesing

Elementary-age students at Nampa Christian Schools pray together at chapel. (Photo provided by NCS)

The average American student spends about 6½ hours a day for 180 days a year in school.* That's about 1,170 hours a year. This may vary from state to state and according to each grade level, but even with conservative estimates, it accounts for just under half of a typical student's waking hours when school is in session. There are many who advocate increasing the number of instructional hours a student receives each year. The argument is that if you spend more timeon something, the result is usually better. While this is an interesting debate to consider, a question worth asking is, “Spending time on what?”

For those of the Christian faith, the Bible answers this question for us. The Israelites were given a charge in Deuteronomy 6:5-7.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

It was the expectation that children be taught about God. This was not something relegated toan hour on Sunday morning, but throughout the day, every day. Children were to be taught about God’s commands and statutes every waking moment. This sounds a lot like the environment that is present in the Christian school setting. It stands in stark contrast to what is seen in today’s public schools. 

Consider Nampa Christian Schools. Between 1900 and 1950, small Christian schools dotted the Treasure Valley. Among these were elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. In the 1950s, three of these schools united together to become what is known today as Nampa Christian Schools. For over 50 years now, Nampa Christian Schools has faithfully carried out the charge given in Deuteronomy. 

Spanning the Generations

Nampa Christian Schools has motivated generations of students to achieve academic excellence and prepare for a lifetime of service to Christ. Throughout the years since Nampa Christian was established, there have been many success stories and graduates who have gone on to serve God in great ways. With more than 800 alumni still living within the Nampa/Boise area, this provides a rich heritage for the Nampa Christian Schools community.

Deep roots spread and multiply. Alumni have now chosen Nampa Christian to educate their children. Grandchildren of alumni currently attend the school. Generations upon generations have chosen Nampa Christian Schools, showing that their commitment to the school and community are far-reaching. This echoes Deuteronomy 6:2, “and you and your children and grandchildren must fear the LORD your God as long as you live.”

Church-Family-School Partnership

Nampa Christian Schools is a biblically based learning community that partners with Christian families to develop a Christian worldview and prepare students for a lifetime of faithfulness to Christ, all while promoting academic excellence. Its goal is to develop Christ-like character and Christ-centered lives.

This charge given by God through Moses requires a wholehearted commitment and constant diligence. Educating a child requires a partnership. Impressing God’s commands indelibly on the hearts of children happens in a variety of settings. Jeff and Tracey Antosh, whose children have attended Nampa Christian — two graduates and another now in high school — provide a first-hand perspective of this partnership: “As a result of partnering with Nampa Christian, our church, and home in the education of our kids, they have been challenged and have grown tremendously in their Bible knowledge and their understanding of biblical truths. The staff and teachers have a special interest in the kids' spiritual well-being.”

Nampa Christian understands that they do not take the place of the family but simply come alongside parents and their church to help train up their children so the promise of Proverbs 22:6 can become a reality. By working together in partnership, students have the opportunity to see Deuteronomy 6 played out in their lives.

Accredited Christian Education

Dr. Greg Wiles, superintendent of Nampa Christian Schools, often repeats the refrain “boldlyChristian, unquestionably academic.” He is dedicated to providing high quality Christian education and training for the development of well-rounded students who will impact this world for the Lord Jesus Christ through biblical thought and action. Nampa Christian Schools is proud to maintain accreditation with the State of Idaho through AdvancED (www.advanc-ed.org) and the Association of Christian Schools International (www.acsi.org). The ACSI places spiritual formation at the core, and values such things as respect for authority, service, moral integrity and character, as well as a life commitment to Christ and the church. 

Parents Jeremy and Stacie Glassco offer a powerful testimony of the value of a decidedly Christian education: “We are thankful our kids learn in the unique environment at Nampa Christian Schools where, in conjunction with their academics, they are encouraged to treasure God’s Word in their hearts. During these academic years, where they have minds eager for growth, Nampa Christian has been a special blessing for our family by working with our kids tohelp them set their moral compass and find faith in Jesus.”

That is what it’s all about. Education not just to teach, but to transform. 

Heart Transformation

Christian education is not only concerned about the head, but more importantly the heart. The late Howard Hendricks, longtime professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, made a profound statement in an article he wrote titled, “What Makes Christian Education Distinct?”

“In Christian education we deal with the transcendent. Secular education deals only with the human. Christian education discusses the eternal, secular education the here and now. Secular education seeks to make more successful and intelligent people. The Christian educator aspires to nothing less than the transformation of a believer into the image of Christ.”**

Aspects of the Christian faith are integrated into every class that is taught. Faculty and staff all have a personal relationship with Christ. The morning begins with prayer. There are weekly chapel services. Students participate in community service and go on mission trips. God’s Wordis included in the curriculum as well as athletics, the arts, and other extra-curricular activities. Young learners are encouraged to study the Bible and incorporate its teaching into their assignments. Rather than be discouraged from speaking about Jesus and the Scriptures, students are free to apply their faith to their learning. 

Teachers are not merely teaching to inform the mind but to renew the mind. This is in keeping with Romans 12:2. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Martin Luther's words, spoken now almost 500 years ago, are borderline prophetic. In speaking of education in his time he said, “I would advise no one to send his child where the Holy Scriptures are not supreme. Every institution that does not unceasingly pursue the study of God's word becomes corrupt. I greatly fear that the universities, unless they teach the Holy Scriptures diligently and impress them on the young students, are wide gates to hell.”

More and more parents are acknowledging that Christian education provides one of the best avenues to ensure that their children spend their days in learning that advances their personal faith and not the opposite.

Nampa Christian Schools offers open enrollment for all ages, including early childhood (6 weeks - age 4), elementary school (PreK-5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-12). For more information, or a no-pressure,no-obligation tour of the school, contact the registrar at 208-475-1711, via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit the school’s website at www.NampaChristianSchools.com. Konrad Ziesing is communication director at Nampa Christian Schools.

Sources: 

*Nisen, M. (2013, October 1). America Needs To Suck It Up And Make School Days Longer. Retrieved July 20, 2017 from Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com 

**Hendricks, H. (2006, July 19). What Makes Christian Education Distinct. Retrieved July 22, 2017 from Christianity Today: www.christianitytoday.com Luther, M. (1520). Twenty-Seven Articles Representing the Reformation ofthe Christian Estate. Retrieved July 25, 2017 from Bartleby: www.bartleby.com The Bible. New King James Version. Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1982.The Bible. New Living Translation. Tyndale House Publishers. 2015.

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