Let’s face it—it is hard to speak clearly about classical Christian education. I have been studying it, implementing it and writing about it for almost 15 years and I still can become tongue-tied when someone asks me “What is classical Christian education?” I am always brushing up and revising my elevator speech.
That is why the recent article about Covenant Classical School (CCS) in Naperville, Illinois, is so remarkable. CCS is not an established school. It opened its doors barely a month ago with 87 students.
And yet journalist Jane Donahue of the Naperville Sun was able to crystallize the complex mission of CCS in a relatively short story. I am astonished that this happened. It usually takes new parents about a year to gain the kind of understanding displayed by Donahue. In her story, Donahue quotes a board member, head of school, teacher, two parents and a student. Taken together, the comments of these people tell us that Covenant Classical School:
- is a new school rooted in an old tradition
- has a classical curriculum (grammar, Latin, logic, rhetoric, music, etc.)
- employs a pedagogy appropriate to the developmental stage of students
- seeks to train students “to think, reason, read, write and speak well”
- learns from the best ideas, thinkers and literature of the past
- aims to build character: “Everyone is cheerful, friendly and thoughtful.”
- integrates biblical teaching and faith
- provides a joyful, warm environment
- develops community and strong bonds
I think this surpasses my elevator speech.
Here is the link to the article—compare it to your speech: Faith and Education Combine at Covenant
So how did the journalist figure this out? Somehow CCS has managed to pass on a clear concept of its mission to all members of its community—even a 12 year-old student. How is your school doing in this regard? We could all do worse than to take this article and seek to embody it and communicate it in our own schools. Pass this article along to your marketing director or head of school and to the board. Pass it along to your 12 year-old.