Have you considered how the academic material in a course is influenced by the author’s worldview?
Since most textbooks train students to think from a Godless worldview, Christian schools typically choose textbooks from Christian publishers. However, if a suitable textbook is unavailable, schools can often rely on their Christian teachers to inject a Christian worldview.
Families value your Christian school ministry enough to pay your tuition. They consider the Christian school faculty and administration as partners in fulfilling the mission that God gave them to teach their children with a focus on God.
Are you aware of the problems with using online courses that teach a secular worldview at your school?
There are many inherent benefits to online learning in terms of flexibility. Online learning provides an abundance of options and gives a student freedom to work at their own pace at any time and place. In addition, students develop critical thinking skills as independent learners that will serve them the rest of their lives.
Now consider online learning at a Christian school. Each student in an online course works independently, engaging with the content without a live Christian teacher in the room. Thus, having a Christian teacher to support and supplement the rich biblical worldview in their course is critical.
The worldview in which the course content is framed in and laced with becomes considerably more important because there is no live Christian teacher to carry out the ministry that happens in the classroom setting.
There is a temptation to select the cheapest online course option, which typically is offered by the public school system or other secular outlets available in your state or district. Parents of children in your school may even pressure you to accept the cheapest option available. If you comply, you cheapen the value of your program and undermine your mission. You also open the door to the parent simply selecting the free public option in the future.
While the students in the secular online courses will still receive some benefits inherent to online learning, they will do so, in essence, by attending a public school for that particular subject. Therefore, the Christian school offering the secular courses becomes a hybrid Christian-Public school option for families.
As a Christian school leader, you have an opportunity to help your stakeholders see that Christian education, whether in the traditional classroom or online is all about learning through a Christ-centered worldview. Please help them understand that there is a “real cost” (as described above) of going with secular worldview online course content. Help them remember that the investment they make to provide Christian education for their child extends to the online credits they gain. Helping them see this value is important because you will be asking them to invest financially in Christ-centered online courses.
At Sevenstar, we serve Christian schools by providing Christ-centered online courses for 6th – 12th grade students, including AP and Dual Credit options.
We find the best online curricula available, and we process it through an extensive biblical integration process. In addition to biblical integration in the courses, we try to replicate a true Christian school experience by supporting students with Christian teachers, prayer forums, a chaplain, devotionals, and a spiritual life community.
One Guidance Counselor we serve explains the Sevenstar option to parents at their school as the online experience that is closest to the experience in the traditional classroom at their school.
Sevenstar is a world leader in online Christian education. Over 400 Christian secondary schools use their technology and online curriculum to help students grow in the knowledge and grace of Christ.
Learn more at sevenstar.org
Volume 7 Issue 1 - The Renewanation Review