On April 25, 1524, in a letter to a friend, Martin Luther wrote, “I beg you to do your utmost in the cause of training the youth. For I am convinced that the neglect of education will bring the greatest ruin to the gospel. This matter is the most important of all.” Luther was persuaded that, in order to further the cause of God’s kingdom and truth, there must be passion and diligence employed in the education of children. I am equally persuaded. And I know of no better means of “training the youth” for these ends than classical Christian education. Why?
First, because classical Christian education is inherently transformational. That is, by being immersed in the truths of the gospel and the great ideas of Western culture, students are changed. Teaching for wisdom and virtue, rather than mere vocation, alters the focus of education to who we become, not what we know. Few, if any, educational philosophies make such a claim. But, in classical Christian education, transformation is the noble aim of everything we do. We seek, with the Apostle Paul, to be “transformed by the renewal” of our minds (Rom. 12:1-2).
Second, classical Christian education emphasizes teaching students how to learn, not what to think. Students are taught to understand the basic components of an idea, synthesize and connect those components with others, and then formulate and articulate their own ideas about it. By providing the “tools of learning,” students can approach any subject, idea, or problem with the needed knowledge and skills.
Third, classical Christian education instills the love of learning. By employing developmentally appropriate instructional methods, a challenging and dynamic curriculum, and above all, extraordinary teachers, students simply love to learn. Their God-given desire to know is captured and cultivated by an exciting and joy-filled learning environment.
These are just a few of the reasons why so many parents have chosen to educate their children in the classical Christian tradition. Martin Luther believed the matter of educating children is “the most important of all.” Take time and prayerfully consider how you may honor Christ in fulfilling your obligation to raise your children in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).
Soli Deo Gloria,