In considering the state of Christianity from an educational perspective, many mixed emotions, dilemmas and uncertainties surrounded my thoughts. Generally speaking, Christians are loyal, strong, enthusiastic believers and followers of personal Christian Education. There are many segments of Christian Education, and a place for formal Christian Education.
Educating Christians has never been an easy task, not because there were no qualified instructors, but rather because of a lack of seeking students. There are many inexcusable reasons for the absence of students. One such reason being, “a misconception of what a school of religion is designed to do for Christians”.
The intent of a school of religion should be to cultivate the minds of its students, to develop the skills and abilities of its students, to teach and train its students to become mature in the word, work, and life of our Lord so that the Christian’s life can be hid in Christ. The establishment of a school of religion, I believe, is in accord with the Biblical mandate to prepare Christians who are babes in Christ and whose fruit bearing is limited; to mature Christians whose fruits are unspoiled. When Jesus said “come and I will make you fishers of men”, He teaches in this statement the need for preparation. The classic truth of our need of others to assist us in preparation can be seen and understood from the encounter between Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch. The question was asked, “Understandest thou what thou readest?” The reply, “How can I except some man should guide me?”
A school of religion sets its sights on bringing together a conglomerate group of prepared Christians to fortify the concept of “guiding Christians” to deeper commitment and understanding to and of Christ. Be it once and for all understood that a school of religion is not designed to make Christians (Christians are born); rather, to help develop Christians.
Educating Christians to be the best Christians possible is not limited to the class rooms of schools of religion. The class room, in my view, is one of the most effective areas for providing the personal touch that’s so needful in the process of preparing Christians.
The results of preparing one’s self as a Christian can readily be seen in the ministries Christians provide. Many of the common mistakes we make for lack of training are eliminated when preparation is experienced under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Our school of religion is not here to be in competition with any other organized effort to educate Christians. We must see ourselves as co-workers together with God in Christ Jesus with the hopes of strengthening the body of believers for the mission set before us.
Our school has the staff, faculty and resource personnel on board to more than adequately help all Christians develop their skills and abilities for Christ’s sake. I urge you to come and take advantage of the opportunity that is available for you.
Thank you and God bless your efforts to become the best Christian that you can be.
Dr. Charles Walls, Dean