It is the purpose of the school to provide a sound academic education integrated with a Christian view of God and the world. The Bible is clear in stating the principles that underlie Christian education. The apostle Paul gave a comprehensive principle when he wrote of Christ, “For by Him are all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth . . . and He is before all things and by Him all things consist” (Col. 1:16, 17).
The apostle John said, “All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). Foundational to a Christian philosophy of education is a God-centered view of man and truth found in the Word of God.
The purpose then of Christian education is to reveal God and to bring the student into conformity with God’s revealed will. The authority for such an education comes from God’s command that children be taught to love God with all their hearts, love their fellow man, and conform to the image of Jesus Christ. The following more specifically outline some underlying beliefs that form the OCS educational philosophy:
- A God-centered worldview and biblical values create the centerpiece of child rearing. Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
- Children are a gift from the Lord and that they find wholeness in God’s grace and love. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52).
- A critical directive of Christian education is teaching God’s priorities. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33)
- Jesus imparts the greatest truth of the universe. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind . . .You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40)
- Education must encompass the fundamentals of the Christian faith. . . . sanctify Christ as Lord in hearts, always being ready to make a defense . . . for the hope that is in you . ..I Peter 3:15)
- Education serves a higher purpose than earthly gain. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:29).
The main failure of education is that it has not prepared people to comprehend matters concerning human destiny. The requisite is that education addresses the meaning and purpose of life (Tim Keller).
Simply acquiring knowledge of facts and figures is barren of purpose and meaning unless it is aligned with truth. At OCS, we believe that the Gospel of Christ is the foundation of ultimate Truth. Because all truth is God’s Truth, it is through the lens of Christ that all learning is rightly ordered to reveal meaning and purpose. Thus, Biblical integration is the process of illuminating Christ in all aspects of learning and living.
Biblical integration is not about securing one “right textbook” or one “right curriculum”. Rather, it is about cultivating the right response to Truth. This right response must be taught, modeled, and encouraged for true integration to occur.
How does Biblical integration occur?
- Life on Life: The teachers themselves are a living, breathing curriculum. A Christ-centered curriculum is the teacher who stops at the threshold of his or her classroom and there confesses that it is only by the grace of God that illumination can occur.
- Asking Life Questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? The response to these and other life questions are pursued in the context of Christ and His Kingdom.
- Lifestyle Learning: C.S. Lewis writes that “we make men without chests” when we teach knowledge apart from virtue. At OCS we strive to build an entire community that models and reinforces virtues such as honor, integrity, respect, and kindness.
- Making a Life: At OCS, we believe that student development means much more than educating students simply so they can make a living. We are partnering with families to help our students build a life that is Christ-centered and filled with purpose.
- Changing Lives: Because the Word of God is living and active, its presence in the life of a school should be constantly transforming the individuals and the community. The OCS faculty and staff take seriously the mandate to love God with their whole heart, mind and strength and to love one another as themselves. Where the love of God is present, lives are affected.
At OCS, we believe that the heart of education is the education of the heart. Knowledge of facts is important, and we take seriously our call to be good stewards of scholastic rigor and academic discipline. It is because of this call to stewardship that we strive to constantly integrate faith and learning in the classroom and the community.