That is to say, we are not a part of, nor do we represent, any one particular church or denomination. We seek to provide an environment where children can celebrate the commonalities of the Christian faith, as well as provide a place where we – students, staff, and parents – can learn from each other. This is not to downplay the role of individual churches in the education of children. To the contrary, a child’s involvement in his or her congregation, and a congregation’s involvement in the child’s life, is vital to his or her educational success.
Whereas differences with respect to belief and practice do exist among Christians, we believe that beliefs specific to particular Christian denominations are most appropriately taught in the homes and the churches of students. When diverging beliefs and practices are appropriately discussed in the course of usual academic study, our teachers do not promote the views of any one tradition over another. Our teachers aim to cultivate among our students an understanding and appreciation of both the variations within and the fundamental unity of the Christian faith rooted in the beliefs stated above.
Practically speaking, since we want students to develop a fully-orbed Christian worldview, one that celebrates their own denominational viewpoints and values and engages winsomely and graciously with other viewpoints, both Christian and secular, our transdenominational identity has outworkings in the following areas:
- For history (and government and economics), we want students to develop an appreciation of the past as story, as God’s story, but we don’t want to impose a particular denominational view of specific events, periods, epochs, or trends. American History (and more broadly, World History) is taught as narrative, as story; students are encouraged to discuss the events, the people, and seek to develop a Christian understanding, but again with diversity present (and desired) within the classroom. There isn’t a Christian view of American History but instead a variety of views, all with biblical support, reasoning, and conviction.
- The same holds true for a view of government. Christians are called to love and submit to their governing authorities; these are non-negotiables per Romans 13. We desire our students to love their country and appreciate the freedoms guaranteed them; however, we don’t impose a particular view of how to do this. Students may be staunch strict constructionists or more living document citizens; they may see the Constitution as setting forth the best form of government or envision another. A transdenominational view makes room for this.
- Science is impacted here as well. We are dogmatic about what the Bible is dogmatic about: God created the world; there were a literal Adam and Eve, etc. However, was Creation six literal days, or can one adopt an old-earth viewpoint, or is it possible to even have some sort of theistic evolution perspective? Discussions on all of these are allowed in the classroom, but an atheistic evolution is obviously not a Christian viewpoint, nor one that we would accept. Students are taught about evolution as a theory and how to interact with it on both biblical and scientific terms. We don’t want our science classes to become ones focused on that issue alone; instead, it is briefly addressed as a philosophy of science, while the focus of our class is on the particular subject and, most significantly, developing an appreciation for science as truth-seeking within God’s world.
Many of the primary sources students study, especially in Dialectic and Rhetoric, are “secular” for the same reasons enumerated above. Students will read the works of literary and historical significance in their historical, social, and cultural contexts. They will interact with the narratives, ideas, and worldviews, debate in classroom community and under guidance of their teachers, training their affections to discern the truly good and beautiful (as well as their opposites) and aspire to the same.