The mission of Covenant Christian School is to graduate students who are prepared to understand their world, to communicate with their world, and to influence their world for Christ through servant-leadership.
To prepare students to understand their world, we must train them to see the world as God sees it. This understanding comes from the Bible. "Every part of scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another--showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us." (The Message, 2 Tim. 3:16-17) A true understanding of the universe will help our students answer four basic questions. These questions are answered in the Bible because they are basic to humanity.
We believe that God created the universe and all that is in it. Just as a man's work reflects his character and attributes, so the creation reflects who God is, His character and attributes. The study of math and science leads us to understand the nature and character of God. Paul wrote in the book of Romans, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made." We believe that Christians should be the best mathematicians and scientists, because the search for truth will not only bring a clearer understanding of our world but of our Creator. Math and science originated in Him. Math and science reveal Him.
The second question follows out of the first. If God created all things, where did evil come from? This is a basic human problem since evil raises its ugly head in every community on earth. How we answer this question defines much of our understanding of history and literature. We believe that God created man as his highest creation, in his image. God in his sovereignty gave mankind a delegated rulership over the earth. He blessed man with the powerful ability to choose. In the beginnings of history, the first man chose wrongly and his rulership over the earth turned sour. Since that time, history itself has demonstrated again and again this tension between the God-given destiny of man and man's inability to rule effectively without corruption. Once again the Bible becomes our interpreter of history and literature explaining the failure of man to carry out the design of God.
This brings us to the third question: How do we deal with evil in our midst? Suddenly, in the fullness of time, the bleakness of history is interrupted by God himself. He comes to earth in Jesus Christ. His purpose is to deal with evil and to set loose the kingdom of God on earth as an ever-increasing influence. Through His death and resurrection, and subsequent empowering of His Spirit, He equipped twelve students to change the world. Wherever this message has been carried, Christian education has necessarily followed. His students today still need His empowering and His training. Training to have his motivations, his ways, and his truth enables each new generation to effectively influence the world for Christ. "In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." To educate without Jesus Christ as preeminent is to leave out the foundation of understanding. To educate without Jesus Christ is to eliminate God's only antidote to the evil that resides in the world. This is why Christian education is so necessary.
This brings us to our final question. What is the purpose of it all? or Where is it all going? When the Creator set creation in motion, He did not do so aimlessly. He had purpose, design. That is evident in how He made things. He is a designer. Isaiah spoke for God in this way: "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please." Paul penned these words: "All things were created by him and through and for him." Habbakuk states, "All the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." In short, all creation is inevitably moving toward a grand finale at the feet of the Creator. Our actions, choices, and words in the meantime will fit in with His eternal plan, or they will be overcome by His all-powerful purpose. If this is true, and we believe it is, then Christian education has a responsibility to help direct students into the purpose of God.
This is why Covenant School exists. With the Bible as our compass, we endeavor to educate students to see the world through God's perspective and to shape them for the task that God has for them. We want them to see Him as Creator of all, to see that the greatest mover and shaker of history is God Himself, and to see that He is the great End of all things.
Our next task is to prepare our students to communicate with their world. Knowing and understanding the world is only the beginning. If the knowledge of the glory of the Lord is to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, then communicating that knowledge becomes an important part of the plan of God. The worldview that we have outlined above must be effectively communicated to the rest of the world. It remains the responsibility of those who have truth to communicate that truth so that it will be embraced. Part of the image of God in man is his ability to communicate with words. John begins his gospel with these thoughts: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. It is the word that allows us to communicate exactly, precisely, and effectively. While pictures and symbols enable us to communicate with power and emotional charge, it is the word that takes us beyond the visual into the abstract, from the natural to the spiritual.
Communication, as we approach it at CCS, falls into four basic types, two main categories. The two categories are simply input and output. Reading and listening are the two main input avenues while speaking and writing are the two foundational output avenues of communication. In brief, you can see how the eyes (reading), ears (listening), mouth (speaking), and touch (writing) are communication "gates".
From the earliest lessons at CCS, we are utilizing all four of these "gates" for teaching reading and writing. Our phonics program is built upon these four basic avenues. Spalding phonics uses these four gates to teach spelling, writing, and reading. Comprehension and word meaning are taught from the beginning.
SPEAKING: From show and tell in the beginning grades to presentations and debates in eighth grades, our students are encouraged and trained to speak publicly. Clear standards are outlined so that students will know what teachers look are expecting.
WRITING: From writing words to sentences to stories and paragraphs, our students develop their writing skills. Topic sentences, supporting details, persuasion, descriptions, explanations are all part of the everyday at CCS. It is fundamental to our philosophy that writing complete thoughts helps develop thinking and reasoning ability.
READING: Our main purpose in learning to read is to read the Bible. The most important skill is learning to discern the author's purpose, because God is the Author of the Bible and His purpose is preeminent. We begin with the foundational skills of phonics and work to develop four basic comprehension areas in our students: initial understanding, constructing meaning, inferential comprehension, literary analysis. CCS students are trained to become discerning readers.
LISTENING: Paying attention, following directions, getting the facts, asking probing questions, and taking meaningful notes are all necessary ingredients of good listeners. These skills are taught, encouraged, and practiced at CCS. In a nutshell, these short paragraphs describe our approach to communication. It is our desire that CCS students will be effective as communicators of a Christian worldview to the world in which they live.
Finally, we endeavor to train our students to influence the world around them through servant-leadership. True leaders earn the right to lead through serving. This was the way of Jesus Himself. At CCS, we endeavor to work with parents in providing some specific opportunities for students to develop character by serving others. In the classroom and in the cafeteria, they share daily duties. Additionally, we plan local opportunities in the community to serve. Past events have been sorting items for refugees from other countries, serving meals in a downtown soup line, and preparing Christmas boxes for foreign nations. The culminating service event for a CCS student is a trip to Mexico to serve in an orphanage for three days.
In summary, we maintain a Christ-centered course. We believe that He is the key to life and therefore to education. We believe that giving students a Christian worldview as the foundation of a thorough education enables them to function well in a highly competitive society.