A group of smiling, bright-eyed 6th graders lit up our campus today as prospective J-Hi students for next fall. They began in the science lab observing 7th graders present a report about arthropods and habitats. Next, in chapel, they explored ways we can know about God: Through his divine Word, Special Revelation, and through General Revelation--learning about God through the world he’s created.

“The whole point of going to school is so that we can ultimately know God.” explained Wayne Stender.  “We don’t study just to be smarter, but to know more about The Creator and how we fit into his plan for our lives.”

As the students moved into English class, they thought about how the knowledge of God applies to effective communication. The teacher opened with a devotional about swearing and its ineffectiveness. “Bad language only serves to fuel the anger cycle instead of interrupting it. The person who can retain a calm attitude is usually the one who can win a dispute.” It pays, God’s Word teaches us, to keep a close watch over the words you speak. Words matter to God: He always says what he means and means what he says.

In Math, students marveled at the brilliant order of God’s design as the teacher taught them to find the measurement of a triangle’s hypotenuse by employing the Pythagorean theorem--a method that works all the time. God is a God of precision: Minor details are important.

The 7th grade Bible class is currently studying the book of Job. Students grappled with the age-old question, “Why do bad things happen?” They offered suggestions which the teacher wrote on the board. Job’s friends offered many opinions and solutions, too. And we are left with questions that don’t always have neat, simple answers. God is just and wise, we learn from Job’s story, and we can never completely understand him.

The students discovered that, although Bible classes and chapel are important at Hillcrest, all that we do directs us back to God. Science classes, social studies, math, art, music, and language all reveal parts of God’s wisdom as he is the source of all knowledge.

We gathered the students and debriefed about their day. We wanted them to understand that our intent is not to merely fill their minds with information but that the goal of an education at Hillcrest is to teach them resilience to endure during trials, like Job. To learn to embrace precision, through math. To learn to discern truth from lies in current social situations around the world and on campus. To learn to communicate their faith effectively as they study language and literature. Through every discipline, we hope to instill godly character, courage and wisdom that will serve these young students well into their adult lives toward the paths that God has chosen for each of them.

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