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The value of a biblically-based classroom
Your child’s high school education is the most important investment you will make. In high school students begin to reinforce and challenge the way they were taught to see the world. This means they will engage ideas of how to approach life. The faith background of their training, celebrating a Biblical or secular perspective, will generally guide the foundational truths that will build their thoughts, actions, and general habits that will guide them the rest of their lives.
Hillcrest has 100 years of training students to live lives of eternal significance. We employ time-tested methods that form students’ ability to understand grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Many of Hillcrest’s classes rest on a Classical Christian model in training students to think. These methods produced the greatest thinkers, leaders, and scientists in the Western world, from the time of the Greeks until the late 19th century, including America’s founding fathers.
In each course Hillcrest seeks to highlight interdependence in academic disciplines. It is common to hear Hillcrest students say their History class is like a Bible class, their Bible class is like an English course, and their English class is like a History class. Hillcrest integrates literature, history, language, art, mathematics, and science in a routine and seamless way in most classes. In these courses students build muscles of logic and wisdom to be expressed through well-crafted rhetoric.
Is classical Christian education still relevant? Yes, more now than ever. Our world is accelerating as technological, cultural, and geo-political forces reshape our daily lives. The subject matter and skills required in the market are evolving and changing rapidly. However, thinking, articulate people are always in demand. Those who are able to acquire new skills rapidly and independently are sought after regardless of the field. Classical Christian education has a proven track record of turning out these types of students.
The focus of the hillcrest learning community
Education is most effective when it rises above simply conveying fact. Effective education cultivates thinking, driving students to articulate clear and persuasive arguments that hold foundation in God’s ordered design evident in the world. This means the greatest textbook studied is the Bible, because from it all other study finds form, function, and origin. In breaking the world down into individual subjects students are able to focus on various aspects of God’s divine creativity.
Ideas Have Consequence
Ideas have consequences! Good ideas have good consequences and bad ideas produce bad consequences. That may be obvious, but unfortunately, history is full of examples where that simple truth is violated over and over again to the harm and destruction of many. What we understand about God and the world affects what we believe about everything else, including the types of arguments we find persuasive and how we justify our actions.
In Romans 12:2 Paul writes, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is acceptable and perfect.” The world’s patterns are different from God’s patterns. “To understand then what God wants, we must identify the pattern of the world, refuse to conform to it, and be transformed into a God pleasing pattern of living.”
Ideas Spread Like Viruses
A pattern of ideas is called a worldview. It's the perspective one holds that shapes their beliefs, habits, and convictions that help make sense of God, the world, and their relationship to God and the world. It’s been said that people get their beliefs like they catch colds - by being around other people. In the 1950s a professor at Yale University named William McGuire developed a theory about how people come to embrace the ideas they find compelling. His insights can help us understand how we and others might come to adopt good ideas and oppose bad ones.
McGuire theorized that ideas are very much like a virus, spreading from person to person. In our fallen and increasingly indiscriminate culture, bad ideas lamentably take root more easily than good ones. Thus, an effective leader must play a dangerous game: he must engage not only in building up good ideas but also rooting out the bad ones. How is it possible to do this without being incurably infected by the very ideas he hopes to stand opposed?
Medical research has demonstrated that the human body could develop immunity to disease through the process of inoculation, introducing the body a weakened form of a virus to give the body’s natural defense mechanism time to build resistance to it.
McGuire found that the same theory held true for resisting bad ideas.