Three types of Christian schools

By Jesse Johnson - Posted at The Cripplegate:

This week, Immanuel Christian School (a ministry of the church I pastor) was in the news because of our code of conduct, which requires parents to agree that their kids will be educated according to our church’s statement of faith. Our church’s doctrinal statement is long; for a Bible church it is surprisingly detailed. For that reason, the school spells out some of the practical implications of sending students to ICS. The section that has caught the most flack is obviously the one on sexual ethics.

Keep in mind, this is a K-8 school (although we are starting a high school next year). The notion that students should be able to be in sexual relationships in elementary school is perverse, of course, but largely beside the point. The point, at least in some of the news stories on this, seems to be that because of our statement of faith, “not all students are welcome.”

I, like Jude, considered writing a post today explaining why requiring students and faculty to adhere to a Christian statement of faith is not, in fact, discrimination. Rather than being an expression of hatred, it is actually an expression of love to our students, as well as to potential families, who at least know what we are about upfront.

But honestly, those posts have been written a hundred times…nay, a thousand times. At this point, the faux shock that Christian schools hire Christian teachers is stale, and replying to it even more so.

On the other hand, what does interest me is what this controversy highlights about the nature of Christian schools, and why it is important for Christian schools to understand exactly what their mission is. I have taught at three different Christian schools, and all three of them had different missions, which all would affect how they would view the issue of allowing homosexual students. This perspective has helped me see why it is critical to have a clear understanding of how a Christian school sees its role in the world.

As I understand it, there are three basic kinds of Christian schools: ...