The Christian school is a unique community. There is common purpose and interdependence, but a Christian school has a particular identity which is distinct from a church, a family, or a business. In the Christian school context, the common purpose is to educate children from the perspective of the gospel story of the world. Christian schooling ought to educate children and young people for a life of responsive discipleship in Jesus Christ.
At the heart of discipleship is faith—a humble, trusting, believing submission to Christ and his rule. Faith is a gift from God, nurtured primarily by parents and the church, though there are lots of contexts where faith-formation takes place. The media, social media, community organisation and sports clubs all play a role in the formation of child’s faith and understanding—and so do schools.
A Christian school works in partnership with home and church to build a foundation, based on the word of God, on which a child’s faith-formation and education takes place. When these three arenas are out of step with each other, children will find it difficult to navigate the secular world around them. The school does not replace the family or the church, but rather seeks to work in harmony with them in the educational environment.
Of course, schools are primarily about learning—and learning should be the primary purpose in Christian schools! At Illawarra Christian School we seek to provide an education informed by God’s word. That means we hope that the learning that takes place here leads students to understand themselves, their fellow humans and the world, all in relation to God.
Learning involves equipping students to identify, test and critique underlying meanings and assumptions in the world around them. It is about enjoying God’s rich world and fostering a heart of gratitude, appreciation and service. We hope that as students undertake the task of learning at Illawarra Christian School they will develop a robust, biblical and relevant faith in our great God.
An effective Christian school will seek to equip and challenge students to reflect on our world in intelligent and thoughtful ways, establishing the basis of a lifetime of learning as faithful servants of God.
At Illawarra Christian School we strive to challenge and inspire our students so that they might leave our community secure in their value and purpose in Christ, excited about bringing God’s truth and hope to the world, and sufficiently humble and confident to engage meaningfully with the world God has made.