It is what we love that ultimately defines who we are. That is why Classical Christian educators seek to go beyond telling students what they should know or how they should think, and instead strive to mold who they are by shaping what they love. As John Ruskin puts it, “The entire object of true education is to make people not merely do the right things, but to enjoy them; not merely industrious, but to love industry; not merely just, but to hunger and thirst for justice.” It is our worship that shapes our worldview and the course of our lives. At ECCS, our goal is to provide students with both an academically rigorous and unapologetically Christian education. Although we hope and expect that our students will grow and excel within the classroom, our first priority is for them to grow in their knowledge and love of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, we seek to capture our students’ hearts for Christ (recognizing our absolute dependence upon the Holy Spirit) by not only offering Bible classes and chapel, but by teaching every subject through the lens of Scripture. In the ECCS classroom, there is no distinction between God’s creation and science, between God’s order and mathematics, between Church history and world history. Every class is taught from the perspective of a Christian worldview with the goal of not just informing our students’ minds but transforming their hearts. The hope and prayer of ECCS is to equip the next generation of the Church to dwell richly in the word of the Lord (Colossians 3:16), to live lives worthy of their calling (Ephesians 4:1), and to destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (II Corinthians 10:5), so that God’s kingdom is advanced and Christ’s name is exalted.
WHAT IS CLASSICAL EDUCATION?
What do we want graduates to be able to know? What skills do we want them to have? How do we want them to be able to contribute to society? How do we want them to live? At ECCS, we begin thinking about education with these end goals in mind. Focusing on a child’s natural stages of development, we capitalize on their particular strengths so that we can develop them into strong leaders. The classical model utilizes a child’s intellectual development into three main stages, known as the Trivium: Grammar (Grades K5-5), Logic (Grades 6-8), and Rhetoric (Grades 9-12). Throughout the Trivium, students are taught the grammar or knowledge of each subject, the logic or understanding of each subject, and the rhetoric or art or wisdom of each subject.
In the Grammar stage, which covers ages 5-10, children learn quickly, memorize readily, and love to move, sing, chant, and play. This is also the stage in which children solidify their natural love of learning. In our Grammar School, we use the best curriculum, engaging and challenging literature, Western history, Bible, science, Latin and math. What makes us even more distinctive is that we use methods that work best for the children in the grammar stage, such as songs, chants, memory work, interactive lessons, and active engagement.
As they progress into the Logic Stage, students tend to be naturally more skeptical. They question, they ask why, and they love to argue their points. Rather than fighting against this natural and very important tendency, we train our students how to reason, how to research, and how to argue effectively. Through vigorous class discussions, debates, research papers and projects, students are taught to think carefully and critically. Our Logic students continue in their studies of Latin, science, grammar, composition, and math. We use primary texts to teach history, literature, and Bible, drawing from the greatest writers and thinkers from the Western tradition. We also add the study of Formal Logic in eighth grade.
As they enter the Rhetoric Stage, our students are prepared with a great deal of knowledge from the Grammar stage and have learned to think crucially in the Logic stage. They now want to be heard, and are taught to express themselves in Formal Rhetoric classes. We train them to speak and write eloquently, confidently, and rightly. The emphasis on the spoken and written word continues, with primary texts used, such as The Federalist Papers, The Anti-Federalist Papers, The U.S. Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, works by St. Augustine, Shakespeare, Milton, Chaucer, Dickens, Hawthorne, Twain, Orwell, Spenser and a host of other great writers and thinkers. Students' study of Rhetoric culminates in the senior thesis project, which allows students to choose any topic, research it thoroughly, examine its relevance to society today, and write, present and defend a thesis on it. Our rigorous core classes and emphasis on the art of learning means that our graduates are prepared with academic and leadership skills required to be successful and honor the Lord.
HISTORY OF ECCS
In 2000, God planted a seed in the hearts and minds of a handful of families—a vision for educating their children. By His grace, that seed took root, and that vision was realized. Evangel Classical Christian School began educating and nurturing 53 students in its first year.
The roots have continued to grow deeper as our school has grown. We develop leaders who are being equipped to transform our culture for Christ, students who are taught every subject from a Christian worldview and who are equipped for academic success. Our faculty and stuff is committed to the vision of classical education, and it has been our privilege to cultivate the rich academic and spiritual growth of hundreds of students.
As Evangel Classical Christian School has flourished, our goal has remained the same:
“We aim to teach children to think clearly and listen carefully with discernment and understanding; to reason persuasively and articulate precisely; to evaluate their entire range of experience in the light of the Scriptures; and to do so with eagerness and joyful submission to God.”
Evangel Classical Christian School is unapologetically Christian and distinctively classical. Our school is a testament to God, the Great Gardener, who so faithfully watered, pruned, and cultivated a once tender sprout. Now in its place stands a firmly grounded tree.
FIVE QUESTIONS FOR PROSPECTIVE ECCS FAMILIES
Is your family committed to Christ and His Church?
Although it is our prayer and expectation that our students grow and excel within the classroom, our first priority is for them to cultivate a knowledge, love, and fear of the Lord. Our aim is not just to graduate competent scholars, but to graduate scholarly Christians who seek to glorify God with their lives and who can persuasively communicate their faith. In order to accomplish this, we must partner with families who are committed to Christ and His Church. If what is being taught in the classroom is not being taught and lived out in the home, or vice versa, we will fail in our mission to raise up well equipped disciples. If you share in our passion to see your child fall in love with and live for Jesus, there is a good chance that ECCS is the right school for your family.
Are you committed to training your child to live a virtuous life?
The Greeks and the Romans championed four primary virtues: wisdom, courage, justice and self-control. Later, the church added the exclusively Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love providing us with, what we refer to today as, the seven cardinal virtues. At ECCS we believe that your child’s education is much more than just the input of information, it involves the shaping of your child’s heart. We greatly value your child’s intellectual development, but even more important to us, is for your child to flourish in wisdom, courage, justice, self-control, faith, hope, and love. If you desire for your student to be nurtured morally and not just intellectually, ECCS is the partner for you.
Do you desire for your child to learn how to live under authority?
Our standards within the school are loving and structured. We believe all children are created in the image of God and we deeply respect the uniqueness of their personalities. All children are prone to misbehavior on occasion, so we don’t expect anyone to be perfect (or even close). We do expect parents to support our teachers and administration as we lovingly but firmly discipline children who choose to violate school rules, just as you discipline your children when they violate your rules at home. If you value a partnership with a school that will uphold high standards of decorum and godliness, ECCS should be a great fit.
Do you value academics and a Christian work ethic?
ECCS is generally recognized for the academic standards we uphold. Our curriculum requires intentional, focused diligence from both students and their parents. Parents are often called upon to be actively involved with their children as they do homework, especially at the younger grade levels. We believe that this individualized attention is a critical investment in your child's future and prepares them for a lifetime of learning. If you are serious about finding an educational partner with you in preparing your child for life, we invite you to visit and see what’s possible.
Do you believe that the primary goal of education is to prepare students for a career, or is it to nurture a love of learning that will prepare them for any calling in life?
Some people believe that the primary purpose of education is to prepare future workers for the marketplace. Classical Christian educators, however, understand that God has designed human beings to be curious, and to want to understand and organize the world around them. Through the classical model, students don’t just memorize facts for tests, but they learn to understand and think logically about the world around them and to express their thoughts creatively and persuasively. With the classical approach, students are not simply prepared to pursue a successful career, but the whole person is educated to pursue a satisfying life. As Neil Postman writes, “Schooling can be about how to make a life, which is quite different from how to make a living.” If you are interested in an education that reaches beyond training to enrich the minds and the spirits of students as they learn to love learning, then you should consider ECCS.
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