I apologize for missing my regular Monday post yesterday. Occasionally, time gets away from me and leaves my blogging plans behind. I hope to get back on track next Monday.
In the meantime, I thought would share a brief reflection on an event I attended last night. It was the annual convocation ceremony of Augustine School, a classical Christian school for pre-K through 12th grade students in the Jackson area. Relatively speaking, it is a small school, with a total student body of around 125. But it is rare gem.
I have taught at the school in some capacity for over seven years now, and my two sons are currently enrolled in the 2nd and 5th grades. Here are some of the things that I love about this school:
- It pursues an integrated education in which all subjects are placed within the framework of a worldview that is rooted in Scripture.
- It values the wisdom of the past, giving attention to literature that has stood the test of time, with a notable absence of obsession over the latest fads of the modern age.
- It teaches boys that they are growing into men, and girls that they are growing into women, and there is a noticeable difference between the two.
- It upholds high standards, training students not merely to regurgitate information but also to think, synthesize, draw conclusions, and express their thoughts through writing and speaking.
- It creates an environment in which long-term mentoring of students by amazing faculty members can take place, especially in the upper grades, where students may have the same teachers in different capacities for several years in a row.
- It has developed a culture in which regular practices cultivate hearts that are oriented toward God and build community among students and faculty.
- It seeks education, not merely of the intellect, but of the heart; in other words, it is a school focused on the development of virtue.
It occurred to me again last night as I saw the students and faculty process in ceremoniously, as we sang “Be Thou My Vision” together, and as I heard a wonderful convocation address to start the new school year, that in the grand scheme of things, Augustine School is nothing. Even locally, many people have never heard of it. Jackson is packed full of schools, both public and private, and most of them are far bigger and more influential than Augustine School.
And yet, it remains a treasure of this community. It is the kind of treasure that is largely hidden, but once you find it, you stand in amazed wonder that such a gift has been bestowed, of all places, on your town. It is not a school that is changing society, but it is one that is changing lives, shaping young hearts, and bringing together families who need each other as the cultural winds continue to push in an ever leftward direction toward gender confusion, sexual dysfunction, statism, and other varieties of “progress.”
As Christians become more and more marginalized from the public square, we need local institutions that will help us preserve community and pass on the faith to future generations. We need rare gems like Augustine School. As more and more Christians awaken to the fact that Western society considers us unwelcome guests (i.e., intruders), my hope is that local institutions, in which confessional Christian believers band together for a common purpose to change lives in their communities, will perhaps be a bit less rare.