Download Going Deeper slides from ACSI conference

Watch Going Deeper video prepared for ACSI IEC2022

Over many years of working in and with Christian Schools, I have come to recognise a generally linear pattern to how deeply authentic and intentional Christianity penetrates Christian Schools. 

The stages that have been identified below are linear in nature. However, as with many general patterns, there will be exceptions. There will also be some aspects where small parts of the concepts are experienced early, but generally, the stages are very linear, and most Christian schools stop somewhere on the continuum the stages create.  

The Five Stages of Deeper Authentic Christian Education

  1. Involving Christian Teachers - A school with Christians. (A Christian Educating)
  2. Isolated Christian Activities - Education with a side of Jesus. (Christian, then Education)
  3. Integrated Christian Curriculum - Let me tell you about Jesus. (An Educator Explaining Christian)
  4. Intentional Christian Pedagogy - Let me show you Jesus. (A Christian Educator)
  5. Invasive Christian Vision - Taking every ‘thought’ captive for Christ(A Christian Education)

For some, this would be very obvious, but as it has taken me a while to articulate it so, I figured I might as well share it. Sometimes I can go into a Christian School and it is apparent that it has integrity and a deeply authentic Christianity. The language it uses has meaning, and there is something remarkable about both the students and the teachers.  

Like it or not, understand it or not, ignore it or not, worldview has a huge impact on our classrooms.  It is more influential than curriculum than the ability of the teacher, than the tools that are used within the school and more influential than the environment of the school.  It is more influential than all the above as it is our worldview that determines our approach and adoption of each of the above factors.  

In education, we have two big questions which need to be at the forefront of our thinking.

 1. What do my students need to learn? Now?

2. What is the best way to get each of them there?

The answers to each of these questions have several influences.  The answer to the second question is primarily influenced by the teachers understanding of their individual students.  The better the teacher knows each student’s learning preference, attention span, passion, cognitive ability, interests and curriculum strengths the better the teacher will be able to engage each student in the learning process.  The teacher knowing what engages their student is key to answering the second question.  

A friend from Church asked me recently, 'Why would I send my daughter to a Christian School when it is so much cheaper and closer to send her to the state school down the road - they are both schools after all?"

 I told my friend of a man called Harry. Harry saved up for years to buy a brand new Chevrolet Impala Premier. At over $40,000 and with all the added post-purchase extras that Harry lavished upon it, this car was Harry's pride and joy. Every weekend Harry would meet with other Chevrolet owners and talk about their cars and encourage each other. They were so happy and grateful for their cars that they even sang songs about them and whenever they got the opportunity, they tried to tell Ford owners what they were missing out on, inviting them to their meetings and trying to convert them.

Harry was very protective of his new Impala and at first, he would sacrifice nothing to be sure his Chevy only got the best of everything. However, with insurances and the rising cost of gas, it was quite expensive to own a new Chevrolet. But as every new car owner knows it is very important to keep the car properly serviced. This meant the car would be in fine form for a long time and with regular servicing, the car was bound to be a classic Chevy one day.


Christian Schools are great at doing Joseph and the Technicolored Dreamcoat.  They are well-rehearsed at starting the day with prayer.  Many Christian School students can recite more memory verses than students from ‘other’ schools.  Christian Schools are very good at getting their staff together early in the morning to pray, sing and have devotions together.  But as we know, Christian Education is so much more than this.

The remarkable correlation between articulation and growth in Christian Schools.

 It might seem too simple to be true. So obvious that it is ludicrous, and many people probably won’t want to read to the end as they will determine that this is an issue for other Christian School leaders and not their own - and if your school is flourishing both in quantity and quality then you probably have this sorted so only read on if you what the nice feeling of someone patting you on the back.

 And…before I get started, please understand this is a post that will hopefully help some people articulate a better picture of the amazing things that are happening in their school. Sometimes it is not what we do that is the issue, it is how we ‘sell’ it that is. Please read this post with that in the back of your mind.