This week begins the start of Early Enrollment at UCA. As you consider your educational options, an important part of the decision is the people who will be supporting your efforts to raise children with skills, knowledge, and character that build a foundation for their future. We have an amazing group of teachers investing in students well above and beyond the call of duty, sharing God’s love and wisdom each day.
Parents sending their children to Christian schools make significant sacrifices. Unlike other nations such as the Netherlands, Western Canada, Australia, Congo, and Germany, the U.S. will only allow federal dollars to support secular government schools, not Christian schools. Your choice to entrust the education of your children to UCA results in you paying twice, taxes and tuition. Once again the most valuable things in life come with a price. Choosing UCA is a witness to your placing a value on finding the support needed to honor God as described in Deut. 6:6-7: “Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away.” You value bringing up your children in a Biblical and Christian understanding of who they are and whose they are.
In this consumer society, the inevitable question for almost anything revolves around value and cost: “Is it worth it?” We wonder if we can have better or cheaper elsewhere. Yet, as with most of life issues, the answer is not as much financial as it is the values we hold dear and want to teach our children. Brian Simmons, President of ASCI states, “Our youth are marinated in a secular worldview.” Parenting in a world of media immersion by our youth is more difficult than ever if we want them to grow to have Christian values. Children spend over 15,000 hours in school from kindergarten through grade twelve. The school we choose will have at least as much influence on our children’s values as the home. Choosing to partner with a school dedicated to living and teaching values expressed by our Christian faith is not only an alternative, but a choice worth much more than years of tuition and sacrifice. Evidence of it being worth the cost is seen in the quality of alumni serving God and the community as adults.
Mr. Simmons adds further insight: “I returned last week from a trip to Australia…One of the leaders I met is the founder of Christian School Australia. I asked Bob, ‘What is the greatest threat facing Christian schools (and youth) in your country today?’ He responded, “Complacency and secularization.’ I responded that in my opinion this is the same urgent threat we are facing in America…Is it any wonder that children and students who are taught in schools that leave out God and His Word (the definition of ‘secular’) ultimately embrace and live out a secular worldview that is in direct conflict with the desires of God?”
The few years I was able to educate my children in Christian schools (often I served locations that had no alternatives like UCA) had a significant impact on them. It was a stretch, even on a pastor’s meager salary, but well worth the cost as I look at their lives now. The support of those small churches I served to assist with our tuition was an amazing testimony to their commitment to “walk the talk” in affirming my decision.
Mr. Simmons’ comments, and my experience suggest that in the overall span of a lifetime, twelve years to raise a child in Godly ways is of inestimable worth, and it is a call to every Christian parent. To do so effectively in this world requires a partnership of family, school and church. Together we will see future leaders who are academically capable and who are sent forth with character that witnesses to God’s glory. Your sacrifice to educate your children in a Christian environment will show future value as your trust in God’s provision for the future unfolds in young adults who love God, love one another, and live as disciples. Isn’t that the hope of every Christian parent for their children?
Rev. J. Loring Carpenter Interim Head of School