1. Christian Education is the natural extension of the principle of separation from apostasy and the world which we practice in our denomination as it is taught in the Word of God. At the very basis of Christian Education is the belief that the ungodly system of State Education is no environment for the children of God’s people to be taught in. The influences which they come under in that system are detrimental to their spiritual well-being. We practice in the spiritual realm what nature teaches in the physical realm, that is, to have a strong young tree you need to shelter it as it grows to maturity. In a Christian School our primary object, is to safeguard our children from the harsh winds that blow in this world until they are matured so that they then can go out to face that world strong in the Lord and the power of His might, Eph 6 v 10.
2. Structure. Our schools follow the national curriculum as far as it is compatible with the Word of God. We start at reception and go through to GCSE level and some of our Schools cater for ‘A Levels’ as well. Our pupils enter other public examinations, e.g. GOML [Graded Objectives in Modern Languages] and CLAIT [Computer Literacy and Information Technology]. The Schools also conduct Key Stage Assessments. Periodically the Government Department of Education inspect our schools. In the public examinations our pupils gain results comparable with those in the Grammar School sector, however, we do not select children for our Schools according to their academic ability.
3. Finances. All our Schools are fee paying. As we do not receive, neither seek, any help from the government, we fund ourselves 100%. The fees do not cover all the costs. There are other ways whereby we raise funds to carry on the work of the School.
4. Organisation. Our Schools are run under the auspices of our Presbytery, as all our Churches are. Each School has a Management Board made up of Free Presbyterians. This Board is under the Session of the respective Church, which in turn is under the Education Board of Presbytery and the full Presbytery. That does not mean that all our pupils are Free Presbyterians or that all our teachers are Free Presbyterians. Children of parents who attend Churches outside the camp of apostasy and accept the stand of the Free Presbyterian Church are welcome to apply. Teachers who feel the call of God to teach must be in the same position. Teaching in a Christian School is not like ordinary teaching. This is missionary work and we believe that our teachers must be called of God to teach.
5. Government involvement. Already mentioned is the inspection by the Department of Education which is undertaken by them periodically. As it is enshrined in law that children receive an adequate education, the Department of Education has the right by law to inspect our Schools to see that we provide such an education. It is our desire to keep this involvement to a minimum. We are more interested in the well done of God than the praise of a godless State Education system.
As a minister of the Gospel and a parent I will not concede that the ungodly have any rights to tell the people of God how to raise their children or instruct them.
If you wish to learn more about Christian Education do not hesitate to contact me by telephone 028 9083 5942.
Rev Brian McClung
Minister of Newtownabbey Free Presbyterian Church
An answer given to a Student who was carrying out some research into the matter of Christian Education