Five Questions to Ask Christian Schools

Posted by David Hawes on 11/2/2018

Every private school is different and that includes Christian schools. Though some of the foundation principles are likely to be similar, there are certainly going to be differences that reflect each school's priorities or way they carry out their mission. In many cases the differences don't mean that one school is better than the other - just different. Here are a few questions to ask that will help you identify the differences and decide which environment would best fit your family. 

Does the school have an affiliation with a particular church or denomination? If so, what is the specific connection between the church and school leadership?

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It is always good to know who is making the final decisions for the school and to understand the amount of influence other organizations might have. And, though most Christian schools that are associated with churches invite outside families to enroll, those churches will typically have more influence. Again, this is not good or bad - just important to understand.

How does the Christian life of faculty and staff factor into hiring and employment decisions?

In any school, the relationship between the teachers and students is where the rubber meets the road. And in a Christian school, achieving the Christian elements of their mission will depend on the teachers. It's easy to ask about educational qualifications - Christian life qualifications are equally as significant.

How does the Christian faith affect the school's educational philosophy?

There are probably ways that you would expect a Christian school to be different in some of its activities and schedules, like having times for chapel and bible/theology classes. Make sure to ask how the typical core classes and instruction are different - if they are.

How are conflict and student discipline handled?

Just because schools are Christian, doesn't mean they won't have discipline issues to work through. Ask the school leadership how challenges are identified and resolved and how the Christian life of the school works itself out in this area.

What are the goals of the school for the students progress in their Christian faith and what are the steps the school takes to help students achieve those goals?

As in other areas of our lives, we don't make progress spiritually unless we are intentionally working toward goals. This is just as true for schools. Find out what goals they are aiming toward and what they are doing to get there.

I'm sure there are other great questions, as well. Hopefully these will get you started and prompt other questions. Knowing what is important to you and then comparing that with the answers you receive will help you find a school that will be working with you as you care for and instruct your children.

Check out some of the other resources we have to help parents
in the education of their children.

Ebook: 4 Questions to Consider: Christian School vs. Public School

Webinar:  Affording a Christian Education

Tags: Christian School, Private School, Faith Development, Christian Education