Christian degrees enable students to study the general education courses while receiving specialized knowledge in the Bible and Christian studies. With a Christian education, students will not only become knowledgeable in certain subject matter, but they also will be able to apply Biblical truth to the subjects. "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)
There are many reasons why people choose to pursue religious studies for themselves or for their children as opposed to choosing a secular school. First, Christian degrees take a student beyond the realm of traditional academic teaching. As the American culture turns more to a philosophy of relativism, grade schools, colleges and universities are becoming increasingly influenced by this worldview, sometimes leaving little room for other worldviews. However, Christian education distinguishes itself from the culture by building its educational foundation on God's Word, and by offering a Christ-centered worldview.
When pursuing a degree based on religious studies, students have the opportunity to be taught by godly instructors and surrounded by other professing Christians. Teachers can be very influential in students' lives, especially as students are still forming their worldviews and building the Christian foundation in their lives. Therefore, if a student has an instructor whose belief system is consistent with theirs, there is a greater chance that the student's faith will be built up instead of them questioning it. In addition, their peers also influence students. As they pursue their Christian education, they will be with peers who hold also a common faith.
Finally, as a student pursues a degree, they may find a difference in size of the campus and classes. Public universities tend to draw large classes, especially in the freshman and sophomore years that may be taught by graduate assistants. Christian schools tend to remain small, as does the class size. This is an advantage because students have more opportunities for interaction with their instructors as well as with other students. There are many reasons to consider a Christian education. If someone was raised with a faith-based background, or they have raised their kids in the faith, this option may be the best one for helping them to stay on the path of righteousness. Christian degrees may not guarantee a problem-free future, but the individual will have a greater probability of growing in the knowledge of God, while earning a degree and preparing for a career.
Christian distance learning is an educational program where students can take Christ-centered courses without attending the traditional campus setting. There are many Christ-centered colleges around the world that focus on teaching a mixture of general education and faith-based subjects. Christian higher education is most popularly seen as private colleges around the United States. The debate appears as a struggle between belief in the unseen and critical thinking. It is very hard to see belief and critical thinking work together in either a secular university or in religious schools. This is because each one is so deeply rooted in their own beliefs that the two concepts are inconceivable together.
A religious education based on moral principles can be a very open program that allows students to explore their Christianity while learning more in-depth about the life of Christ and other Biblical topics. This even opens the door for a student to learn facts through critical thinking, while still believing in God. God created the earth, but over time it has evolved and developed into different eras that are worth discussing and studying. These eras would contain facts that require critical thinking. Christian higher education is so strong in belief of God that critical thinking should not threaten religion. Christian distance learning needs to be structured in a way that allows for worldly facts to be learned while teaching how religion fits into this world. It is easy to get caught up in everyday facts and tasks while seeing religion as separate. Secular schools create an environment that does not allow for religion to exist and some institutes make it next to impossible for any type of critical thinking to take place because it would argue against faith. Receiving a greater level of education in a nurturing environment can be a great way for students to develop into great Biblical scholars, preachers, and teachers.
Choosing a school or institute of higher learning is a difficult task. For parents, it is important to keep in mind the goals and values of the person wishing to attend school. Even the strongest of personalities can be persuaded to forget religion for the sake of education and vice versa. The decision to pursue Christian distance learning should be done with much thought and prayer. "I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears" (Psalm 34:4). Only God truly knows where a person needs to be. A person must pray for answers and patience in this time of waiting, especially when it comes to choosing an institution to pursue a Christian higher education.
Accelerated Christian EducationAccelerated Christian education programs provide a Christian alternative to the public school model of learning for students in grades kindergarten through twelve. Since 1970, it has provided outstanding academic excellence through individualized curriculum which stresses traditional Christian values, mastery learning, reasoning skills and advanced technology. Certain Christian schools use the PACE curriculum which is a particular accelerated educational program. It is also available for home schooling. The curriculum ties basic academic principles to God's point of view and stresses biblical views on individual relationships, a personal relationship with God, and personal responsibility to others and the community. This specialized program is based on the biblical value of excellence. The accelerated Christian education curriculum offers a wide variety of classes in the basic academic areas like math, science, English and social studies as well as many elective areas.
The best part of any Christian education is that aside from the basics, the word of God is taught. "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
It consists of 4 key components. First, the curriculum is individualized. Students work through unit workbooks/programs and advance from level to level at their own pace. The second key component to the curriculum is that it is based on diagnosis of the student's current ability. Diagnostic tests are given and students are placed in the program based on their performance in each individual subject area not based on age or grade level. The third component in the accelerated Christian education curriculum is that it stresses goal setting by the student as they have input on their progress. The final component is mastery of skills. Before moving to the next unit a student in the program must have a minimum of 80% mastery of the unit.
The curriculum is accredited, accepted, and used through out the world. There are certain Christian institutions or schools that use the program, have home school versions available, and also e-curriculum courses. For those wanting to use this model of education there are training opportunities and conventions held as well as resources available both online and for individual purchase to provide assistance to those wishing to use the program. Like most public schools, this model offers four different diploma options: honors, college preparatory, general, and vocational. A long list of colleges and universities within the United States that have accepted accelerated Christian education students can be found online. These include public institutions, private institutions, Bible colleges, and community colleges.
Getting an accelerated education online is fast becoming the new wave in the ocean of education, as students are finding that flexibility meets their needs. Today's education tide is turning, and with all the conveniences that the Internet has brought into life, it is quickly becoming the latest entity to be transformed by the World Wide Web. With the Internet, anyone can get the training they desire, and they can get it in the comforts of their own homes. These programs are also beginning to be recognized as credible, as colleges and universities of the traditional varieties, add long distance learning plans to their repertoires. "The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge" (Proverbs 18:15).
There are many opportunities available for students, especially through the Internet. An accelerated education online is in summary, taking fully accredited college classes through the availability of the Internet. Students use "e" classrooms with joint sign-ins and email for submitting class work. Students also get assignments off of websites, and can download information or study materials from the Internet. The entire class, work, and tutoring happens over the computer, and it happens in your own home. No large campus to undertake. No class to drive to. No parking to find. Online coursework is making it possible for many people to go back to school.
With so many demands for online coursework, prominent universities have taken note. In the beginning, there were small, educational institutions getting their feet wet in the whole online learning affair, and students began to flock to the computers to further their educations. Students who otherwise might not have gone to a traditional college or university, signed up for Internet learning, seeing it as an opportunity to get more information and better their job skills. The accelerated education online grew, and now major universities and college from around the world are getting in on the action. Today the choices offered are wide, and the degrees varied.
When enrolled in these courses, students need to be fully aware of the pitfalls. Working at any pace may seem like a dream, allowing the individual to finish schooling in even half the time of conventional schools. But, working around a job and/or family can be distracting, requiring even more discipline than attending an on-campus classroom. The convenience of an accelerated education online brings the temptations to overload, leaving some feeling completely overwhelmed. Anyone considering this type of education should fully investigate the possibilities and speak with school counselors about the time commitment and workload. Once the decision is made, the individual should browse the Internet for the limitless options available.