The Vision of Grace Classical Academy
by Dr. Curt Brannan
There is something very special about this school. It is not the campus, though it has certainly been God’s gift; a blessing far beyond what many can even imagine. But, it’s never a building that makes a school! And it isn’t equipment, or organization or even very special teachers – though the school couldn’t function without all of these.
It isn’t even (and here I run some risk) that we have children more capable, better behaved or smarter than those in other schools. We have a great student body, but in last analysis they are still people! And like all people they struggle at times, and sometimes they get lazy or distracted. They may even find their names on the board or themselves in THE OFFICE, meeting with Mr. V!
Now they are great students. However, it isn’t our goal and it’s never a good idea to convince these children they are great. Or, that they “can be anything they want to be.” Actually, some should be a lot more than they want to be. Some should be something else than they want to be, and some will probably find themselves being what they never in their wildest dreams thought they might be.
And right here is where the uniqueness of GCA shows up; it’s the vision!
Grace Classical Academy exists to provide an education founded on the biblical view of reality, committed to a rigorous, classically-structured course of study and dedicated to spiritual and intellectual integrity in order to give students the tools to live in and challenge their culture as godly men and women.
The goal is to prepare them to live as God’s people, to have a Christian worldview, not just a checklist of ideas! Rather to help them grasp a view of reality that flows from transformed lives, lives that reflect God’s character and reality in a world that is focused on everything but God. The goal isn’t that they learn a “spiritual vocabulary” that makes them “sound” Christian, or act in ways that make them “look” Christian, but rather that they understand the realities of history, math, literature, science, the world, existence itself, AND their FAITH in a world that believes abundance equals success and happiness, suggests perversion is normal, and sets out to destroy anything that thwarts its right to do as it pleases.
The apostle Paul said in his defense to Agrippa, who sought to understand what it was that drove the man who stood before him awaiting judgment, “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” That is the secret! That’s the basis for everything – faithfulness to the heavenly vision, the vision God has given. I recently heard the president of a university quoted. He said this: “Any institution or system of education that ignores the moral conduct and religious nature of the student is fundamentally defective.” We believe that!
GCA is openly declared to be a Classical Christian School. We are not a prep school, a trade school, a sports-centered school, an elective rich environment school. We don’t tell our students they can be all they want to be – but rather that they can, and should be, all God calls them to be.
It is unfortunately true that GCA will not meet the need of every child or family. But then, that isn’t the objective. The goal is to be faithful to the heavenly vision – to prepare students to handle the realities of life in the light of the greatest reality – the base of all reality – the Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and do this, not at the expense of knowing their world, but as the foundation by which the world may be fully known.
If I were a parent, the first question I would ask regarding the state of this school would be: What is the vision that drives Grace Classical Academy? And the second would be, Is it faithful to that vision? Is it faithful to provide an education, founded on the biblical view of reality, the living God, committed to a rigorous, classically structured course of study that will stretch their minds, and dedicated to spiritual and intellectual integrity IN ORDER THAT they might develop in character and have tools, not just to live “successfully” in the world they inherit, but to see it for what it is, and live as a challenge to its emptiness – knowing real joy and fullness of life as they live in the light of eternity as God’s man or woman for their time in history.
I suggest to you that nothing is of greater importance to you or your child with regard to the State of this School than this question of its faithfulness to its vision. And from where I stand, I would answer “Yes, it has been, and by His grace, will continue to be, faithful to the vision God has given.”