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Every person has a worldview that is either biblical or secular (humanistic). A person’s worldview is the lens through which they view the world. It dictates the decisions they make, the way they treat themselves and others, and their ideas of life after death. Everyone operates using a basic set of beliefs that shape their thinking and guide their actions. This basic set beliefs is their personal worldview. A secular worldview is one that does not acknowledge that there is a God. Secular Worldview views life from a naturalistic point of view. Those with a secular worldview believe that God did not create the world and that there is not a supernatural influence in the world (Worldviews, n.d.). However, a biblical worldview acknowledges God and His holy word – the Bible which establishes truths about reality, life, and death. These truths are the basis of each belief system and the compass for which a Christian will live their life.
Even educational leaders who work in secular environments can exemplify the character principles of the Bible, especially those indicated by the Fruits of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that “the fruit of the Spirit is joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (NIV). However, the basis for a biblical worldview is the belief that God is the Father, maker of heaven and earth; that He sent His only son to die on a cross for our salvation from sin; that Jesus rose again on the third day and is seated at the right hand of the Father until his return. A biblical worldview must begin with the belief that God is the creator of all things and ideas, that all true knowledge comes from Him, and that He is the beginning and the end. From this, a biblical worldview is how we view the world through the lens of God’s word, the Bible. The Bible is the infallible Word of God and contains all the instructions one will ever need on how to live their life including abiding with the fruits of the Spirit as explained in Galatians. Finally, a biblical or Christian worldview acknowledges that Christ is involved in every aspect of life. There is nothing apart from Him. A Christian with a Biblical Worldview should have an intimate and devoted relationship to God that includes daily review of the Bible which is the ultimate truth. Kim, McCalman, and Fisher (2012) state that “it is vitally important for Christians to know that their faith is grounded in truth and can be thoroughly examined both rationally and historically” (p. 207). The Bible is justified by thousands of years of history as well as practical application by those who have followed its principles. Maintaining a Biblical Worldview takes faith and discipline to study God’s word in order to allow scripture to inspire me and the Holy Spirit to guide me in the classroom as well as in every aspect of my life.
Christian Philosophy of Education
A Christian philosophy of education guides my beliefs on the meaning of education, teaching methods, and student learning styles. There is not a one-size-fits-all philosophy that has proven effective. However, the nature of education poses the challenge of determining how a student learns best coupled with the teaching styles presented to the student. My philosophy of education is both rooted in Christian principles and existentialism. I believe that Christian education begins with the recognition that all truth is of God and from God. All truth comes from a single source and that source is God. That truth is then disseminated through teaching that is grounded in Biblical perspective. In every subject – math, reading, language, science, history, civics, etc. – God is revealed in some capacity because He made all of it possible. Man, being the rational creation by God, is the best work of all the earth. God mandates Christians to have dominion over the earth which He created. My existential philosophy combined with my Christian philosophy allow me to help students think for themselves while depending on God’s word for guidance. Providing a learning environment that is conducive to thinking, imagining, and experiencing is paramount to teaching. Students are individuals and cannot be accurately measured against one another. Instead, the whole picture of the child should be considered. Regardless, a student’s academic worth will never measure up to his spiritual worth. God values and adores each and every student.
Implications for Educational Practice
Students will be led to Christ through my imitation of Biblical principles and characteristics. God commands us to imitate His character by modeling the fruits of the Spirit as directed in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forebearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (New International Version). It is essential for me to provide an educational environment that supports individuality while showing students and staff that their individuality is God-made. As a leader, it is my goal to understand and genuinely know the people with whom are under my leadership. To know their whole story will help in my ability to help them navigate God’s calling on their life. More importantly, it allows me to pray more specifically for my people. As a Christian leader in education, I am responsible for conducting my own life in a way that honors and glorifies God. I will do this through earnest work and genuine concern for others. A Christian teacher has the obligation and the privilege to teach learners in a way that promotes academic growth as well as spiritual growth. As many opportunities as I have to purposefully share the love of Christ and the Bible’s principles, the more profound impact will come from my own walk with God each day in front of my staff and students.
As a Christian in the field of education, my approach to education must come from a Biblical perspective which guides my practice and decisions. My Christian worldview is entangled with Biblical principles that help me to treat each person as a unique and individually loved person of God. Even more important that how I treat others is how I model those Christian principles in my everyday life. As an educator, my life is not always private. Therefore, my Christ-like behaviors and characteristics must become a natural part of who I am and not just a mask I wear while at school. To be completely devoted to God’s direction to exemplify the fruits of the Spirit, I make it my life’s goal to serve and develop others as God sees fit.
Blackaby, H., & Blackaby, Richard. (2011). Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on to God's Agenda. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group.
Kim, D., McCalman, D., & Fisher, D. (2012, August). The Sacred/Secular Divide and the Christian Worldview. Journal of Business Ethics, 109(2), 203-208.
Northouse, P. G. (2015). Introduction to Leadership: Concepts and Practices (Third Edition ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Worldviews. (n.d.). Retrieved from All About God: http://www.allaboutworldview.org/
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