Thursday, December 27, 2018

MCA in 2019 and Beyond

Midwestern Christian Academy has been providing a Christ-centered education based on Biblical truth to children for more than 60 years.  Since the modern Christian school movement and the growth boom that accompanied it dates back to the 1970's, that means MCA is older than most conservative, Evangelical Christian schools in operation today.  And in spite of changes which have caused many religious-based schools, including many Evangelical Christian schools like MCA, to
close, we are still here.  I believe the reason for that, in spite of many changes that have happened over the years, is that the school remains committed to a mission and purpose that is based on Biblical truth, honors God as the creator and as the source of all truth, and glorifies Jesus as our savior from sin.  That is the foundation on which our philosophy of education rests.

As we begin a new year on the calendar, we are near the middle of the current school year.  It has been a year of transition and change.  The change is necessary to continue meeting the needs of families in our area who desire to see their children educated in a distinctively Christian environment. The school's leadership has made some specific steps toward its commitment to provide Christian education in our communities and neighborhoods and it has taken positive steps forward in planning for continued change.

Facility Upgrades and Expansion
More than $300,000 was invested in a complete make-over of the main elementary building on the MCA campus this past summer.  Though the construction took longer than expected and there are still some things that need to be completed, the Pre-K building and the elementary building have been upgraded.   The space provides for expansion of the school's programs, reduces maintenance costs and with a new HVAC system, will operate at a much lower expense for heating and cooling.

The school is moving forward with plans for a new gymnasium facility with groundbreaking to take place as soon as the permits and applications process has been complete, hopefully before the school year ends.  This facility will be multi-purpose, giving the school the ability to expand its extra-curricular and athletic programs and also adding classroom space for fine arts programs.

ACSI Accreditation
MCA is an Illinois Recognized school, which means that its operation and instructional program have been subject to a peer evaluation based on specific standards.  While some private schools in Illinois do not seek state recognition, earning this recognition means that we have met a minimum set of standards which are considered a measurement of the school's academic program.  Schools are evaluated on the curriculum objectives, the use of best practices in instruction, and the assessment of expected student outcomes.  It is a rigorous enough evaluation that some schools, mostly public or charter schools that serve special populations, do not earn a passing grade.  MCA, however, has achieved this recognition.

Accreditation is an evaluation based on a higher standard.  While Illinois doesn't require private schools to be accredited, MCA is taking this step because accreditation is a mark of excellence, and excellent schools seek to be accredited.  We are working through the accreditation commission of the Association of Christian Schools International, which is a commission recognized nationally for its rigorous standards.  The benefit of this accreditation is that it also examines the spiritual life and operation of the school in accordance with Biblical standards and the members of the visiting team that come are all from other Christian schools.

Program Expansion
MCA has made some big steps this year in expanding the use of technology in the classroom.  The expense of equipment always makes this a struggle for small, private schools but the fundraising projects carried out by our PTF have made the purchase of computers possible.  MCA now has a fully equipped, designated laptop computer lab and wireless access throughout the campus and the computers are available for individual use in any classroom.

The addition of the computer equipment has made it possible for the middle school to add a course in Computer Applications.  We are anticipating adding a STEM program with out-class instruction for elementary students in the fall.

An increasing number of students with special learning needs are finding success in Christian schools.  It has only been in recent years that private, Christian schools had the ability to admit these students and work with IEP's to achieve success.  A former student of mine who struggled with ADHD put his whole situation in perspective when he told me that God must have made him the way he did because he would need someone with his energy level and attention focus to do something special.  Resource education has changed in the past couple of decades to the point where Christian families no longer have to depend on the public school system to provide services and differentiated instruction for special learning needs kids.  It is our hope to be able to expand our ability to serve more students in this way in the future.

We were able to add Spanish to our middle school curriculum this year.  We are looking at having team teaching and ability-levelled mathematics instruction from grades 3 through 5 next fall, as well as adding a dedicated Algebra 1 course for students going into eighth grade who test well and qualify.

Spiritual Life
We continue to look for ways to connect our students to ministry opportunities, even our younger elementary students.  We are making some changes in our chapel program to increase student-led participation.  We want to make connections with local churches who can provide ministry opportunities for our students in which they can participate as a class.  We hope to become more pro-active in providing opportunities for our students to continue their Christ-centered education after graduating from MCA.

Just the Beginning
We are glad for the families who have committed to provide a distinctively Christian education for their children.  MCA is one of the few remaining conservative, Evangelical Christian schools in the city, and on our side of town and as we renew our commitment to our mission and purpose, we depend on prayer to discern and follow God's plan for our school.  Everything can always be improved and MCA has taken the first steps toward a long-term commitment to a quality Christian education in Chicago.

You've enrolled your children here and you can help.  Will you make a commitment to pray for our school community every day?  You're not just a customer who pays for a service, you are a fellow believer in Christ who has expressed a belief in the value of educating children in an environment where Jesus is Lord and God is glorified.  We are empowered to serve by the Holy Spirit.  Your prayers help make that happen.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Declaring What is Right

I am the LORD and there is no other.  I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, 'Seek me in vain.'  I the LORD speak the truth; I declare what is right."  Isaiah 45:19 ESV 

We believe in God, who is identified for us in the Bible as Jehovah, the LORD, the almighty, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present Spirit that hovered over the face of the deep as he created the earth and everything in it.  He is the power of life, the element of existence who created humanity, breathing life into a body made of the dust of the earth.  As this verse says, "there is no other."

As created beings, with life originating from the power of the Lord, we are a creation which demonstrates the remarkable nature of Him.  The uniqueness of human beings in creation is the image of God.  The human body is a wonderful combination of chemical reactions and electrical impulses blended together in a way that defies explanation by natural, random means.  What is miraculous about it is not so much the chemistry, but the intelligence.  The human mind, a thousand times more complicated than a computer, is capable of decisions and thoughts that go beyond that of any other creature on the earth.  The ability to discern what is right from what is wrong, and act on that decision is not something an animal can do.

Human intelligence is also capable of defining what is right and distinguishing it from what is wrong without consulting God or apart from what he has revealed.  The mind can be trained to evaluate the morality of an action or behavior by developing its own set of standards to determine right and wrong.  The standards that are used to make choices apart from the truth that God has already revealed are based on belief that the human mind is the highest form of intelligence in the universe and the human will is the most powerful creative force in the universe.  Those who believe this say that the God of the Bible is an invention of the human mind, an explanation to cover things that could not be explained or cannot be explained until pure science discovers the truth about the source of whatever knowledge we have acquired.

They point to all other religions and the "gods" they have created, all based on human observation and intelligence, all flawed in their ability to function because the minds that created them were limited by time and space and were unable to observe or explain things they did not understand.  So as human wisdom and knowledge increase,  the need for fictional gods and explanations of metaphysical things become less and less necessary.  In that way of thinking, known as Humanism, salvation is found through education.

Education is something totally different in Christian thought and practice.  It is the process by which knowledge, already revealed by God, is discovered and applied.  Education goes hand in hand with discipleship, which is growth in the disciplines of the faith that lead to a closer and more meaningful relationship to the God that created us, enabling us to understand what has been created better.  Paul does an excellent job of defining and explaining the difference between becoming educated in the world's wisdom and having "the mind of Christ" in a narrative found in I Corinthians 1:18 through 2:16.

"But people who aren't Christians can't understand these truths from God's Spirit.  It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means." I Corinthians 2:14 NIV

As a Christian school, MCA is an extension of the Biblical church function of Christian discipleship.  We are a mission-driven educational institution with a mission that is rooted in this Biblical function.  That distinguishes us from all other kinds of educational institutions and it is what makes us unique.  Whatever it was that drew you to this school, and caused  you to enroll your children, our Biblical mission and purpose, to provide an education to children and youth that acknowledges God as creator of the universe and his written word as truth, and the foundation of all learning.  It is that one thing, not academics, athletics, or activities, that should be the reason parents seek us out to provide an education to their children.

It works best when parents are on board with that.  Too many times, what parents expect from a Christian school is not consistent with the school's mission and purpose.  Living out our faith leads to the expectation that we will do things to the best of our ability, but that is not our primary purpose.  Our academics should be excellent, but our commitment to a strong academic program shouldn't interfere with our Christian mission.  Our doors are open and the invitation is to anyone who sees the value of a Christian education that rests on a foundation of Biblical truth.  That's our niche, what sets us apart from other educational institutions and it should be the main reason parents want their children enrolled in our school.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Weather: Deciding When to Close School

The first "blizzard" of the season happened on November 26.  Starting on Sunday evening, the snow came down hard and the wind blew it hard.  Some places got 13 inches, at my house on the far west side of the city, 7 1/2 fell, though some of that melted before it got cold enough to stick.  But any snowstorm of that magnitude is going to generate questions about whether school will be open the next day.

One of the things I learned from this experience is that it is probably not a good idea to follow what the Chicago Public Schools decide to do.  Their goal is to remain open if at all possible in order to ensure that they keep providing needed services to students.  They are a large organization with resources at hand to assist getting students to school on bad weather days.  We will need to made a decision independent of CPS, particularly if they choose not to close.  Most of our families come to school by car and while I did notice that the city gets the streets cleared pretty quickly and tries hard to keep traffic moving, that can be a bit of a challenge.

I know the students think that one of the more exciting jobs of a school administrator is that he can decide whether there is school or not.  Leave that decision up to them and we know the outcome!  But there are a lot of factors which go into the decision to close school for the day.  Many of our families have two parents who work and most businesses don't close for the weather.  They have to find babysitting at a moments notice.  How bad is the weather?  Is it just snow, or is there ice on the road?  Is the power on in the school?  And looking at forecasts, do we want to have students in the building if the weather is deteriorating in the afternoon?  The bottom line comes down to making the decision that keeps everyone as safe as possible.

So the next time we have a blizzard in the forecast, we will have several ways of notifying parents in place.  We will use WGN's Emergency Weather Center and put the school's status on it.  We will notify parents through our Gradelink system via email announcement.  And we are working on developing a phone chain for each class so that parents can confirm the decision has been made to close school for the day.

Snow days are nice.  For someone like me, who grew up in Arizona and rarely knew the pleasure of an unscheduled school holiday, its worth the makeup day later on.  A late November snowstorm is probably a sign of several snow days to come during the winter.  We're in good shape with built-in days and holidays we can use as snow make-up days without having to extend the school year.  So enjoy the weather!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

So How Much Does a Christian School Education Cost? And Who Pays For It?

Providing a Christian school education for your child requires consideration of your family budget and its ability to make tuition payments because Christian schools are privately supported and don't receive tax dollars.  And the other side of that issue is that parents are also paying taxes out of their income which go to the public education system where they help pay for an education in schools their children are not attending.  Because Christian schools are are private and do not get any tax dollars, the funding must come from those who enroll their children in the form of tuition payments. 

But Christian education isn't designed to be a privilege only for those who have the means to afford it.  The "average" cost of a year of private education in the US is over $13,000 per year.  In Illinois, it is somewhere around $12,000.  A year in the public school system costs the taxpayers about $14,000 per student, because of services, programs and the transportation they must provide.  All costs inclusive, parents of students at MCA pay $5,200 if they have one child enrolled, and with the discounts averaged in, the average cost per student paid directly by the parents comes out to about $4,300 per year.  That's a bargain. 

So how does that work? Someone else is "paying" the other part of that annual expense in order to make attending a private, Christian school a reality for your children. 

The "Teacher Scholarship"
The payroll and the maintenance of the facilities are the two biggest expenses of a school.  And since most of the staff is made up of teachers, who are qualified professionals with a specialized degree equipping them to do their job, the payroll includes benefits like professional development, which also cost money. 

We know that parents make a financial sacrifice to send their children to MCA.  On the other hand, did you know that the teachers here make a financial sacrifice to enable you to send your children here?  You pay tuition.  They give up the salary and benefits they could be earning if they worked in a local public school.  The difference between what a public school teacher in Illinois makes after ten years of teaching experience and what an MCA teacher makes after the same years of experience is over $25,000.  In addition to that, public school teachers get some benefits, including having most of their retirement benefit paid by the school they work for, as much as 90% of their health insurance premiums covered and at least part of their dental plan, disability, unemployment tax and life insurance premiums paid.  MCA teachers get a small paid life insurance policy, and a partial payment of their health insurance premium, and that is a difference of almost $5,000 in additional benefits.  In Chicago, public school teachers make slightly more than the state average.

In order to pay MCA teachers at the "average" rate of those in the public school system, we would have to add $2,500 to each student's tuition cost.  Some of our families could pay that, but if we had a $2,500 increase in tuition in one year, we wouldn't have very many students return. 

Our teachers and staff do this because they are called by God and because they see how being in a Christian school can be a life changing, life-sustaining experience for children.  I've been in this business for more than 30 years.  Those who work in Christian schools are at least equally qualified as their peers in the public school system, many of them have received additional training at their own expense to be able to continue what they do.  Oh, by the way, the teaching staff at MCA exceeds the average public school when it comes to the percentage of its teachers with advanced degrees.

Subsidized and "In-Kind" Expenses
Last year, Midwest Bible Church provided $130,000 in direct support to MCA.  That does not include the $285,000 cost of the building renovation.  While the amount of church support varies each year with the cost of operation, among conservative Evangelical Christian schools and churches, it is rare to find a congregation that supports the school it operates with financial assistance, much less to find one that does it at the same level of support as Midwest Bible Church does for this school.  In order to cover the costs that the church now provides, parents would have to come up with an additional $750 per student. 

Over the years, the number of individuals who have graduated from MCA is pretty large.  We actually have grandchildren of former students enrolled.  Grateful to the school for the education and spiritual guidance they received, some of those alumni occasionally give financial gifts to the school.  So do some church members and some friends of the school in the community who just feel led by the Lord to give.  It is difficult to measure the value of these gifts to the school in terms of how it reduces the cost to families, but I would venture to guess that the amount is significant.

We just finished a candy sale that will provide over $6,000 to the school.  The things that the proceeds from this kind of fund-raising activity will buy helps reduce the cost to parents, because the cost of those items does not have to be included in tuition and fees.  The efforts of students and their families makes a direct contribution to the school. 

Work to "Make it Work"
There is a lot of work done by school staff and by parents which doesn't always get noticed, but which helps keep the cost of the education offered here as low as possible.  From those who give hours for free and do work behind the scenes to those who look for bargains, seek donations of equipment and materials, or work to find the best costs, or ask vendors and businesses to cut us a break, this is also an amount that can't be measured either in dollars or in the value received by parents and students when it comes to paying their bill.  But it lowers the cost in terms of tuition and fees required to pay the bills. 

Our school is also not frivolous when it comes to spending its resources.  Our budget is always carefully and prayerfully considered.  Expenses are only considered if we believe them to be necessary in providing the kind and quality of education we expect of ourselves. 

Depending on God
We don't start Christian schools and then ask God to bless what we've done.  This ministry was started from a vision, and it has a mission and purpose that has been connected to that vision for over 65 years.  It is a mission and purpose rooted in the scriptural function of Christian discipleship, which is one of the five Biblical functions of a church.  Education is part of Christian discipleship and can't be separated from it and still fulfill its purpose. 

"And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness."  

Recognizing that our resources come from God, we know he will supply the needs of those ministries which he has used us to establish and operate.  We follow his will in obedience and we pray for his presence.  All of the resources we have are provided by him, whether it is tuition and fees, contributions or a successful candy sale.  Sometimes, he's also in for a surprise.  Parents sacrifice in making tuition payments compliments teachers making sacrifices in salaries, and that's a spiritual foundation.  That's why this works.

May God continue to bless Midwestern Christian Academy. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A School with a Distinctively Christian Character...

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you know the spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and which now is in the world already."  I John 4:1-3, ESV

Midwestern Christian Academy describes itself as a school with a "distinctively Christian character."  The term "Christian" is part of our name, and is put there intentionally so that those who seek to enroll their children here know exactly what to expect in terms of the kind of school that it is.  But what does it mean for a school to describe itself as having a distinctively Christian character?

Here's what that means to us.

1.  It means that the content of all of our instruction rests on the foundational belief that God exists, that he created the universe, including humankind, out of nothing, and that in order to redeem a humanity that had separated itself from God by falling into sin, he sent a savior in the person of his Son, Jesus.  

We view education as the process of discovering knowledge revealed to us by God about ourselves, and the world in which we live.  The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the written word of God, inspired by his Holy Spirit, and are the measuring rod of truth, so education becomes the scope of learning skills that enable us to be spiritually discerning, evaluating all things by the principles and precepts of the Bible. 

In contrast to that, the predominant system of education in our culture accepts the idea that the human intellect is the highest form of intelligence in the universe.  According to this philosophy, if the human intellect is properly educated, it is capable of developing a level of reason which will resolve all of humankind's problems.  Human intellect is capable of learning to avoid previous mistakes, therefore, with the passage of time, the world becomes a better place because human reason is at work.  This philosophy denies the existence of God, and of any human need for a "higher power."  Students in the public school system are taught from this perspective in every subject, every day. 

2.  It means that everyone who works for our school, from the administrator and teachers, to the secretary, and the cafeteria staff, has a testimony of becoming a born-again believer in Jesus as their savior, and believe their work on behalf of the school is a ministry to which God called them to serve.  

Students spend seven hours a day, five days a week at school.  That means the people they are with all day long are among the primary influences in their lives.  They are people who can be involved in the education of the "whole child," and believe that the work they do with children is a ministry with a specific purpose related to their faith.  They are people that parents can trust to support their family's values and who will support their God-given role of training up their children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." 

3.  It means that worship and the study of the scripture are a regular part of the school day so that students see these things as being essential and important to the learning process, and a normal, natural part of the educational experience.  

Students perceive their school experience as authoritative.  Teachers are experts in their subject areas.  They are learning new things and having new experiences.  When the content of what is preached and taught at church is left out of that experience, kids tend to compartmentalize those things in their thinking.  The educational authorities in their lives are not teaching things which support their church experience, and in many cases, which contradict it. 

That doesn't happen here.  Our students worship together, and through that experience, they learn what worship is, and they learn how to give glory to God.  The study of the scripture becomes an experience of applying other learning experiences and skills to something that can be practically applied. 

4.  It means that our students come to school every day, and they are confronted with the gospel message of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus as their savior.  

Here, they see people who are living out their faith in a way that is visible, that glorifies God, and that encourages others to do the same.  The gospel message is relevant to everything, and it is integrated into everything.  It's not pounded like a drum, or used as a club, but there is a clear demonstration of the relevance of the gospel present in each classroom every day. 

We have come to a point in our society where a secular philosophy of living has become the predominant expression of our culture.  Open expressions of faith are rare, and the most visible people in our society aren't associated with any kind of religious identity.  While Christians are migrating from smaller congregations to larger, more visible "megachurches," the total number of church attenders in the community at large is declining at a relatively steady pace, and the number of people who self-identify as "born-again" or "Evangelical" Christians has declined by more than 20% over the past two decades.  The Millennial Generation has become the most unchurched in history, with fewer than 10% claiming regular church involvement. 

A Christian school offers students an environment that differs from the culture at large, and is a place where the expression of faith is a normal thing, and an expected behavior.  So students are able to develop a healthy respect for Christ's church, and good spiritual disciplines to strengthen their faith.

5.  It means that the quality of the academic program, curriculum and instruction is high. 
We do our best to give glory to God.  While our size limits the full scope of what we can offer, we are committed to excellence in the classroom, challenging our students to perform to the best of their ability.  We don't aim our goals at the lowest performance possible, or at "minimum standards."  We have a highly qualified teaching staff, all with degrees, several with advanced degrees, and all who have completed a teacher certification program.  Our curriculum objectives aim our expected student outcomes higher than the minimum standards of the state, or of common core.  The annual assessment of learning we conduct in the form of a standardized achievement test, shows that we are reaching our academic goals, as our students perform as expected and score well above the achievement levels of their peers in the public education system. 

All of these things together make the character of our school distinctively Christian.  When you visit the campus, you can visibly see this character.  The building is just brick and mortar, but the students and the staff are where the distinctively Christian character of our school can be seen.  And beyond that, we hope that it is visible in each student and employee, when they are scattered out among their neighbors across this part of the city. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Why Send Your Child to a Christian School?

And why send them to Midwestern Christian Academy?

A Distinctive Christian Identity and Approach to Education
A Christian school is the only educational institution in our society that bases its philosophy of education on truth revealed by God in the Bible.  Parents are given the responsibility for their children's education by their Creator, and part of that responsibility includes their spiritual formation "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," as the Bible teaches.  Christian schools are based on a philosophical foundation that acknowledges God's existence, his role as creator and sustainer of the universe, and the belief that Jesus his Son was sent to be the world's savior.  The curriculum objectives and instructional methods of a Christian school are built on those foundational principles.

What we believe about God affects what we know about everything else.  Leaving belief in God out of the educational process means depending solely on human knowledge and wisdom.  The Apostle Paul warns us about being taken captive by philosophy and empty deceit which doesn't acknowledge the existence of God or the truth that he has revealed to us.  When growing up and learning, next to their parents, children's teachers are the most influential authorities in their lives, because they spend so much time each day in the classroom and at school.  In a Christian school, your child's teachers will also be Christians who share your faith in Christ, and who incorporate those principles into their classroom instruction.

A Christian Atmosphere 
Students in Midwestern Christian Academy are involved in a study of the Bible every day, as a part of their regular class schedule.  Students are able to learn a lot about their faith when they study the scripture every day.  We also worship together as a community in a weekly chapel service, and our school day begins with prayer, as do our classes and our lunch time.  Our teachers are all highly qualified academically, and they are also chosen to work here because they have a clear testimony of faith, and understand the process of discipleship in order to provide a nurturing environment for their students.  Our behavior standards, discipline procedures, instruction and classroom management all reflect the principles of the Bible in their application.

Academic Excellence and Social Training
A Christian school not only includes the principles of the Christian faith in its curriculum, but it emphasizes academic achievement and excellence.  While we may have some limited resources, we have a level of independence and autonomy which allows us to develop our own curriculum, and set the bar at a higher level of expectation for our students to achieve.  With smaller class sizes, and fewer distractions, and a high level of involvement and support from parents, Christian schools are able to demonstrate a level of academic achievement well above average.

We also train the whole child.  We bring students together for an all-day experience with their teachers, who are mature, born-again Christians.  We believe that being a follower of Jesus is a lifestyle, and the experience of a school day is also lifestyle training, in addition to learning math and language arts.  We set expectations for orderly behavior, social skill development, respect for authority and respect for each other.  We recognize effort and achievement.  We teach the importance of believers "setting an example" for others in the faith, and as a testimony to those who aren't.  We look for the root causes of behavior, and aim at spiritual transformation as a means of correcting it.

Shared Sacrifice, and a Reasonable Cost
Court rulings over the past couple of generations have required the public educational system, as a government-owned and funded group of schools, to take a position of "religious neutrality".  That means that education does not include objectives based on Biblical truth revealed by God, or belief in his existence or nature.   But it also means that parents who seek an alternative educational experience for their children in a Christian school environment, must bear that expense in addition to their share of tax dollars given to public schools.

Being good stewards of our resources, our teachers and staff make sacrifices in income and benefits to keep tuition and fees reasonable for parents.  MCA has a debt-free facility that has been recently remodeled and upgraded this past summer.  Compared to other church-operated schools in our community, tuition and costs of attending MCA are lower than the Catholic and Lutheran schools in our area.  And the cost for pre-kindergarten students receiving an early education is less than most parents pay for day care without the educational training.

We ask our parents to help keep tuition costs low by participating in various fundraising activities on behalf of the school.  All funds are budgeted and managed by a finance administrator and the school board, and all tuition, fees and fundraising dollars go to support the educational program of Midwestern Christian Academy.  If, in the rare event there are surplus funds left over from a previous year, the money is applied to the coming year's expenses.  Neither the school nor the church makes a profit from the money required to operate the school. Midwestern Christian Academy is able to provide a full year's education to a student for an average of less than $6,000, quite a contrast to the state average expenditure per pupil of over $12,000.

Christian Education is Christian Discipleship
Personally, I always look forward to the day when Christ's church in this country will catch the vision for what Christian schools are doing for their ministry, and will jump in with their resources to share the expenses and provide the opportunity to attend a Christ-centered educational institution to every family in their congregation.  Until then, though, it is still a fact that a Christian school is a discipleship arm of the church, and we are undergirding and supporting its ministries by training its younger generation in the faith.

We have children on our campus, involved in various learning experiences, for seven hours a day, five days a week.  That provides multiple opportunities to integrate the truths of scripture into all that they learn, and to expose them to examples of Christian faith in action all day, every day.  The school is one of the most powerful influences in our society, and one of the most dominant influences in the lives of students.  The public education system in the United States has, over the past 100 years of its development, built its foundation on a secular, humanist philosophy and as a result, each succeeding generation of American students exposed to it have been turning away from the gospel and the church in increasing numbers.  We should not be surprised by this, since the Bible is full of examples of what happens when the principles and precepts of God's word are neglected, and not taught to the next generation. 

"When your son asks you in time to come, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies and statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you, then you shall say to your son, 'We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt.  And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes.  And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers.  And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive as we are this day.  And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.  Deutoronomy 6:20-25, ESV

From a New Testament perspective, we are training kids in "Kingdom Citizenship."

Midwestern Christian Academy is still serving, after 65 years.  It is one of the few remaining Evangelical Christian schools in the city of Chicago, where the need is great.  We follow the servant model set by Jesus as we serve the parents of our students, helping them follow the Lord's commandment to educate children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," and "so that they do not forget all that God has done for them."  We believe what we have to offer to you is worth the sacrifices that are made to provide it.