More than ever, parents face challenges when determining how they will educate their children in these uncertain times. As a Missouri Baptist pastor for 22 years and a former public school teacher, I encourage parents to strongly consider Christian education for their children and grandchildren. Christian education invites students to see and better understand the world through the perspective of God’s truth, the Bible. The Bible becomes the lens through which students view what they are learning and guides them in their critical thinking skills and life decisions.
Robin Ritchie, the former Superintendent of Cabool R-IV schools and now the Administrator of Clinton Christian Academy in Clinton, Mo., tells prospective parents who visit the school, “For 31 years it was my mission to be a Christian witness in the public schools, but how wonderful it is to now be able to freely pray with students and their parents and to have biblical truth interwoven into all subject areas, not just in a Bible class.”
My son, Scott Ferguson, was recently recognized at Senior Night at Clinton Christian Academy. During the ceremony, cheerleaders carried a banner with the number “155,560” on it. The audience had no idea what this number signified, but the announcer explained that it was the number of miles Scott had been driven back and forth to the school since he started there in K4. Many have asked us: “Why do you drive your boys over eighty miles a day to school?” I answer that question by explaining that a little over forty years ago, a 15 year old girl I knew named Cindy had become involved with drugs and alcohol and was failing every one of her high school classes. By God’s grace, Cindy attended a Sunday School class one day where a godly teacher taught a lesson from Jude that led her to repent of her sins and rededicate her life to the Lord. Part of that rededication was her new found desire to be enrolled at Bay Area Christian School, a ministry of the First Baptist Church of League City, Texas, where her family attended. At Bay Area Christian School Cindy began to thrive as a result of being immersed in Biblical wisdom and being supported by caring faculty. Two years later Cindy graduated with honors as the valedictorian of the senior class of 1980. In 1984 Cindy and I married while she worked as a secretary at the church office and later she worked at NASA supporting Space Shuttle safety and quality assurance. Forty years after her graduation, history repeated itself when our son Scott gave the valedictory address at his senior graduation at Clinton Christian Academy on June 20, 2020.
When discussing education choices, the number one concern I have heard from parents is that they cannot afford private Christian education. On paper, we could have never afforded to send two boys to a private school on a rural pastor’s salary. Fourteen years later, the Lord has proven Himself faithful to our commitment to “Train up a child in the way he should go…,” providing for our every need. Christian education, like becoming a Christian, is a faith walk, learning to rely upon the Lord to provide for the additional expense. Many Christian schools offer scholarships or tuition discounts based on income and personal circumstances, so the advertised tuition is often not what is actually required. After receiving numerous academic college scholarships, Scott is now attending college, majoring in Christian apologetics and computer science. The many benefits that Christian education has provided has me repeating the phrase, “Christian education isn’t expensive, it’s priceless!”