Whose Rationality? Classical Christian Education and the Ordering of Faith and Reason

The reform of education embodied in the classical Christian school movement represents a challenge to Enlightenment assumptions about the nature and ends of reason and about the scope and consequences of religious belief. But the terms and ramifiations of this conflict are not always clearly understood. Moreover, much contemporary Christian discipleship and apologetics (perhaps unwittingly) reinforces Enlightenment pre-suppositions more than the classical Christian understanding. In this workshop, Ken Myers will discuss how a more deliberately Christocentric account of reason ought to inform the shape of teaching in Christian schools.

Ken Myers

As host of the Mars Hill Audio Journal since 1992, Ken Myers has interviewed hundreds of authors of books that contribute to understanding the challenges faced by Christians in modernity. A frequent speaker at classical Christian schools (and at SCL conferences), Myers has applied the wisdom from those interviews to the challenge of enculturating the next generation of believers. A graduate of the University of Maryland (BA in Communications) and Westminster Theological Seminary (MAR in theological studies), Myers’s early career as an arts and humanities editor at National Public Radio stimulated his lifelong interest in discovering how contemporary culture took the form it now has, and how the consequences of the Gospel require Christians to embody countercultural alternatives.

Faith-Learning Integration

Faith-learning integration is a stated goal of classical education that is also Christian (CCE). However, such an aspiration does not guarantee that faith-learning integration actually is or becomes a hallmark of CCE. In some CCE settings, faith-learning integration is impeded because of undue emphasis on the humanities, whereas in other CCE contexts it is waylaid because poor foundations have been laid for study of the sciences. It is suggested that science education in the CCE context can only be fruitful ultimately if the philosophical and theological foundations of science are first well-established and then made manifest throughout the teaching of specific science courses. A full-orbed approach to science education and, in fact, all truth-seeking, dictates that teachers introduce their courses with a clearly established and communicated philosophical and theological framework that both imbibes and revels in the glory of God displayed in the unity and coherency of truth within and across disciplines, and that also recognizes the limits of science due to human finitude and sin.

Steve Mittwede

Steve Mittwede is incredibly privileged to be an instructor of Earth Science and Bible at Providence Classical School in Spring, Texas. In 1981, he was graduated from “Their Majesties Royal College” (The College of William and Mary) with a B.S. in Geology, a er which he concurrently worked as a mineral resources geologist for the South Carolina Geological Survey and completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in Geology at the University of South Carolina; between late 1984 and mid-1987, he was also taking classes in Bible, theology and missions at Columbia International University (CIU). In the midst of all of that, he married Dana, and they were blessed with four sons in close succession – all now grown, married and raising their own broods. Since the incredibly busy 1980s, he and his family served in Turkey for 23 years, during which Steve was awarded an M.A. in Intercultural Studies from CIU and an M.Th. in Modern Evangelical Theology from Wales Evangelical School of Theology. Never one to weary of the academic se ing, he is currently pursuing an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership at CIU. Steve and Dana make their home in the thriving metropolis of Tomball, Texas.