Why Leave the U.S. to Teach CCE in Africa

Why would a successful classical educator leave a school in America to move to Africa? How do you know if you are called by God to serve as a missionary? Don’t American classical schools need more educators as well? Five Rafiki Missionaries who will soon embark for their assignments in Africa will consider these questions and more. If you have ever wondered if you might be called to long or short term missions, or if you simply want to know more about the work God is doing in the lives of these servants and in Africa, this will be a great conversation to sit in on.

David and Michelle Graves

David attended a school that was a classical Christian school before anyone had heard of classical Christian schools. He’s experienced first-hand the life-long benefits of this model of education as well as seeing how it has enriched the lives of his children and his students. Michelle has a master's degree in classical studies and has been a teacher in classical Christian education for over 25 years. She has seen how classical learning has benefited her own personal walk with the Lord, and she appreciates the biblical worldview integration in Rafiki’s classical curriculum.

Anna Liebing

Anna has long been passionate about missions and prayed for an opportunity to serve in foreign missions long-term. Since Anna has a background in classical education, Rafiki is a perfect fit for her experience and passions. In 2014, Anna spent part of the summer at the Rafiki Village Tanzania teaching, training, and falling in love with the children and staff there, and Rafiki's mission has remained on her heart since then. She is now excited to now be raising support and preparing to serve long-term at the Rafiki Village Malawi as the Headmaster.

Jay and Maureen Richards

Jay has his Master’s in Business Administration which he has used in a variety of different jobs. Maureen earned her master’s degree with a teaching certification out of a desire to be more involved in their children’s education. The Richards originally learned about the Rafiki Foundation in the 1990s through Bible Study Fellowship. Early last year, Jay and Maureen saw the need for missionaries and were humbled to find out that Rafiki had been praying for a couple with just their skills. The Lord has made it clear that he is calling them to serve as Long-Term Missionaries with Rafiki, and they are excited to join in the work.

How CCE is Impacting University Students in Zambia

Since the African Christian University (ACU) is the only university in the country offering classical Christian education, it serves as a case study viewing the impact that CCE has on Zambian university students. These are primarily seen in the following areas: Biblical grand narrative, spiritual development, academic achievement, university preparation, and holistic education. His talk will take a closer look at the research found over the past 5 years, and how CCE has molded students in this regard.

Carlos Paul

Mr. Carlos Paul currently serves as the Chaplain and Head of Student Mentoring at the African Christian University in Zambia. He has worked in evangelism training for 15 years and is passionate about theological education. Carlos received his Bachelor of Theological Studies and Master of Theological Studies from Toronto Baptist Seminary. He currently serves as the chaplain and a theology lecturer at the African Christian University.

Struggles and Triumphs of Classical Christian Education in Africa

This patio discussion will give the audience an authentic look at the challenges and victories that come with teaching CCE in Africa. Each speaker represents a different African country, culture, and educational system. What keeps them on one accord is their impeccable devotion to furthering the Gospel through sharing CCE with their students, staff, and communities.

Palang Musa

Palang Musa has served as the Early Childhood Head Teacher of the Rafiki Foundation, Nigeria since 2017. She received her Bachelor's in Industrial Design and is currently completing her certification in the Rafiki Institute for Classical Education (RICE). Additionally, she teaches Kindergarten at helps with integrating classical pedagogy in the Lower Primary school. She has seen the change in her students who started with secular learning and watched them blossom into "reflections of God's truth, beauty, and goodness".

Emmanuel Mwakitalo

Emmanuel Mwakitalo joined the Rafiki Foundation in 2015. In 2017 he was promoted to be Head Teacher of the Junior Secondary school and a year later the Senior Secondary school. Emmanuel was able to attend the first classical Christian conference in Kenya and it completely changed his view of education. Emmanuel is married with a beautiful little girl.

Jihan Kibaya

Jihan Kibaya is a Kenyan national with a hospitality degree from United States International University (USIU) Africa, and an ongoing student in Rafiki Institute of Classical Education (RICE). She currently serves in Kenya as the Assistant to the RICE Dean and is part of the training and sales team that works to make the Rafiki Curriculum available to Kenyans interested in Classical education

Parent Training and Building a Christian Family

Although facing the uncertainty of the external political and social environment, Christian Classical education in China is growing quickly through its infancy stage. Thus far, we have anxiously focused on the education of students and teachers, but we have not well appreciated that parents are also important teachers. Today, many church schools are busy with the planting of their schools and developing their curriculum, but it is easy to forget the important role and influence of the family. On the other hand, some churches hope to unite schools to train and build Christian families, but they lack guiding principles and vision and don’t know how to start. Moreover, we don’t know much about the unique dangers posed by modernity and the crises that families face in contemporary Chinese society.

Therefore, how should we view the mutual roles of the church, family, and school in education? How can we guide and train families based on a theology and philosophy of Christian Classical education under the auspices of church planting and school planting? What training and guidance for content can be set? How can we build Christian families in a modern society and current working conditions? This lecture will provide some exploration and some guidance on these themes. Chinese lecture with English subtitles.

Matthew Su

Matthew Su is from Fujian, China. He has a bachelor's degree in literature and a master's degree in Western philosophy. He has also studied at the Hong Kong Institute of Chinese Christian Culture as well as Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. In 2015, he co-wrote the Chinese book "Classical Christian Education" with Pastor Wang Yi and others. It was the first book in China to introduce and promote classical Christian education. He has formerly served as a principal of a primary and middle school. Now he is an academic dean at a Christian university and teaches Latin and Western classics as well as courses in Christian classical education for graduate students. At present, he is also a director of the Chinese Christian Classical Education Alliance, which teaches and spreads the concept of Christian classical education in various settings. He is also an elder and preacher in his church. He currently lives in Xiamen with his wife and four sons.

How to Teach Rhetoric in a Chinese Context

Misunderstandings abound about the nature of rhetoric, one of the biggest being that it is primarily a theory. But as the Roman rhetorician Quintilian clarifies, rhetoric is not a theoretical art but a practical art. We study rhetoric not primarily to acquire a set of knowledge but to perform an action, and this has tremendous pedagogical consequences. This talk will discuss the nature of rhetoric, its content, and especially how to teach it in light of its practical nature. We will also discuss how Chinese teachers might adapt rhetoric to the challenges inherent in a Chinese context. This talk will be presented in Chinese.

Brent Pinkall

A graduate of New Saint Andrews College, Brent has spent more than ten years serving the church in China, first as a church planter and later as a Christian educator with a passion for bringing classical Christian education to China. For the past four years, he has taught rhetoric, among other things, at a Christian liberal arts college there. He is the author of Redeeming the Six Arts: A Classical Christian Approach to Chinese Education and is currently writing a rhetoric textbook about the classical progymnasmata for use in Chinese schools.

Christian Classical Education for the Rest of the World

Ravi Jain

Ravi Jain graduated from Davidson College with a B.A. and interests in physics, ancient Greek, and international political economy. He worked at various churches, received an M.A. from Reformed Theological Seminary, and later earned a Graduate Certificate in Mathematics from the University of Central Florida. He coauthored “The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education,” now translated into Chinese, and the forthcoming, “A New Natural Philosophy: Natural Science and Christian Pedagogy.” He began teaching Calculus and Physics at the Geneva School in 2003 where he has developed an integrated double period class called “The Scientific Revolution.” In that class students read primary sources like Galileo and Newton in order to recapitulate the narrative of discovery and explore its deeper meanings while preserving the mathematical and scientific rigor expected of a college level treatment. He also teaches AP Calculus BC, in which the students strive to discover and demonstrate the “most beautiful theorem in mathematics,” and AP Physics C where they encounter Faraday, Maxwell, and Einstein. He has given over 150 talks and workshops throughout America, Africa, and China on topics related to education, theology, mathematics, and science. He has served as a deacon in his church and is a founding Alcuin fellow. He enjoys spending time with his two boys, Judah and Xavier and his wife Kelley.

How to Build Up Heads of Schools: What Should They Know?

As a leader of classical Christian school, a principal or head of school must know something of the common art of organizational leadership and must also model an ongoing study of the liberal arts and great books. The head of school need not be a scholar or veteran teacher but certainly should be a serious and regular student. In this seminar, we will note the essential qualities needed to lead a school but will focus mainly on the essential knowledge of classical Christian education with which every school leaders should be familiar–which includes the history and philosophy of classical education, the development of the classical curriculum of the liberal arts, science, and the great books, and perennial principles of pedagogy. We will discuss the practical ways by which new school leaders can master this essential knowledge of the classical tradition of education.

Dr. Christopher Perrin

Dr. Christopher Perrin is an author, consultant, and speaker who specializes in classical education. He is committed to the renewal of the liberal arts tradition. He cofounded and serves full-time as the CEO/publisher at Classical Academic Press, a classical education curriculum, media, and consulting company. Christopher is also a consultant to charter, public, private, and Christian schools across the country. He is the director at the Alcuin Fellowship with the Institute for Classical Schools and the former board vice president of the Society for Classical Learning. He has published numerous articles and lectures that are widely used throughout the United States and the English-speaking world.

The Demand for CCE in Africa: A Parent’s Perspective

There is a growing number of parents in Africa who take the education of their children with Judgement Day seriousness. In a context where academic rigour and character development seem more and more mutually exclusive, these sober parents have ordered their loves well. They want to raise up children who don’t think that their faith is a more dignified name for superstition. In a continent faced with massive challenges of disintegrated learning and living, CCE is such a breath of fresh air for a growing number of families. Such parents see CCE as a most helpful ally in their efforts to raise-up a godly generation of students who see learning as part of loving God.

As many Christian parents see the gaps in the progressive education being in the continent; A lack of Creator-creature distinction; A disregard for history; Passing exams is the most important educational goal; A disregard for crucial aspects of teacher qualification and continued growth; A synthesis of truth and lies, just to mention a few challenges, they become more appreciative of CCE when they get to know about it.

Eric Abwao

Eric grew up as the eldest of eight siblings in a family where they enjoyed the privilege of parents who influenced them for Christ. As a young adult the Lord opened his eyes to his dire need for the saving mercies found only in the person and work of Jesus Christ. He was at that time re-born as a child of God. Around that time (in 1999), while studying as an undergraduate student of Commerce, the Lord began opening doors of opportunity for him to serve His people in the church. He was later set apart to be a pastor at Trinity Baptist Church, Nairobi (Kenya) in 2014. Eric is presently a student of divinity at Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary (Owensbro Kentucky). Together with his wife, Jedidah, they are blessed with four children – Emmy, James, Evana and Eliana. They home-school their children using the Rafiki Education System and are in love with the classical approach to education. Their children have greatly benefited from this curriculum for the past eight years. Eric has also worked at Rafiki Foundation for three years. He has had an opportunity to interact with many families in Kenya that have come to highly appreciate and adopt a classical approach to education.

CCE in African Schools: A Practical View

Shakiyla Solomon-Ishaku

Shakiyla Solomon-Ishaku currently serves as the Rafiki School Headmaster at the Rafiki Village Nigeria. Before entering the field as a full-time missionary with the Rafiki Foundation, Shakiyla was involved in both domestic and international mission work. She led a Bible study while living in an apartment complex in Louisiana and taught English as a Second Language in Turkey and Iraq for a time. She first learned about Rafiki through a mentor who knew she had a heart for Nigeria. She felt called to serve with Rafiki after learning about the foundation’s many opportunities to serve the African people through orphan and widow care, education, teacher training, and Bible study. Shakiyla earned a bachelor’s degree in English and foreign languages with a concentration in education in 2015. She then received a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) master’s degree in 2018. Before entering the field, she taught ninth-through-twelfth grade English, speech, and creative writing. She also taught English 101 to first-generation college students at McNeese State University. Her experiences in Nigeria have been rich and fulfilling, and she thanks God for the opportunity to serve there.