Discussions by Christian teachers about what they do and how and why they do it, are not always places of shalom. Sometimes divisions within the group are obvious as some begin talking about “them” and “us.” Other times the differences are more subtle and produce only a lingering uncertainty that we have really communicated effectively and been understood completely.
When people speak different languages, the communication problems are obvious. However, an apparently common language can obscure differences and agreements, producing disunity and misunderstanding instead of shalom. Sometimes Christian teachers seem to be talking about the same thing, but each means something different. Other times they seem to be discussing different things when they are really talking about the same thing. In either case, misunderstanding is inevitable and even apparent agreement is undependable. It is hard to “keep the unity of the Spirit” (Ephesians 4:3) if we are not aware that our common language can divide.
A common language can obscure our differences so we do not grow together. David Smith’s book, Gift of a Stranger, gives some excellent insight into how God wants to use different languages to expand our understanding of Himself, His world and our relationship to it and each other. We both give and receive a gift when learning a new language for we learn new perspectives and share our own. This process of mutual edification is, however, short-circuited if we think that we have nothing to learn from each other. Instead of engaging in challenging and stretching interaction with others who look at things differently, it is possible to avoid transforming change by glossing over the differences. We give nothing and receive nothing because our common language allows us to remain as we are without confronting how God wants us to change.
I know I would rather ignore a little “misunderstanding” than admit some of my thinking and living is wrong and repentance is needed. Change is uncomfortable so it is easier to be self-satisfied than experience God's pruning and fertilizing, especially at the hands, or mouths, of others. However, my commitment to grow requires that I refuse to let other Christian teachers talk past me, but grapple with what God wants to say to me through them.
A common language can also obscure our similarities so we do not work together. We know from the Tower of Babel that different languages destroy partnerships. But some natural allies among Christian teachers are rejected because they seem to be saying different things when in fact they are saying the same thing, but using the common language differently. I do not want to miss a partner in ministry because our common language has obscured the common ground that we share.
The differences between American and British language have been the subject of scholarly analysis, heated discussion, and good-natured joking. Why is it that cars in the UK have bonnets and boots, while American vehicles have hoods and trunks. Do you spell “practise” with two c's or a c and an s? Do you sit on a chesterfield or smoke it? Are churches involved in mission or missions? Are “public schools” supported by fees or taxes? Is religious education activity within a church or a school? The differences are real whether Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Dylan Thomas, or Bertrand Russell is responsible for the expression—separated by a common language. At least everyone agrees that it is an English “turn of phrase.”
Of course the Americans are ready to provide assistance so we can switch Microsoft Word’s language settings to English UK or English US…or English Zimbabwe, Trinidad & Tobago, South Africa, Singapore, Philippines, New Zealand, Malaysia, Jamaica, Ireland, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, Caribbean, Canada, Belize, or Australia. Maybe Bill Gates can actually prevent some awkward communication problems in international English, but I suspect that it will take more than word processor settings to eliminate North American-European, private-public school, or theological misunderstandings about education.
I have lived over half my life in Germany but am by no means German, as most of the time was spent in a very North American community. However, attempts to communicate in my second language—or theirs—English—have made me aware of how difficult it is to communicate even when two people are speaking the same language because their background and experience are different. For instance, I discovered that “education” is often misunderstood because Germans use two words, Erziehung and Bildung, to describe what parents and teachers do. Erziehung might best be translated up-bringing, while Bildung has to do with the development of skills and knowledge. For many of us, education includes both of these concepts, although our thoughts about the division of responsibility between the home and school might vary considerably. Google lists 2.7 billion articles on education, but there is no guarantee that they are all talking about the same thing.
When Christian teachers from different countries or different kinds of schools speak about education, let alone religious education or Christian education, separation by a common language is the path of least resistance. Personal growth and partnership in ministry will require active participation in the communication process.
What Christian teachers can do to promote shalom instead of separation in our communication
Clarify our own thinking
Amanda Swift suggests that thinking about our definition of “education” is a good starting point for Christian reflection. If I have not taken the time to think carefully about what I mean by education, I am well on the way to miscommunicating with anyone else who talks about it. This Stapleford Conference is designed to help participants grapple with ideas so I assume that you are working to clarify your own thinking and communication about education. However, too many “consumers” of education—students, parents, and society--do not seem to have thought deeply about the issues although an increasing number are looking for alternatives. For instance, the Association of German Private Schools indicates that “20 per cent of parents express a preference for private schooling” (Goethe-Institut) even though German education has been known for its quality and influence. Christian teachers should be at the forefront of discussions about education theory and practise because they are vitally concerned about the “little ones” (Matt. 18:6, Mark 9:42, Luke 17:2) and aware that a “student…will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40).
Listen carefully to the thinking of others
Careful listening may sound trite, but I know from experience how easy it is to assume that I know what someone else is saying. Whether it is my wife or a stranger, I can stop listening and begin mentally finishing their sentences for them. I have to listen to the words and then wrestle with the concepts that are being expressed. Communication must be a two-way process with all participants taking responsibility for the process by interacting with both the medium—the words--and the message. Pigeon-holing the message quickly and efficiently is not necessarily a sign of intelligence. It can be a way of avoiding the hard work of changing. Being transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2) is a sacrificial process, as is being an agent of transformation in the thinking of others. La Chatelier’s principle describes how chemical systems resist change, but the introduction of new ideas seems to produce a similar reaction—change occurs in the opposite direction to minimize the effect. Although introducing godly principles may not produce the kind of enthusiasm and transformation we would like in others, we can personally be responsive rather than reactionary. Christians dare not presume to update or revise the truth, but we must continually allow the truth to change us.
Use more specific vocabulary
Rather than using general terms such as education and teaching, it can be very helpful to be more specific. A paper by John Hull which discussed various specific processes of teaching stirred my thinking as he distinguished between training, instructing, indoctrinating, socializing, schooling, evangelizing, catechizing, and nurturing. Forcing ourselves to use less common vocabulary can bring freshness to communication. I know that it is much easier for me to understand my landlady when she forces herself to use High German instead of the local dialect because she slows down her rate of speaking and is less likely to use unknown idioms. Because we are both using a less familiar, second language, the responsibility of making ourselves understood is shared differently. Using more specific vocabulary to describe what we are doing and why may have a similar salutary effect on our discussions.
Study what the Bible says
The Bible uses at least 25 different words for the teaching-learning process (see Bible words for the teaching-learning process by Ronald Chadwick). By studying what God says about teaching we can avoid the distorted ways of thinking that are the “pattern of this world” (Romans 12:2) and discover more of the richness of God's purposes for us. I have discovered that many familiar words such as pastor and evangelism look entirely different when considered in light of what the Bible actually says about them. It is no wonder that so many different meanings are associated with words if we ignore what God says and start with what we think.
Create new vocabulary
Sometimes our common language is laden with so much “meaningful” baggage that we need to create new terms. As we are forced to struggle with the definition of new words we can establish a new basis of understanding and appreciation for the diversity and unity of Christian teachers’ thinking and practise . Differences may be isolated and agreement may be identified new channels of thinking are opened up that avoid the log-jams of meaning associated with old vocabulary such as Christian education and religious education.
What Christian teachers can do to make disciples in the classroom
Five aspects of teaching
Let me head into a linguistic, pedagogical and spiritual minefield and talk about what Christian teachers can and should do in the classroom. I am sharing very personal reflections and freely acknowledge the vocabulary and concepts that I am presenting may not conform to your standard practise.
I begin with the presupposition that making disciples is God’s plan. Jesus’ example and command (Matt. 28:19-20, John 20:21) confirm that the ultimate goal of Christians is to produce mature followers of Jesus who through the indwelling Holy Spirit understand His ways and choose, like Jesus, to do the Father’s will in everything—my definition of discipleship. Jesus explicitly ties making disciples with teaching (Matt. 28:20), so careful consideration of what teaching involves may help us as Christian teachers to cooperate with Him. Although there may be many worthwhile intermediate goals, it is important to keep in mind the ultimate goal so that we don't treat what is intermediate as ultimate, and so we don't accept intermediate goals that conflict with the ultimate.
I believe that Christian teachers are involved in at least five activities—remember the Bible uses 25 different words—which all have a part in producing disciples. I would ask that you think with me about training, instruction, nurture, evangelism and Transform-ED (from transforming education).
John Hull defined training as “a process of repetition, often based upon imitation, whereby a skill is acquired” (Hull, p. 9). Such training may be a “doorway” leading to further learning and the skills developed may be necessary prerequisites for further personal growth, but training itself does not focus on understanding “the principles upon which the skills are based” (Hull, p. 9).
Whether the skills involve reading, calculating, or socializing, the focus of training is on doing what is right. It primarily engages the hands, rather than the head or heart. Christian teachers will be involved in all kinds of training but are often engaged in specialized training such as character education because of their interest in moral and ethical questions.
Instruction focuses on knowing the right answers and primarily engages the head. Hull stated that it “is what you tell people when you are training them” (p. 9). Instruction in any subject area is “content-centered” rather than “skill-centered” like training (Hull, p. 9). Christian teachers instruct in many subjects including such specialties as Bible and religious education.
Nurture focuses on having right relationships and primarily engages the heart. Appropriate materials and methods chosen to meet the needs of the student are vital considerations. The student's perceived self-worth often takes priority over other considerations. Love and respect motivate and sustain learning so schools attempt to develop an ethos which is safe and caring. Christians have experienced undeserved love and are indwelt by God who is love, so they are often at the forefront of developing nurturing classrooms. For instance, Kingsland School in Bangor is exemplary in its emphasis on learning styles and multiple intelligences.
Although it is possible to control training and instruction so Christians may feel uncomfortable with what is required or allowed, expression of the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control—is both natural and unstoppable—“against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). Christian teachers must be known for their Christ-like interaction with students, parents, colleagues and administration if they hope to be effective in any other activities.
Evangelism focuses on bringing people to new life in Christ (2 Cor. 5:7) and restoring their broken relationship with their heavenly Father (Col. 1:22-23). This could be considered as nurture for it definitely involves our vertical relationship with God. I think, however, it is useful to restrict nurture to our horizontal relationships. Although non-Christians are involved in training, instruction, and nurture, only Christians are interested in evangelism. Their opinions may vary greatly about whether evangelism is appropriate in a classroom, but ultimately shalom depends on a person's relationship to God which affects everything else.
Evangelism is one of the words which may be due for more Bible study. Although Google has over 6.4 million sites mentioning evangelism and over 6.3 million mentioning evangelist, the Bible only refers to evangelists 3 times and none of the common translations refer to evangelism. Usually the Greek word transliterated evangelize is translated “preach,” “bring,” or “proclaim” “good news” or “the gospel.” Although Jesus’ mission, prophesied in the Old Testament, was to “preach good news,” i.e. evangelize (Luke 4:18, Matt. 11:5, Luke 7:22), He was known as a teacher, not an evangelist. Many Biblical references to “proclaiming the good news” precede Christ’s death and resurrection so the “good news” may be much wider than many definitions of the gospel.
I believe that there are basically two kinds of people that the Bible describes in many ways: the lost and found (Luke 6:6, 9, 24), weeds and good seeds (Matt. 13:24-43), dead and alive (Eph. 2:5, Col. 2:13), condemned and justified (Rom. 5:16), born of the flesh and born again of the Spirit (John 3:3-8), blind and seeing (2 Cor. 4:4). Although only God knows the heart of any individual, it is obviously very important that everyone pass from death to life (1 John 3:14). People that are involved in helping others through this process might be better known as spiritual mid-wives or harvesters, rather than evangelists. Delivering spiritual babies may not be an appropriate classroom experience except in very unusual circumstances, but surely no one wants bad news proclaimed there either. I have included evangelism as one of the five aspects of teaching because I believe that without spiritual birth, we can only produce a skilled sinner who may “gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul” (Mark 8:36). Evangelism may need redefinition or substitution, but ignoring the spiritual condition of students can undermine everything else that a Christian teacher does.
Education might be the next aspect of teaching that you would expect to consider. However, if evangelism is a difficult term for Christian teachers to define, education may be impossible. With no direct Biblical material to work with other than one verse describing Moses’ Egyptian preparation (Acts 7:22), the field is wide open. Hull described education as “person-centered” (p. 9) with “the intention…to develop the personhood of the pupil, to promote the humanization process” (p. 11). His discussion of indoctrination also emphasized that education “enhances the critical freedom of the learner” (p. 10). Other definitions include skills, knowledge, good judgment and wisdom. Some speak of the “magic of education” (Thomas, ¶9) while 20,000 web pages proclaim “education is the answer” to every kind of problem.  Education seems to be a “stretchable” word that can contain almost anything that different people want to include. It is no wonder that there is so little agreement when different people use it.
Rather than try to reach agreement on a common meaning for education that includes all that is necessary and nothing that is distracting, I’d like to suggest a new word, Transform-ED. Because I have created the word, I can tell you how Transform-Ed is different from training, instruction, nurture or evangelism.
As implied in the word itself, the goal of Transform-ED is changed people. This change is not just an incremental change in skills or knowledge, but a total transformation from the inside out. The Bible describes this metamorphosis as becoming a “new creation” where “the old has gone” and “the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17). The term also implies that this change is something that God does in a person rather than something that a person does to himself. Although God has created us with personal responsibility, without Him we “can do nothing” (John 15:5). He is the one who works in us so that we desire His will and are empowered to do it (Phil. 2:13).
There are at least five essential elements to Transform-ED:
- Recognizing God’s revelation and involvement in His creation (Rom. 1:18-21)
- Thanking God for His revelation and His care (Rom. 1:21)
- Understanding God the Creator and Redeemer’s relationship to all things (1 Cor. 2:14)
- Choosing God’s will joyfully, obediently, and faithfully = wisdom (Luke 22:42)
- Living and working in loving relationship with God and others (1 John 4:11-12)
Transform-ED goes beyond training or instruction to understanding, but is not satisfied with understanding. It demands wisdom. It goes beyond the temporal and human aspects of nurture to include the eternal and divine. It is now Christ living His life in a person, rather than a person struggling on his own to maintain good relationships with himself, with others and with his environment. It goes beyond evangelism—where spiritual life begins—to personal growth and development in the likeness of Christ. Transform-ED requires Christian teachers and Christian students who are all willingly being transformed by the patient work of the Holy Spirit.
Transform-ED fulfills the broken promises of sterile, godless attempts to solve problems with education. Hope becomes more than a vague optimism that “my” truth will produce lasting satisfaction, but a confident expectancy that God's ways are knowable because He wants us to know Him and His way is the always the best way. Like Paul (Phil. 3:12-14), we have not discovered all of God’s ways yet, but every glimpse that He reveals excites us to continue our study of Him, His word and His world and say “Yes” to His will even before we know it.
Who does what when?
I believe that Christian teachers should be involved in all five aspects of teaching because each is necessary to fulfill Christ’s command to make disciples. However, not all aspects of teaching are appropriate in every classroom or at all times. Looking at the various activities so we recognize the strengths and limitations of each may help us choose the right activity at the right time so that every student moves from where they are now toward true discipleship.
Evangelism by Christian teachers in state schools is usually prohibited and discouraged in many church schools, but may be encouraged in private Christian schools. However the Christian teacher who is convinced of the need for evangelism will look for opportunities outside the classroom and will not allow his students to gain the impression that what we know or do can substitute for a divine inner transformation.
Instruction is necessary in all schools, but critical concepts regarding the centrality of God may be suppressed while distortions of His truth are promoted. Everyone can instruct students about the laws of science and the events of history, but Christian teachers have a unique opportunity to give purpose and direction to the study through their personal relationship with the Creator and their growing understanding of His word, the Bible, and His ways. Understanding is never complete until everything is properly related to the Creator and Sovereign of the universe.
Unfortunately, few teachers have been taught how to connect what they teach to God and His purposes. They have become like their teachers, most of whom ignored God in their classroom. From my own experience I know family devotions, a Bible-teaching church, theological education, and experience in a Christian school do not automatically produce the ability to articulate a Christian worldview or teach students how to begin to think christianly. It took over 20 years as a Christian teacher in the most open and encouraging environment to develop the Visual Valet which can be a personal assistant to teachers and students who want to become more distinctively Christian in their thinking.
The more restricted the environment, the more necessary it is to be “prepared to give an answer” (1 Pet. 3:15) as the opportunities will be fewer. We cannot blame external restrictions for being unable to answer questions. If teachers are being transformed by their understanding of God and His purposes, they will have a transforming impact on their students. As they look at what they teach from the radically different perspective revealed in the Bible, their excitement about the meaning and purpose of “common” things will be contagious. Their thankful spirit will stand in stark contrast to the selfishness that is so rampant. Their humility and love will bring life and hope into situations of darkness and despair—even if they are not allowed to quote the Bible or use Christian vocabulary. In fact, even in Christian environments, too many Bible verses may produce a negative rather than a positive response. The Visual Valet can assist a teacher to equip students to make informed personal decisions about the key questions of life, as well as introduce truth where it may not yet be wanted.
Jesus’ practise, particularly in a hostile environment, was to ask penetrating questions. Teachers may not be able to explicitly share all or any of their own Christian thinking—their Christian framework or the connections they’ve discovered between what they’re teaching and what God is doing—but they can ask critical questions. Post-modern thinking may reject the reality of absolute truth, but it is often able to do so because of sloppy thinking rather than careful analysis. By forcing students to consider inconsistencies and the consequences of the thinking of the media, authors, historical figures, and themselves, the Holy Spirit will have something He can use in their life and they will be without excuse (Romans 1:20). Even if change doesn’t come immediately, part of the foundation for Christian thinking will have been established. Even if it is rejected, the student may, like Paul, find it hard…to kick against the goads (Acts 26:14).
Everyone has some idea of what is good, beautiful, true and valuable as well as what is bad, ugly, false and worthless. These are closely related to what a person thinks about the purpose of life and the universe. But we must also consider how we make the right choices – and why we so often make wrong choices – as well as the consequences of the choices. By focusing on teaching materials and learning to analyze what they reveal about these “Big Questions”, students will have many opportunities to consider their own thinking. Teachers will not consciously or unconsciously “brainwash” or indoctrinate students by unwisely using their position of authority or their relationship with the students. Students will be encouraged to take responsibility for their choices and will have a basic tool to evaluate the bewildering variety of new input they will continually confront. Sooner or later, the students will ask their teachers about their personal answers and such honest questions can receive open answers in the classroom or in private conversation.
It seems everyone is looking for ways to train the next generation to do what is right. Programs like Character Counts which is based on the “Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship” are very popular.  . In the 1990s character education programs opened many doors in the former USSR to reach teachers and schools.  China is now looking for help and even explicitly Christian-based programs are considered because the need is great and so many other possibilities have been found wanting. Many non-Christians recognize that Christians try to do what is right so they are willing to allow Christians to train their children to do what is right.
Such programs have easily measured value. When students behave better, there are fewer problems in the home, school and community. Limiting the painful consequences of destructive sinful behaviour is an expression of God’s grace that we all experience, so it is natural for Christian teachers to seek as much temporal shalom as possible. However, there are limitations and dangers when training is not combined with other aspects of teaching. Training doesn’t answer the questions “Why should I?” which requires understanding or “Why did I?” which requires personal responsibility.
When training to do what is right, it is necessary to agree on some standards. However, in our pluralistic society most people have rejected the idea of absolute standards. Those relativistic standards which we still have in common tend to continually fall to the lowest common denominator. Still schools have found that almost any standards are better than leaving students to the anarchy and uncertainty of no standards at all.
Changing circumstances tend to make training obsolete. For instance, the ethical training received by doctors and the general public has not prepared them for the life-and-death decisions about medical procedures that did not exist previously or are still prohibitively expensive, such as gene therapy, life-support systems and micro-surgery. Because training does not focus on understanding underlying principles, there is little transfer in new situations.
People who have just been trained to do what is right may never realize their need for a Saviour because they find it hard to recognize their sinfulness. Of course like Paul (Romans 7:19), we often do what we know we should not do and do not do what we know we should do, so there is always opportunity to recognize our need, but the better a person has been trained, the less opportunities are available. Unfortunately the example of the Biblically-trained scribes and Pharisees does not hold a lot of hope for developing spiritual sensitivity through training.
Because people have been made in the image of God as creative, thinking, responsible creatures, doing what we are told without eventually asking “Why?” is impossible. “Because I said so” is not a good enough answer for the teacher. In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam a creative, open-ended task of naming the animals, the practical assignment to care for the Garden and the specific instruction to “not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:17). The first couple were confronted with the choice to live God’s way—dependent on His sufficiency—or their own way—dependent on what they could figure out for themselves. Their choice revealed that excellent training does not guarantee right choices and our proclivity to reject God's way has only deepened as the world around us reinforces our self-centered perspective.
“Because he said so” is not a good enough answer for students either. God gave people real choices and requires that they take responsibility for their choices, so training alone is not enough.
Nurture, instruction and training are important when working with people who are not yet Christians for they prepare them for evangelism and the Transform-ED that follows. Without nurture, it is unlikely that instruction or training will be effective, but together they can help anyone avoid some sinful choices and their destructive consequences. However, without evangelism, the student may be deceived into thinking that they have all that Christ offers because they know the right answers, do the right things, and are part of a caring community. If it isn’t made clear that they are only being offered the introduction and not the real thing, they may be inoculated against their need for a personal Saviour or rebel against the sterility and impotence of a life that lacks the power to do what they know they should do. Certainly trying to live a Christian life without Christ is an exercise in futility that may be inescapable if evangelism and Transform-ED remain invisible. The fruit of Christian thinking, living and loving cannot be enjoyed for long if the source of the fruit is rejected.
Sometimes evangelism is tried without any instruction, training or nurture, but this is usually unproductive. God draws people to Himself as they hear the good news of Christ, see that their ways are not God’s ways, and experience the love of God incarnated in His children. However, when a person is brought to new life in Christ, Transform-ED does not automatically follow.
Because many Christian teachers rightly spend large amounts of time with non-Christians, they may continue to pursue nurture, training and instruction with Christians and neglect Transform-ED. It is all too easy for a Christian school with a majority of Christian students to be satisfied with producing graduates who feel good about themselves, know the right answers and do the right things, but are totally unprepared to live outside the Christian environment.
The Holy Spirit has promised to bring to our remembrance things that we have learned (John 14:26) so instruction is important for Christians even if they are not yet at the point of life in which they can understand. Some good habits or disciplines are extremely useful so that we don’t have to think about everything all the time, but the Galatians discovered how easy it was to depend on certain behaviours rather than God’s grace (Gal. 3:3). Paul reminds us that without love everything else amounts to nothing (1 Cor. 13), but John reminds us that love is not just a feeling, but needs to be expressed in concrete action (1 John 3:17).
Christians can also be deceived into starting by faith, but then depending on the things they know, do and feel. This distorts the good news of the Gospel and condemns them to a defeated life here and now even though they will escape eternal judgment.
Transform-ED is the process of preparing a person for life in which all elements are related to Christ and are being transformed by Him. Christian students need to learn to understand God’s ways by grappling with the important questions themselves, making choices and experiencing the consequences of the choices, and assuming responsibility to love others unconditionally just as they want to be loved. This kind of Biblical integration is only possible when a person is enabled by the Holy Spirit to see God and His purposes in all things so that misuses and distortions are recognized and His purposes can be fulfilled. This can occur as a person begins to study God’s revelation of Himself in the Bible, not just for devotional edification, but to understand all that God has made.
Just as Jesus’ experience with the twelve was often frustrating and misunderstood, Transform-ED is difficult to pigeon hole and deliver in neat packages. It will be as diverse in expression as our infinite God, but it will be unified by God's revelation of Himself in His creation and His word. The Bible, like blueprints, will give shape and direction; like oxygen, it will permeate every part, but like an unfinished play (Smith & Short), there will be lots of room for finite individuals to respond to an infinite God in different ways.
I believe Christian teachers working with non-Christians need to start with Christian nurture and add Christian training and instruction, but dare not neglect the necessity of evangelism and Transform-ED. Christian teachers working with Christians in the home, church and schools of all kinds, must always maintain nurture, but diligently seek to move beyond training and instruction so that they themselves, and those they teach, will become the kind of mature disciples that Christ wants them to be.
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 Google lists over 2 million sites that mention “character education.”
 Bruce Wilkinson “was a co-founder and Chairman of the CoMission (1992-1997), which was a massive international movement of 87 Christian organizations which banded together in unprecedented unity and sent more than 3,500 Christians to the former Soviet Union. In only five years, the CoMission invested over $60,000,000, conducted thousands of Bible classes, trained tens of thousands of public teachers to teach a class in Christian morals and ethics at the request of the Russian Department of Education, distributed millions of pieces of Christian literature, and touched millions of people for Christ.”