ACADEMIC PHILSOPHY & FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES
Theology is the apex of education.
Our primary purpose is to preach and live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the glory of God. We value virtue, knowledge, and self-government because we want to join the Holy Spirit's work in the hearts of the human beings we educate. We want to zealously worship the Triune God and pursue his glory in every discipline and in every facet of our lives.
We partner with parents.
God gave you your kids, so it is your responsibility to bring them up in the paideia of the Lord. Sending your kids to Cedar Classical Academy is not an abdication of this responsibility. We affirm parents' wisdom and authority, safeguard family time and home life, and invite parents to be partners in and models of the virtue we hope to cultivate. Our parents educate themselves and learn alongside their students, participate in our Academy culture and community life, and volunteer their time and energy.
TEACHING PEOPLE, NOT JUST SUBJECTS
THIS IS OUR VISION:
We aim to graduate young men and women who think clearly and listen carefully, using discernment and understanding to evaluate the entire range of human knowledge and experience. We desire that they be able to reason persuasively and speak precisely, and that they do these things in light of “the whole counsel of God” and in joyful submission to him. We desire that they recognize cultural influences as distinct from biblical and that they be unswayed toward evil by the former. We aim to see them well-prepared in every situation, possessing the knowledge and the wisdom to live a godly, well-examined life. We desire that they be socially graceful and spiritually gracious, equipped with the tools of learning and eager to employ them in the pursuit of truth, beauty, and goodness. We wish them to be lifelong learners who continually cultivate the joy of intellectual growth and a sense of wonder about the world God has made, yet always recognizing the limits of worldly wisdom. We aim for them to be courageous young men and women who love Christ and eagerly desire to see His kingdom come; who have a love for His Church, a heart for the lost, the courage to dissuade those stumbling toward destruction, and the wisdom to discern real religion from religion in form only. All of these things we aim to see them possess with deep humility and gratitude to God.
We likewise aim to cultivate these things in our staff and to see them well paid so that they can make a career at Cedar Classical Academy. We desire them to be professional and diligent in their work, to be gifted in teaching, and to love their subjects and their students. We aim for our staff to have a thorough understanding of classical Christian education, to see how their work fits into the whole vision of our education, and to see how these things play out individually in their classrooms. We desire them to be eager lifelong learners who continue to grow and mature in the knowledge and love of their discipline and in their walk with the Lord. We desire them to nurture new staff members and to mentor their students both academically and spiritually.
We aim to cultivate in our parent community an understanding of, and commitment to, classical Christian education and our school’s goals and desires for their students. We desire that they embrace a sense of responsibility for their school, understanding that the Lord has placed ultimate responsibility for a child’s upbringing into the hands of parents. We desire that they grow with the school, being involved in and excited about the journey we take together. We aim to help them follow biblical principles in addressing concerns. We encourage them to hear both sides of a story before rendering a verdict and to embrace the Scripture’s injunction to stir one another up to love and good works.
In our relations with our community, we aim to be above reproach in our business dealings and to support local businesses wherever possible. We seek, as a school, to exemplify Christ to the watching world, demonstrating the unity of the body of Christ by promoting fellowship across different churches, to the end that all who observe or interact with us may “see their good works and glorify their Father in heaven.”
The Great Tradition is time-tested and virtue-focused. While it is also called the “Western” heritage (hearkening back to when the Greeks were battling the philosophies of their eastern neighbor, Persia), it began in the Near East with the nation of Israel and has picked up thinkers across the world throughout history. The Great Tradition is shorthand for a curated collection of Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian ideas such as monotheism, the importance of family, the protection of life, political and economic freedom, the understanding of the human person as made up of body and mind and soul, the principled rejection of tyranny, individual responsibility, the cultivation of virtue, and care for the widow and orphan. We believe that this tradition offers the best understanding of God, mankind, and the natural order. In order to rightly approach other cultures, we want our students to first understand the strengths and weaknesses of our own.
"Scientific objectivity is not the absence of initial bias. It is attained by frank confession of it," writes Mortimer Adler. We frankly confess that truth is objective and Scripture is infallible. These axioms frame our understanding of God, human nature, and the world. At the same time, opinion is subjective and people are fallible. We want our students to be cool-headed, clear-thinking people who can analyze the historical, ethical, and logical consistency of arguments and ideas. We want our students to emulate their teachers' intellectual humility in sitting at the feet of (or, reading and rereading the books of) older, wiser humans. We welcome students from all political, cultural, and religious backgrounds ready to study ideas from their original sources.
We want our Academy to vividly display the virtues we hope to instill. As you enter the Academy, you will observe a joyful, orderly atmosphere. The headmaster and teachers greet parents and students as they enter the school. We start each morning with a hymn. We thoughtfully schedule and organize the day to avoid any wasted time. Kids have recess, and younger kids more than one. When teachers have downtime, you’ll catch them in their rooms preparing for class or reading for pleasure. Teachers and students do not see their classes as disconnected subjects, but as many facets of a whole—each discipline working together to create a clear picture of God, human nature, and the world.
Our goal is to graduate kids who know who God is, what the world is like, and what their place is in it. They will be instilled with a lifelong love of learning and a sense of wonder at the world all around them. They will zealously love the Lord and seek to work for the people around them out of gratitude that God works for them. They will be brave, tough, and tenacious. They will apply enduring truth and beauty in the ordinary, commonplace activities of their everyday life. They will have joy amidst pain, and have courage to fight the real evil that exists in the world. We're training our students to slay dragons.
One day, we want our students to be rational, self-controlled, frugal, hard-working, literate, well-read adults who shovel their neighbors' driveway and stay up on the news. We want them to engage those around them on political issues, see the invisible costs and benefits when it comes to economic issues, and always consider how their religious beliefs should impact their daily life. Theirs will be a true, good, and beautiful citizenship. With this goal in mind, while they are young students we will require of them honor, dignity, and hard work. Lower school students' parents will sign the honor code on their behalf. Upper school students will sign the honor code themselves.