FCA Core Values and Beliefs
Passion for Christ and for Life – FCA strives to instill a love of Christ and a desire to serve Him in each student by example, by involvement, and by teaching. Moral character and integrity are qualities that are lifted up and rewarded
Respect for the Individual Learner – We teach students, not subjects. Each student is an individual with unique gifts, talents, and abilities. We want students to progress to their highest potential. We want each student to feel valued and accepted for who they are.
College Preparatory Academics – Our desire is to mold our students into life-long learners by providing challenging and college preparatory academics through interactive and experiential learning
Integrated Christian Curriculum World View – Scripture and God himself are relevant to every subject. We cannot look at science, history, literature or math without seeing the hand and nature of our Creator. We acknowledge this and guide our students to discover God’s foundational truths for each subject.
Fine Arts – fine arts are a vital part of the education process and success in life whether in visual art, music, drama, or graphic design.
Personal and Community Development – We seek to show our students who God is and who they are by exploring their gifts and strengths and seeing how they fit into God’s purposes for the world.
Athletics and Fitness – For many students, athletics is the glue that holds their academic experience together. Life lessons and community building through these experiences are an indispensable part of school life.
Economic, Racial and Social Diversity – FCA actively seeks to be a racially, economically, and socially diverse community meeting a variety of academic needs.
Student Servant Leadership – Students are actively encouraged to pursue a Christ-like servant-leadership role with their peers. FCA rewards this quality with an annual ‘Servant Leader’ award for each grade.
International and Local Missions – FCA offers multiple opportunities for students to participate in missions outreach and social justice experiences. For example, involvement and teaching, a high importance is placed on these areas.
Camp, Retreats, and Trips – Through camps, retreats and trips as well as daily and weekly activities, FCA is a loving community that embraces diverse and varied individuals.
Honesty and Integrity – FCA requires honesty and integrity in all areas of school life. We are committed to being responsible stewards of all the resources that God provides for us.
Philosophy of Education
The Biblical summary for the developmental years in the life of Christ is indeed brief, yet we believe, for all its brevity, that summary implies several significant components for an effective philosophy of Christian education: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” We believe that an effective Christian school connects people, creating life-giving community. An effective Christian school connects the curriculum, creating a truly integrated, interdisciplinary approach to learning. An effective Christian school connects classrooms with multiple resources, thereby enriching the learning climate. Finally, an effective Christian school connects learning to life, building character through discipleship.
A Shared Vision. It was within the context of community that the early Church struggled with the implications of the “new wine” of the Christian faith. The “one heart and one mind” of Acts 4 suggests a shared vision that is also essential for the Christian school. It is as a direct result of living life with one another that we have identified our calling to provide a school, with a clear and vital mission. Additionally, we understand that every classroom is, itself, a community. Although distinct, these separate classrooms are connected by a common sense of purpose, in a climate that encourages open, honest communication, pursues justice, enforces personal and corporate discipline, and promotes genuine, Christ-like caring and compassion, with frequent occasions for celebration.
Teachers as Leaders. Franklin Christian Academy empowers teachers to be leaders. A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader; a great leader, however, inspires people to have confidence in themselves. This is our goal for every teacher as they become leaders for their students. We understand that as we work together within the school community, teachers not only instruct but also mentor their students, according to the New Testament pattern for Christian discipleship. A teacher cannot continually give without being “filled.” Therefore, teachers are given the time and resources to be professionally renewed. Consistent with this philosophy for leadership, the headmaster is the lead teacher, helping guide the academic community by inspiration rather than directive.
Parents as Partners. The school community extends beyond the classroom to embrace parents who are always viewed as the students’ first and most important teachers. A vital partnership is created between the home and school that is encouraged and strengthened at every opportunity. The behavior exhibited and choices made by students while away from the school campus will, therefore, necessitate responses from the school community to that behavior. The school’s partnership with parents is not limited to academic concerns or activities on school grounds or at school functions.
A Biblical World View. Before defining Franklin Christian Academy’s understanding of a biblical worldview as it relates to our curriculum, it is important to define a worldview in general. All individuals operate within a framework of a worldview whether they realize it or not.
A worldview is any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement, or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world, and man’s relations to God and the world.
A shorter definition would be a worldview is what a person believes about God, humankind, and the world. There are many different worldviews that a person might have. There are worldviews that have the most influence over the western world and there are ones that have the most influence over the eastern world. These worldviews have shaped entire cultures and societies. They have influenced generations of people for centuries.
A worldview also has a particular perspective regarding each of the following disciplines: theology, philosophy, ethics, biology, psychology, sociology, law, politics, economics, and history. At Franklin Christian Academy we teach all subjects from the belief that God is at the center of all of these disciplines. He is the author and creator of life and the beginning and end of history. He is our standard for how we interpret philosophy and ethics. A biblical view of man is our standard for psychology and sociology.
The Centrality of Language. The grammar, logic, and rhetoric of the classical approach to education serve to reinforce the first, essential goal: literacy proficiency. All students are expected to become proficient in both the written and spoken word. However, “language” in this school is defined broadly to include words, numbers, and the arts, the essential tools of learning which, taken together, help create a coherent curriculum. Another important aspect of a coherent curriculum is acceptance of an obligation, as teachers, to not only inform students but also to engage them. Learning must be understood, within this context, as an active, rather than passive activity, in which the student is the primary agent, not the teacher. We also purpose to integrate athletics and physical education into the curriculum of the school. Finally, although language proficiency refers primarily to English proficiency, we encourage all our students to become familiar with a second language.
The Core Content. We believe that becoming knowledgeable in the separate academic subjects, while important, is not sufficient. The biblical correlation to the classical model of grammar, logic, and rhetoric are the concepts of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. The knowledge or grammar stage of a student’s intellectual development is only a beginning stage. To be truly educated, a student must also make connections across the disciplines, discovering ways to integrate the separate subjects, and ultimately relating what they learn to live. This is accomplished, in part, as the student progresses from knowledge into understanding and, ultimately, wisdom. Wisdom is defined in scripture as the correct application of knowledge and understanding (Prov. 2:6, 15:2; Ps. 111:10). Therefore, a justifiable goal in all academic study is the development of wisdom in the student.
The Common Experiences. We affirm the validity of G.K. Chesterton’s assertion that, “Education is not a subject, and it does not deal in subjects. It is instead a transfer of a way of life.” That stated, we further affirm that although there is a core content to be learned in history, literature, science, civics, and other fields of academic study, we believe this traditional content must be fitted within a number of integrative themes, or “common experiences.” These might best be summarized as those experiences shared by all people that represent the essential conditions of human existence that add meaning to our lives. These experiences imply a degree of understanding that ultimately and finally enables a coherent curriculum, suggesting, among other things that 1) we all share the sacredness of life, 2) we all send messages to each other, 3) we all belong to groups and institutions, 4) we all respond to the aesthetic, 5) we all seek to live with purpose.
Measuring Results. In addition to an obvious accountability to a School Board, FCA is accountable to parents, to students, and to the community at large. Academic standards are established both in language and the common experiences, with certain benchmarks to monitor student achievement. The personal and social qualities of students are also observed and evaluated informally by teachers. Assessment in the Christian school is, always, in the service of learning.
Climate for Learning
Patterns to Fit Purpose. At Franklin Christian Academy, every student is encouraged to become a disciplined, creative, well-motivated learner. Class size is kept small, the teaching schedule is flexible, and student grouping arrangements are varied to promote learning.
Resources to Enrich. FCA makes available to all students rich resources for learning, from chemicals to computers, from books to buildings, from teachers to tutors. Community resources are also tapped to enhance learning opportunities. In this technological age, these resources must include tools that connect each classroom (indeed each student) to the vast networks of knowledge outside the classroom.
Services for Students. FCA is committed to serving the whole child, acknowledging that a student’s physical, social, and emotional well-being also relates to learning. Beyond a solid academic program, the school provides basic health and counseling services for students, referrals for families, career planning, and preparatory college testing to prepare students for the next step in their personal journeys.
Commitment to Character
The Core Virtues. FCA is concerned with the ethical and moral dimensions of a student’s life. The goal is to assure that all students, on leaving school, will have developed a keen sense of personal and civic and global responsibility inherent in what it means to live as a Christian, committed to both the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. This is best accomplished through discipleship relationships between teachers and students, as well as students with other students, that instruct, reprove, correct, encourage and motivate members of the community to pursue Christ-likeness in all areas of life.
Numerous core values, as presented in Scripture (i.e. worship, respect, submission to authority, compassion, perseverance, giving, serving, integrity, honesty), are presented and emphasized to guide the students as they walk in excellence in living, as well as in learning. Transforming discipleship takes place through the collective efforts of the teachers as mentors partnering with the parents.
Living With Purpose. These scriptural, core values are taught both by word as well as deed. Through the curriculum, the school climate, and through community service, students are encouraged to apply the lessons of the classroom to the world around them. The goal for graduates of Franklin Christian Academy is to be equipped to enter the next learning phase of their life (i.e. college, workforce, ministry) with a steadfast commitment to God’s purposes and God’s ways (Revised 07/11/08).