We aim to graduate young men and women who think clearly and listen carefully with discernment and understanding; who reason persuasively and articulate precisely; who are capable of evaluating their entire range of experience in the light of the Scriptures; and who do so with eagerness in joyful submission to God. We desire them to recognize cultural influences as distinct from biblical, and to be unswayed towards evil by the former.
We aim to find them well-prepared in all situations, possessing both information and the knowledge of how to use it. We desire they be socially graceful and spiritually gracious; equipped with and understanding the tools of learning; desiring to grow in understanding, yet fully realizing the limitations and foolishness of the wisdom of this world.
We desire they have a heart for the lost and the courage to seek to dissuade those who are stumbling towards destruction; that they distinguish real religion from religion in form only; and that they possess the former, knowing and loving the Lord Jesus Christ. And all these we desire them to possess with humility and gratitude to God.
We likewise aim to cultivate these same qualities in our staff and to see them well paid so that they may make a career at Logos. We desire them to be professional and diligent in their work, gifted in teaching, loving their students and their subjects.
We desire they clearly understand classical education, how it works in their classroom and how their work fits into the whole; that they possess a lifelong hunger to learn and grow; and that they have opportunity to be refreshed and renewed. We desire to see them coach and nurture new staff and to serve as academic mentors to students. We look to see them mature in Christ, growing in the knowledge of God, their own children walking with the Lord.
We aim to cultivate in our parents a sense of responsibility for the school; to see them well informed about the goals of our classical and Christ-centered approach. We desire them to grow with the school, involved in and excited about the journey. We aim to help them to follow biblical principles in addressing concerns, to be inclined to hearing both sides of a story before rendering a verdict, and to embrace the Scripture’s injunctions to encourage and stir up one another to love and good works.
Finally, in our relationship with our community, we aim to be above reproach in our business dealings and supportive of the local business community. We further seek to exemplify the unity of the body of Christ, to develop greater fellowship and understanding with the churches, and to bring honor to our Lord in all our endeavors.
Logos School was established in 1981 in Moscow, Idaho. From the beginning the school operated under the motto: “A classical and Christ-centered education.” That motto stated in a general way the philosophy of the individuals who started the school.
In December, 1984, the six-member board of Logos School met together and committed to paper the primary objectives or goals of the school. It seemed good to organize these more specific statements around the structure provided by the motto. The list of goals is thus divided in two. The first section has three goals under the heading “Christ-centered.” The second section, labeled “Classical,” also has three goals.
It is the purpose of this article to provide a commentary on these goals. This is not because the goals are unintelligible and need to be explained. Rather, it is because the goals are distilled statements of a particular philosophy which should be understood as the source of the goals. The goals are not generic truths; they stand or fall with the philosophy that produced them.
In all its levels, programs, and teaching, Logos school seeks to:
A. Teach all subjects as parts of an integrated whole with the Scriptures at the center. [II Timothy 3:16-17; Colossians 1:15-20]
In order to be Christ-centered, Christian education must be more than a baptized secularism. It is not enough to take the curricula of the government schools, add prayer and a Bible class, and claim the result is somehow Christian.
Secular education places man at the center of all things. Christian education places the God/man at the center. What does this mean?
There is no such thing as neutrality in education. Every fact, every truth is understood in the light of a certain world view. This means that history, art, music, mathematics, etc., must all be taught in the light of God’s existence and His revelation of His son, Jesus Christ. Because the Scriptures occupy a crucial role in teaching us about this revelation, they must also occupy a critical role in Christian education.
This is not to say that the Bible was meant to be read as a science or mathematics text. It was not. It does, however, provide a framework for understanding these so-call “secular” subjects. Without such a framework for understanding, all subjects will degenerate into chaotic absurdity.
As R.L. Dabney stated, “Every line of true knowledge must find its completeness in its convergency to God, even as every beam of daylight leads the eye to the sun. If religion be excluded from our study, every process of thought will be arrested before it reaches its proper goal. The structure of thought must remain a truncated cone, with its proper apex lacking.” p. 233
As Christian educators our goal is not to require the students to spend all their time gazing at the sun. We want them to examine everything else in the light the sun provides. It would be invincible folly to try to blacken the sun in order to be able to study the world around us objectively.
Because all truth comes from God, the universe is coherent. Without God, particulars have no relation to other particulars. The universe must, under this understanding, be a multiverse; an infinite array of absurd “facts.” In education this position leads to the fragmentation of knowledge. History bears no relation to English, and biology no relation to philosophy.
Because we have a Christian world view, based on the Scriptures, we are able to give the students a unified education. That unity is only possible because of the centrality of the Scriptures in the educational process. Without that centrality, true education will wither and die. With it, all subjects will be understood, and more importantly, they will be understood as parts of an integrated whole.
B. Provide a clear model of the biblical Christian life through our staff and board. [Matthew 22:37-40, Matthew 5:13-16]
Education does not exist for its own sake. It is not an exercise conducted on paper. Education occurs when information is transferred from one individual to another. We have already discussed how that information can be a part of an integrated world view. But this by itself is not enough.
If the subject matter is in line with the Scriptures but the life of the teachers is not, a conflict is created in the mind of the student. What the inconsistent teacher writes on the blackboard and what he lives in the classroom are two different things. This same conflict can be created in the minds of the students and teachers if a board members is living in a manner inconsistent with the Bible.
When hypocrisy is tolerated it leads to greater problems. At best, the integrated Christian world view becomes a dead orthodoxy – – true words, but only words. At worst, anti-Christian living leads to anti-Christian teaching. The hypocrisy is removed by making the instruction as false as the life.
As Christian educators, we recognize that hypocrisy on our part will place a stumbling block in the path of the students. The flow of information from teacher to student will be seriously hindered. Because we are in the business of transmitting a Christian world view we must also be in the business of living exemplary Christian lives.
C. Encourage every child to begin and develop his relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ. [Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 19:13-15]
Without regeneration, a Christian world view and a Christian lifestyle are nonsensical impossibilities. If a man is dead, it is wasted effort to seek to revive him with a nourishing meal. If the life-principal is absent from the student, no amount of instruction and example on the part of the teacher will give that student life.
We have the responsibility to plant and water. We also have the responsibility to recognize that growth comes from God. God initiates growth in the life of the individual when he is born again. From that time on, the nourishment of instruction results in genuine growth as the Christian puts what he learns into practice.
It is not our role as educators to attempt to make God’s work in human lives superfluous. There is no way to perfect human being by means of instruction — even if that instruction is Christian in content. The error of thinking that education can perfect man is one that was with the government schools at their inception and which still governs their philosophy. To repeat this error — even with Christian instruction — is to create a legalistic atmosphere in the school. This is in contrast to the good news that God offers us in Christ, which will create a moral atmosphere in the school.
Good instruction is conducive to rational Christian minds and godly Christian lives, but only if it presupposes and is built on the Gospel. This Gospel is that is someone hears that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures and that he rose again on the third day, and if that person responds to this message with repentance and belief, then God will give that person eternal life.
It is our goal to bring every child who does not have a relationship with the Father into such a relationship through Christ. Then, and only then, will the rest of the education we offer be fully understandable. If the child already knows the Lord, it is our goal to encourage him to develop that relationship. As he grows, the education he is receiving will further that growth.
As we use it here the word “classical” refers to the structure and form of the education we provide. It refers also to the content of the studies.
In all its levels, programs, and teaching, Logos school seeks to:
A. Emphasize grammar, logic and rhetoric in all subjects.
The structure of our curriculum is traditional with a strong emphasis on the “basics.” We understand the “basics” to be subjects such as mathematics, history, and language studies. Not only are these subjects covered, they are covered in a particular way. For example: in science class the students will not only read their text, the will read also from primary sources (e.g. How a Pump Lifts Water by Galileo Galile, or The Nature of Heat by Benjamin Franklin).
Grammar, logic, and rhetoric will be emphasized in all subjects. By grammar, we mean the fundamental rules of each subject (we do not limit grammar to language studies). In English, a singular noun does not take a plural verb. In logic, A does not equal ^A. In history, time is linear not cyclic. Each subject has its own grammar, which we require the student to learn. This enables the student to learn the subject from the inside out.
The logic of each subject refers to the ordered relationship of that subject’s particulars. What is the relationship between the Reformation and the colonization of America? What is the relationship between the subject and object of a sentence? As the students learn the underlying rules or principles of a subject (grammar) along with how the particulars of that subject relate to each other (logic), they are learning to think. They are not simply memorizing fragmented pieces of knowledge.
The last emphasis is rhetoric. We want our students to be able to express clearly everything they learn. An essay in history must be written as clearly as if it were an English paper. An oral presentation in science should be as coherent as possible. It is not enough that the ‘history’ or ‘science’ is correct. This must also be expressed well.
B. Encourage every student to develop a love for learning and live up to his academic potential.
This goal is impossible to realize unless the teachers have a real love for the subject. If the teacher is not excited about having this knowledge, then why should the student be excited about acquiring it? Necessity may induce the student to learn the material; it will not induce him to love it. If he does not love it, he will content himself with some minimum standard. The origin of this travesty of education is a teacher who also is content with some minimum standard.
A teacher who is excited about the subject he teaches will be extremely sensitive to those students who are seemingly bored. Because the school has a good student:teacher ratio (15:1), the instructor will have ample opportunities to encourage individual students.
If this goal is successfully reached, then the student will spend the rest of his life building on the foundation laid during his time at Logos. Not only did he receive the tools of learning, he acquired the desire to use them. Unlike most tools, they do not wear out with use.
C. Provide an orderly atmosphere conducive to the attainment of the above goals.
There is only one way to maintain an orderly atmosphere in a school and that is by means of strict, loving discipline. It is possible for discipline to be strict without ceasing to be fair or loving. Indeed, when discipline lapses, fairness and love are usually the first casualties. There is no way to love or instruct a child in the midst of chaos.
Our discipline policy included the use of corporal punishment. This is not done is a way that usurps the authority of parents. When a child is being disciplined, the parents are involved at every step. It is our desire to be a service to parents, not a replacement of them. This is not only true of the entire program at Logos, but is particularly true of our discipline policy.
We understand that many children who are discipline problems have deep-seated difficulties which cannot be solved by means of discipline at school. Nevertheless, our primary obligation is to the majority of students who require an orderly atmosphere in which to learn. We will not tolerate the on-going presence of a disruptive student. He must either submit to the standards of the school or he will be subject to expulsion.
Any one of the above goals taken in isolation would be an inadequate basis for education. Taken together, we believe they establish a remarkably firm foundation. We look forward to seeing the minds of many young people educated in a way that, tragically, is very rarely seen today. As God blesses, we hope to see that change.