Christian Private Education vs Public School Education: What's the Difference

By Everette Hutchins, Headmaster, The Academy

As the Headmaster of an all-boys Christian middle school, I’ve been asked “Are you a school or are you a ministry?” What I’ve learned is that there is no difference between the two. The simplest definition for teaching is “the presentation of ideas brought forward by a figure of authority.” A school provides only a place for that to happen. Discipleship, which is the foundation of any ministry, is simply to train or teach … and that’s the same thing that happens in any respectable school.

As a Christian middle school, we simply have made the decision to put Jesus Christ at the center of our core values. If you walk into any school, you will see signs posted all over the walls that say “Be Kind!”, “Respect each other”, “Be helpful”, “Be friendly”, etc. Many schools will discuss these values and give real life examples, but to teach them explicitly is considered to be time consuming.

Here at The Academy, we ask our boys to become “Men of Honor.” All of those core values – respect, honor, truthfulness, confidence, hope – are implied. What we are training them to be, and the core values that provide the foundation, are no different than at any other school. The difference is that we are allowed to wear our faith on our sleeves when we instruct our students on how to be “Men of Honor.” We can incorporate it into our curriculum and behavior plans. We can set rewards and consequences. We can measure growth over time.

We are taught to love one another. The Bible tells us that love is not a feeling, but an action. It is patience, kindness, protection, trust, hope, and perseverance. As a school AND as a ministry, these are the qualities we will always strive to display for our teachers, our parents, and our students.

The Academy, a middle school for at-risk boys, is part of Pathways Danbury Youth Ministries, a ministry of the Jericho Partnership.