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The Christian School Difference

April 11, 2016
By Mike Skaggs

In 2011, Cardus, a Christian think tank in Canada, published the Cardus Education Survey (CES). The CES was the result of two years spent surveying staff and adult alumni (ages 24-29) of a variety of school types (public, home, Catholic, Protestant, and nonreligious private) with the goal of discovering what impact the graduates of each type of school had on society.

Below are ten key CES findings shared in an article titled “The Christian School Difference” (Christian School Comment, Vol. 44, Number 5, 2012/13) by ACSI president Dr. Dan Egeler. These  results show the spiritual, academic, and cultural benefits in and through the lives of graduates of Protestant Christian schools.

  1. These students graduate well prepared for a spiritual life and more strongly committed to their churches. More than any other graduates, they practice spiritual disciplines and attend church more regularly while maintaining a higher level of activity in their congregations.
  2. These students “are distinctively different from their peers in their belief that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation.”
  3. When they marry and have children, they spend more time incorporating their faith into their family life, praying, discussing God, and reading Scripture together as a family more often than any of their peers.
  4. These graduates tend to choose careers on the basis of their religious calling and place less importance on compensation than graduates from any other type of school.
  5. They give more of their time and finances to their churches and communities than their peers.
  6. These graduates feel more gratitude for their possessions.
  7. They use Scripture to make moral decisions more often and believe more strongly that moral standards are absolute.
  8. They participate in more post‐high‐school relief and development, mission, and evangelism trips than any of their peers.
  9. Protestant Christian schools are among the top 10 percent of schools when judged by average student performance on the NAEP test.
  10. Since ACSI started tracking Stanford Achievement Test scores in 1974, ACSI schools have scored significantly higher than the national norm in every grade level every year.

“As a Christian school parent, you already know the benefits of the educational investment you’re making in your children,” wrote Dr. Egeler.  “This study is a great reminder that you’ll see a return on that investment long after your children graduate. And so will our society!”

I know spring can be a difficult time for students, teachers, and parents. The year has been long, and summer is still weeks away. But be encouraged! The Christian education offered at TCA is not only of great value to your child, but also beneficial for our churches, our community, and our world. What a blessing to be part of something significant now and into eternity!