Cedarville Magazine, Fall 2023

2. There is focus on education because schools provide a captive audience. What better place to plant seeds and hope for growth than with a stationary and somewhat intellectually vulnerable population under the guise of helping children. Those who are concerned with moving an agenda, whether godly or ungodly, are focused on schools. 3. The believer is focused on schools because we love all image-bearers and understand what is at stake: God’s glory. Therefore, believers should have a heart bent toward schools and social agencies. We understand that children, who know nothing of public policy and politics, can be taught with the knowledge of the world or the knowledge of God. Christian teachers and social workers serve children at higher risk for being forgotten by society. I have witnessed our students in the field engaging, loving, educating, and caring for God’s children. We need more students to serve as His ambassadors to the lost. Not only in the United States, but in Cambodia, Zambia, Guatemala, Ireland, and Haiti. MUCH IS AT STAKE There is a lot at stake when we talk about education, particularly K–12 education. Today, entering classrooms and social care facilities all over the nation are little children — boys and girls of all ethnic backgrounds — who may not have the same access to food, water, loving parents, counselors, pastors, or equitable opportunities as someone a few miles away from their home. The Cedarville University School of Education and Social Work prioritizes putting God-fearing people who love Jesus and love His glory in places to love people. We exist to lead people through our daily activity to the throne of grace and feet of Jesus. EQUIPPING CHRISTIAN TEACHERS Teachers are expected to further the social and intellectual understanding of their students. They assist with the safety, health, and other concerns that influence the education of their students. Moreover, society expects teachers to offer some form of moral development to students. All of these opportunities are a high calling. However, what the world sees as having a high moral calling, the Christian educator understands as wanting to be salt and light; they want to cultivate hearts, not simply toward a more ethical calling — although those things are good — but to have the hearts of children turn toward God. HOW CEDARVILLE UNIVERSITY EQUIPS GRADUATES WHO STAND FOR TRUTH IN THE CLASSROOM It is important for Cedarville to equip our students well! Without the right equipment, work is harder — sometimes impossible — and is almost always dangerous. My children play soccer. Without shin guards, a player's legs are vulnerable to either an accidental or intentional kick from the other team. They wear cleats because the cleats give them the footing they need for success and safety. So, soccer players wear shin guards and appropriate footwear to keep them safe and performing optimally. It would be reckless for me as a parent to send Kennedi and Kevin, Jr., to a soccer field half prepared for a game. How much more reckless for us to send students to hard places not rightly fit with the armor of God? So, we equip our students with theological weaponry, which is the Word of God, and pedagogical tools. Theological truths come through many means. We have chapel daily where our students sit under the preaching of the Word; they take part in discipleship groups, class devotions, and a host of organizations that point hearts toward King Jesus. The greatest need we have is to know Christ and accept Him as LORD, Savior, and King. We train our students to understand that all men are as grass and knowledge as nothing before a holy and righteous God. What is a perfect grade point average if you do not know Jesus? Nothing. In closing, I offer another thought from Carl F. H. Henry: “Educators should therefore confront value clarification in public schools where one person's values are frequently seen to be just as legitimate as another's and where a relativistic view of morality all too often prevails.” Henry does not tell us to run and hide but to confront. Confront spaces that would diminish the glory and worship of Christ. Confront values that lean away from God. After all, this is God’s world, and we are His servants. Kevin Jones serves as Dean of the School of Education and Social Work. He earned his EdD in leadership education from Spalding University The Cedarville University School of Education and Social Work prioritizes putting God-fearing people who love Jesus and love His glory in places to love people. 24