Skip to main content
Classical Christian Movement

Confirmation and Transformation

By January 1, 2009January 31st, 2023No Comments

← Back to Resources

Whenever I ponder the question of whether Christian schools make “spiritual formation” a mission objective, I reflect on my own childhood education, which included fourth through seventh grade in a parochial school. These years happened also to be my first four as a young convert to Christianity.

The pastor taught our confirmation class each day, introducing concepts like eternal security, salvation, and baptism in a traditional denominational context. Concurrently, I was also active in another church in town. Unwittingly, the confirmation class pastor played a huge role in my spiritual formation, not because of the weight of material I memorized for him, but because many of his claims ran counter to what I was hearing in church. This conflict fed my spiritual formation as I tirelessly pursued the truth. My classmates were eventually confirmed, but sadly not transformed. Their experience lacked the tension that catalyzed my growth. For them, the indoctrination was drudgery—even perhaps, a necessary evil.

I share this personal anecdote to emphasize that young children can think deeply about spiritual truths, but also to challenge our Christian schools to be places where students are safely guided
to the truth rather than places where teaching is reduced to simply telling the truth and assessing students for recall or understanding. Knowing truth and experiencing a transformation in the heart because of truth are two different things. If we want our students to personally embrace the fact that God loves them, it won’t be achieved through indoctrination. Instead, we need to find ways to encourage students to wrestle with truth – even if it means that they go home from a lesson in conflict or confusion.

As a school administrator, rather than making “spiritual formation” an objective of our mission, I would prefer to make “the opportunity for spiritual formation” a critical objective. This is not simply playing with words. My hope in creating these opportunities is that God will do a work in our students as they interface with the truths of scripture, as they interact with godly teachers, or as they wrestle with tensions and confusion that may crop up during a lesson. We need to offer the opportunities for students to develop in their spiritual formation, and we need to guard against all that hinders. In so doing, we need to recognize that any spiritual formation—any meaningful transformation of the heart—is the work of the Spirit of God.

Our school caters to Christian students and non-Christian students alike, and we recognize that non-Christian students will not experience spiritual formation without first becoming new creatures through Christ. When we graduate a student who has not become a Christian, despite the intense biblical literacy and integration that characterizes our curriculum, though, our mission has not failed. This is because our mission as a school is limited to what we can do as Christian educators. We can plant, we can water, we can toil in the vineyard, but God gives the increase if He wills and when He wills.

REGISTRATION OPEN

Summer Conference 2024 - National Harbor, Maryland

Join us for a gathering of classical Christian educators from around the world as we consider what it means to build school communities and welcome the outside through biblical hospitality.

As a member, you receive access to all of the most recent summer conference content, including 80+ workshops, plenary speakers, etc., plus access to the full library of past content.

Conference Sessions

Ensure increased visibility for your school by having it listed on the Find a School Map, connecting you with potential students and families seeking a classical Christian learning environment.

Map Feature

Unlock a wealth of exclusive resources, such as research studies and articles, providing valuable insights and knowledge for your school's continuous improvement.

Resources

Enable your school to easily post job openings and attract qualified candidates with the Career Center, simplifying the hiring process.

Career Center

Enjoy exclusive discounts on all SCL events and services, empowering you to access valuable resources and opportunities for your school's growth at a more affordable cost.

Exclusive Discounts

Get access to exclusive cohorts and workshops!

Cohorts and Workshops

SCL conducts school-wide surveys to provide relevant information to the classical Christian community as well as access to in-depth research with partner organizations like the Barna Group.

Research

A connected community of classical Christian thought leaders, including heads of school, board members, marketing and admissions directors, development and fundraising directors, academic deans, grammar and upper school heads, and teachers from all grade levels are here to support and encourage one another.

Community

Member-exclusive Coaching Call sessions. 15-20 online sessions each year from key-thought leaders on topics ranging from legal and operational issues to pedagogical and philosophical discussions. Think of it as a mini-conference each month!

Coaching Calls

Gain new insight, knowledge, and skills around best practices in a short, intensive format with workshops or a year-long mentorship experience with cohorts. Designed for administrators, teachers, parents, leaders, and department heads – anyone seeking to learn and grow in their role.

Conference & Workshops

Our network of seasoned professionals is available to navigate your questions and brainstorm solutions with you. Let us know how you want to direct your time and we will pair you with the senior leader that best suits your school’s unique needs.

Consulting