When we paint a picture of a graduate, first aspect of that picture is spiritual. We, therefore, design our program in such a way that CLA students will enjoy a vibrant relationship with God which shapes them comprehensively. That is, at the end of their time with us, CLA students will know, love, and enjoy Jesus in such a way that He shapes every aspect of their life.
So many times we live fragmented lives, which means we often cannot connect the dots between different aspects of our own lives. I say this from experience, because this describes my teenage life. I remember one instance where there was great racial tension in our school. There were fights, threats, and people carried ball bats for protection in school. It was intense.
What never occurred to me, however, was the fact that my Christian faith spoke directly to this issue. Why would it? After all, my church life was part of my weekend life, which was disconnected from my during-the-week school life. This happened because there was no overarching vision connecting the two.
At CLA we believe there is something—rather I should say someone—who connects all of life. If Jesus is Lord, he is Lord over all of life, which means nothing is more important that knowing and loving Him, because nothing is designed to have such full-life implications.
This means the great end of education is worship. Worship is, therefore, the key to developing and holy sense of wonder and amazement, which is the basis for a truly well-rounded education. Recently, author N.D. Wilson has helped me understand that not only is this world God’s spoken world, but it is also the world sustained by God’s continued speech. This changes the way we look at creation. It gives us new eyes to see what God is doing on cool mornings after a hot summer. When surveying various aspects of creation—migrating butterflies, bunnies, and falcons—Wilson reminds us to ask, “Who made these? What does it tell us about Him? How can we be like Him?” For, he says, that is the quest of education, “Coming to know God. And the more you know Him the more fearful you become. The more filled with wonder you become. And then you are ready to learn.”
Thus, we are unashamed in our desire to see students graduate who are flourishing spiritually. Anything less would be a failure.
It was Jesus, after all, who said, “What profit is it to a man who gains the whole world but loses his soul?” We simply apply this to education. What does it profit a student to gain straight A’s and lose his/her soul? What does it profit a student to gain all kinds of friends and lose their soul? What does it profit a student to be a star athlete and lose their soul?
That is why we are dedicated to equipping students who enjoy a vibrant relationship with God that shapes them comprehensively