What is the purpose of education? The purpose of education is the same as our overall purpose for life—to display the glory of God. God does all that he does in order to uphold and display his glory.
Believers accomplish this purpose by being Great Commandment people. God does all that he does to uphold and display his glory. Moreover, he calls me to see, know, and rejoice in him as the supreme treasure. Hence, education is the systematic study of all subject matter so that students may see, understand, and rejoice in the glory of God. True education should lead us to a deepening sense of awe and wonder.
In other words, the purpose of education must be tied to an adequate purpose for living. If it is not, our education becomes something less than education and will not prepare the next generation for a flourishing life. For example, if getting a job is the point, then all classes should flow in that direction. But this is a woefully inadequate purpose. What happens when one can no longer work? Is life, therefore, no longer worth living?
This means that education is about more than passing on facts. David Dockery is rightly observes that when we understand this, “Education will mean much more than passing on content to our students. It will also mean shaping character, and it will move toward the development and construction of a convictional worldview by which we can see, learn, and interpret the world from the vantage point of God’s revelation to us.”
The acquisition of such a worldview will naturally lead to service, as we extend the love of God toward others in good deeds. As Albert Green writes, “If there is a true and living God who is pleased, once we have returned to him through Christ’s redemption, to make Himself known to us through His ongoing upholding of the creation, then the facts are not neutral but motivational. They lead to a deepening awe of the Creator, to thanks and love and service to Him.”
In other words, all of life is worship. Therefore, the true goal of education is worship then service. Every subject and every interaction should aim to enflame the heart and equip the hands. This infuses everything with meaning.