The 12 Principles of Non-Traditional Christian Education

Education within the United States has been focused primarily on left-brained studies. Reason and memorization have been emphasized far above creativity and innovation. In higher education, classes are taught based on a curriculum instead of allowing the teaching to be based on the needs of each student. And rewards, such as grades, credits and degrees, are based on course completion and reciting memorized facts rather than a demonstration or understanding and skill.

Even in Christian colleges, where we have Jesus and the Bible as examples of how to teach, these Bible colleges have tended to follow the same teaching tradition as their secular counterparts. I believe education should work differently. There is a better way.

Here are 12 principles of Non-traditional Christian Education:

1. Awards degrees on the basis of competencies and performance skills. It’s not enough to just get good grades. You must demonstrate competency and skill.

2. Bases degree requirements on an agreement between the student and the faculty, aimed at helping the student achieve his or her career, personal, or professional goals. Every student is different and their goals and calling is different. Their education should be uniquely designed around them.

3. Awards the degree when the student’s actual work and learning reach agreed-upon levels.

4. Assumes learning desirable at any age, and that degrees should be available to people of all ages. Education is not just for the young.

5. Sees any part of the world as appropriate for some learning. Education occurs in places other than classrooms, probably more often.

6. Believes the range of learning resources is limitless, from the daily newspaper to personal interviews; from videocassettes to microcomputers to world travel. Why limit yourself to just one book?

7. Faculty are judged on competency and personal qualities, in addition to credentials and degrees (take note: a non-traditional faculty must still be academically qualified).

8. Credits…

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