Pioneer Valley Christian Academy held its annual Back to School Convocation on Thursday, September 7. Headmaster, Timothy Duff, referred to four facts regarding Christian education at Pioneer Valley Christian Academy.
First, PVCA keeps Christ at its center. “At the Christian school we can talk about the Truth-Giver in the classroom,” Mr. Duff stated, “We have the privilege of teaching students that everything ultimately comes from the hand of God.”
Second, PVCA educates the whole person. Mr. Duff referred to the three H’s; the head, the heart, and the hands. “The head represents knowledge; the heart reveals our true character; and our hands symbolize service.” PVCA teaches that all knowledge comes from God, with the ultimate goal that the students understand, analyze, and interpret every subject from a Biblical perspective. “Character is determined by the choices one makes,” Mr. Duff added, “Therefore, we strive to teach the students to make Godly choices, as their character should always reflect their Creator.” Mr. Duff continued with a quotation from President Theodore Wilson, “’To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.’”
Third, PVCA partners with families and the church. Mr. Duff emphasized that PVCA must not be the only Biblical influence in a student’s life. He stressed the importance of the Family, Church, and Christian School working together as one. “As teachers,” Mr. Duff stated, “it is our desire to partner with parents to shape the whole child.” He also reminded parents of the importance of reading scripture at home and attending weekly church service. “Don’t just drop them off,” Mr. Duff joked with parents, “You should be going too.”
Fourth, PVCA stays true to its mission. The PVCA mission states that it is an independent academy in partnership with families and churches instilling a Biblical worldview through a liberal arts education. “One of the challenges of Christian schools throughout history has been staying true to its mission,” Mr. Duff explained, “It is easy to drift, as there is a great amount of pressure from the culture to water everything down. It takes a considerable amount of vigilance to keep an institution from drifting away from the faith. PVCA is committed to its mission.”
Mr. Duff made it clear that the mission of PVCA is shaped by scripture, and that the Bible is the fundamental book which undergirds the school. Our goal is to train our students to integrate their Christian faith with their learning. He stated, “If we throw out God’s Word, we might as well close our doors, shut the lights off, and go do something else. The scriptures are the fundamental basis for which our school exists. Our ultimate goal is to provide students with an education that develops the Christian mind, nurtures the soul, and shapes the character…for today and for the future.”