Christian education and its role in American schools have a long history. It takes the beginning from the Puritan era until the World War and the American revolution.1 Today, the significance and the function of religion in school education have changed back from the 16th century2. The number of Christian education schools is in crisis, and instead, public schools are educating the major number of children population3. In the 19th century, the effect of the church and religion on education began to vanish.4 Thus, the number of nondenominational schools in the U.S. rose steadily.5 The research topic is the influence of Christian education, and the work will investigate and compare the impact of public schools and that Christian schools on the spiritual formation and academic success of the students. The boundaries of the inquiry are that the research is to be made only based on certain educational institutions and on the limited number of students. However, it does not mean that all the Christian schools and public schools affect all the students in the proposed way.
The Research Methodology
The methodology of the research is based on the implementation of the survey and interviews. The qualitative method for the research included the participation of 200 students from two different schools, the first of which is a public school and the second which is a private Christian school. One hundred students from each institution conducted an online survey that aimed to investigate what influence their schools have on their spiritual values and academic achievements. After completion of the survey, 50 students from each school were randomly selected for the interview phase. The interviews were held in order to ask more precise questions about students’ experience with the school systems and their impact on the religious and academic aspects. Potential difficulties in conducting the research are that not all the students could be fully open when revealing their religious and academic life details. Spiritual formation and academic success are both individual and can develop differently in each student. The hypothesis for the research is that Christian schools have a greater impact on the spiritual formation of the students.
There are several sources regarding Christian education in American schools that can contribute to the understanding of the research topic. The study handled by Dalziel (2021) examines a variety of current legal issues that have affected Christian colleges and universities all around the world and reveals recurring themes in the issues at hand6. The strong side of this work is that it takes into account how these difficulties influence not only Christian but also other religious and educational institutions. This could be used in research to generalize the importance of religion in education. However, the weakness is that it emphasizes more ethical issues, such as sexuality and religion, than the educational system itself.
The next work written by Poppinga et al. (2019) outlines the case for establishing chances for an interfaith engagement at Christian institutions.7 The strength of the research is that it investigates the role of Christian education in post-Christian society. This information is useful for research when investigating the role of religious education in the modern world. The weakness is that the work does not compare it with the current public school education. The South Carolina Baptist Congress of Christian Education’s role as an auxiliary department of the Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention of South Carolina was explored in the study by Griffin (2021).8 The strong side of the research is that it considers church education in the current world. However, it only focuses on the Baptist church in a certain region of America.
The work provided by Sertan and Wilhoit (2020) covers the growing connections between these movements in the final two decades of the 20th century, the shifting emphasis on this relationship since 2000, and the requirement for additional cross-fertilization between the two fields as ministries deal with 21st-century challenges.9 The strength of the work is that it compares the place of Christian education in spiritual formation. It could be used in the research to compare the place of Christian education in the past and present days. The weakness of the work is that it does not cover the academic aspects of educational institutions. The work handled by Oxley (2021) looks at how Baptists influenced modern educational thought, spiritual growth after childhood, and the congregation as a learning community throughout the 20th century.10 The strong side of the work is that it highly relates to the research topic as it considers the influence of Christian education on spiritual development. It can be used in research to elaborate on the role of spiritual formation in modern schools. However, the weak side is that it only emphasizes spiritual growth after childhood.
Burdelski, Matthew J., and Kathryn M. Howard, eds. Language socialization in classrooms: Culture, interaction, and language development. Cambridge University Press, 2020.
Dalziel, James. “Do We Live in a Pluralist Society Any More? Christian Education as a Case Study.” Innovating Christian Education Research. Springer, Singapore, 2021. 173-190.
Griffin, Leonard O. An Academic-Style Seminar: An Intrinsic Case Study of the South Carolina Baptist Congress of Christian Education. Diss. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2021.
Imbarack, Patricia, and Cristobal Madero. Catholic education in Latin America: An ongoing project. Cham: Springer, 2021.
Kemmis, Stephen, and Christine Edwards-Groves. Understanding Education: History, Politics and Practice. Singapore: Springer, 2018.
Luetz, Johannes M, and Beth Green. Innovating Christian education research: Multidisciplinary perspectives. Singapore: Springer, 2021.
Oxley, Simon. “Instruction, Education, Nurture–Changing Understandings of Christian Education among English Baptists in the Twentieth Century.” Baptist Quarterly 52.3 (2021): 112-124. doi: /10.1080/0005576X.2021.1917875
Poppinga, Amy, Marion Larson, and Sara Shady. “Building bridges across faith lines: Responsible Christian education in a post-Christian society.” Christian Higher Education 18.1-2 (2019): 98-110. doi: /10.1080/15363759.2018.1542906
Setran, David, and Jim Wilhoit. “Christian Education and Spiritual Formation: Recent History and Future Prospects.” Christian Education Journal 17.3 (2020): 530-546. doi: /10.1177/0739891320937463
Smith, Gary Scott. American religious history: Belief and society through time. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2021.
- Burdelski, Matthew J, and Kathryn M Howard. Language Socialization in Classrooms: Culture, Interaction, and Language Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.
- Luetz, Johannes M, and Beth Green. Innovating Christian education research: Multidisciplinary perspectives. Singapore: Springer, 2021.
- Smith, Gary Scott. American religious history: Belief and society through time. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2021.
- Imbarack, Patricia, and Cristobal Madero. Catholic education in Latin America: An ongoing project. Cham: Springer, 2021.
- Kemmis, Stephen, and Christine Edwards-Groves. Understanding Education: History, Politics and Practice. Singapore: Springer, 2018.
- Dalziel, J. (2021). Do We Live in a Pluralist Society Any More? Christian Education as a Case Study. In Innovating Christian Education Research (pp. 173-190). Springer, Singapore.
- Poppinga, A., Larson, M., & Shady, S. (2019). Building bridges across faith lines: Responsible Christian education in a post-Christian society. Christian Higher Education, 18(1-2), 98-110.
- Griffin, L. O. (2021). An Academic-Style Seminar: An Intrinsic Case Study of the South Carolina Baptist Congress of Christian Education (Doctoral dissertation, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary).
- Setran, D., & Wilhoit, J. (2020). Christian Education and Spiritual Formation: Recent History and Future Prospects. Christian Education Journal, 17(3), 530-546.
- Oxley, S. (2021). Instruction, Education, Nurture–Changing Understandings of Christian Education among English Baptists in the Twentieth Century. Baptist Quarterly, 52(3), 112-124.