A Response to my Concerns from ACSI

Hi Peter.

I trust you are enjoying the blessings of God upon your life.  We are blessed by our Heavenly Father Who doeth all things well, particularly as it relates to caring for His children.

I agree with the premise of your question.  I can assure you that the passion of our hearts at ACSI is in agreement with you regarding the preparation of teachers teaching in Christian Schools.  There is no emphasis on our part to regard a state certification over ACSI certification.   We believe that both are important, however I would rather have an ACSI certified teacher over State if I had to choose one.

It is my observation that most Christian Colleges are not preparing Teachers to teach in the Christian Schools.  It is the stated purpose of many Christian Colleges/Universities to prepare teachers for state certification/license.  Additionally our Christian young people being prepared for teaching are not coming from homes/churches where the whole counsel of God is being proclaimed.  Therefore we have malnutritioned young people wanting to go into Christian School teaching.  Their shortcomings are difficult for a Christian College to remediate, in four years.

When I was growing up my parents led devotions everyday 7 days a week, with SS on Sunday, followed by the Morning service, youth groups in the PM and evening church and then Prayer meeting on Wednesday pm.  VBS/summer camps in the summer with heavy memorization of Scripture for our camp scholarship(100 verses-said 25 at a sitting). Also Revivals annually were required attendance and Christian Colleges/Bible Colleges for post HS training to prepare for life’s work.  It isn’t that way anymore!!

MBI is an exception.  Indiana Wesleyan U is seeking to respond to the challenge of Christian School teacher preparation.

Thank you for your expressed interest/concern in the emphasis of ACSI regarding Teacher Certification.  You may want to talk with Merry Clark at our HQ to get her thoughts on this subject.  She oversees the Certification Department of ACSI.

I pray that you will have a strong conclusion to this school year.

Dave 

David V. Bates

ACSI, Regional Director

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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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8 Responses to A Response to my Concerns from ACSI

  1. i beg to differ with Mr. Bates that 4 years cannot remediate the lack of strong biblical teaching in students.  In fact, i would say it only takes an instant to remediate these shortcomings…because it isn’t anything anybody could do in 4 years or even in the 18 years of growing up in family devotions, sunday school, Scripture memorization, and VBS.  Such activities can be attended religiously with no faith, no growth, no change, no learning.  Yet once the Spirit of God fills the heart of a student worlds of change can be brought about in four years.  Not only this, but  4 years is not the end of it.  Who can say that a lifetime can even remediate the problems that we have as sinful creatures.  Only God can bring us closer to His standard of righteousness.It seems to me that Mr. Bates has given up on the next generation of teachers and is underestimating the power of our almighty God to change the hearts and minds of His children.  and while this change can take place in the process of state certification, the teacher is trained to pass that change on (hopefully) through ACSI certification.

  2. rookie1987 says:

    theroommatelife I don’t agree with your assessment of Mr. Bates. I acknowledge that you make a point in that those activities can be done religiously for years, but you do have to admit that even done in that way over a period of 18 years that person has a lot of “knowledge” which then in that same four years makes it so their growth is explosive. I don’t think that Mr. Bates has given up on the next generation of teachers and frankly I don’t see where you got that from. If you can pull out a quote or two of where you came to that conclusion I think that might help me out a bit. Also the same for your accusation of Mr. Bates underestimating God’s power the same request from me. I do have one other request of you theroommatelife. What is the difference between ACSI certification and state certification besides the fact of who gives them out? Looking forward to hearing more from you.
    Salt and Light
    Silver

  3. nanahuff says:

    Inference is everything here… though I’m not sure Mr. Bates could be anymore direct in his position on this matter than he was. Check his third paragraph and the phrases “malnourished young people” and “shortcomings are difficult for a college to remediate, in four years”.Perhaps it is not a definitive statement. Most educators are not definitive in nature. They always leave the door open. (Classroom teachers call it flexibility. Administrators refer to it as culpability.) But I must admit the scenario as painted by Mr. Bates appears extremely dismal.Our lives whether raised in a God fearing home and church or having been saved just prior to heading off to college are in the hands of the Lord. He can do anything with us that He chooses. But there is a rub. Obedience. Training in obedience is something Paul struggled with day in and day out and proved to us that with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and for many of us over time, we can submit to His will. Time. That was what I believe Mr. Bates was eluding to in his email. That is difficult to teach. And to incorporate obedience to the Spirit with your preparations as a teacher, which is already a daunting responsibility, seems almost a monumental task. Four years seems hardly enough, especially if the student is lacking in rudimental Christian training.Peter, I commend you on sending your letter to Mr. Bates. So often we sit back and do nothing with our thoughts and thus the status quo remains. Continue with your actions. Move life forward for the better, towards improvement… for His Kingdom.Godspeed…

  4. to start out with, to say that Mr. Bates has given up on the next generation is similar to saying He understimates the power of the Holy Spirit to change hearts and lives. The two quotes I inferred these two statements from are found in nanahuff’s response, esp. that “shortcomings are difficult for a college to remediate, in four years.” perhaps I am reading him wrong, but that is the impression i got after reading the letter a couple times through. i by no means intended to disrespect Mr. Bates but was merely responding with my reaction to the letter. i obviously cannot comment on Mr. Bates personally from one letter.i do agree with you, in some sense, that 18 years of solid Bible teaching growing up is a wonderful foundation and can be very beneficial, but i also agree with Mr. Bates that in all my experience (in the several places i have lived and many churches i have visited) such a thing is extremely difficult to come by.in many ways my response is based much on personal experience. having no history of teachers in my family, they had little idea what a good school looked like when my brothers and i were growing up, apart from state scores. After attending 2 completely different christian schools (one overseas) and 4 different public schools, my background in the Bible was sorely lacking. Despite my parents’ strong reminders that we did indeed do devotions as a family almost every night growing up (until my brothers were in middle school) i have no recollection of them. Any Scripture memorization that comes to mind has no context, background, and little meaning except as an “evangelistic tool.” thus, while i did have some Bible background and i cannot understimate the power of loving, godly parents (even if they are aversed to theology), i do tend to underestimate the affects of growing up in a “Christian world” and doing those things. Many other experiences come to weigh in on this view. The reason i say these things is because 4 years of Bible college, at least for me…in my experience, has turned my life around. I’ve been given more than the foundation I never had and have been taught biblcial ideas that never would otherwise have crossed my mind. And while i will never claim that the Spirit does not work in state universities (i would NEVER go there) He has worked so strongly in me these past three years and i partly attribute it to strong Biblical teaching in every class. Again, my argument from experience. as to the difference between state certification and ACSI i have done no research but assume the difference is this: ACSI certification includes classes of Bible and, hopefully, teaches biblical integration with all subjects while state certification obviously requires no such thing. I think Mr. Worrall may have a clearer answer on that one.

  5. rookie1987 says:

    I have never attended a christian school before this year. I did go to a state university and I don’t see why you would NEVER go there but then again maybe it isn’t the place for you. I do wonder if you have not grown up in a “Christian world” at all would you have even have been at a Bible college? Now I will say that Bible college is great for spiritual growth. I also have this to say any previous knowledge and growth before college we will give the value of X and college is given the value of 4. Now with the X>0 this would mean that no matter what X+4 is > then just 4. So 4 years is a lot of spiritual growth but you can never make up X since the person with X is also getting the 4. So basically a person with a base grows off of that base and the person without as strong a base for shores up or builds and then grows off of that base. So in the end most likely the first person will have grown more in the end. There are those who do not follow this on both sides but generally a person with background is easier to teach because they have a base already. On top of that you have to spend time unteaching some things before you can teach someone. So there are a lot of variables. Nice chatting with you.
    Salt and Light
    Silver 

  6. i’m so sorry you misunderstood that statement.  by saying i would never go there i meant i would never go into saying the statement that the Spirit does not work in state universities, as in i would never underestimate the good things that could be done is such a school.  I have actually often considered attending a state university.  it’s good to discuss these things, those difficult in writing b/c so many things can be misunderstood.

  7. I basically disagree with what Mr.Bates said even though he tried to say it very nicely but I still think that he is still wrong a bit. I keep questioning whether I want to send my kids (when I have them) to a Christian school, public, or if I want to home school them myself. I seem to keep running into teens and parents or have done the home school route who are not sheltered and know a lot more about Jesus and walking with him than I did at their age. I feel like I didn’t get a background at all about God growing up in a public school system and I am not sure if I wasn’t absorbing it in youth group because my heart wasn’t there or what?! But my youth group seemed more about games a lot of time, going places, and being topical more than deeply studying the bible. I feel like going into MBI I didn’t have a strong background in knowledge of God before I came to Moody but I feel like I have learned so much in the last three semesters and my quiet times, that I feel when I graduate I will be prepared to go out and teach. I don’t think that we can ever be fully prepared for anything. We can study our best and predict things that might go wrong so we can be ready for those also, but circumstances always can arise that we are not ready for and we must pray about them when they come and see where the Holy Spirit is pulling/leading/drawling us to go to fix the problem. I think that when I walk out of MBI I will have left with three years of preparation that I will draw upon for a lifetime to use. I will still continue to study, learn, and grow on my own because we have to daily to become more and more like Christ and to seek to understand God’s ways more. If people are at colleges where they do not feel like they are learning or growing in God than they need to change colleges like I did after I graduate from OSU. People asked me why I need to go to a Christian college to do ministry, that I could just go now. I told them that I didn’t feel prepared then or that I understood very much. I didn’t b/c I didn’t even know that Theology was studying God and all about Him (Christology, Angelogy, etc…). I feel like I am learning so much more now and building it on all that I studied and learned from when I was little. I think a lot also in a way might not necessary depend on what college you are at but how much you have the desire to learn. You may be at a college where you are not learning anything and stuck there like I was b/c I had been there so long that I just needed to get the degree and then move on, but you can have a desire to learn and grow in God on your own daily. That passion is something that you can not pass on in any college in four years. It is a desire that becomes a passion when you chose to make following God and learning about Him daily as your number one goal each day, learning about Him, and seeing/seeking His will throughout the whole day.I hope this helped someone God just put it on my heart =)

  8. rookie1987 says:

    If you have two sites with 500 blocks to build with at each site. Site A starts at sea level on the ground and is lacking a foundation. Site B has a foundation. Which site can you build a taller stronger stack of blocks on? Site A and Site B will both have changes and the same 500 blocks but which will be bigger in the end?
    Salt and Light
    Silver

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