Heritage Academy offers University-Model®️ schooling options for students in grades K-12 with quality teaching, parent partnership, and scope and sequence of courses built into the program to ensure that your student is “College ready Day one”.

Parent Roles in the Educational Process

In a University-Model®️ School, parents commit to fulfill a specified role related to each course in which their student is enrolled, as prescribed by the course’s description. Each role identifies specific responsibilities that the teacher relies on the parent to perform, thus facilitating effective home/school partnership whereby students are assured of receiving needed support. In general, the assigned role will be one of the following:

Primary Teacher
At the primary level, Heritage Academy offers only enrichment courses for students, which provide an opportunity to integrate a variety of emerging skills, including literacy, reasoning skills, and fine motor skills in a classroom setting. However, for students this age, parents remain fully responsible for providing all core instruction – beginning with letter and number awareness and recognition, building basic literacy skills, reading comprehension, writing, math reasoning, etc.
Private Tutor
Courses involving this role are made successful because each student has a private tutor (the parent) at home, who is willing and ready to assist. Parents will receive instructions from the classroom instructor on a regular basis outlining homework assignments, follow-up study/instruction over covered material, and any preparation or review needed for their child’s next class.
Guide for Dependent Study
This role will usually relate to parents with children in grades seven through ten. Many courses at this level will begin to cover subject matter that is unfamiliar to many parents. At the same time, the student is at a dependent age where disciplined study habits must be developed, not by parental force, but through positive encouragement and through the student’s growing awareness of personal consequences. In order for these classes to be successful, the teacher is dependent upon the parents to ensure that their son or daughter keeps up with the course material and to communicate to the instructor any difficulties that should arise.
Guide to Independent Study
Academic courses at the eleventh and twelfth grade level will usually involve this role by the parent. The parent has the opportunity to monitor the independent schoolwork performed by the student while it is still possible to provide additional guidance if needed. Courses offered by Heritage Academy at this level will mimic that of a junior college program where independent study skills and disciplined planning for completing homework assignments are necessary.
Course Monitor
Some courses will involve equipment or expertise that necessitate that teaching be done in the classroom and leave little instruction for the parent at home. This role, therefore, will require the least amount of time by the parent, but its importance must not be understated. The primary responsibility of the parents is to track the progress of their son or daughter and to monitor how well they are doing. Parents need to show an active interest in their child’s studies and should inform the instructor if problems develop.
Project Assistant
Parent involvement is needed, but not on a regular basis. This role is in many respects similar to that of the Course Monitor but will be needed one or more times during the semester for specific projects. Drama courses, for example, might involve additional help for student costuming, working on sets, etc.
Parent Coach
The role of the parent coach is to provide individual practice and instruction to their son or daughter at home. The head coach will organize the sport, direct team practices, and communicate to the parent coaches any information and directions concerning home practice.

Philosophy of Christian Education

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The goal of Christian education, as defined by John Milton, is “to repair the ruin of our first parents by regaining to know God aright and out of that knowledge to love Him, to imitate Him, to be like Him.”[1] Toward that end, the mission of Heritage Academy is to help parents send out educated servants of Jesus Christ by blending the best of home with the best of college-preparatory education.

The basis of Christian education is the Bible, God’s authoritative, inspired Word (I Cor. 2:13; II Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; II Peter 1:20-21).

Heritage Academy’s Christian philosophy of education pre-supposes God’s existence, recognizes God as creator of all that is, and acknowledges God as the source of all truth (John 14:6; Col. 2:3).

There is no dichotomy between secular and religious truth. All truth is God’s truth. Knowledge begins with the fear of God (Prov. 1:7). Because God is the source of all truth, the universe and the Christian’s study of it are coherent, and we may speak of the “universal scope” of God’s truth.[2]

Education of children is the responsibility of their parents, not of the state (Gen. 18:19; Deut. 6:6-7; Eph. 6:4; II Tim. 3:15). It is parents who authorize and invite the Christian school to become partners in the biblical education of their children.

Christian education proceeds from a set of assumptions derived from the Scriptures, which addresses man’s fundamental questions about reality, knowledge and ethics. These biblical assumptions run counter to man-centered assumptions (Rom. 1:18-23; I Cor. 1:20; Col. 2:8):

  • What is ultimate reality? The biblical doctrines of creation and providence teach that God alone, rather than matter and energy, is absolute. A self-sufficient and autonomous God designed a universe consisting of both material and non-material entities dependent upon Him for sustenance. He governs everything that occurs, yet His oversight is immanent and personal. God is ultimate reality and the determiner of reality.[3]
  • What is knowledge? God is self-referential. He knows all things, and He is the ultimate truth from which all meaning is derived. Man comes to know only by revelation from God. Scripture opposes the notion that our senses and reason are the ultimate sources of knowledge. [4] From our senses and reason we gather facts and gain support for the opinion we derive from those facts; through wisdom, divinely imparted, we gain discernment and understanding in their application; and through humility and faith, we believe what we learn from divine wisdom.[5]
  • What is the basis for ethics? Ethics are not derived from humanistic or naturalistic standards. Scripture dictates that God’s character as revealed in His Word defines goodness and is the basis for all ethical judgments.[6] Ethics are defined by God’s revelation rather than by a calculation of consequences.[7]

Application and Integration

The primary challenge of Christian education may not be in securing agreement on its foundations but in applying those foundations to the educating of students. Only then is faith integrated with learning and every thought brought into captivity “to the obedience of Christ” (II Cor. 10:5, KJV).

As Frank Gaebelein summarized:
It is one thing to take for ourselves the premise that all truth is God’s truth. It is another thing to build upon this premise an effective educational practice that shows the student the unity of truth and that brings alive in his heart and mind the grand concept of a Christ who ‘is the image of the invisible God,’by whom ‘al things were created,’ who ‘is before all things,’ and by whom ‘all things consist,’ or hold together.[8]

Heritage Academy is committed to presenting the integrating faith principle (of man’s need for grace and the personal, universal story of God’s eternal, redemptive work) in such a way that all subjects are unified in a coherent whole. When students understand and embrace this unifying principle – when they, through the working of God’s grace in cooperation with Christian teachers and parents, begin to understand the universal scope of God’s truth, then the accomplishing of one of the primary aims of education is begun: Students learn to think, that is, to relate what is learned in one class to the information gained in another[9] and to apply such learning to their life outside the classroom.

As it teaches students to come to grips with this integration, Heritage Academy embraces additional educational assumptions, based in Scripture, about the nature of the student, the nature of the teacher, and the content to be learned. Those assumptions result in definite implications for Heritage Academy’s home and classroom teachers.

When parents agree with, teach from, and construct family life in harmony with biblical principles; when classroom teachers adhere to them, using them as a framework for the communication of truth within their disciplines; and when students are lovingly, consistently and incrementally challenged to embrace the integrating principle from which the principles are derived, education is truly Christian. An educational partnership is forged with parents in their endeavor to carry out the biblical mandate to teach children to “[l]ove the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30, NIV).

The Nature of the Student

All persons, including students, were created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27; 5:1; 9:6; James 3:9). Intrinsic to the image of God is the capacity for rationality, or reason, inherent in Christ as the Logos (John 1:1), who Himself is the expression of God’s person (Heb. 1:3). The teacher and student came from the same fallen race, and as image-bearers, the unregenerate sinner and the redeemed alike have true dignity. Students at Heritage Academy are taught, encouraged, and disciplined in accordance with that God-endowed dignity.

Man is born sinful, and, as a result of the fall, his reason is corrupted, he is “vain in his imaginations” and his heart is “darkened” (Rom. 1:21, KJV). But when Christ has redeemed a person, he becomes a new creation (II Cor. 5:17), aided by the Holy Spirit in the discernment of spiritual truth (I Cor. 2:14-16). He is given eternal life (Rom. 6:23) and experiences the true liberty that accompanies the life-giving presence of the Spirit of God (II Cor. 3:17). Students at Heritage Academy are consistently presented with the fact of man’s sinfulness and the hope-filled truth of the Gospel in all its redemptive power (John 3:16; Romans 1:16).

Scripture rejects the Socratic notion that the cause of evil is ignorance and the solution is education (Rom. 5:12; Titus 3:5). Regardless of the rightness and sincerity of their efforts, neither teachers nor parents bring about the redemption and sanctification of students. Educational partners plant and water, but God gives the increase (I Cor. 3:5-8). At Heritage Academy, all constituents are called to pray for the redemption and growth of students and the faithfulness of their families.

Students are multi-faceted. Although Heritage Academy is a discipleship ministry, intending to aid Christian families as they make disciples of their Christian students, some students come to the school in need of redemption; all need wisdom, physical training, moral development, emotional maturity, instruction in scholarship, and formation of godly habits (Phil. 1:6; Matt. 28:19-20; Prov. 9:10; II Tim. 2:15; Eph. 4:22-32; Phil. 1:9-10). The consistent presentation of God’s truth, universal in its scope, challenges students to apply the truth of Scripture to their development as whole persons.

Students are not equally endowed with intellectual aptitude or artistic skill. God is glorified when every student is educated up to his or her capacities. The role of the Christian school is not to ensure equality of outcome, but to require students to be industrious with the talents God has given them (Matt. 25:14-30; Prov. 31:17; John 17:4). Students will have a natural aversion to hard work, but because they are made in God’s image and are endowed by Him with dignity, the school must require them to be diligent[10] (Prov. 18:9; Col. 3:23). Students are motivated with a balance of positive encouragement and discipline.

The Nature of the Teacher

In its effort to achieve the integration of faith with learning, and to show students the unity of truth under God, Heritage Academy is committed to authenticity in teaching. This authenticity is two-fold, and a failure in either aspect undermines genuine biblical education with a hypocrisy students are quick to detect. Teachers must be mature believers in Jesus Christ, and they must be qualified to teach.

Only an authentic, knowledgeable, disciple of Jesus Christ can lead students toward Christ as the embodiment of Truth and the one whose infinite character is the reference point for the integration of faith and learning (Luke 6:39-40). Teachers in the Heritage Academy community, at home and in the classroom, are to be authentic believers in Jesus Christ; filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18); demonstrating biblical maturity (Heb. 5:12-14); examples to the believers (I Tim. 4:12-13); constantly on guard against the introduction of false doctrine into their teaching (II Tim. 3:16-17); lovers of wisdom (I Cor. 2:7; 3:19); and moment-by-moment demonstrators of biblical love (I Cor. 13).

An extension of the above assumption is the requirement that classroom teachers be qualified as teachers to teach their subject matter to their students. This qualification is three-fold: first, a fully qualified classroom teacher must be sufficiently trained in his academic specialty (Luke 6:39-40).

Second, a qualified classroom teacher must have a demonstrated aptitude for teaching, as well as the desire and ability to relate to students the universal scope of God’s truth, soberly considering the scriptural warning that teachers are held by God to a higher standard (Rom. 12:4-8; James 3:1).

Finally, a qualified classroom teacher will openly love his subject. It is “hypocrisy to require students to learn what obviously bores the teacher.”[11] A teacher who loves his subject will be sensitive to awakening the interest and delight of his students and set an academic example for them, cultivating his own interest by continually learning about his subject matter.

The Content to be Learned

When school personnel and families agree about and act on a biblical education’s foundational principles, the school’s curriculum will reflect those biblical assumptions, both in content and in teaching method.

Course content at Heritage Academy reflects and, often, directly presents God’s special revelation to man (scriptural truth about the ultimate questions of life).[12] This special revelation includes God as the creator of all things, Christ as sustainer and redeemer of all things, and the Holy Spirit as revealer of all things.[13]

Naturally, course content at Heritage Academy will contain much instruction in general revelation (“the truth about human beings in relation to God, themselves, others, and God’s creation”).[14] This instruction in general revelation is characterized by three distinctive features.

First, course content is consistent with the biblical truth that God created the world in seven, literal days. As a being created in the image of God, man, therefore, has purpose; God’s Word is recognized as inspired, infallible, authoritative, and inerrant in all matters, including science; and God’s Word is taken literally.

Second, high standards of scholarship and the development in students of a rigorous personal work ethic characterize the curriculum (Mark 12:30; Eph. 5:16; I Thess. 4:11-12; II Tim. 2:15; I John 1:6).

Third, the curriculum provides the Heritage Academy student with a liberal arts education, versus a vocational one, preparing him for success in college and a lifetime of thoughtful service to God. Gordon H. Clark explains the benefits of a liberal arts education:

Instead of turning man into a machine, it aims to prevent him from becoming one. The liberal arts tend to make the student independent of pills and television. . . . The student does not learn to do, he learns to understand. If successful, he becomes a rational man, instead of an over-age dependent child in need of amusement.[15]

Heritage Academy emphasizes the fixed, final and eternal nature of truth embodied in Christ, a solid foundation for the liberal arts curriculum (John 1:14; 14:6).[16]

Properly understood, [Christian Education] is a preparation for those students who have not yet received the grace of God, and it is godly instruction for those who have.[17]

Written by Heritage Board member

[1]John Milton, Areopagitica and Of Education (Northbrook, IL: AHM Publishing, 1951), p. 59.

[2] Frank E. Gaebelein, The Pattern of God’s Truth: The Problems of Integration in Christian Education (Colorado Springs, CO: Purposeful Design Publications, 1994), in A Passion for Learning: A History of Christian Thought on Education, D. Bruce Lockerbie, ed., (Colorado Springs, CO: Purposeful Design Publications, 2007), p. 329.

[3] Chris Schlect, Scriptural Worldview Thinking, in Repairing the Ruins: The Classical and Christian Challenge to Christian Education, Douglas Wilson, ed. (Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1996), p. 50-51.

[4] Schlect, 52-55.

[5] D. Bruce Lockerbie, A Passion for Learning: A History of Christian Thought on Education (Colorado Springs, CO: purposeful Design Publications, 2007), p. 388-89.

[6] Schlect, 56-57.

[7] Gordon H. Clark, A Christian Philosophy of Education (Jefferson, MD: The Trinity Foundation, 1986), p. 110.

[8]Gaebelein, 336.

[9] Douglas Wilson, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1991), p. 63.

[10] Wilson, 74.

[11] Wilson, 79.

[12] Timothy C. Evearitt, Ed.D., Leading a Christian School: A Book for Administrators and Board Members (Lookout Mountain, GA: The Center for the Advancement of Christian Education, 1996), p. 39.

[13] Henry M. Morris, Education for the Real World (San Diego, CA: Creation Life Publishers, 1977), p. 24.

[14] Evearitt, 39.

[15] Clark, 168.

[16] Clark, 169-170.

[17] Wilson, 76.