From the very beginning it was clear that Jim Elliot Christian School would bring new ideas to Christian education. We didn’t want to behave like a public school with Bible classes tacked on. The original faculty approached their classrooms with a desire for a more relational, individualized, personalized approach to learning and spiritual maturity gleaned from the Young Life organization.
1) Our school is built on a biblical foundation. Our teachers seek the integration of biblical truth into each subject and discipline. We want our graduates to possess critical thinking skills in the framework of a biblical worldview.
2) The empowerment of teachers ensures their role as full partners and co-creators in the school. Our faculty does more than teach curriculum. They also develop relationships with students, providing a context for learning, discipline, and discipleship. Many of the innovations at the school over the years originated with the faculty, such as block scheduling, service days, the mentoring program, and our ongoing missions partnership with the Colegio James R. Ganley School in Juarez, Mexico.
3) Student-driven mentoring begins with student-chosen teacher/mentors. The students and their mentors meet together for lunches, prayer time, or just hanging out, both during specified mentor periods and outside of school. Young people are more successful and less likely to have destructive lifestyles if they are involved in a mentoring program. Our success is evident by the number of graduates who remain in contact with their former teachers/mentors.
4) We consider God-given learning styles a part of our daily routine. God wired each of us differently for His purpose, and we work to help students clarify that wiring to help them excel both in and out of the classroom. We also work with our parents to help them understand their student’s learning style, thereby forming a true partnership with our families.
5) Christian Formation classes study the Bible and explore ways to integrate biblical principles into students’ lives. Our goal is not just to increase our students’ head knowledge but to help them apply God’s Word to their daily lives, developing a deeper relationship with God and His community.
6) Creative Arts enable us to celebrate the individuality of our students in addition to their Core Academics. Our block schedule incorporates Tuesday/Thursday as creative arts days. The arts program encourages our students to excel in all areas of their lives and unlock hidden potential. Artistic expression allows students to find the voice for their passions and dreams.
7) Keeping class size small and student/teacher ratios low enables us to focus on learning and relationships. Teachers discover the learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses of each student, allowing them to give individualized guidance and encouragement. Our small, relational community fosters a welcoming environment that encourages older students to purposefully befriend and encourage younger students.
8) Helping our students grow in passion for God and His work in the world involves community outreach throughout the year and at least one required cross-cultural mission outreach prior to graduation.