Teays Valley Christian School
Teays Valley Christian School

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Teays Valley Christian School esteems and honors excellence.  The word “excellence” is easy to add to a brochure or to mention in conversation, but the achievement of excellence and the sustaining of excellence is something altogether different.  But what exactly is excellence and how is it consistently achieved in the overall mission of TVCS?  Let’s consider some thoughts that are excerpts from a chapel message that I brought to our secondary students just a few days ago.

Excellence is striving for quality or merit in all that we do. A focus on excellence means we take time, work hard, and think carefully about a project or activity. Excellence allows us to take pride in our accomplishments. We are guided by a vision or an ideal, and we do our best to make it a reality. Excellence must be tempered by balance because when we seek excellence in one area, we risk neglecting our other values and priorities.  It doesn’t mean being perfect; it means using our abilities and opportunities to their fullest. Whatever our mission in life, a commitment to excellence brings us closer to living it well and to attaining our dreams.

“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,”(Philippians 1:9, 10 ESV)

Excellence is not a skill, it is an attitude.  Excellence is maximizing your potential.  Excellence requires full and constant effort.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might… (Ecclesiastes 9:10 ESV)

But not everybody is into excellence. Average is easy.  Average doesn’t cost much.   Average also doesn’t give you much of a return.  But still, many settle for mediocrity.  TVCS will never settle for mediocrity and let me tell you why – Christian education and mediocrity are simply not compatible.

If you are a follower of Christ excellence is in you; literally IN you through the person of the Holy Spirit.
Becoming like Christ and living in the power of the Holy Spirit is consistently living in excellence. This doesn’t mean you are perfect but it does mean that you consistently develop your potential through your fullest effort and then trust God to fill in the gaps. Simply put, people of excellence give their best and watch God do the rest.

The same reality and principle is true of a school. If a school takes on the name of Christ and strives to honor Him and His word while striving to teach students to do the same, we can rest in giving our best effort while trusting God to do the rest.  Christian education is not Christian education unless it is done in excellence.  Our God is an excellent God.
Consider these verses in the context of this lifelong quest to honor God through excellence.

But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also. (2 Corinthians 8:7 ESV)

…and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, (1 Thessalonians 3:12 ESV)

Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1 ESV)

…for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, (1 Thessalonians 4:10 ESV)

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God,  what is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Romans 12.2 ESV)

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37 ESV)

Pursuing excellence is not so you can be “better” than others.  It is not so you can feel “good” about yourself or reap rewards.   Pursuing excellence is about pleasing God and demonstrating your love for Him. Pursuing excellence is the best way of saying “thank you” to the God who created you with everything you need to reach your potential in fulfilling your eternally significant purpose.

Excellence creates leaders of influence.  TVCS is dedicated to preparing students to become leaders who influence their world for Christ.  This noble mission can and will be achieved individually and institutionally through those dedicated to excellence as an expression to God for the sake of others.

Jack Davis

Superintendent

 

Our Mission – Part Six

For over twenty-five years, Teays Valley Christian has hosted students from all over the world. We have been blessed with students from Burundi, Benin, South Africa, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Russia, and Poland. Presently, we have an international presence in our student body that includes nine countries. This program is not by accident. Not only do we embrace it as God’s plan for us, but it is also a strategic part of helping ALL of our students achieve the expected student outcomes of TVCS.

TVCS has twenty-three ESO’s (Expected Student Outcomes), which are essentially twenty-three goals that we hope every student that graduates from TVCS will achieve.   Of those twenty-three ESO’s, seven are directly correlated to our international program.   Those seven are listed below and provide the “why” for our existing international presence.

Students who graduate from Teays Valley Christian School:

  • are aware and committed to justice locally and globally.
  • have a knowledge and an understanding of people, events, and movements in history and the cultures of other peoples and places.
  • have a critical appreciation of languages and cultures of other peoples, dispelling prejudice, promoting interethnic harmony, and encouraging biblical hospitality for the stranger.
  • personally respond to carry out the Great Commission locally and around the world in a culturally sensitive manner.
  • understand the worth of every human being as created in the image of God.
  • treat their bodies as a temple of Holy Spirit.
  • respect, and relate appropriately with integrity to, the people with whom they work, play, and live.

International students receive opportunities they would not have in their home countries and are in a Christ-centered environment where God’s Word is at the core of everyday life. Our local students are enriched by the relationships with students from around the globe, teaching them a perspective that they could not receive otherwise. Students learn to love and respect one another. Differences are embraced rather than feared and lifelong relationships are formed.

In short, in a time where division and fear seem so prevalent in our country and around the world, I am thankful for the student population at TVCS that promotes and achieves the exact opposite; love, understanding, working out differences in the context of relationship, and genuine growth personally and relationally.   As Jesus taught us to pray… “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”   TVCS is truly preparing students to become leaders in influencing their world for Christ!

 

Jack Davis

Superintendent


Archived Posts

Our Mission – Part Five

TVCS supports parents in delivering a biblically-driven college preparatory education in a vibrant Christ-centered community that enables students to utilize their God-given gifts and fulfill their God-given purpose.  

God has gifted each person with certain abilities and passions that are to be used for God’s purposes. TVCS is dedicated to helping students discover and develop those gifts to their fullest potential. Part of our responsibility as a Christian school is to understand that every child is wired to excel at something. While everyone may not fit in the typical school mold and possess the ability to make straight A’s in all of the core subjects, every student is gifted in some way or another. Our job is to provide a Christian educational model that ensures that every child has the potential to succeed, regardless of learning style, type of intelligence, gifting, or interest.

Howard Gardner of Harvard has identified seven distinct intelligences. This theory has emerged from recent cognitive research and “documents the extent to which students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform, and understand in different ways,” according to Gardner (1991). According to this theory, “we are all able to know the world through language, logical-mathematical analysis, spatial representation, musical thinking, the use of the body to solve problems or to make things, an understanding of other individuals, and an understanding of ourselves. Where individuals differ is in the strength of these intelligences – the so-called profile of intelligences – and in the ways in which such intelligences are invoked and combined to carry out different tasks, solve diverse problems, and progress in various domains.” Gardner summarizes the seven intelligences as follows:

Visual-Spatial: Individuals think in terms of physical space, such as architects and sailors and are very aware of their environments. They like to draw, do jigsaw puzzles, read maps, daydream, etc. They can be taught through drawings, verbal, and physical imagery. Tools include models, graphics, charts, photographs, drawings, 3-D modeling, video, video-conferencing, television, multimedia, texts with pictures/charts/graphs, etc. 

Bodily-Kinesthetic: Individuals use the body effectively, like a dancer or a surgeon. They have a keen sense of body awareness. They like movement, making things, and touch. They communicate well through body language and be taught through physical activity, hands-on learning, acting things out, role-playing. Tools include equipment and real objects.  Athletes generally fall into this category.

Musical: Individuals show sensitivity to rhythm and sound. They love music, but they are also sensitive to sounds in their environments. They may study better with music in the background. They can be taught by turning lessons into lyrics, speaking rhythmically, tapping out time. Tools include musical instruments, music, radio, stereo, CD-ROM, multimedia, etc. 

Interpersonal: Individuals like understanding and interacting with others. These students learn through interaction. They have many friends, empathy for others, street smarts, etc. They can be taught through group activities, seminars, dialogues. Tools include the telephone, audio conferencing, time and attention from the instructor, video conferencing, writing, computer conferencing, e-mail, etc. 

Intrapersonal: Individuals understand one’s own interests, goals, etc. These learners tend to shy away from others. They’re in tune with their inner feelings; they have wisdom, intuition, and motivation, as well as a strong will, confidence, and opinions. They can be taught through independent study and introspection. Tools include books, creative materials, diaries, privacy, and time. They are the most independent of the learners.

Linguistic: Individuals use words effectively. These learners have highly developed auditory skills and often think in words, reading, playing word games, making up poetry or stories, etc. They can be taught through encouragement to say and see words, read books together, etc. Tools include computers, games, multimedia, books, tape recorders, and lecture.

Logical-Mathematical: Individuals like reasoning and calculating. They think conceptually, abstractly, and are able to see and explore patterns and relationships. They like to experiment, solve puzzles, ask questions, etc. They can be taught through logic games, investigations, mysteries, etc. They need to learn and form concepts before they can deal with details.

I included this research to show the beauty of how God created us and wired us all differently. Can you imagine how many intelligent kids have gone through school for years feeling like they were failures simply because they were wired in ways that schools typically didn’t reward? We all know people that struggled in math or english but understand all the intricacies of an automobile engine. We all know an athlete that may not love Shakespeare but can remember and execute all the plays in a thick playbook. Have you ever been around someone who has the attention span of a young child yet writes music that blows your mind? How about that kid that always seems to be in trouble but is also incredible with people and relationships? I could go on with more examples of how God created each one to be amazingly different. It is our job to leverage those differences for personal growth and God’s greater purposes.  

One of my favorite verses sums it up beautifully. Psalms 139:16 says “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, as yet there was none of them.”  

God created each one with a purpose and has provided the gifting for that purpose to be achieved. Teays Valley Christian School values this fundamental truth and will partner with each student to enable them to utilize their God-given gifts and fulfill their God-given purpose. Through that process, students will discover that they were smart all along and that their “smarts” are about something bigger than themselves!   

 

Jack Davis

Superintendent


Our Mission – Part Four

TVCS supports parents in delivering a biblically-driven college preparatory education in a vibrant Christ-centered community…

What is a vibrant Christ-centered community? Let’s start with vibrant. The word vibrant denotes energy and enthusiasm. Synonyms include spirited, lively, vigorous, animated, vivacious, dynamic, stimulating, exciting, passionate. If you’ve spent much time around kids you can imagine how vibrant a K-12 school could be! TVCS is definitely vibrant. But it does not stop there. We are a vibrant Christ-centered community.

I suggest that being Christ-centered is much more than circling the wagons and keeping all the “bad influences” out. Being Christ-centered means keeping Jesus IN… in our hearts, in our minds, in our relationships, in our decisions, in our motivations, in our hallways, in our classrooms, in our families, in our extracurriculars, in our athletics, in our social life… Jesus sums up what a vibrant Christ-centered community should look like in Matthew 22:36-40:

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

We know this passage as the Great Commandment. It is our mandate in Christian education and our goal in meeting our mission of being a vibrant Christian community.

But let’s look even a little deeper at this phrase, vibrant Christ-centered community, and examine the word community. A community is defined as a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. It also refers to a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. TVCS is a living, breathing, vibrant Christ-centered community. We are diverse denominationally. We have students across the economic spectrum. We have students from all over the world. Our students have different gifts, abilities, and interests. As we strive to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, strength, and our neighbor as ourself, a beautiful and eternally significant vibrant Christ-centered community that truly prepares our students for life is not only possible, it is a reality worth more than anything this “world” could ever offer our children.

TVCS is a vibrant Christ-centered community. This side of heaven, that phrase may be difficult to live up to in the daily grind of life. However, it is our privilege to be a school that makes the preeminence of Christ and His word the foundation of every aspect of school life. Let’s continue to work together to make TVCS the best it can be and as always, it’s a great day to be a lion!

 

Jack Davis

Superintendent


Our Mission – Part Three

What is a biblical worldview or even a worldview in general?  Francis Schaeffer (1976) refers to worldview as “the basic way an individual looks at life…the grid through which he sees the world…the basis for their values and therefore the basis for their decisions.”  James Olthuis states:  “A worldview (or vision of life) is a framework or set of fundamental beliefs through which we view the world and our calling and future in it. This vision need not be fully articulated: it may be so internalized that it goes largely unquestioned; it may not be explicitly developed into a systematic conception of life; it may not be theoretically deepened into a philosophy; it may not even be codified into creedal form; it may be greatly refined through cultural- historical development. Nevertheless, this vision is a channel for the ultimate beliefs which give direction and meaning to life. It is the integrative and interpretative framework by which order and disorder are judged; it is the standard by which reality is managed and pursued; it is the set of hinges on which all our everyday thinking and doing turns.”

Given the implications of worldview alone, the importance of that worldview being biblical can not be ignored or minimized.   

George Barnes defines a Biblical worldview as “believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.”  Based on this definition, Barna (2009) conducted research and found that only nine percent of American adults have a Biblical worldview. More importantly, Barna found that less than half of one percent of adults in the “Mosaic” generation — ages 18 to 23 — have a Biblical worldview. Given that  this is the general age range of traditional college students, there appears to be a great need to inculcate a Biblical worldview in our students.   The sad reality is that we are already an adult generation without a biblical worldview.   The vast majority of parents do not possess the most important thing they are to pass on to their children, a biblical worldview.

You may be thinking that the research did not take into account families who attended church regularly or attended Christian schools.  Check this out… Barna’s research findings show that a single-digit percentage of Christian, born-again young people view the Bible as a lens through which to view all aspects of life. The Nehemiah Institute (2008) has tested more than 20,000 students from more than 1,000 schools using the Politics, Economics, Education, Religion, and Social issues (PEERS) worldview assessment which reports a student’s worldview as either biblical theism (biblical Christian worldview), moderate Christian, secular humanism, or socialism.  McDowell (2006) reports that PEERS testing found that 85% of students from Christian homes who attended public schools did not embrace a biblical worldview. That is, 15% scored in the biblical theism or moderate Christian categories while the remaining 85% were either secular humanist or socialist in their thinking. This research also found that students from Christian schools only “scored slightly higher than their counterparts attending public schools…(but) only six percent (6%) of students embraced a biblical theism worldview.”

In short, biblically driven curriculum to deliver a biblical worldview is the only reason substantial enough to establish and maintain a Christian school. Yet as a movement, we are struggling.   Teays Valley Christian School will continue to strive for excellence in every grade level and program area.   We are, after all, a school.   A school prepares students for what is next in life.  But for TVCS, biblically driven curriculum and culture is what is unique, distinctive, and most important.  Without that, our mission is not only incomplete, it is incompatible with carrying the name of Christ.  The challenge is real.   The culture fights a biblical worldview twenty-four hours a day every day. How about we go crazy counter-cultural and stand firm on His word and teach our students to do the same! And remember… as always, it’s a great day to be a Lion!

 

Jack Davis

Superintendent


Our Mission – Part Two

TVCS supports parents in delivering a biblically-driven college preparatory education in a vibrant Christ-centered community that enables students to utilize their God-given gifts and fulfill their God-given purpose.

The section of our mission statement in italics above represents five essential elements of who we are… Biblically-driven, college preparatory, vibrant, Christ-centered, and community. Let’s break that down in the next few blogs but start with biblically-driven.

Dr. Phil Suiter, in his latest book, Marks of a Healthy Christian School, makes the following statement: “God’s Word requires Christian educators to structure education in terms of the faith of the Bible and to assert the rightful claim of Jesus upon the lives of students. Nothing short of this is Christian.” I believe that he captures the core of what biblically driven education is in that short and powerful statement.  For a school to even begin to be Christian, it is imperative that the school be biblically-driven through a theologically astute and pedagogically effective standards-based curriculum.  Biblically-driven instruction leads to the desired outcome of a  “biblical worldview” for every student.

I suggest that no matter what other successes a Christian school may achieve if we fail in delivering a biblical worldview to our students, we have failed. Christian schools need to match many areas that a secular school provides…quality academics, fine arts, athletics, technology, etc. and excellent Christian schools not only match those schools but exceed those schools. But a secular school can not deliver a biblical worldview. In fact, it delivers the opposite. No amount of Christian teachers in public schools or “Bible clubs” or “pray at the pole events”can overcome the secular worldview delivered all day every day in grades K – 12 in the secular system.  I contend that this worldview battle makes the Christian school not only a nice option for the Christian family but perhaps a mandate for the Christian family. Therefore, the essence and purpose of a Christian school must be a biblically-driven curriculum with the ultimate goal being the achievement of a biblical worldview for every student upon completion of the program.

My next blog will focus on a deeper understanding of what a biblical worldview actually is along with some alarming statistics that indicate a real worldview crisis in the evangelical movement.  So stay tuned and remember, it’s always a great day to be Lion!

 

Jack Davis

Superintendent


Our Mission – Part One

TVCS supports parents in delivering a biblically-driven college preparatory education in a vibrant Christ-centered community that enables students to utilize their God-given gifts and fulfill their God-given purpose.

Let’s take a look at the first phrase of our mission statement…TVCS supports parents…

What does that mean?   What does that look like in school life?   Is that really happening?   Do our parents feel supported?   What will we support and what will we not support?  How does all of this relate to Christian education?

Those are just a small sampling of the potential questions related to the simple phrase, TVCS supports parents….

But let’s start at the basics.   What does support actually mean?

SUPPORT.1. : to endure bravely or quietly : bear. 2. a (1) : to promote the interests or cause of (2) : to uphold or defend as valid or right : advocate // synonyms: hold up, bear, carry, prop up, keep up, brace, shore up, underpin, buttress, reinforce, undergird.Top of Form

So TVCS…. the Board, administration, faculty, support staff, coaches, volunteers, alumni, everyone associated with the parents and the establishment and maintenance of the school culture “supports” parents.   Parents are held up, reinforced, propped up, carried…  In other words TVCS shares the load, the burden, of helping you in the raising, educating, protection, and total development of your children.

I propose that Christian schools are uniquely positioned to be this support more than any other school system.  First of all, we recognize and philosophically affirm the God created family unit and the subsequent responsibility of parents, not the state, to raise their children.   Secondly, the center of all we do is Christ and His word, which is the only foundation, or support, that stands independent of what the latest cultural paradigms throw at our kids.   And thirdly, we have the power of the Holy Spirit, to lead us, teach us, and support us as we do this tough and often confusing thing called parenting.

“TVCS supports parents” is not something that we came up with as a buzz phrase that looks good on paper.   It is a position that is fundamental to who we are, why we exist, and how we fit into the student and parent equation.   Currently, I am brainstorming with a small group of parents regarding how to strengthen and activate this support  in systematic and practical ways.   Stay tuned for more information regarding the roll out of what we are calling the PSO.   (Parent Support Organization)

Next month I will tackle another phrase in our mission statement, “a vibrant Christian community.”   Check that out in a few weeks.   Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and as one of our sophomores Katie Lucas says, “It’s always a great day to be a lion!”

 

Jack Davis

Superintendent