Who we are: A Friendship of Christian Believers Engaged in Education
The Associated Christian Schools of Australia (ACS) was founded by a group of Principals of Christian Schools who strongly desired to be loosely coupled together as peers engaged in similar roles. We wanted to meet together to talk and share, but without any sense of control froma central body, or any requirement for all members to think in the same way about various issues –not only educational issues, but issues of faith as well. We also wanted to create opportunities for our staff and Boards to be able to do the same. In fact, our independence and essential differences are what makes this association of Christian Schools unique. We choose to celebrate our differences, but demonstrate our unity in Christ. Some of our schools are connected with stand-alone churches, others with traditional denominations, others are completely independent. The core essential of our requirement for membership is that a member school be committed to the Christian Gospel as expressed in the Bible and in the heritage of Christian churches through the centuries. We recognise and welcome the fact that there will be different expressions of faith, but all of them centred on the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We see ourselves as a Kingdom Community bound together by our faith in Jesus Christ for the purpose of improving education. Whose education? Well, without trying to sound arrogant, we sincerely hope that through the influence of trusting relationships, we might influence schools and systems beyond our immediate membership. It is the hope of the Associated Christian Schools of Australia, that schools across Australia, and even in other parts of the world will be improved as we share and learn together. We humbly hope to do this through: • sharing knowledge about how schools work best; • supporting all schools, not just our own members but all schools with whom we come in contact; • serving each other in our membership body according to need.
What do we Believe? We promote and engage in Christian thinking, believing that such thinking will produce a better world.
As an association, we will try to develop Leaders of Thinking in Christian education. We believe that Christianity is a reasonable faith, capable of withstanding rigorous intellectual enquiry, but working out its practice through
compassionate action to a secular society. Our students will be encouraged to pursue knowledge for the purpose of demonstrating the light of Jesus Christ in a dark world. We believe that the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Bible is the ultimate revelation of God to mankind, and that the person and work of Jesus Christ is sufficient foundation on which to base a fair, just, peaceful, intellectual, artistic, healthy and functional society. Such a society would be a joyful and fun place to be.
What do we do? We promote the Improvement of Society by the development of Christian Educational Communities.
We endeavour to assist to build a better Christian society, specifically through the work of Christian education. We will know we have achieved this when the best scientists, the bestartists, the best politicians, the best business people, the best mothers and fathers are those who have chosen to live their lives, and practise their professions according to Christian standards and faith. The most effective educational communities are those which produce excellent outcomes – not just as measured by academic league tables, but by any measure of excellence. We try to encourage all Christian educational communities to produce excellent outcomes. By creating and managing the very best schools in the nation, we will more logically influence government to support and encourage the growth of Christian education.
How do we relate to society? We endeavour to present relationships, attitudes and viewpoints that will influence others towards a Christian Worldview.
Through friendships and relationships we endeavour to have a positive Christian influence on society. Sometimes, argument and debates are important, too, but without relationship, these can merely be divisive. We will try to changeour society for good, by all these means. As an Association, we attempt to 『create space’ politically, economically and socially in which our members may be active in developing relationships and exerting influence. We are committed to the idea that both Christian education and society in general are best served when our Christian faith and practice are credible, attractive and welcoming.