Dr. Steven Turley Speaks at the UMSI Summit on the Future of Christian Education

Dr. Steven Turley revealed several world-wide trends that forecast a bright future for Christian education in a powerful address given to UMSI Summit attendees this summer. He began his talk with a summary of C.S. Lewis’s classic work on education, The Abolition of Man. Lewis pointed out that modern education had become an education that was designed to conform the world to the student’s own desires and ambitions – an education based on facts, with no moral significance or purpose. He contrasted this with an older idea of Christian education which sought to answer the question, “How do I conform my soul to the world around me and thus be drawn up into the divine life?” For Lewis, the answer was “through prayer, virtue, and knowledge.”

Can we return to such an understanding of education? Dr. Turley ended his address by saying, “As it turns out, we can return; we can go back. An unprecedented religious renewal is reawakening a world filled with divine meaning and purpose for more and more populations, and a revitalized natural family has initiated the renewal of the very classical education that Lewis so loved and so ably defended. These three dynamics – an unprecedented religious renewal, the revitalization of the family, and the renaissance of Christian education – together promise a most exciting future for Christian education. It is my hope that we as Christian educators, administrators, and parents can go forward joyfully persevering in the present in light of even better things to come.”

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