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Thursday, August 20, 2009

What About This Thing of Certification?

After years of growing up in the public school system, having my own children in a private 'Christian' school and 'Christian' college for myself I am seriously in a re-transformation of my educational philosophy. Having gone from structured formal teaching in secular and 'Christian' institutions I will testify that there really isn't that much difference. The only differences I found is whether or not God was mentioned in a positive manner or not. Yes, I believe firmly in having our Creator involved in our education, but not just in the manner of learning about Him or being able to pray during the day. He is to be our primary teacher.

My goal as a homeschooling mom is to lead my children in their walk with our Saviour to the place where they are relying upon Him to be their teacher. I am simply a vessel being used of God to lead them now, but the day will come when I won't be there. Whether by death or by them moving away. They need to trust in the Holy Spirit to be their teacher. There is no accreditation for that.

Knowing this is my ultimate goal as a homeschooling mom I find myself questioning these so called theology seminaries. Jesus Christ didn't attend a seminary to become who he is as a matter of fact at the age of twelve he was teaching them. Paul was not taught by man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. He did not attend a theological seminary to be a teacher of of Christ.

Why do we get so caught up in getting a theological degree to teach others about Christ? Does a paper certificate of recommendation from a 'Christian' college qualify us for ministry? Absolutely not!

I don't believe our lives were created to get a degree from a theological seminary before we can serve Christ. I also don't believe we need a paper certificate from any university to be qualified for very much in this world at all anymore. I supposed if you are going to be a doctor or astronaut you would definitely need that kind of education and training, but each individual needs to establish just what they need to be what God designed them to be.

Most people who become any kind of tradesman get the most knowledge from hands on experience and I believe we have to few people in this world who are willing to be mentors and train youngsters for their future. I have no doubt Joseph was Jesus' primary teacher in carpentry. We don't read about Jesus going away to a school to learn that.

Please don't misunderstand me, I am not knocking further education, but rather I desire to promote a new generation of adults who desire to train these youngsters themselves. There are many employers who would rather train their new employees than for them to come in with their own agenda on how they can make this business owners establishment their own.

So just what is our direction in homeschooling? If we believe we are qualified to teach our children now what makes us think they need a formal teacher later? (unless of course we're discussing a career that requires that such as a lawyer, doctor, astronaut etc.) Most especially why do we think our children need a theological seminary to qualify them for ministry?

I have been seeing a lot of advertisements for online theological seminary teaching, which goes to show us there's no need for a live teacher to be involved in their lives in order to give them their religious degree. So is simply earning a paper certificate from an online school of professors who never get to know the student satisfactory enough to qualify them for ministry? Even Paul told Timothy that a spiritual leader should not be novice or he could fall into the snare of the enemy. Paul taught his sons in the Lord and they served in ministry together, in person, until the appointed time of their departure to be leaders and disciplers of others on their own. Even the early Apostles were fisherman by trade and not well versed on grammar.

Is it satisfactory enough for one professor to teach 100+ students a day for such sensitive work as the ministry without having adequate discipleship of the student of the Word to be sure they really know how to apply God's principles? Wouldn't one on one discipleship more readily equip them for ministry?

As homeschooling moms we balk at the schools for dumbing down society and now our own fellow brethren do it to by offering a 'certification' by online schooling? I'm not against online education, since much of what I do is use the internet for educational resources, but this certification idea has me feeling uneasy. Just who certifies you? Another person who got a certificate before you and another before them, and more before them, all the way back to the person who decided they wanted to certify people to do ministry? Who has the right to create that kind of ownership over the Flock of God?

I'd like to challenge our thinking in the area of these certifying 'schools'. Having gone through different certifications myself I can see where it could be more about the money and prestige than anything else. Are we really educating our children to be independent thinkers or not? Are we really training them to be life long learners who can figure out how to learn on their own? If we are then why are we promoting certifications to online theological seminaries? Have we considered handing down the trade God gave us to learn, to our children?

Just some questions running through my mind. Have you had similar questions? Do you have more along these lines? Let's discuss it, please leave a comment below.




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