Merely Christian

One of the most important elements of RiverTree that I have not written about much is its Christian character. Perhaps one of the reasons I have not is that when I think about how to do education, Christian belief is the only context in which I think about it. You see, I am fully and solely committed to Christian education because I believe it to be the only true education. If I claim that Christian belief is a universal truth system, how could I possibly think to educate children outside of that system? So, Christian belief then, becomes the context in which I work out my thoughts and ideas about education. As such, it is not always at the forefront of my discussions about how RiverTree is different and how best to describe it. Nevertheless, Christianity is one of the key distinctive elements of a RiverTree education.
That said, it is worth spending some time on the particular nature of RiverTree's Christian character. RiverTree School's approach could rightly be called merely Christian. That is, there is a core of Christian orthodoxy to which all ascribe. This core is usually summed up in the ancient Christian creeds, specifically the Apostle's and Nicene Creeds. These two creeds will more or less form the boundary of RiverTree's statement of faith. To be sure, there are other important elements of Christian doctrine. However, many of those topics are ones on which Christians of good will disagree. RiverTree will not, for example, take a doctinal position on the nature of Baptism, or the Eucharist, the precise nature of scriptural authority relative to church authority. These important questions will be left to parents to work out with their children and their home church as they see fit.
While we are unequivocally Christian, we are not directly associated with any particular church or denomination. In fact, from the first, it has been a priority that RiverTree school be equally welcoming to all Christians. Our goal is to provide a Christian eduation without excluding any particular denomination. Whether your home church is Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Reformed, independent or none of the above we want you to be very comfortable with RiverTree's open arms approach.
On the other hand, while we want RiverTree to be doctrinally inclusive, we certainly do not want it to be without character. In this regard RiverTree will be rooted in tradition and history. It is a good thing for children to grow up with a sense of the flow of history and their place in it. This is nowhere more true than in their Christian faith. By making use of the great Christian traditions we communicate to children that their faith is not a mere whim or a triffle, but something grounded upon which they can stand firm. Therefore, we will make use of the old things like hymns, liturgy, the Christian calendar, and study of the lives of saints who have gone before us. All this so that a child's spiritual life may be rich, full and grounded in history and truth.
There is much more to say on the subject, of course, but I hope this gives you some idea of where we are coming from. I will try to write more soon. In particular, I want to talk about Charlotte Mason's approach to Biblical instruction. But that will have to wait.