Christian Schools · Education - General

Reformed Education: a collection of articles

For those interested in reading more about Reformed Education, I collected a number of links to articles on this page.

The first articles are on this website. Thereafter I list a number of articles that are either quoted in the articles on this website or are of interest.

Articles on this website:

Reformed Education: whose responsibility? This article shows from the Bible that the education of the children is in the first and most important place the responsibility of the parents. It also shows how during history Church and State have both played an important role in it, and in the nineteenth century the State even took this responsibility away from the parents. In response, the parents fought for the right to establish parental schools. The Christian schools as we know them now find their origin in the nineteenth century. However, the principle that the parents are responsible for the instruction of their children and not the State comes from the Bible.

Reformed Education and article 53 of the Church Order. Article 53 of the Church Order of the FRCA was inserted in the Church Order by the Free Reformed Churches of Australia in 1994. It is therefore a new article and was not included in the Church Order of Dort. Why was it added and what does it say?

Back to the Family. During the lockdowns imposed by the government to stop the spread of the COVID-19, many parents rediscovered the importance of the family. This can be seen as one of the positive outcomes of this pandemic, and we must consider in how far we should learn from this and refocus on the family.

Synod of Dort on Catechism Teaching. The Synod of Dort made some important decisions about the instruction of the children in the church in the Christian doctrine. The schools in those days were under the responsibility of the State, but the State delegated the supervision over the schools to the ministers of the Reformed Churches. This gave the churches the opportunity to make use of the schools for the instruction of the children in the Christian doctrine.

Acts of the National Synod of Dort, 1618-1619 – English translation. A translation in English of the seventeenth session, which is the session in which the Synod made the decisions about the catechism teaching.

Articles on other websites

Article 53 of the Church Order of the FRCA . This is the official text of article 53 of the Church Order of the FRCA, and the text of article 58 of the Church Order of the Canadian Reformed Churches, as well as the original (Dutch) article in the Church Order of Dort. This website also gives a commentary on this article and lists links to other commentaries and artices.

C. Bouwman, Christian Education and the Church Order , C. Bouwman, Baptismal Promise and Education , and C. Bouwman, Christian Education and the Task of the Office Bearer . These three articles were published in Una Sancta, after the Synod Byford 1994 added the article about the Baptismal Promise and Christian Education.

G. Ph. Van Popta, To Whom Belongs the Child? This article, published in Clarion, 13 June 1993, gives an overview of the discussion in the Canadian Reformed Churches about the task of the Christian Schools.

K. Dykstra, Church, Home, and School – A Two-Legged Stool? In this article in Reformed Perspective (published 4 September 2019), Kent Dykstra, principal of Credo Christian High School, discusses the popular metaphor of the triangle, the tripod, and the three-legged stool. This image has its strengths but also its limitations. Mr. Dykstra writes: “If we attempt to use the model to describe the responsibilities of various parties in a child’s education, the model breaks down. It ascribes too much importance to one leg – the school.”

J. Dykstra, US homeschooling grows by a million . Jon Dykstra describes in Reformed Perspective (28 September 2021) how the number of students being homeschooled in the USA grew from 2.6 million in March 2020 to 3.7 million in September 2021. Many parents saw from up close during the pandemic, when children were at home and taught using the internet, what their children were being taught and were not happy with what they saw. Mr. Dykstra highlights the strengths of the home-school movement. Although the Reformed Churches have generally not encouraged homeschooling, Mr. Dykstra encourages us to see both Christian Schools and homeschooling as two legitimate educational options for Christian parents. “No fault should be leveled at those who choose not to use our Christian schools but instead fulfill their baptismal vows by homeschooling instead.”

Speech of Dr. A. Kuyper in the Dutch Parliament 7 December 1874 (in Dutch), in which he pleaded to liberate the schools from the supervision of State and Church, and proposed the introduction of a school-council as they can be found in the English system, with ‘schoolboards’ independent from Church and State.

WWJ VanOene, Schools, commentary on article 58 of the Church Order of the Canadian Reformed Churches. Published on the website