What is Classical Education?

In short, classical education is a return to the roots of Christian learning. Classical education is a model of education that draws deeply from the history and culture of Western civilization employing methodology based on the Trivium, a time tested three-stage approach to learning. The three phrases and components of the Trivium are grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

Beginning with grammar, students learn the basic facts and principles of a given subject. In keeping with the developmental needs of the child, this elementary phase is followed by formal logic in the middle school years. Structured debate, comparisons and analysis are encouraged across the disciplines. Finally rhetoric teaches the art of persuasive communication but never in isolation from real knowledge. Therefore, writing and speaking form part of the learning in every subject during the high school years.

In content, classical Christian education seeks to impart the knowledge necessary for a broad and critical awareness of the world and human society. Classical Christian educators understand that trusting and revering God is the first and most important step in acquiring knowledge. To this end, all instruction at Cornerstone acknowledges that God is evident in creation, sovereign through history, fully revealed in His Son Jesus Christ, and intimately concerned with mankind as individuals. Our students are shown how history displays God's providence, how mathematics manifests the order and symmetry of His creation, how language provides the tools necessary to further His kingdom, how science reveals His actions and methods and how the creative arts demonstrate the indelible mark of God upon man through the exercise of finite creative abilities.

At Cornerstone the educational opportunity that we offer is a means to an end. Our ultimate goal is to equip students with the knowledge, skill and vision necessary to be effective leaders and servants for our Lord Jesus Christ in whatever vocation He may call. We seek to raise a generation of young people who love the Lord Jesus Christ with all their hearts and minds and who are able to articulate the Gospel and fundamentals of the Christian faith with clarity, fidelity and power.

What is Biblical Worldview?

The unique commission of a Christian school is to teach students to think well and to think Biblically. In order to do this, the Bible and Biblical principles are the foundation of all that is taught and the standard for faith and life. The Bible and theology classes that are taught at Cornerstone are taught from the perspective that the Scripture is worthy of our time, attention, understanding and obedience. The study of the Bible is never merely an academic exercise but devotional in the sense that to study the Scripture requires a heart felt response on the part of the student. Since we believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant and infallible word of God, we believe and teach that it also forms the foundation for understanding all other subjects.

Students learn that Christianity offers an expansive understanding of the nature of the world and the meaning of human history. Though only the Holy Spirit can change a heart, students can be taught how to scrutinize many kinds of assertions, according to Scriptural criteria. To impart this Biblically grounded understanding of the world together with the means to defend it is to impart a Christian worldview.

Further students are instructed by teachers who understand and conduct their personal lives in keeping with Biblical principle and perspective. Our teachers are aware of the responsibility they bear to disciple young people in all aspects of their lives. As teachers and students interact with one another, students see a Christian worldview modeled in the workplace but more importantly they are exposed to caring adults who have a passion for the truth of the Scripture and earnestly seek to walk in obedience to the commands of Christ.

What do we mean by a Culture of Grace?

At Cornerstone we believe that there are several features of our school that distinguish us from other Christian schools in our area. We acknowledge the opportunity and the privilege we have to educate children according to a Biblical worldview. The Scripture is paramount in our studies and all knowledge proceeds from God's Word and perspective. We value the relationships that we forge with our families. Indeed, Cornerstone functions very much like a large family. The teachers, students and parents all value and appreciate one another. However, by far, the most prevalent feature of our school is a determination to purposefully develop a culture of grace in our school.

Culture is something that can be hard to define yet it is readily recognizable. A culture is the attitude and the actions that result when a group is together. Wherever there are people, a culture develops. You cannot examine the classroom in even the best of Christian schools without realizing that a teacher is never able to just disseminate academic information. No, everyday he or she is dealing with anger, fear, resistance, lack of motivation, interpersonal conflicts, authority issues, sadness, envy, hopelessness and a host of other heart issues that children bring into the classroom. It is not hard to see how each of these things interrupts and complicates the educational process in its own way.

A Cornerstone education is not simply meant to "repackage" a child's head. It is however, meant to be a part of the transforming work of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Students never leave their hearts at the door of their home or school. They bring their hearts into the classroom every day. And what rules their hearts will exercise inescapable influence over their desires, thoughts, decisions, words and actions. (See Luke 6:43-45 and Mark 8:14ff). So, in the classroom we can never simply focus on educating minds, we also have to commit ourselves to change our hearts as well. Everything our students say and do is rooted in the thoughts and desires of the heart.

Because at Cornerstone we take Scripture seriously, we recognize the centrality of the heart to a person's behavior and we also recognize how sin influences the thoughts and motives of the heart. But we are not discouraged and we are not desperate because we know that in Jesus Christ we find the promise of and power for real and lasting heart change. Our faculty take seriously Jesus' call to be his instruments of heart change.

What does this mean? It means that we not only want our school to be a place of learning, but a culture of grace as well. Rules and regulations are necessary because they work to reveal and restrain sin, but they cannot rescue us from it. It is only God's grace that has the power to change a person's heart. So we must always make sure that we are not asking the law to do what only grace can accomplish.

What does this practically look like? It means that in our classrooms every day we are taking up God given opportunities to get at heart issues with our students. How do we do this? First, we try to do everything we can to build relationships of love with our students. We want them to know we genuinely care for them and that our relationship with them is a safe place to begin to deal with their heart struggles. Next, we work to really get to know our students, seeking to understand, at the level of the heart, why they do the things they do. Next, we look for opportunities to speak to our students, helping them acknowledge and understand what is going on in their hearts in ways that they would not be able to do without us. Here we help our students look at themselves in the mirror of God's Word, so they can see themselves as they actually are. Finally, we help our students understand what to do with the new personal insights that God has given them. These insights result in new choices, words, and actions both inside and outside the classroom. In all of this we are daily pointing them to the help that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

In our commitment to love, to know, to speak and to do, we are working so that our school would not only be a place of academic excellence, but would be shaped by a culture of grace as well. We are thankfully engaged in the lives of our students and families to see the person of Jesus formed in them. Cornerstone is a place of grace because of the rescuing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.


About Cornerstone Academy's Origin

Cornerstone Classical Christian Academy was born out of the vision of Morningview Baptist Church. Morningview is a Southern Baptist church located in historic Montgomery, Alabama.

Cornerstone Classical Christian Academy

125 Calhoun Road
Montgomery, Alabama 36109
(School door located off of Brantwood Drive.)
Phone (334) 356-7788
Contact Us