The Marks of an Educated Christian Student
My weekly spot in the Lincoln Christian School newsletter mentions the marks of an educated person. These should be a goal of our teaching that we are leading students to these marks. Space did not allow me to list these marks so I will use this medium. These come from Arthur F. Holmes and his work titled, “The Idea of a Christian College” which is not necessarily a book about college but about Christian education.
The first mark are spiritual virtues. These include an unreserved commitment to God and his purposes for us in the world, a confidence in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and a self-giving devotion (faith, hope and love). These virtues bring to life purpose, expectation and humility.
The second mark are moral virtues. These are qualities of character like love, fairness, the courage of one’s convictions, integrity, and a commitment to justice and love in every area of life.
The third mark are intellectual virtues. These include a breadth of understanding, openness to new ideas, intellectual honesty about other views and about the problems in one’s own, analytic and critical skills, not just verbal skills and powers of communication but grace and eloquence therein as well, and the ability to say the right thing in the right way at the right time. To acquire intellectual virtues, one needs a sense of history, an imagination that frees them to work at both old and new problems in fresh ways, to ask fresh questions, a wisdom that gets down to basic principles and spots assumptions, sees what is right and good and true, and makes sound decisions accordingly.
The fourth mark is responsible actions in all areas of life. These include a conscientiousness, helpfulness, a servant’s heart, the ability to correct one’s course and start afresh, to maintain relationships, active involvement in the church and community, and to be an effective agent of needful and helpful change.
The fifth mark is a self-knowledge. These are an honest appraisal of their own strengths and weaknesses, no false modesty and no overconfidence, a willingness to address weaknesses, and a willingness to address strengths. Knowing oneself means knowing what you have to learn, knowing how to learn it, and the ability to learn from others.
(From The Idea of a Christian College by Arthur F. Holmes, Eerdmans Publishing, 1987)