Dear Regent friends,
This school year is Regent’s 24th! God’s faithfulness is amazing as we look back and see all that He has done for us — enrollment of 61 to 600; a leased 25,000 square-foot building to a permanent 30-acre campus; and a faculty/staff of seven expanding to a talented and devoted group of 86 people.
As we begin this year, the obvious things happening around us in culture remind me why classical education is such a beautiful experience. It doesn’t change! It is not subject to the changing winds of culture and the re-evaluation of what is true, beautiful, and good. We see history being revised to fit today’s view of the world. We see age-old traditions being redefined into what today’s warped and relativistic society thinks is ‘right and fair.’
Regent respects and honors ‘the old things.’ We sing beautiful hymns during chapel and in classrooms, songs that teach the theology important to us as Christ-followers. We read ‘old’ books that public libraries discard or sell for 50¢. We love beautiful poetry and have our students read it, memorize it, and recite it. Students study and imitate the greatest artists in history. These are the things worthy of our students’ attention.
And we do them again and again, changing very little from year to year, but that is the point. When someone asks ‘why don’t we sing contemporary worship songs rather than hymns’ or ‘why do we do the same 24-verse scripture passage in Class 2,’ for 23 years now? We smile and say, ‘because these are the beautiful things; these represent tradition; these are the things most valuable to their souls.’ We LOVE these things and we will continue to point our students toward them.
There is no point in attending another summer conference (as do many educators) discussing a NEW way of teaching or a NEW curriculum. We do what we do and we do it each year because it is the “best stuff” to feed our students. The value of the curriculum, the consistency of its presentation, and the grounding it has in Christ and God’s Word are what make Regent unique.
The culture is full of mediocre things. Regent will not ‘change with the culture.’ We will continue to hold REAL books in our hands (not screens). We will continue to have FACE to FACE dialogue with our students (not electronic substitutes). And we will continue to stand on traditions that shape the affections of our students.
We look forward to beginning a new year as we study the ‘old things.’ Join your student in appreciating the ‘old.’ And stand firm against the culture’s efforts to redefine what is important, what is beautiful, and what is TRUE!
Andrew D. Shapleigh