In my short trip to the East Asia, I had an opportunity to reflect on the significance of cultural diversity/cultural reformation and the Classical Christian Education.
The first opportunity was the visiting of 9 students from X country to our Korea campus in Suji. Since they took some online classes together, these students knew each other already. But this was the first time they came together in person. I arrived two days after these students arrived. The students were greatly encouraged as they worshipped together, took classes together, and spent some time traveling together. I found out through some students and staff that this visit not only greatly encouraged students on both sides, but it opened their eyes to what God is doing across cultures and nations through the gospel of Jesus Christ. That gospel was not only trans-cultural, but it also united people of different cultures more powerfully and beautifully than what is capable by the power of man, politically or socio-culturally. Strong bonds of friendship were formed, and students are already planning to visit each other’s campus in the future.
A second opportunity was my meeting with the parents of our students in Korea. After my talk titled “Cultural Reformation and the Classical Christian Education” that included audience by zoom, I spent separate time with our students’ parents, who shared honestly the struggles of their children, which included loneliness, anxiety of coming to America for college, and other socio-emotional challenges. After much open conversation, parents were greatly encouraged partly because they began to realize that education is more than what students are learning in their classrooms. They realized that some of these challenges could be addressed by creative parent-school partnership. That is to say, true education is more about impacting students’ culture for Christ, and not merely college preparation.
A third opportunity was my meeting with the parents of our students in X country. Given the difference in context here, the conversation focused more on the integration of Christian worldview and classical education. We began the meeting by all of us watching four of the 5-7 minute long recorded video introductions of various classes by respective teachers. Parents were surprised at not only the high quality of standard for these classes, but at the unique approaches these classes took in shaping the culture of these students. For example, one of the class objectives of the Late European History is: “To discern the difference between the development of the Sacred City and the Secular City in modern history.” A couple of parents commented how they have never learned history this way before—to see the flow of God’s providence in shaping the Sacred City. What was supposed to be a 1.5 hr meeting stretched to 2.5 and the parents did not want the meeting to end. They all sensed the power of Classical Christian Education to shape our culture through their children.
Finally, I had various private conversations with various staff members, teachers, and students, much of which somehow related to culture and how CCE is equipping them to transform their culture for Christ. In one conversation, a staff was surprised that I did not believe democracy, in and of itself, was Christian. Democracy, if not dependent on the Lordship of Christ, could easily become idolatrous. We need to envision a society which is motivated by the Lordship of Christ in various levels of communities, with a limited government, which is also motivated by the Lordship of Christ. This conversation gave much hope and encouragement. In a conversation with a student who was inspired by their leader to become an educator himself, I learned that this student went through a period of depression because of a loss of direction in life. But after realizing how meaningful and impactful is the work of his leader, not just academically, but spiritually and culturally, this student found peace and a strong sense of purpose in his life. These are just a glimpse of how God has encouraged me. I don’t have the space here to share all the great work God is doing now and is expected to do in the near future, changing people’s way of life for the sake of Christ. And needless to say, our community in Fullerton is very much involved in this work of God.