Shaping minds. Cultivating hearts. Promoting service.
When it comes to the heart of the matter, what do you really want for your child? At Lynden Christian Schools, Christian families have come together to provide an excellent and broad Christian educational program – so their children may grow and mature into perceptive and caring Christians with life-encompassing obedience to God. With 100 years of history (founded 1910), we are pleased to offer a fully accredited academic program to over 1100 students from preschool through twelfth grade on two campuses (Lynden and Bellingham).
Because of our size, history, and experience, we are able to offer extensive curricular and extracurricular options where our students can explore and develop their God-given gifts in the core academic subjects as well as in such areas as music, drama, art, Vocational-Technical, FFA, athletics and much more. Our many alumni are serving the Lord locally and throughout the world in a wide variety of vocations – having a transforming influence in the world for the glory of God. Our dedicated and State of WA certified staff is the key to achieving our mission as a school. On a daily basis they integrate a distinctly Biblical perspective into their teaching in all subjects and at all grade levels. Each teacher, unique in personality and teaching expertise, is a Christian committed to the goals of Christian education.
Parents at Lynden Christian Schools are incredibly supportive of their school, encouraging their children, and working hand-in-hand with the staff. We are grateful for a huge volunteer base that extends across generations. Our local churches (about 80) that are represented in the school are a constant source of support and blessing, completing the home, school, church connection. Lynden Christian Schools is a private, parent-run system governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by the school “Society,” comprised of parents and others who support the school. We are a member of larger organizations such as CSI – Christian Schools International, NWCSI – Northwest Christian Schools International, and WFIS – Washington Federation of Independent Schools. We are also blessed to be situated in a beautiful part of God’s creation, in close proximity to the mountains, the ocean, farms, and such urban centers as Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Our Vision of Christian Education
Lynden Christian Schools believe that school is an extension of the Christian home, designed to reinforce the faith and values of the parents. We believe that policies and procedures governing the school should be consistent with the standards of the Bible, which is God’s inspired Word. We believe that this is God’s world, that each child is unique in God’s sight, created in His image to live a life of faith and service.
We believe that faith in Christ must be applied to all areas of life, that God’s Word has the answers to individual and world problems. As an educational institution, our goal is to present Christ in all subject matter and in so doing have each child develop a world life view with Christ as the focal point.
Specifically, Lynden Christian Schools take hold of the responsibility of shaping a Christian mind, cultivating a Christian heart, and promoting Christian service – head, heart, and hands – thinking, feeling, doing – all mysteriously intertwined in each person. The formation of the whole child with thoughtful, passionate Christian commitments, that is the vision of our school.
The mission of Lynden Christian Schools is to be an effective instrument of God. Together with Christian parents and the church, we seek to educate children and young people so that they may grow and mature into perceptive and caring Christians. Finally, our goal is to produce citizens who have a transforming influence in the world.
Since inception, Lynden Christian Schools have served as an extension of the Christian home and as a partner of the Christian church in the nurturing of children and young people. The respective roles of these institutions in training and education can never be clearly differentiated, for the Holy Spirit “blows where it will.” (John 3:8) Yet, God has ordained families, churches and schools to perform certain tasks for the building of His Kingdom.
Head: Forming the Mind
The head is the symbolic center for knowledge, thinking and rationality. This ability to reason, to process information, to discern and synthesize is a God-given gift that contributes to our humanity and equips students for what our mission statement describes as perceptive Christians.
At the core of our mission lies the pursuit of knowledge of our triune God as revealed in Scripture, in Christ, and in creation. It is not enough to know about God, rather we desire to know God personally, through Christ, and to love Him, indeed to love Him with our “whole mind.” Moreover, knowledge of God and knowledge of self cannot be separated. St. Augustine prayed, “Let me know Thee, O God, let me know myself.” Furthermore, the unspoken eloquence of Creation serves as the content and substance for our academic curriculum; we use the natural, cultural and spiritual contexts in which we live.
Lynden Christian Schools’ rigorous academic program provides its students with the cognitive skill and cultural literacy that will enable them to take up their place in society. It is the purpose of this institution to challenge and equip young people to be productive leaders and participants who discover and use their God-given talents to shape family, church and cultural life.
Knowledge, along with logic and critical thinking, is a marvelous tool which contributes to our discernment of the cultural and social forces that shape our world. Romans 12:2 calls us to no longer be conformed to the “patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It is the goal of this school to teach young people to understand God and His creation; to use their minds in the service of God and neighbor; and to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” (I John 4)
Indeed, the “patterns of this world” are profoundly influenced by secular humanism, materialism, individualism, technology and ideology (both from the left and the right), all of which can be modern forms of idolatry. We desire that our students learn to identify “God-lessness,” whatever its origin. The formation of a worldview that is shaped by Scripture and influenced by Christian tradition will equip our students for insightful and creative participation in society.
Heart: Educating the Emotions
As vital as Christian thinking is, we must be reminded that Proverbs 4 claims, “out of the heart come the issues of life.” Thus, Lynden Christian Schools must be vigilant in educating students in such a way that enriches the head and the heart. Novelist Walker Percy describes one of his characters as “one who gets all A’s, but flunks life.
The heart is the symbolic center of our emotions, feelings and motivation. Values and character are issues of the heart, and Matthew 15 identifies the heart as the source of our “evil thoughts.” The desires of the heart, good or evil, are powerful often beyond our rationality, thereby controlling our decisions and dictating our behavior. So too, encountering Christ as Savior is relational, and following Him with one’s whole heart is an act of love. Thus, the school strives to nurture the heart and educate the emotions.
Because of the brokenness and sinfulness of our human condition, every student and teacher at Lynden Christian Schools is in some way wounded. Rather than seeking wholeness through a transforming relationship of love and friendship with God, we are inclined, and sometimes compelled, to pursue counterfeit forms of healing. Staff and students alike need to rediscover their hearts to expose false desires that are really idols and addictions. For children and young people, they appear in the forms of popularity, “coolness” and conformity. As a learning community, we must address these relational issues, which fundamentally underlie both thought and action.
Lynden Christian Schools strive to be a place that is safe, affirming and loving. Christian education, both in content and method, must attend to the issues of the heart. Spirituality and character are to be addressed with instruction that respects the dignity and individuality of persons as image bearers of God, each with multiple gifts and intelligences.
Knowledge is not enough. To accompany this pursuit of knowledge, Lynden Christian Schools teach our students to be caring, vibrant Christians, who are taught to maintain the linkage between head and heart, just as our Creator intended.
HANDS: Preparing for Service
A Christian mind impassioned by a Christian heart inevitably results in Christian service. Thus, our use of “hands” is symbolic of action and service. For every dimension of education we must always ask: “Education for what purpose and competence to what end?” Nicholas Wolterstorff in Educating for Responsible Action teaches us that “a world and life view is inadequate, for it puts too much emphasis on view… To be identified with the people of God and to share in this work does indeed require that we have a system of belief – but it requires more than that. It requires the Christian way of life.”
Lynden Christian Schools, by adult example and through specific opportunities, must challenge students to be “in the world,” active, productive and fully engaged. We aspire to produce adults whose effort and work is competent, ethical and just. In word and deed, we are compelled to share the gospel in all of its fullness. In church and society, we live in community with one another. Thus, our mission statement expects graduates to have a transforming influence in the world. Unless teaching translates into action, we are a “sounding gong and a clanging cymbal.” (I Corinthians 13) The stark words of St. James apply: “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2)
At Lynden Christian Schools, we do not view education as a passport to privilege; rather, with more knowledge comes greater responsibility. We strive to link desire with duty, belief with behavior, scholarship with service. Our communal search for truth bears meaning only when lives of virtue and integrity are presented as “living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.” (Romans 12) We desire our students and graduates, in school and out, to practice their faith in ways that transform culture and build the kingdom of God.
We seek God’s grace and wisdom to provide a balanced Christian education for the head, heart and hands of His children. In these commingling mysteries of life and education, we acknowledge that the “Lord establishes the work of our hands.” (Psalm 98)
Foundational Statements of Theology, Educational Philosophy and Affirmation
While the Holy Scriptures provide the basis for this institution, several additional documents have been adopted by Lynden Christian Schools and the Board of Directors, giving a foundation and framework for defining and conducting the educational task to which we have been called.
- Constitution and By-laws: The most fundamental statements of purpose and theology that motivated the formation of Lynden Christian Schools and govern its ongoing existence.
- Lynden Christian Schools – Philosophy Goals, and Objectives: A reflection of theological and educational presuppositions.
- Our World Belongs to God: A confession which states our faith and theology as a “contemporary testimony.”
- From Vision to Action: The basis and purpose for Christian schools developed by Christian Schools International (CSI).
- Affirmations 2.0: A clear, compelling statement of what Christian schools can be and ought to be: a confession of what Christian education is as well as an agenda for what it must become.
The concepts and articulation of the statements presented in this document flow from a variety of sources, indeed more than can be identified. Particular thoughts were borrowed from Nick Wolterstorff, William Diehl, Al Greene, and the Mission Statement of Calvin College. Speeches by James Houston of Regent College and Steven Garber of the Christian College Coalition specifically have strongly influenced this final product. We are grateful to brothers and sisters who have gone before us who have shaped our mission and vision of Christian education.