Meet Sarah Harmon
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
— Proverbs 22:6, NIV
Five Foundational Principles of Providence Christian School
1. Scripture teaches that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom” and that Christians are to “love the Lord with all their minds.” Accordingly, we believe in a Christian worldview approach to learning that integrates the truth of the Scriptures with all subject matter. As a result of this conviction, the primary reason for starting a school is not reactionary, but, rather, a calling of the Lord to implement an educational model that, in His time, will produce lives that honor Him in all they do.
2. The field of education is a major battleground in the spiritual warfare that God tells Christians they will encounter. Believers need to be proactive in protecting their right to educate their children from a Christ-centered perspective.
3. It is not possible to teach any subject from a spiritually “neutral perspective”; some worldview, whether God-honoring or not, will be maintained. “Education is built on the foundation of the instructor’s worldview and the worldview of those who developed the curriculum.” (D. Wilson)
4. The God-ordained institution of the family is given the primary authority and responsibility for education.
5. The God-ordained institution of the Church is the pillar of the truth and the proclaimer of God’s grace. The Church’s role in education should never usurp that of the family, but rather, instruct the family from the Scriptures on how to train, teach, and nurture children. The Church and the family need to clearly understand their roles in order for a God-honoring school to exist.
By God’s grace, we are striving to be a school that impacts the entire family and encourages each student to become all that God calls him to be.
Providence Christian School provides a distinct education. It is Christian, and it is classical.
In preparing young men and women to be tomorrow’s leaders, PCS believes Scripture is clear: education’s pursuits begin and end with Christ. The Gospel of Mark calls us to “love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength” (12:30). Undoubtedly, this cannot be approached without a relationship with Jesus, lots of prayer, a believing community, and diligent Christian study. All of which, PCS seeks to faithfully promote.
In addition to Mark, other Biblical writers remind us God has much to say on the subject of education. For example, believers are encouraged to provide an all-encompassing biblical education for their children (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). We are told, too, that a right understanding of the world is governed by God-given boundaries (Proverbs 21:30). Finally, we are cautioned that learning is never a neutral enterprise. Christians are either moving towards biblical wisdom or towards worldly foolishness (Psalm 1). In the holy task of educating children, Scripture’s testimony is plain: the Bible should be the rule and guide for what we learn and how we apply it.
Our goal then at PCS? To develop Christian young people who find their identity in Christ and seek to participate in God’s renewal of creation by building and sustaining what is true, beautiful, and good. You may be saying, “Wow. Pretty high standard for students!” We agree. Therefore, we believe the best complement for a Christian education, seeking to produce wise, virtuous, and eloquent champions for Christ, is the proven and time-honored methods of a liberal arts education, or a classical education. As evidenced by recent articles at Forbes.com, The New York Times, and in the pages of Newsweek, educators are returning to the proven methods of the past to answer the demands of the future. Classical education is in vogue. So much so, universities are developing honors colleges which employ the hallmarks of classical study: namely, class discussion, critical thinking, speech and composition, and interdisciplinary work. Whether your child will become a preacher, teacher or playwright, a systems analyst or CFO, an engineer, chemist or architect, he or she needs the tools of learning advanced by a classical education.
Habits of the mind, modeled by PCS teachers and explicitly taught through our subjects, prepare graduates to be life-long learners ready for any calling. We believe deep analytical thinking and clear, persuasive expression take time to develop. Thoughtful students are created through the incremental work of committed teachers and a robust curriculum targeting measurable objectives. Arrival at such a destination is not happenstance.
At Providence we purposefully travel “the three roads,” or, more precisely, we employ the trivium. A hallmark of classical Christian education, the trivium, emphasizes the grammar, logic, and rhetoric of subjects to teach definition, analysis, and expression in all fields of inquiry. The trivium also provides PCS with insight regarding a student’s stages of development, so we teach with the grain of a child’s cognitive and social maturation. In grammar school (grades 1-5), students are primed for defining and accumulating information; in the logic school (grades 6-8), students naturally desire to understand the relationship of information (What middle school student hasn’t asked, “Why are we doing this?”); and in the rhetoric school (grades 9-12), students test their knowledge by seeking to communicate it clearly and persuasively. From learning to read in 1st grade to eventually writing and defending a senior thesis in 12th grade, students at PCS are being prepared to embrace their life’s calling.
Providence Christian School is readying students for that calling. A calling which we believe takes many forms during our lives. As child, student, friend, spouse, parent, employee, and parishioner, every relationship and role benefits from the wisdom, virtue, and eloquence of a classical Christian education.
Tuesday, September 8th, marks the 25th Anniversary of Providence Christian School. On a dollar-per-year leased piece of property that at that time was outside the city limits of Dothan, the dream of classical Christian education became a reality in September 1995. The Lord’s faithfulness to our school is evidenced even in the face of current challenges, cementing the values that twenty-five years later continue to remind us daily of God’s provision.
Therefore, in a reflection of First Presbyterian Church-Dothan’s vision in venturing into the world of Christian 1st through 6th-grade education in its initial year in 1995, a review of the school’s mission and vision is warranted.
Providence Christian School was birthed with the name “Providence” by the original board because of the apparent providential hand of the Lord in every detail and resource. The name was already Providence when the Meadow Wood Board granted PCS use of the former Girl Scout camp, which serves as the school campus. God’s evident favor in the timing of the provision of the resources, and the individuals He utilizes, energized those connected with the school in 1995, and that momentum continues in 2020.
Each person that is invested at PCS in 2020 connects to it through a thread of commonality in how they were called here by God. This “thread” that ties us together has multiple layers and is supported on the foundation of the providence of the Lord’s grace and will. The undergirding dynamic of sustaining buy-in is an understanding of the vision and mission. The adhesion created by this understanding is just as vital in 2020 as it was in 1995.
The original school charter declares that PCS is a classical Christian school. We are to be classical in vision and mission, as well as in name. Like 1995, classical Christian education is distinctive in the Wiregrass area as we are the only traditional school (non-homeschool) offering the CCE model.
We are classical in the tradition that believes that there is Truth, and it is knowable. In the face of an educational culture that has embraced relativism, a principle of classical education is that each child is an image-bearer of God and has a rational mind. We believe that all students can be trained to think and to reason when utilizing logic in searching for Truth. These Truths, in application with Biblical Truth, lead to wisdom.
We are Christian in that we recognize that Truth comes from the hand of God, who is the creator of the universe. Unchanging, sovereign, and eternal, God has communicated these things through the revelation of His creation and His Word in a manner that is inerrant and inspired.
PCS Mission Statement: “By God’s grace, we are striving to be a school that impacts the entire family and encourages each student to become all that God calls him to be.”
Our mission goals are to encourage students to 1) a lifelong love of learning, 2) become servant leaders, 3) become principled-thinkers.