Studying Christian education allows one to become a teacher who helps others reach a deeper understanding of God, and, happily, deepens the faith of the teacher in the process.
When a passion for teaching combines with a passion for God, Christians not only grow as teachers, their faith in God grows deeper.
I studied psychology at university, and after completing my undergraduate degree, I started a PhD. At that time, I was offered some casual teaching for first-year psychology tutorials. It was then that I experienced one of the great surprises of my life – I discovered that I loved teaching.
This was quite unexpected – it’s not that I thought I would dislike teaching, but I was completely unprepared for how passionately I enjoyed helping others to learn. I had discovered a part of my inner being that I hadn’t really known was there. It was exhilarating and a bit daunting.
Many teachers have a similar feeling – a deep commitment to teaching that goes far beyond it simply being a job – it is part of their essence as a human being.
In a similar way, my Christian faith is also part of my essence as a human being. I have a passionate belief in God and what He has done to save us by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This faith affects all aspects of my life.
But I was slow to bring these two passions together – for many years they “ran parallel” within me. I had not thought very deeply about how my passion for teaching might be affected by my Christian faith.
Then I began to read the writings of great Christian thinkers over the ages about education – such as Augustine, the great North African philosopher of the 4th century – as well as numerous contemporary discussions of Christian education. I discovered many new ideas about how Christian faith and teaching connect.
In the Bible, Paul encourages Christians to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom 12:2). For Christians who love teaching, studying Christian education is a very practical way of “renewing your mind” – of growing in intellectual understanding that complements a passion for teaching.
As I understood this, I learned another surprising lesson – when a passion for teaching combines with a passion for God, Christians not only grow as teachers, their faith in God grows deeper. This is why postgraduate study as a Christian teacher can be so rewarding.
As Augustine said, God has made us to know Him, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Him.