Read CEJ Online

December 2012


Many years ago, when I served as a Christian school administrator, the board of the school where I served received a letter from a parent who asked why the school was not involved in sending students on service trips overseas. Such trips would, in the opinion of the letter writer, give students the opportunity to […]

So Poor, but So Happy?

  “They are so poor, but so happy.” I was talking with someone about a mission trip to Honduras and those are the words chosen to sum up the trip. “They are so poor, but so happy.” I merely smiled and nodded in response. What could I say? For this person, that phrase represented what […]


  Jesus said, “Go into all the world . . .” (Mark 16:15). When we read these words as Christian educators, we tend to think about our students “going” out into the world after high school. Have you ever asked what it might look like for middle school students to “go”? For the past thirteen […]

Educating for Service: A Goal at Cedars Christian School

  Part of the vision statement for Cedars Christian School states: “Both teachers and parents unite to help the child to: develop his or her unique potential internalize spiritual values live a life of service, fellowship, stewardship, discipleship, and obedience to God.” In this article I’d like to focus on the phrase “teachers and parents […]

Learning through Serving

The opportunities for students serving in God’s world have exploded in recent years. Mission trips, community service requirements, and service days are commonplace in middle schools and high schools as well as churches across the continent. This spirit of service carries over to the college years. Trinity Christian College student Kelly Vanden Berg recounts her […]

Service Learning: Developing a Lifestyle of Service

Service, community service, and service learning are buzzwords that describe the good work of people who want to meet the needs of others. For the church worker, the community activist, and the educator, service to others would seem to be a way of life, or second nature. For the Christian, service to others is easily […]

Getting the Most Out of Your Short-Term Mission Trip

To say that times have changed is an understatement especially when it pertains to the short-term missions phenomena. I am very excited about some of these changes, yet others leave me a bit conflicted, even wondering if the value of our “one-week trips to Timbuktu in order to paint a school” honestly matches the price […]

Understanding the Dynamic of Partnership between Christian Schools in Africa and the West

My objective in this paper is to formulate a Christian education vision for Africa, using Christ-centered biblical principles for constructing a viable society for the well-being of all Africans. We live as Christians at the crossroads of the biblical story (with its call to faithfulness), the story of postmodernity, and the African story, defining its […]

Going Pro: Notes for New Teachers

You don’t need a calendar to know that school is in full swing—footballs are flying and Mother Nature is spinning her color wheel. As a new teacher, you’ve met your classes, memorized the cafeteria menus, and sent three of your little darlings to the office. Maybe it’s a good time to stop, take a breath, […]

Of Gourds, Volunteers, and Lifelong Learning

Last autumn, my well-ordered garden kept producing, even after most of the crop was declared “finished.” Despite my springtime efforts to create an orderly and predictable garden, by October, my neat and tidy rows of vegetables were made unkempt by the throngs of “volunteers” that decided, without informing me, to populate the patch: gourds wending […]

Moles for Monrovia, Puppets for Panama City, Kringle for Christmas, or Service for Springfield?

Music teacher Carrie Wellema pushed through the door to the staff room and sighed. The final bell had just rung and she could hear the shouts in the hallway as Bedlam’s students hurried out into the beautiful late October day. Carrie sighed because she had to chair a committee meeting on a gorgeous afternoon. A […]