Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Impacting the World through Education from Wesley’s Point of View image
During a recent visit to a church, one high school senior said to me, “I do not want to attend Ohio Christian because I want a real-world education.” I’m sure he has his own definition of what constitutes a “real-world education,” but his statement concerned me. Today’s Christian parents must be alert to the fact that many higher education institutions present godless content and philosophies that can cause students to stray from their faith.  Now, I am not so naive as to think one cannot be a proponent of Christian education while supporting the education processes of local public entities. In fact, I firmly believe there are many great public institutions with great purposes, such as research in the areas of medicine and engineering, from which we all certainly benefit. Yet, I am passionate about Christian education and submit that, for my family, it is the only option in the developing years, including the early years of college. I purport this because of my concern for a biblical worldview. I do not intend to bash public education; instead, I hope to present a balanced perspective on the importance of Christian education and our role in supporting it.Should we as Christians reconsider how we view education?For decades, many in our Wesleyan circles misinterpreted John Wesley’s message regarding education. He valued education, but was always concerned that education for its own sake would promote the sin of pride. This mindset became the basis of the “ignorance is bliss” philosophy, which led some to justify their lack of educational pursuits. Our present society abhors ignorance, demands degrees, and expects an education. How must we approach a solution?A historical review suggests that education in Wesley’s day was not a highly developed concept in the minds of people. Families were poor, and children were required to work to support the family unit.  Children were not treated with respect. In fact, according to Herbert Byrne, writer of John Wesley and Learning, “the wealthy looked upon their children somewhat as a disease, and schools were used as boarding schools to get rid of the little nuisances that abounded” (Byrne 1983, p. 125). But an interesting change occurred.“Toward the end of the century, a more serious spirit permeated society, and parents began to feel greater responsibility for their children” (p. 125). Wesley was one of the leaders who helped foster a better understanding of the value of children.The children of the eighteenth century suffered immensely as the cold theological hand of Calvinism lay heavily upon the Church of England. Children were considered desperately wicked mortals who could only be saved by incessant punishment and coercion. While many people of the Wesleyan persuasion looked at children in this same way, John Wesley did not preach such lurid doctrines. He believed that children were born with inherited depravity, but he also emphasized love, not just incessant punishment (Byrne, p. 127).Wesley was convinced that education could change the woes of his day, as suggested in Volume 3 of his works, “I preached on the education of children wherein we are extremely wanting. Many were deeply convinced of this. I hope that they will not stifle that conviction” (Wesley, p. 270).  Wesley believed deeply that children should be well-mannered, and educated according to God’s principles. He understood that children were created by God for future service to the kingdom.As an educational leader of his day, John Wesley valued not only the education of children, but higher education as well. The two most prominent universities of his era were Oxford and Cambridge. These schools focused on deistic rationalism. Wesley, who was a university graduate, emphasized that education apart from God was flawed education. He even utilized the universities of his day to teach his message of “piety and purity.”During Wesley’s lifetime, he served at Lincoln College, Oxford, for about 25 years in a fellowship role. He was a Greek lecturer and teacher of the classics. Wesley’s strong belief in the plight of the poor encouraged him to found schools in Savannah, Georgia, and Bristol, London (Byrne, p.138). Thus we conclude that the concept of Christian education stems from one of our great church leaders of the past. As we continue to ponder the importance of education, we ask, “Where will the next century of Wesleyan educators be developed?” The question gives reason for pause, as we note a prevalent tendency to de-emphasize the whole process of Christian education. I believe we must actively engage our efforts to change this trend.We must clearly understand that uneducated church leaders will have little impact upon society in the twenty-first century.I personally agree with a typical Wesleyan (and I might add biblical) viewpoint that education for the sake of education promotes pride, but I take heart in recognizing that even Mr. Wesley did not forsake education because of this concern. He chose to emphasize the loftiness of God rather than the loftiness of man in the education process.As I have reflected upon our past, it has become increasingly clear to me that our ministries and organizations need educational leaders. Relating to the next century, Patricia Carrow-Muffet declares, “We will need leaders who are change agents, who have vision and purpose, and who understand the big picture. We will need leaders who are able to set direction and facilitate those involved in working cooperatively to meet the challenges of a diverse world” (Muffet, 1993, p. 58).  If Wesley were alive today, I believe he would challenge his ministers to obtain all the education they could, establish Christian schools, and impact the world through Christ-centered leadership.Within the scope of our educational leadership, I believe we can carry forth the Wesleyan message of heart purity to our world. We must:Emphasize the value of Christian educationPromote Christian education from every pulpitEducate young men and women to be the future leaders of our Wesleyan institutionsCreate new passion for the call to Christian educationTeach and mentor young men and women in understanding Wesley’s message of heart purityEducation, as a process, is vanity. Solomon, the wise king, warned, “Vanity of vanities -- all is vanity” (Eccl. 1:2).  As we move forward, let us remember that Christian education, principles of right living, and the messages of Christian character and heart purity are not vain pursuits. As summarized in Wesley’s message, these messages must be proclaimed! And what better places to proclaim them than educational institutions like Ohio Christian University?

Articles of Interest

Ohio Christian to Offer Master of Education (MEd) Degree image

Ohio Christian to Offer Master of Education (MEd) Degree

Ohio Christian to Offer Master of Education (MEd) Degree image

Published: April 23, 2020

Ohio Christian University is excited to announce a new Master of Education (MEd) graduate degree. Approved and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the new MEd will begin June 1, 2020.   The degree consists of 36 hours total made up of 18 core hours and 18 hours in a specialization area. Specializations include Special Needs, English as a Second Language, English, and Mathematics.   “This is a degree created by teachers for teachers with real-classroom applications and relevant, current information,” says Dr. Valerie Jones, OCU’s 
Ohio Christian University is excited to announce a new Master of Education (MEd) graduate degree. Approved and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the new MEd will begin June 1, 2020.   The degree consists of 36 hours total made up of 18 core hours and 18 hours in a specialization area. Specializations include Special Needs, English as a
Ohio Christian University is excited to announce a new Master of Education (MEd) graduate degree. Approved and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Ohio Department of Higher
Tree of Life Assists Displaced Students image

Tree of Life Assists Displaced Students

Tree of Life Assists Displaced Students image

Published: March 19, 2020

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to surge, Ohio Christian University has transitioned to all online courses through the end of the semester. In the midst of these trying times, many businesses have found ways to support those impacted by the repercussions of the measures taken to slow down the spread of the virus.  During this disruptive time for the university, Tree of Life worked hard to contribute in a way that ensures that students have access to the materials they need to succeed in their courses. This is especially important with the transition to online learning. The company
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to surge, Ohio Christian University has transitioned to all online courses through the end of the semester. In the midst of these trying times, many businesses have found ways to support those impacted by the repercussions of the measures taken to slow down the spread of the virus.  During this disruptive time for the university, Tree of Life worked hard to
As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to surge, Ohio Christian University has transitioned to all online courses through the end of the semester. In the midst of these trying times, many businesses
Teacher Education Department Offers ACT Prep Course image

Teacher Education Department Offers ACT Prep Course

Teacher Education Department Offers ACT Prep Course image

Published: November 30, 2019

Stress and anxiety often play a large role in ACT preparation. Ohio Christian University hopes to alleviate some of this stress with an ACT prep course. The course will be offered on Jan. 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is hosted by Teacher Education Department Chair Dr. Valerie Jones. Students from grades 10 through 12 are welcome to attend. Registration for the class is $75. This cost includes a full day of ACT preparation, workbooks on all four subjects, and methods developed by Dr. Jones. Students that have used Jones’s methods have seen an average of five points increased in
Stress and anxiety often play a large role in ACT preparation. Ohio Christian University hopes to alleviate some of this stress with an ACT prep course. The course will be offered on Jan. 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is hosted by Teacher Education Department Chair Dr. Valerie Jones. Students from grades 10 through 12 are welcome to attend. Registration for the class is $75. This cost
Stress and anxiety often play a large role in ACT preparation. Ohio Christian University hopes to alleviate some of this stress with an ACT prep course. The course will be offered on Jan. 3 from 9:
Ohio Christian Ranked Among Best Online Logistics Management Programs image

Ohio Christian Ranked Among Best Online Logistics Management Programs

Ohio Christian Ranked Among Best Online Logistics Management Programs image

Published: October 16, 2019

Ohio Christian University was recently ranked as offering one of the best online baccalaureate programs in Logistics Management. The university was ranked 8th out of 15 by the Online Schools Report (OSR), which serves as a resource for students pursuing online programs. According to OSR, their rankings are based on six data points: three schoolwide and three program-specific. For schoolwide, OSR uses student satisfaction, admission rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the median debt of graduates from that program, how many
Ohio Christian University was recently ranked as offering one of the best online baccalaureate programs in Logistics Management. The university was ranked 8th out of 15 by the Online Schools Report (OSR), which serves as a resource for students pursuing online programs. According to OSR, their rankings are based on six data points: three schoolwide and three program-specific. For schoolwide
Ohio Christian University was recently ranked as offering one of the best online baccalaureate programs in Logistics Management. The university was ranked 8th out of 15 by the Online Schools Report
Ohio Christian to Host Education Summit in November image

Ohio Christian to Host Education Summit in November

Ohio Christian to Host Education Summit in November image

Published: October 16, 2019

Ohio Christian University is pleased to welcome government officials, teachers and the public to its 2019 Education Summit on Nov 15. The purpose of the summit is to bring in education stakeholders to discuss Ohio’s new strategic education plan “Each Child, Our Future” and the next steps moving forward. The event will be held in Ohio Christian’s Ministry
Ohio Christian University is pleased to welcome government officials, teachers and the public to its 2019 Education Summit on Nov 15. The purpose of the summit is to bring in education stakeholders to discuss Ohio’s new strategic education plan “Each Child, Our Future” and the next steps moving forward. The event will be held in Ohio Christian’s Ministry
Ohio Christian University is pleased to welcome government officials, teachers and the public to its 2019 Education Summit on Nov 15. The purpose of the summit is to bring in education stakeholders

Archived Articles of Interest

Professor Valerie Jones Named Faculty Member of the Year image

Professor Valerie Jones Named Faculty Member of the Year

Professor Valerie Jones Named Faculty Member of the Year image

Published: November 29, 2018

Dr. Valerie Free Jones, chair of Ohio Christian University’s Department of Teacher Education, has been recognized as Faculty Member of the Year for 2017-2018. Professor Jones was awarded her doctorate in education, specializing in curriculum and instruction from Marshall University in 2017. Her dissertation on “The Whole Building is a Classroom:  An Oral History of the School’s Role in the Culture of the Community” featured the well-known high school from which she graduated.  Jones earned her Bachelor of Science in Education cum laude at Ohio University, and her Master of Arts in
Dr. Valerie Free Jones, chair of Ohio Christian University’s Department of Teacher Education, has been recognized as Faculty Member of the Year for 2017-2018. Professor Jones was awarded her doctorate in education, specializing in curriculum and instruction from Marshall University in 2017. Her dissertation on “The Whole Building is a Classroom:  An Oral History of the School’s Role in the
Dr. Valerie Free Jones, chair of Ohio Christian University’s Department of Teacher Education, has been recognized as Faculty Member of the Year for 2017-2018. Professor Jones was awarded her
Hands-on Teaching: OCU Professor Keeps Science 'Fun' image

Hands-on Teaching: OCU Professor Keeps Science 'Fun'

Hands-on Teaching: OCU Professor Keeps Science 'Fun' image

Published: November 19, 2018

By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer​, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 14, 2018 When teaching, Rolanda Hurtt believes a hands-on approach is a way to keep both students and teachers interested and engaged. Hurtt, an Affiliate Professor in the Teacher Education department at Ohio Christian University, shares her hands-on approach with her students who can then pass it on to their students once they are in the classroom. “We always try to have fun,” she said. “I want my students at OCU to enjoy what we’re
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer​, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 14, 2018 When teaching, Rolanda Hurtt believes a hands-on approach is a way to keep both students and teachers interested and engaged. Hurtt, an Affiliate Professor in the Teacher Education department at Ohio Christian University, shares her
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer​, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 14, 2018 When teaching, Rolanda Hurtt believes
Chapel Speaker Touts Value of Liberal Arts Education image

Chapel Speaker Touts Value of Liberal Arts Education

Chapel Speaker Touts Value of Liberal Arts Education image

Published: November 19, 2018

By Cynthia Tweedell, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Rick Bartlett, Director of Theological Education at Tabor College spoke at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel Service on Wednesday, October 31. He encouraged students to value their liberal arts education as the best way to prepare for the future. Dr. Bartlett reminded students of the speed with which technology has changed in their lifetimes. They can recall YouTube videos that were so influential a few years ago but have run their course. Likewise, many jobs like telemarketer, paralegal, and
By Cynthia Tweedell, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Rick Bartlett, Director of Theological Education at Tabor College spoke at Ohio Christian University’s Chapel Service on Wednesday, October 31. He encouraged students to value their liberal arts education as the best way to prepare for the future. Dr. Bartlett reminded students of the speed with which
By Cynthia Tweedell, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness Dr. Rick Bartlett, Director of Theological Education at Tabor College spoke at Ohio Christian University’s
Faculty Profile:  Dr. Darren M. Johnson image

Faculty Profile: Dr. Darren M. Johnson

Faculty Profile:  Dr. Darren M. Johnson image

Published: November 16, 2018

Dr. Darren M. Johnson joined Ohio Christian University’s Psychology Department as an Associate Professor of Psychology and Chemical Dependency Counseling.  He is currently teaching Abnormal Psychology, Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling, Diversity Issues in Counseling, Principles of Counseling, and Physiological Psychology. In 2017, ProQuest published Johnson’s “The Experience of Being an Atheist in the United States,” a report on his study of interviews with twelve atheists. He has presented on Coping with Stress in the Workplace, Good Grief: How Grieving Properly Can Be
Dr. Darren M. Johnson joined Ohio Christian University’s Psychology Department as an Associate Professor of Psychology and Chemical Dependency Counseling.  He is currently teaching Abnormal Psychology, Introduction to Substance Abuse Counseling, Diversity Issues in Counseling, Principles of Counseling, and Physiological Psychology. In 2017, ProQuest published Johnson’s “The Experience of
Dr. Darren M. Johnson joined Ohio Christian University’s Psychology Department as an Associate Professor of Psychology and Chemical Dependency Counseling.  He is currently teaching Abnormal
OCU Develops Future Teacher's Skills in Educating 'Whole Child' image

OCU Develops Future Teacher's Skills in Educating 'Whole Child'

OCU Develops Future Teacher's Skills in Educating 'Whole Child' image

Published: November 16, 2018

By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 15, 2018 The Ohio Christian University’s Teacher Education program is guiding the next generation of teachers into modern day teaching. Valarie Jones, chair of the education department, said they’re teaching their education students about trauma-informed educating, a way to teach students who have been affected by trauma to their maximum potential. “Everything we do has the idea to love the kids first and then everything else comes after
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 15, 2018 The Ohio Christian University’s Teacher Education program is guiding the next generation of teachers into modern day teaching. Valarie Jones, chair of the education department, said they’re teaching their education students about trauma
By Steven Collins, Senior Reporter, Circleville Herald Photo by Nancy Radcliff, Chief Photographer, Circleville Herald Circleville Herald, November 15, 2018 The Ohio Christian University’s Teacher