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

Trailblazers in Reading image

Trailblazers in Reading

Trailblazers in Reading image

Published: August 12, 2019

Submitted by Professor Scott Barr American author Henry David Thoreau wrote, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” This holds true for many of the young men and women in Professor Anita Conkel and Professor Scott Barr’s English composition classes. On April 15, students marked their participation in “The Great American Read” with a celebration sponsored by the English Department and hosted by the Maxwell Library staff. “The Great American Read” is a nationwide event started by the Public Broadcast System (PBS) in 2018. One hundred influential and
Submitted by Professor Scott Barr American author Henry David Thoreau wrote, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” This holds true for many of the young men and women in Professor Anita Conkel and Professor Scott Barr’s English composition classes. On April 15, students marked their participation in “The Great American Read” with a celebration sponsored
Submitted by Professor Scott Barr American author Henry David Thoreau wrote, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” This holds true for many of the young men
OCU Assisted with Summer Institute for Teachers image

OCU Assisted with Summer Institute for Teachers

OCU Assisted with Summer Institute for Teachers image

Published: June 14, 2019

The 2019 Summer Institute took place on June 3-7. The Ohio Christian University Teacher Education Department partnered with Circleville City Schools, Pickaway County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Pickaway County ESC to design an institute that would benefit many educators. Courses offered for graduate credit included Trauma Informed Care Training II, Orton-Gillingham Training, and Google Classroom Training. The Ohio Christian University Teacher Education Department believes in providing excellent and effective professional development for the teachers and the school
The 2019 Summer Institute took place on June 3-7. The Ohio Christian University Teacher Education Department partnered with Circleville City Schools, Pickaway County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and Pickaway County ESC to design an institute that would benefit many educators. Courses offered for graduate credit included Trauma Informed Care Training II, Orton-Gillingham Training, and
The 2019 Summer Institute took place on June 3-7. The Ohio Christian University Teacher Education Department partnered with Circleville City Schools, Pickaway County Board of Developmental
OCU T.E. Group Observes Educators in Finland and Sweden image

OCU T.E. Group Observes Educators in Finland and Sweden

OCU T.E. Group Observes Educators in Finland and Sweden image

Published: June 6, 2019

During summer break, Dr. Valerie Jones, Teacher Education Chair and Dr. Jeanne Bruce, Associate Professor, traveled with five pre-service educators to Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden to study the top-two school systems in the world. The group was able to tour a Finnish grade school to observe their curriculum and instruction and speak with the students and teachers. In Sweden, the group visited a university and were able to learn about Swedish high schools and the transition to higher education. In addition to the focus on education, the group did some sightseeing and learned
During summer break, Dr. Valerie Jones, Teacher Education Chair and Dr. Jeanne Bruce, Associate Professor, traveled with five pre-service educators to Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden to study the top-two school systems in the world. The group was able to tour a Finnish grade school to observe their curriculum and instruction and speak with the students and teachers. In Sweden, the
During summer break, Dr. Valerie Jones, Teacher Education Chair and Dr. Jeanne Bruce, Associate Professor, traveled with five pre-service educators to Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden to
Summer Institute Courses image

Summer Institute Courses

Summer Institute Courses image

Published: May 10, 2019

This summer, Ohio Christian University is offering summer courses that will help K-12 and undergraduate instructors work towards a graduate degree. The institute gives instructors the opportunity to earn degrees and gain knowledge in a shorter period of time. Each course lasts for six weeks and counts as three credit hours. There will be two separate six-week terms throughout the summer. The cost of these graduate level classes is $990 per course. There is a simple application and approval process for the program. The University will also be offering special topic classes that count
This summer, Ohio Christian University is offering summer courses that will help K-12 and undergraduate instructors work towards a graduate degree. The institute gives instructors the opportunity to earn degrees and gain knowledge in a shorter period of time. Each course lasts for six weeks and counts as three credit hours. There will be two separate six-week terms throughout the summer. The
This summer, Ohio Christian University is offering summer courses that will help K-12 and undergraduate instructors work towards a graduate degree. The institute gives instructors the opportunity
On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You? image

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You?

On-Campus College or Online College: Which Fits You? image

Published: April 26, 2019

by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus program, an online program, or a combination of the two. But which option best fits you? In order to choose what fits you best, there are important considerations for each option. Location and Setting When you consider going away to college, it is important to not only consider the qualities of the school but also the location and the setting. How far away from home is optimal? Do you want
by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus program, an online program, or a combination of the two. But which option best fits you? In order to choose what fits you best, there are important considerations for each option. Location and
by Dr. Lynn Lease, Director of OCUOnline Plus Long gone are the days of being limited to simply deciding which college to attend. Today’s incoming college freshmen have the choice of an on-campus

Archived Articles of Interest

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
Quentin Detillion - OCU Teacher Education Student

Business Grad Finds Calling: Believer in Hands-on Learning

Quentin Detillion - OCU Teacher Education Student

Published: November 2, 2018

By Quentin Detillion '20 I grew up in Chillicothe and went to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I didn’t know what I wanted to do then, so I switched majors a couple of times before settling on business, and I graduated in business management. I went home and began working for my father’s landscape design and installation business that he’s had for forty years. While in school during summers, I worked for him doing hardscaping projects. I enjoyed building patios, pergolas, walls, and walkways. I did that for four years after graduation. My dad taught me the ropes, and people asked if
By Quentin Detillion '20 I grew up in Chillicothe and went to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I didn’t know what I wanted to do then, so I switched majors a couple of times before settling on business, and I graduated in business management. I went home and began working for my father’s landscape design and installation business that he’s had for forty years. While in school during
By Quentin Detillion '20 I grew up in Chillicothe and went to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I didn’t know what I wanted to do then, so I switched majors a couple of times before settling on
Caleb Friedeman - Religion Professor

Faculty Profile: Dr. Caleb Friedeman

Caleb Friedeman - Religion Professor

Published: November 1, 2018

Dr. Caleb T. Friedeman recently joined Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies. A disciple of Jesus Christ with a passion to serve the Church as a pastor-theologian, Friedeman brings to the department the heart of a pastor and the mind of a scholar. Friedeman holds a B.A. in Ancient Languages from Asbury University, an M.A. in Biblical Literature from Wesley Biblical Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Biblical Theology (New Testament) from Wheaton College. His doctoral dissertation focused on the Christology of Luke chapters 1 and 2 and its
Dr. Caleb T. Friedeman recently joined Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies. A disciple of Jesus Christ with a passion to serve the Church as a pastor-theologian, Friedeman brings to the department the heart of a pastor and the mind of a scholar. Friedeman holds a B.A. in Ancient Languages from Asbury University, an M.A. in Biblical
Dr. Caleb T. Friedeman recently joined Ohio Christian University’s Religion Department as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies. A disciple of Jesus Christ with a passion to serve the Church as a
Faculty Profile:  Dr. Jeanne R. Bruce Joins Teacher Education Department image

Faculty Profile: Dr. Jeanne R. Bruce Joins Teacher Education Department

Faculty Profile:  Dr. Jeanne R. Bruce Joins Teacher Education Department image

Published: November 1, 2018

Dr. Jeanne R. Bruce, who recently joined Ohio Christian University’s Teacher Education Department, creates positive environments where students thrive and succeed. Experienced in applying strategies for success in teaching, she is well-versed in classroom management, online instruction, and student support. Recognized for her communication and relationship-building skills, Professor Bruce teaches a spectrum of courses, including Educational Psychology, Math Methods, Cultures of Children, Instructional Strategies for Adolescents and Young Adults, Fundamentals of Communication, and
Dr. Jeanne R. Bruce, who recently joined Ohio Christian University’s Teacher Education Department, creates positive environments where students thrive and succeed. Experienced in applying strategies for success in teaching, she is well-versed in classroom management, online instruction, and student support. Recognized for her communication and relationship-building skills, Professor Bruce
Dr. Jeanne R. Bruce, who recently joined Ohio Christian University’s Teacher Education Department, creates positive environments where students thrive and succeed. Experienced in applying