Distinctives

Augustine Christian Academy strives to provide a classical Christian education that honors the tenets of the classical education model while promoting a unique, “second-to-none” educational experience in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. Visit our Vimeo page for informative videos and be sure to follow us on Facebook.


1. Consciously Classical

ACA was founded deliberately as a classical school in its philosophy and methodology. ACA exposes students to original sources, classic works of western civilization (including history and literature), and influential modern writings so that rather than accepting the viewpoint of one historian or editor, students learn to evaluate original sources and think critically. Students are trained from the Grammar School grades in the classical language of Latin, and in older grades in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. This provides a deeper understanding and appreciation of influential writers in Western thought and culture, and allows students to better appreciate and understand some of the original biblical languages.

2. Distinctly Inter-Denominational

ACA is an inter-denominational, Christian classical school with students from Protestant, Catholic, Evangelical, and Orthodox Christian backgrounds. We are not supported by any one church, and are governed by an independent Board of Governors. All students, faculty, and staff agree to our statement of faith, as we try to put into practice the maxim of St. Augustine, “In things essential, unity; in things non-essential, liberty; in all things, charity.” We are proud that our ACA family is denominationally diverse, providing students a glimpse of the beautiful tapestry of Christian faith expression that comprises the family of God, and highlighting the truth of “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5).

3. Robustly Reasonable

We believe that Truth can stand up to questions, and that well-equipped Christians should be able to think critically and reason logically. So logic is a required course and age appropriate critical thinking exercises are woven throughout the curriculum. Since God is Truth, we teach logic and critical thinking in light of that Truth. Further, rather than dismiss flawed worldviews–and those who hold them–as “foolish” or not worth our time, we examine such views critically in light of God’s revealed truth, always striving to distinguish between erroneous beliefs (which we reject) and the people who may hold them (whom we love).

4. Cohesively Christian

ACA seeks to train students to expand their expression of faith through an integrated Christian worldview. We don’t separate life into “spiritual” and “secular,” and we try to teach students through word and deed that living the Christian life is more than studying the Bible, going to church, or taking mission trips. To us, a Christian worldview means doing our best to see the world as Christ sees it, to actively pursue Christian service, to meditate on God’s Word, and to reflect the glory of God in our lives wherever we are and whatever we are doing.

5. Actively Age-Appropriate

The classical model that we use at ACA is grounded in the understanding that students in Grammar School learn differently than those in the School of Dialectic or the School of Rhetoric based on their unique, age-appropriate strengths and abilities. Younger students learn best through memorization and discovery, while older students seek meaning and application. Traditional education often reverses these natural learning styles. Since we do not rely on any one textbook or publisher to provide a philosophy of curriculum development, teachers and administrators are free to seize the “teachable moments” when they occur and maximize learning for all students.

6. Fundamentally Family-Oriented

We believe that education is more than communicating facts; it is the transfer of life values, principles, and culture from the soul of one individual to another. That transfer most naturally takes place in a family setting, so we value family on many fronts. First, we recognize the God-given authority of parents to train their children, and we relish our role as encouragers and facilitators in that process. Second, we seek to instill a sense of honor and responsibility to the family, the church, and the community by building character development through Christian service and outreach. Third, we truly believe that as followers of Christ, the world should know us for our “love for one another.” So we live life together as family—praying, eating, singing, learning, laughing, and solving problems together as brothers and sisters with a common heritage despite any external differences.

7. Radically Relational

At ACA, we believe that relationships—between parent and child, parents and teachers, students and teachers, God and man—are the center of our lives of education, faith, and practice. We don’t seek to grow into a “super sized” school because we want to foster the unique relationships that set us apart from your “run-of-the-mill” educational institution. For example, to support communication between parents and teachers, ACA provides an integrated learning management system with “real time” information about student classroom performance, enabling all involved to communicate with the click of a mouse. To foster the relationship between the teachers and the students, we intentionally limit class size to nurture growing relationships and enable individual instruction when necessary. Finally in everything, we strive to honor one another and our commonly held relationship with Christ, seeking to do all “for the glory of the Lord.”

8. Delightfully Diverse

While we are distinctly non-denominational, embracing the varied nuances of Christ’s church in the twenty-first century, we are also delightfully diverse. We intentionally strive to make education accessible and affordable so that those who want to attend ACA can do so if possible. Further, we delight in how God has brought students from varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds into our ACA family and welcome His continued providence in this area.

9. Uniquely United

To enable community service and support our unique “family” atmosphere, ACA borrows from a tradition long used in the boarding schools of Europe and divides the Dialectic (middle school) and Rhetoric (high school) students into Four Royal Houses. Although the students do not actually “house” on campus, every student belongs to a smaller group and enjoys some one-on-one contact with their faculty House sponsor and with other students outside of a traditional class setting. Houses meet each school day, and provide the primary vehicle for student outreach to the broader community, afford the opportunity for student leadership, and enable intra-mural academic and athletic competition, uniting students across grades while simultaneously enhancing overall school spirit.


Values

For where your treasure is, there shall your heart be also,” said Jesus in the gospel of Matthew, emphasizing that what we value matters. At ACA we value Christ above all things, and we believe that “In His light, we see light” (Psalm 36:9), meaning that the only way we can know anything of value is in knowing Christ first. To help clarify what we value as a community, we’ve listed some of our most important values below.

We value Truth.

We believe that absolute Truth exists, is knowable, and is revealed in God’s Word. Jesus said that He is way, the truth, and the life, (John 10) so to know Him is to know Truth.

We believe that followers of Christ can live with confidence and hope, knowing that God’s Truth has direct application to our lives, our work, our relationships, and the culture around us. Finding ways to put the truth of the God’s love into action, and making opportunities to “hide in our hearts” the truth of His Word are essential values for the ACA community (and for all believers).

We believe that holding a Christian worldview is foundational to understanding life and Truth. God has equipped us to uphold Truth and sustain community at ACA through Christ-centered and Spirit-led education, scholarship, and service. Each of these arenas is grounded in Scripture, and we challenge our students to integrate Christian principles into all areas of their lives.

We strive to base all we do on the teachings of Jesus. He provided the best model for how to live, how to treat people, and how to serve God. Following Him is a way of life that impacts everything we do, and pleasing God is our greatest desire.

We value testimony.

We believe that we exist to serve God and His great commission in reaching the world for the Lord Jesus Christ, and we seek to follow Jesus’ commandment to love God and love others. As Christ-followers, we are His light to a dark world, and it is our duty and privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus to all with whom we come in contact, reminding them by our actions, attitudes, and words that God loves them.

We believe that God directly uses the faculty, staff, students, and alumni of ACA to accomplish His purposes, and we love that we get to be a part of that. As servant leaders, each person who is part of ACA’s community makes a difference in his or her family, church, and community.

We believe that service is an act of worship to God and an opportunity to share God’s love with other human beings. As followers of Jesus, we want to worship God by living in a way that is worthy of the calling we have received, to be living testimonies of God’s grace, mercy, and reconciliation.

We believe that Christ’s Church is multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-national, and the ACA family respects and strives to reflect the diversity of God’s kingdom throughout the world. As believers, we have a responsibility to spread the gospel through evangelism, missions, and outreach in our local communities and abroad.

We believe that we have been blessed with kingdom resources and purposes and we desire to steward them in a God-honoring way. We want to effectively manage our time, money, and gifts and to lovingly care for the students whose lives have been entrusted to us in a way that accurately reflects the testimony of Christ in our lives. We tend to agree with St. Francis of Assisi when he said that one should preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.

We value transformation.

We believe that God transforms lives because we’ve seen it happen! We value active participation in a Christian community of grace and we encourage it in all students, faculty, and staff. We were created to be in relationship—with God and with our fellow man—and our identity as children of the Triune God is reflected in community, holistic relationships, mutual interdependence upon the indwelling Spirit and members of the Body, and seeking the unity of the Spirit.

We believe that transformation happens daily through the renewing of the mind and the care of the body, so we prepare our students to live within the culture in a loving and Christ-honoring way. Through a rigorous, Christ-centered, and Spirit-led education, we enable our students to grapple with the spiritual, intellectual, ethical, and cultural issues of our time in Christ-like fashion.

We believe that through community and dependence upon the Spirit, we sharpen our character and grow in our ability to live as the Lord Jesus Christ calls us. Interactions with fellow Christians provide an essential means of character development in the life of the believer, just as interactions with the greater community enable us to demonstrate the love of Jesus to those around us.

We believe that integrity and authenticity should be hallmarks of every believer. Our relationships should be models of transparency, truth-telling, and unwavering commitment to the example set by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Finally, we believe that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 1), and that Christ followers should strive to “grow in wisdom and stature in favor with God and man” much like Jesus did (Luke 2). At ACA, we focus our energy on teaching students to think, reason, and persuade from a Christian worldview because that is our primary means of transferring the values of truth, testimony, and transformation to our students and the world.