Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Attention public school teachers: CEAI Offers a Christian Alternative to the NEA

By Finn Laursen


Is there any hope for our public schools?


As the battle for the minds of our children continues in our post-modern, “godless” culture, our schools have become a major battleground. Some in the Christian community, understandably, are even calling for a mass exodus from our “govern-

ment schools.”


Is there any hope for reform or restoration of the nation’s public schools? Is abandoning our public schools the only hope for our youth?


Yes, and no.


Whereas home schooling and private Christian schools are excellent alternatives to public school education for many, for many others these alternatives are not practical or possible. So no, abandoning public schools cannot be the only hope.


And yes, there is hope for reform and restoration within our public schools. “With God, all things are possible.”


That hope is not based on any state or national reform movement. It is not based on No Child Left Behind.


The hope of our public schools is in Jesus Christ, and in professional educators who follow Him, model Him, and live out their faith in the workplace of their classrooms.


Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) exists to help Christian educators understand and carry out their mission. Founded in 1953, CEAI is a membership professional association for Christian educators in both public and private schools, with most of its members serving in public schools. CEAI is the only national association specifically serving Christian educators in public schools. Its focus is to encourage, equip, and empower Christian educators to make a positive impact in the schools where they serve.


Many Christian educators rely on CEAI as their alternative to the National Education Association, the powerful educators’ union that is notorious for its anti-family values.


CEAI provides resources such as magazines, newsletters, daily devotionals, and many other printed and digital resources from a Christian worldview. The association also provides professional liability insurance and legal support — the two services for which many Christian educators feel that they must join the NEA, even though they are opposed to that organization’s philosophy and political agenda.


Precisely because there are so many negative influences bombarding public school students today, CEAI considers our public schools a mission field ripe for harvest. Through public schools we have access to many who will never enter our churches. According to Barna Research, only four to six percent of school-age children self-identify as Christian. Christian educators interacting with young people daily can have a life-changing effect on those not having a personal relationship with our Lord and at the same time can be a powerful role model for Christian students on campus.


CEAI’s vision is straightforward: To demonstrate God’s love and truth to the educational community.


Its Mission is clear: To serve the educational community by encouraging, equipping and empowering Christian educators in public and private education, by:


• Proclaiming God’s word as the source of wisdom and knowledge;


• Portraying teaching as a God given calling and ministry;


• Promoting educational excellence as an expression of Christian commitment;


• Preserving our Judeo-Christian heritage and values through education;


• Providing a forum on educational issues with a Christian worldview; and


• Partnering with churches, parachurch organizations, educational

institutions and parents.


For in-depth information about Christian Educators Association International, visit CEAI.org.


About the author: For the past five years, Finn Laursen has served as Executive Director of CEAI. He came to the position after a 32-year career in Ohio public school education, during which time he served as teacher, counselor, assistant principal, principal and superintendent.

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