Discover Dominion

An education that cultivates wisdom, joy, and love.

Discover Wisdom

Where the goal of education is more than making a living.

Discover Joy

Where students and teachers love to learn together.

We read great books

Because in reading them we join a great conversation.

Discover Love

Where students discover how to love God and His world

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The “Christian” School

By | Our Mission | No Comments

This is the third post in a series about our school’s name and mission, and it considers the third word, “Christian.” (The series begins with “What’s in a Name?”, available here.)

I receive a lot of emails–some important, much more junk. Today I opened an email from Covenant College, an alma mater of mine, and a few minutes later, I was staring at a prayer calendar for the College’s alumni. My eyes were riveted to the header:

Scots Prayer Calendar

As I consider what makes Dominion a Christian school, a number of characteristics make the list. We are committed to putting Christ at the center of our school–He is the Source of our life, of all we can know, and of our understanding of what it means to be human. We look for the Word of God, the Bible, to shape us and our ideas, rather than conforming it to our ideas. We seek not just to know more and better information, but to find wisdom, knowing that its beginning is in the fear of the Lord.

But there is one thing above all that I want for our school community–families, students, faculty, staff: to be praying people. We have a faithful (but small) prayer team that meets to lift up our school and its needs. But with all the work we have to do, prayer can slide into the background. On one hand, that might be a good thing, as the practice of prayer works its way into all the corners of our lives. On the other, we may avoid a conscious surrender of our ambition to God’s Kingdom. We need to pray without ceasing, and to pray consciously.

To that end, with thanks to Covenant’s Alumni office, I put together a Gryphons Prayer Calendar for our school community (and beyond). It includes a monthly focus, timed to some significant needs for that time of year. It also includes a weekly plan, with virtues of our mission statement as a focus. Of course, you may pray for any of these things at any time, but this calendar may give you a starting point.

Hudson Taylor, the pioneering missionary to China, once wrote “I have seen many men work without praying, though I have never seen any good come out of it; but I have never seen a man pray without working.” He might have been paraphrasing the Latin motto of the Benedictine order: Ora et labora, “pray and work.” Keep us in prayer, and encourage us to pray, because we have too much work to do not to pray.

What’s in a Name?

By | Our Mission | One Comment

Over the next week or so, we’ll republish the posts in this series, leading up to a new post continuing the series.

This is the first in a series of posts examining the key words in Dominion’s mission statement: “Dominion Classical Christian Academy provides an education that cultivates wisdom, joyful learning, and love for God.” 

“Dominion” might seem an odd choice for a school’s name. Some related words–such as “dominate”–have soured the word for modern tastes. But this one is an important one for Christians, especially Christian schools, to defend. It comes from the King James translation of Genesis 1:28, sometimes called the “dominion mandate”: “God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” (Some call it the “creation mandate”; others, the “cultural mandate.”)

At Dominion, we take both God’s blessing and his commands at face value. We live in the shadow of the Fall, but also in the light of Jesus’ work of redemption, so our educational work begins with God’s creative plan, takes into account the world’s brokenness, and trains students in wisdom (“skill for living”) to bring God’s redemptive purpose to bear in every aspect of creation–both the natural and the cultural.

Other resources: The Cultural Mandate and WorkCulture Making, by Andy Crouch

Growing Pains

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

People of a certain age​ won’t be able to​ ​read that​ ​subject lin​e ​without remembering a (mildly annoying) theme song. Perhaps they’ll even think of Mike Seaver, that curly-haired poster-boy of suburban sitcom fools.​ After all, some of us grew up with the Seavers, as they “grew” as people and as a family, seeing pain give way to promise​. ​Ultimately, Growing Pains was a comedy, so it end​ed happily, with the kids grown up and the parents fulfilled.

We might debate the truthfulness of sitcoms, but growing pains such as those of the Seavers are real—not just in people but also in communities like Dominion. We’ve seen some already in our 8 years of existence, as our student body of 26 has grown to five times that number. And we’ll see more in the years ahead, as we move toward graduating our first class.​ Our values make growing hurt. Our community holds a number of things in tension–high academic standards, small class sizes, ​and commitment to carrying on a vibrant Christian tradition. And those values require a lot of everyone in our community.

So how can we help one another through these “growing pains”? For one thing, encourage your child or children to work hard, but to seek joy in that hard work. As Christians, we must fight the temptation to see work as punishment, a consequence of the Fall. This ignores God’s original instruction to Adam: to work and to keep the garden. Those commands hold for us, even though the post-Fall “ground” we cultivate can be hard and unforgiving.

We can also help one another by helping to bear burdens. I’ve seen and heard such encouraging examples of this in our community. A number of families have figured out ways to share the load of our dual drop-off schedule. One parent tutors a child after school. Students encourage one another in the classroom, on the playground, and on the field. All these things are love in action, bearing the burdens of 21st-century suburban life.

One other important way to help is to give. I’m grateful for your generosity. Some parents give time–painting basketball-court lines on the parking lot or serving hot lunch. Some give talent–such as the team planning our annual auction or serving on the board. Still others give treasure–money, which enables us to close the Gap, the distance between tuition collected and the cost of a Dominion education. None of these gifts is in vain.

As we settle into this ninth year, and as we look forward to celebrating a decade, consider how you can participate in our community’s life. That, after all, is the definition of giving–sharing your life with others–and giving, while painful, leads to the best kind of growing.

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