(24.) E is for Excellence

(24.) E is for Excellence

(24.) E is for Excellence

Unfortunately, this well-worn term has become mere pop jargon. Maybe Christians can redeem that clich√© and pump some substance back into it. To excel is not to be perfect, or highly acclaimed, or even successful as the non-believing world might want to define success. Excellence is not synonymous with measurable academic achievement. I believe that excellence is essentially cooperating with creation, with how our Creator wants things to be. Excellence is representing and reflecting the very nature of our Maker. God creates, he thinks and reasons and calculates. God expresses himself, takes risks, designs things and puts them in order. God has virtue and integrity. God loves truth, and is in fact Love, “the most excellent way” according to St. Paul.

Thus a Christ-centered school is truly Christian to the extent that it seeks excellence in the these standard academic areas: to think logically, write clearly, read deeply, calculate accurately, reason critically, speak effectively. But excellence isn’t limited to those areas, since God isn’t exclusively “academic.” The more fully-orbed mind of Christ also¬†involves conscience and the imagination, character and creativity. So Christ-centered schools are centers for moral and artistic intelligence in addition to the intellectual. Yes, our mission is to participate in the noble duty of all Christians everywhere, the gradual development of a learned, virtuous and creative life, a life that looks like Jesus, God in the flesh. What a mission! What could be more inspiring? And with the Holy Spirit’s help, this kind of excellence is not mission impossible.