Christian high schools educate approximately seven percent of high school students in the United States. What makes Christian schools such a fixture in our culture?
For one, Christian schools offer the option of learning in an environment that reflects the values and beliefs many families honor. Another reason is that Christian high schools are frequently the only private school option for those wanting or needing an alternative to public schools. While many cannot fathom paying an unnecessary tuition, others find it worth their money, and in some cases, worth substantial financial sacrifice.
Parents face many tough choices and worries while watching their children grow up. Many people recall high school as a tough, low period in life. Christian schools don't banish all those worries (indeed we would be suspicious of parents who wanted to remove all such worries), but the price of a private school tuition may come to appear quite cheap when the costs and worries associated with the alternatives are considered.
Most parents enrolling their children in private Christian high schools are not seeking to insulate their children from the “real world.” Indeed, it would be interesting to know just how many parents view an explicitly Christian worldview as the key factor in the decision to send their children to a Christian school. In many cases, the religious aspect may be seen merely as an added benefit; in other cases, it may even be viewed as something to tolerate.
On the academic side, most private schools outperform their public school counterparts. True, such comparisons are a bit unfair due to differing demographics, funding levels, and other considerations too numerous to list. But whatever the reason, a school with a better academic report and higher placement rating is bound to be more attractive.
The social atmosphere created in Christian schools carries a lot of weight, as well. For many parents, ardently pursuing a school representing their faith commitment is a lower priority than the demonstrable effects of a school's religious foundation and organization on their children's moral development and character. Many parents simply want a safe haven for their children—a place with better influences. Others want traditional values communicated to their children clearly and consistently.
Christian high schools advocating Christian ethics often prove to be the right recipe to help lead youth on better life paths. Perhaps it's the presence of classical virtues being taught and exemplified. Perhaps it's the overt protest to “worldly” vices. Whatever the reason, parents who send their kids to a Christian school often put it this way:
We gladly paid the tuition because we just didn't have the issues with our kids that other parents were facing with theirs.
TheBestSchools.org took up the task of finding 50 exemplary Christian high schools from across the country. In this, we wanted to find not just the schools with the best academic rankings, but also those that paid attention to the holistic growth of their students, while keeping the Christian faith central to their work.
Here are our results: The 50 Best Christian High Schools in America.