The Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS) was started in 1994 to meet the growing demand for information and instruction for the thousands of families who began choosing classical Christian education for their children following the release in 1991 of Douglas Wilson’s book, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: An Approach to Distinctively Christian Education. This distinctively Christian education establishes a biblical foundation for all truth, teaches the skills that enable children to learn, think, and communicate, and instills the habits that will make students independent, life-long learners.
As Cary Christian School partners with parents to educate their children, we also partner with ACCS for accountability and accreditation. ACCS is an intentionally independent (of government interference) accrediting organization offering a “school improvement program” (accreditation process) specifically designed for classical Christian schools “to encourage stability, quality, and a measure of excellence.” CCS has been accredited by ACCS since 2002, and we are currently working on renewing our accreditation, a process required every five years.
The accreditation process involves a detailed self-study, feedback from ACCS, an on-site visit by an ACCS committee, and a final report from ACCS highlighting strengths and needs for improvement. What does ACCS evaluate?
ACCS accreditation measures how well schools are consistently implementing a classical Christian philosophy of education throughout the entire school organization from school board oversight to classroom pedagogy, including:
- Student participation, conduct, and development
- Staff training
- Parent-teacher relation
- Operational and financial policies
- Community support
- The overall spiritual demeanor in the school classrooms
- The integration of scripture throughout their school’s curricula
- Conformity with classical Christian methods in their classrooms
In addition to accreditation, ACCS also advocates for classical Christian education: promoting its advantages and benefits, protecting classical Christian schools, and taking advantage of the opportunity we have been given to intentionally, strategically, and sacramentally advance Christian civilization by inculcating truth, beauty, and goodness as we provide our students with an excellent classical education founded upon a Biblical worldview. In 2013, ACCS launched a strategic initiative to increase the number of students receiving a classical Christian education. The plan is ambitious and seeks to have 300,000 students enrolled in classical Christian education by 2026 by cultivating a membership of 1000 schools within driving distance of 80% of the US population. Why? ACCS believes classical Christian education will have a dramatic effect on our culture, Christendom, and civilization within two or three generations!
The fact is, long ago, our culture strayed from the simple message and deep satisfaction of Christianity: Love, know and worship Jesus Christ, love your neighbor, and live the good life enjoying God’s many gifts. Tens of thousands of students in classical Christian schools are rediscovering this simple formula to flourish.
It’s time to rebuild a uniquely Christian culture within our Christian communities. The key is in our children. We may or may not influence the direction of the nation, or the world. But we are called to be His people— to be faithful. So, come with us as we pioneer a path that has already been traveled— many times in history.
True Christian education is unlike anything practiced in conventional classrooms today. Young people, if educated in the historic Christian way, will rise to replace the ideas of our broken culture with the hope and grace of Christ. But they must be trained to think deeply, to live humbly with respect, to have an inspired command of language, and to embody Christian virtues. Our bold effort requires the 16,000 + hours that students will spend in the K-12 classroom, and support from families and churches. (The ACCS Initiative)
At Cary Christian School, with the support of the Association of Classical Christian Schools, what we believe together and the habits we share empower us to be transformed by the Holy Spirit and the Word which is truth. We desire to live and learn intentionally and purposefully in a community of learners, thinking of one another, praying for one another, and encouraging one another to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength, for His glory, our joy, and the advancement of Christian civilization. Thank you for your support of Cary Christian School and the classical Christian education movement. “We have no time to waste.”
Geronimo, Amen! – An inspiring and delightful 20–minute video sharing the vision and blessings of a classical Christian education