Agape International Academy (AIA) is a classical and international education program that is partnering with parents to personally and purposefully build loving leaders who are disciplined in soul, mind, and body for the glory of God. Our design is to do more than simply equip our students for higher academic learning. It is to contribute in the building their physical health and their personal character to guide them in the present and to prepare them for their future. Our staff team recognizes that God made each child an individual with unique gifts for which they are personally responsible. The staff team respects the individual needs of the students while fostering a community that is practicing taking personal and corporate responsibility to serve the needs of their concentric communities.
“Partnering with Parents to Personally and Purposefully Building Loving Leaders who are Disciplined in Soul, Mind, and Body for the Glory of God.”
The purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. All aspects of our school’s functionality must be guided by the philosophy that every function and decision must be purposefully developed in partnership with the parents of our students for the personal building of loving leaders who have strong discipline in the areas of their soul (spiritual/emotional), their mind (intellectual), and their body (physical). Self-discipline in these three areas will allow us all the opportunity to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever as we follow Jesus Christ. From difficult discipline decisions to homework assignment decisions, this philosophy is primary.
1) School Philosophy - “for the Glory of God”
Man was created for the purpose of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever. The simplicity of this was summarized when Jesus expressed God’s chief COMMAND (emphasizing duty) is for man to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind (emphasizing the primary nature of relationships). The way that we bring glory to God is by pursuing a personal relationship with Him as our primary desire, by submitting ourselves to Him in all aspects of our lives, and by allowing His word to be our only rule for faith and practice.
2) School Philosophy - “Partnering with Parents”
Parents are ultimately responsible for the education of their children. A school is simply a tool that parents may chose to utilize for the function. As many parents have dedicated their lives to various professional pursuits, our team has dedicated themselves to understanding how to build up the spiritual/emotional, intellectual, and physical aspects of young men and women. We partner with parents and ask that parents would only allow their children to join our school program if they read the descriptions of our school contained in this handbook and expressed through our school’s functioning program and believe that our ideas are congruous with their own. We hope that parents can read the school’s mission statement and recognize it as their own for their child/young man/young woman. A few bulleted points for consideration are listed below:
Our 7 core character values can be characterized by a humble following of Jesus.
It is critical that adults be genuine with young people.
All of humanity is naturally selfish. It takes the redeeming work of God for individuals to learn to be selflessly dependent on God for this work of taking personal responsibility to love God and others.
It is the provision of discipline, or even the presence of difficulty, that develops the proper self-discipline to take personal responsibility.
Teachers/instructors come in the form of the media we choose to consume. Parents must be willing to stand guard for their children and to protect them from dangers related to unrestricted technological use.
3) School Philosophy - “Building Personally”
We believe that development of the character of Jesus Christ is the final purpose of all that God is doing in the lives of those who follow Him. Jesus expressed that relationships are the foundational element of our existence. We start our relationship with Him when we “love the Lord [our] God” with our whole being. As we come to know our God better, we recognize just how much he loves humanity. Out of a love for what He loves will flow a genuine love for our neighbor. As our community recognizes this truth, we pour our lives out for each other at AIA. While our school is neither a reform school nor a school dedicated to the purpose of assisting students with special needs, we do recognize the importance of developing the individuality of the student so that their gifting and purpose can be utilized within greater concentric community contexts.
Students will work with mentors to develop their individual gifts and to strengthen their weaknesses. With these mentors, the students will develop personal goals for each discipline and each academic course. Mentors will maintain professional relations with the students while simultaneously building lasting relationships of trust. As it is the purpose of AIA to help students focus on concentric community contexts, it is critical that the staff at AIA demonstrate daily how life can be lived with great joy for the glory of God. Special activities and traveling programs allow opportunities for mentors and students to spend time serving greater contexts of communities with joyful loving service.
4) School Philosophy - “Building Purposefully”
As we hope is evident from this handbook, our design is to be specific, concise, and purposeful. God is not the author of confusion. Our staff must perform all professional tasks at the school with purposeful intent. Supervisors will help build all individual staff members in this area and everyone will know 1) what the goals are, 2) what the school’s philosophy behind the goals are, 3) and how the goals can practically be met. Staff members are also expected to understand the yearly, semesterly, quarterly, weekly, and daily goals demonstrating the purpose of why the content is being taught and HOW it is being taught in order to build the goal. Our design is that every student would know and internalize our goal so that they become an active agent in the school’s mission statement.
5) School Philosophy - “Building Loving Leaders”
A leader is a possessor of one or more followers who are desiring or requiring guidance. The reality is that, except for the youngest infant, everyone is a leader to some measure. Older siblings (or friends) are leading their younger siblings (or friends). Teens are leading younger peers who are watching them from afar. Adults are leading other younger adults or teens who are pooling guidance from their lives. Jesus, as the greatest example of leadership, chose to lead from a position of love. He flipped common leadership paradigms on their head when He demonstrated how the leader is the carrier of all problems of His followers. He said that the greatest among His disciples would be the servant of all. He demonstrated how to delegate labor and how the purpose of leadership is the relationships that He served.
6) School Philosophy - “Disciplined”
Simply put, AIA defines discipline as the ability to choose to do what is right. The faithful and consistent defining of right and wrong through the absolute truth of God's word provides students with clarity in becoming self-disciplined.
7) School Philosophy - “Disciplined in Soul”
The soul is the seat of emotions and will within individuals. Being disciplined in soul means knowing how to handle emotions, how to be disciplined in will, and how to take personal responsibility to love God and to obey Him. We clearly define and provide specific examples of seven core values that we see as Christ-honoring to give specific goals towards which the students can grow. We believe that students must be held personally responsible for their choices to believe and follow the seven core values as primary to the pursuit of Christlikeness. We believe that sanctification-or the process of developing Christlikeness-is a supernatural work of God. But those who would follow Him will submit themselves to love and obey Him. We want our students to be abounding with joy and full of peace. We believe that providing soul discipline allows them to live in a state of cleanliness and clarity.
8) School Philosophy - “Disciplined in Mind”
Academic/intellectual growth is fundamental to our program. We believe in a classical philosophy of learning as outlined in what is often referred to as the trivium:
Grammar Stage (Grades 1-4): The Pages - Young students LOVE to memorize. They enjoy assimilating facts and building a foundation of understanding. These are the years for exploring various learning tools for the academic building process. Students will be fascinated, will be encouraged to reason and to question, but will mostly be guided to collect and store knowledge that will be most useful for their future years of logic and rhetoric. The book of Proverbs would refer to this as the stage of "Knowledge".
Logic Stage (Grades 5-8): The Squires - Students in these middle years have begun to recognize that there may be portions of subjects that may require more defining. They begin to carefully reason through their knowledge and begin to understand how it applies. These are the years for the practicing of using learning tools and materials. Students will put concepts together and tear them apart. They will be asked to observe, ask questions, and research/study/ experiment. They will be taught how we model our understanding and that absolute truth is found only in God’s word. As these students grow in physical and mental prowess, they can earn honors in academics, in community service, and in physical fitness. The book of Proverbs would refer to this as the stage of "Understanding".
Rhetoric Stage (Grades 9-12): The Knights of Agape - These students will be expected to show the maturity of adults. They must be able to utilize the knowledge that they have gained and to apply what they understand. These are the years where students are expected to demonstrate true mastery. They have been given all of the tools and materials, and have been trained in their uses and applications. Now, the students will learn to use these tools and materials to carefully construct answers to their community’s problems. The final goal for the high school student is to produce a project in the junior and senior years that is carefully designed by the student according to relevant ethical and scientific practices that researches and finally serves a tangible need in the local community. This is the stage that the book of Proverbs would refer to as "Wisdom".