Christian education is distinctly different from other approaches to education. But knowing what that distinctiveness is and acting consistently on it is vital, for Christian schools to be authentic and to justify their existence. This article seeks to identify fundamental premises underlying Christian education; then to establish a set of ground rules for critical discussion and the development of a model to faithfully represent that enterprise. The purpose of the model is two-fold: to capture realistically the dynamic nature or ‘special character’ of Christian schools as communities of faith, and in so doing, provide a useful frame of reference for critical review, strategic planning and renewal of schools calling themselves ‘Christian’.

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