It is nice to be on a winning team. As I type, I’m looking forward to our ECA volleyball match this Friday when I’ll have both of my daughters playing. And, we’ll be cheering for another win to add to their record.

When I retired from the Navy in 2013, I entered a second career in classical Christian education. I had already grown a conviction and passion for this vocation. But I was also making a calculation as I surveyed my options upon leaving the military. I wanted to enter a career and community with a good vision and prospect for success. And classical Christian education looked to me like a winning team! In fact, ever since I started, my estimation has proven correct. It’s interesting to look back over the past 20 years of education in America and see a decline in every sector of private education, except one: classical Christian schools have been on the rise, and dramatically. What started 30 years ago with just a few schools has blossomed into over 400 classical Christian schools nation-wide. This definitely feels like a winning team, and ECA is part of that team.

Now, I could also point to the intrinsic value of what ECA is doing. First, we are solidly grounded in the Protestant tradition and its dependence on the Word of God and the lordship of Jesus Christ over all things. God’s word is timeless. It speaks to the whole of human experience with authority and clarity. And, it reveals the plan and purpose of our Creator, so that all of our studies might align with reality. Classical Christian education is built around a dependence on the revelation of God. And, God’s Word does not return void; we cannot help but win.

Furthermore, ECA and other classical Christian schools rest on the time-tested method of education honed through the millennia in the West: the Liberal Arts tradition. This kind of classical education has proven itself effective over and over again. It has been the winning team in education for a long time, and we ignore its lessons to our peril.

So, when I look at the wild and concerning things going on in our culture – the crazy past year we’ve had, the trajectory of the family and marriage, the mass confusion over gender and identity, the breakdown of civil discourse, the divisiveness we’ve experienced in all parts of society – I am encouraged by what we are doing at ECA. I am confident that we are on a winning team, one that can only help our children and help our community. It’s not just a feeling, but a confidence in many past saints and many past educators. It’s a confidence in the great treasures of history, and in an age when many others are casting history aside in favor of their own self creation and expression. And, it’s a confidence in the purposes and promises of God, who has a plan, has revealed that plan, and will not fail His people. We know who wins in the end.

That is why I’m so confident in the future of ECA. It is and has been faithful to its calling, faithful to its purpose in Christ. It is well positioned to send graduates into the world who love God, love others, love learning, speak the truth, and walk humbly. I am grateful to be on a winning team.

Soli Deo Gloria (to God be the Glory),

Stephen Sprague
Head of School