Report from National Conference of Christian Values in Education
By Tim Willis
Christian Values in Education, a Christian charity that seeks to equip and encourage believers involved in education – parents, students, teachers, staff, governors – held its annual National Conference on Saturday, September 24, with the theme “Issues in Education Today”. The event was well-attended with over 300 spending the day at the King’s Centre in Chessington. The keynote speakers were John Denning, Education Officer at the Christian Institute, and Sharon James, author and Social Policy Analyst for the Christian Institute.
In a talk titled ‘Issues in Education’, John Denning set out RSE resources currently available in schools and being presented to children in lessons. He contrasted the Christian and progressive worldviews, offering wise counsel on how to ensure that schools are keeping to and not exceeding their authority in these matters.
Complementing this first keynote address, Sharon James spoke on ‘Worldviews in Education, Standing on Biblical Truth’, tracing the historical development of worldviews that challenge the Christian ethos. These secular approaches were exposed as ahistorical, in their denial of the dominant role played by Christianity in the fields of science and knowledge. It is the long-standing commitment of Christians to education, and the truth of the word of God, that should give believers confidence in their biblical worldview as they confront the challenge of other perspectives.
The CViE Conference is very much a family event, and there was a great sense of gratitude to God in seeing 150 young people, including over 50 in their teens, attend at a number of sessions specifically designed for the different age groups. This diverse menu was prepared with a view to addressing all educational choices, whether state schools, faith schools or home education.
Due to the ample space at the Conference venue, a number of Christian organisations were invited to promote their work in supporting those involved or interested in the education of children. This included the Association of Christian Teachers, Lovewise, Christian Concern, Truth in Science, Answers in Genesis, the Christian Home Education Support Service, Valley Christian School Online and Christian Bookshop Ossett (and others!). These all contributed to a wonderful busy market atmosphere, and meant that all in attendance spent a day in fellowship, being helped in many different ways in being faithful Christians in education today.