Philosophy and Mission
In 1997, the RDCS Society captured the preceding religious and philosophical basis and defined its purpose with the following Mission Statement:
Our mission is to provide a Christ-centered education,so that students are equipped to serve God joyfully, in every area of life.
To provide a Christ-centered education so that students are equipped and encouraged to serve God joyfully in every area of life.
To be a Christian community of learners.
Playing our role as an Educators or Administrators in God’s story at Gateway is educating for eternity. It starts with a growth mindset that drives our belief that all can succeed. Students and Staff. Success comes when we BELIEVE that we have a part in GOD’S STORY and we INVEST in ACTIONS that TARGET our growth here on Earth and Eternity. We will advance achievement by, planning for it, expecting it, reflecting on and celebrating growth, and reviewing/reframing to ensure progress. We behave in a way that recognizes our diversity, and values equity. We inspire learning and nurture hope within each other because we know that we have a collective responsibility to our goals and our story. This makes us powerful difference makers. It is in this place where we will provide a Christ centered education so that students are equipped and encouraged to serve God joyfully in every area of life.
1. establish a caring Christian learning environment
2. teach the skills students will need for serving
3. model joyful service
4. expose students to community examples of Christian Service
5. recognizing individual gifts, provide opportunities for service
Statement of Faith
On the foundation of God’s infallible Word—the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament—we declare the following articles to be our summary statement of the Christian faith:
God: There is one infinite and holy, loving and personal God who speaks to us in Scripture and reveals himself to us in his acts of creation, salvation, and renewal, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As finite beings created in God’s image, we declare that it is our purpose, our privilege, and our joy to worship, honor, serve, and obey him.
Creation: The world that is our home belongs to God, who created it and faithfully sustains it by his providence. Creation is the theater of God’s glory, displaying his power and majesty. He calls us to discover creation’s resources, to receive them with thanksgiving and delight as his gift, and to use them wisely as stewards and caretakers— responsible to God and to our neighbor.
Sin: Our ability to carry out our human calling—to honor God, serve our neighbor, and care for the creation—is marred by the corrosive effects of sin which touch every part of life. When our first parents listened to Satan’s lie, questioned God’s Word, and rebelled against him, they brought his judgment upon themselves, all their descendants, and the creation. Brokenness, disease, hate, arrogance, alienation, abuse of creation, and ultimately death, are the inevitable fruit of sin in our world.
Covenant: However, God has not rejected or abandoned his world, but turned to it in love. He gave the rainbow to Noah as a pledge of his promise to care for all creatures. He formed a covenant with Abraham, promising to be a faithful God to him and his children, and through them to bless all nations. Through his servant Moses, God disclosed his law for the human community, promising rich blessing as the fruit of obedience. God always keeps his promises. We acknowledge with gratitude and joy that he is our God, we are his people, and this is his world.
Redemption: As he promised, God in love sent Jesus Christ into the world to save it from sin and its consequences. The atoning death of the Son of God is the only payment for the debt of human sin, and his resurrection is the only liberation from the powers of evil and death. The victorious Lord sends the Holy Spirit to create faith, cleanse and renew hearts, and build a community of love and holiness. It is this community’s mission to proclaim and live the good news, and to disciple the nations.
Kingdom of God: Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His kingdom is the everlasting kingdom, and he reigns over all things for our good. To be a citizen of this kingdom is a privilege, a joy, and a responsibility. Led by his Spirit—cultivating the fruit of love, joy, and peace—we place our every thought, word, and deed in the service of Christ’s present and coming reign. We live daily in the confident hope of his triumphant return.
Teaching for Transformation (TfT)
Teaching for Transformation is about students learning how to play out their part in God’s story. We believe that we are all part of a big story that started a very long time ago, which is still continuing today. His story is important to understand so we can play our part in it. We want to develop students’ skills, knowledge and abilities so they may live a flourishing Christian life. It is our aim is to provide many learning experiences that will help students to develop their gifts and to practice using those gifts to play their unique part in God’s amazing story. There are three pillars that support us in teaching students about God’s kingdom and their role within it.
1. Storyline - Every GCS classroom has a powerful and compelling vision of the Kingdom that creates a longing and a desire within every student to play their part in God’s unfolding story of creation - fall - redemption - restoration.
A storyline helps a teacher to articulate how learners see themselves living in God's story. It is a lens through which the class looks through as they examine each topic in their learning and where they can see God's design and purpose, how the fall has impacted it, acknowledge the redemptive work of Christ and join in the invitation to join God in his restoration of creation.
So what is a storyline? A storyline is a powerful and compelling vision of the Kingdom that creates a longing and a desire within every student to play their part in God’s unfolding story of creation - fall - redemption - restoration. A storyline is an image of what flourishing looks like “to want what God wants, to desire what God desires, to hunger and thirst after God and crave a world where he is all in all” (James Smith, You are What You Love, page 2). A storyline attracts and draws us towards it and as a result we desire to work towards that goal.
2. Biblical Throughlines - Every GCS teacher actively invites and engages students to develop biblical characteristics, helping them to understand what their roles are and what their calling is.
God Worshipping: We will see that worshipping God is about celebrating who God is, what God has done and is doing, and what God has created. It is literally about standing in awe and wonder of God and His promises. We see this worship as a way of life.
Idolatry Discerning: We need to learn to “read” a worldview by asking questions about what is being portrayed in regard to culture, values and belief systems. Through the curriculum we will be challenged to identify, understand and expose the idols of our time and times past. We want to test ideas against the Biblical story and be truth seekers and speakers.
Earth Keeping: We will respond to God’s call to be stewards of all of creation. We need to reclaim and relearn how to respectfully treat the universe and all things contained in it. It is about the challenge of living lives that balance our wants and needs with those of other people, people living in other areas of the world and those still to come. This is a matter of respecting God and it is our responsibility.
Beauty Creating: We will create beauty that praises God and enriches our world. Creation shouts that our God loves diversity, complexity, and creativity. As image bearers of a creative God, we will glorify and praise God by creating that which is beautiful and pleasing to Him.
Justice Seeking: We will act as agents of restoration. The world is not as God intended it to be and we must learn to see the injustices - but it can’t stop there! We need to act as agents of restoration by both identifying and responding to injustices. We must take on this responsibility and rejoice in the glimpses of the kingdom we get from this task.
Creation Enjoying: We will celebrate God’s beautiful creation and give testimony to the presence of God in creation. We need to stop, look, and be amazed! We must create opportunities to see the beauty, delicacy, oddity and miracle in everyday things. Ordinary things become extraordinary when seen in a new way!
Servant Working: We will learn to serve others by working actively to heal brokenness and bring joy and shalom. We need to look for ways to affect change, improve situations for eople, build community, and meet needs. We are called to take action; using the gifts of ideas, materials, skills and awareness that God has given. Being “salt and light” means our faith needs to be expressed in our work.
Community Building: We will be active pursuers and builders of community, in our classrooms, in our neighborhoods, and in the global village we are a part of. We need to learn to pursue shalom - to be active and eager examples of peace-filled communities. Our school will be a community of grace where we will learn to walk and work together in peace.
Image Reflecting: We bear the image of God in our daily lives. Being an image bearer isn’t something we do, it is deeper than that. Image bearers is what we are. We reflect God’s image and we learn to see God’s image in others. The more Christlike our actions are, the more clearly Christ’s light shines in the dark parts of this world.
Order Discovering: We see God’s fingerprints all over creation. When we read the creation account we read a story of God creating order out of chaos. There is a purpose in God’s creation and we are able to discover this amazing order within creation. One of the inescapable conclusions for everyone must be “Wow! God had an amazing plan for all of this!”
Faith Nurturing: We will understand that living in God’s story means that we pursue an intimate relationship with God by reading the Bible, praying and worshipping Him. As we learn more about who God is, who we are, and his rescue plan, our relationship with him grows. As well, we are called to be faith nurturers; children of God who model a life of faith and invite others to live in God’s story.
3. Formational Learning Experiences - Every Gateway Christian school classroom must provide authentic (real work, real problem, real audience) opportunities for students to practice (habits) living the Kingdom story.
- The purpose of these learning experiences is to give students opportunities to practice (habits) living the Kingdom story. We have begun to focus more intentionally on formational learning experiences, what they are and how they are a high impact teaching strategy. In the next few months teachers will be given opportunities to develop and practice these authentic opportunities for students to participate in experiences that we hope form their hearts for Christ and his Kingdom. It is our hope that these formational experiences will bring students into a sense of wonder about their part in God’s story, helping to move them from ‘What’, ‘So what’, to ‘Now what’ as we continue to ask, “how now shall I live?” in response to our new learning within our subjects.