A comparative view
7 LIFE OUTCOMES OF ACCS ALUMNI
2018-19 comparative study of 24-42 year old alumni from public, secular private, Catholic, evangelical Christian, religious homeschool, and ACCS (classical Christian) schools, on topics of life-choices, preparation, attitudes, values, opinions, and practices.
This research seems to confirm what history has repeatedly demonstrated—classical Christian education can influence the course of a home, a community, or a nation. Understandably, some will view the results of this survey skeptically because of the significant differences between classical Christian schools and the others surveyed. These results can be understood more fully by visiting the ACCS schools themselves.
Click the orange titles on the wheel above to see composite charts. Keep reading for more detail.
Blue bars are actual data. The red bars reflect the school’s effect, isolated from other family factors.
ACCS alumni seem able to take the good from science without being swayed by scientific arguments which may undercut Scripture. Classical education integrates Christ into every area of study, rather than separating religious study. Interestingly, other data in this survey show that ACCS alumni took more advanced science in high school.
ACCS alumni are the most likely of evangelically educated students to be tolerant of non-Christian religions—about the same as secular prep schools. But, they are committed far more than the other groups to believe religion should be in the public square. And ACCS alumni are far more likely to assert that it’s OK to say things that might be deemed offensive to religious groups in public. In order to engage with culture, this level of independence of mind is essential for reasoned discourse in the public square. ACCS schools train students to engage their faith in every aspect of life—public and private—and teach students to respectfully engage in substantive debates through a focus on rhetoric.
View or download the full 57-page report (PDF) (3MB)
Questions & Answers
During the 1990s, families in about 100 communities across the United States started classical Christian schools with the hope of offering an education that would assist parents in raising their children in the paideia of the Lord. The question almost thirty years later is: “To what extent have the goals of classical Christian education been realized?” To that end, the ACCS commissioned a study by the University of Notre Dame’s Sociology Department.
Understandably, some will view the results of this survey skeptically because of the significant differences between classical Christian schools and the others surveyed. These results can be understood more fully by visiting the ACCS schools themselves. Arguably, the greatest distinctive is integration—the intentional way that the subjects and Christian truth are interwoven. Every class and every school activity has one purpose: to see God’s world rightly and to glorify Him. These communities are tight-knit, serious but joyful, and eminently curious. And, there is room for improvement. We invite Christians to join a local ACCS school on this journey.
Research & Analysis: Dr. David Sikkink, University of Notre Dame, Sociology Department (non-ACCS comparative data)
Association of Classical Christian Schools (Sponsorship)