Fall 2015

When is a field more than just a field?


“That your field?” a stranger asks.

You look at your five-acre dirt lot.

“Yeah, did somebody get hurt on it?”

“No, I want to buy it. What do you want for it?” he says eagerly.

“It’s not for sale.”

“I’ll give you twice its appraised value,” comes his reply.

You search the internet, call the county, call a realtor, and no one can figure out why this guy would pay that much. So you walk out into the middle of the dirt field and you look around. All you can see is an old rusty toy wagon your son left out.

Do you ever wonder about those moments—and those years—before the pearl merchant noticed the pearl of great price, or the man who offered to buy the field found the treasure? Jesus tells these parables in Matthew as a description of the Kingdom of God.

I can’t help but wonder at the story. Not the part about the treasure, per se. But rather because for years—maybe centuries—it was just a field with a hidden story underneath. Everybody just walked on by.

When I first met the families who started the classical Christian school in our area, I saw a field. It was a nice field— er, school. The kids wore uniforms, and they could really get going on those Latin chants. “This is just what our town needs,” I thought to myself, “a good school where kids are prepared for college and life.”

Over the next 20 years, the hidden treasure became more visible. And, I quit my job and did whatever it took to make sure my kids got the treasure that was under that field. I know dozens of families who have made even greater sacrifices. Welcome to the inaugural issue of The Classical Difference, a magazine for the families of classical Christian schools. Not long ago, I was asked to lead the Association of Classical and Christian Schools. My aspiration in this role is to join with you, the parents, teachers, administrators, and friends of classical education, and buy the field.

In my ten years as headmaster of a classical Christian school, I realized two things about many parents at our school. First, they did not fully appreciate what was happening to their son or daughter as we educated them—I’m not sure I did either. And secondly, classical Christian education looks so unique that many parents may wonder, “Maybe this is just weird, not special. Maybe we should go to the normal school down the street.” I felt the call to unite families so that they realize “we’re not crazy … there are 40,000 other students in schools like this around the country.”

And, as I travel the country to meet these students, I find that classical Christian students are exceptional. As you read this magazine, I hope you will begin to appreciate the pearl that is classical Christian education. We hope to tell interesting and extraordinary stories that happen every day at classical Christian schools around the country. I pray that you will enjoy and be stretched by this and visit us at www.ClassicalDifference.com. ACCS_graphic_sm1


David Goodwin, President, ACCS


“The task of all Christian scholarship—not just biblical studies—is to study reality as a manifestation of God’s glory, to speak and write about it with accuracy, and to savor the beauty of God in it, and to make it serve the good of man. It is an abdication of scholarship when Christians do academic work with little reference to God. If all the universe and everything in it exist by the design of an infinite, personal God, to make his manifold glory known and loved, then to treat any subject without reference to God’s glory is not scholarship but insurrection.”


—John Piper, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God