By Stormy Goodwin

January was moving month at the ACCS. As old issues of The Classical Difference were lifted from dusty boxes onto freshly painted shelves, we reminisced.

The first box revealed a headline in bright orange: “A New Lesson in Rwanda: A War, a Teacher, and a Story” (2016 Spring). Inside that issue was another article: “World-Changing Education on a Global Scale: Rafiki, Africa.” These two articles paved the way for a partnership that grows stronger to this day. In 2023, David Goodwin (ACCS President) and Tim Dernlan (ACCS Vice President) shared their mutual passion for Classical Christian Education with Rafiki at their conferences in Uganda and Kenya, before connecting with another conference in Zambia. (Read the stories: “Rafiki: Called to Build the Kingdom” and “Bringing Classical Christian Education to Africa.”)

Flipping through the issues in the next boxes, these articles jumped out: “An Advanced Concept in Public Education” (2016 Winter), “The Lincoln School” (2017 Summer), and “Pragmatism, Law, and the Unlimited Power of Purpose” (2017 Fall). These short articles were whispers of Battle for the American Mind, published in 2022.

The box that surprised me most was small and unpretentious, but surprisingly heavy. I guessed it held office supplies—maybe a few file folders and hopefully the long-lost extra-thick stapler. Instead, the face of a familiar, young student-actress looked up from behind a movie camera on the cover of Volume 1, Issue 1 (2015 Fall). We feared these copies of the first issue had been lost along the way. “Kill the Dragon, Get the Girl” was the large, red headline—a fitting metaphor for what parents living in any time really want for their children. Slay the beast (in whatever form it takes), reap the reward. We’ve all had beasts to slay in the years since 2015.

Every cover tells a story. We’ve kept The Classical Difference going all these years because every story, however small, is a brick in the process of rebuilding classical Christian education. Ultimately, unpacking day was a reminder of our purpose—to help build the Kingdom by rebuilding a time-tested form of education that teaches our children to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” whatever their calling and wherever their place.

The world of that first issue in 2015 might seem “lost in shadow” in many ways, but that world might never have seen the explosive growth of classical Christian education. It even has its own acronym these days: CCE. Since the five weeks when Battle for the American Mind was #1 overall on the New York Times Bestseller List—almost unheard of for a book on education—one of the most common questions we continue to get is, “What can I do?”

To answer this, I’ll reference one more story titled, “Don’t Keep it a Secret” (2017 Winter). It begins with a statistic: “Highland Rim Academy’s survey revealed that an astonishing 97% of the families found the school by word-of-mouth.” The article went on to tell the stories of families from three different schools who were there because of chance conversations, and the life-changing results.

What can you do? Give away The Classical Difference, both physically and metaphorically. Share a hard copy. Pass along the Good Soil study. Tell your story to another family. Listen to their concerns about their kids (all parents have them) and answer their questions. Open the door for a glimpse into what the classical Christian community is laboring to build in classrooms across the country and around the world.

After Dr. Albert Mohler Jr. received the Boniface Award at the 2023 Repairing the Ruins conference, he said this:

If I could award you, I would, because I believe that the classical Christian school movement may be the singular most hopeful movement I know of right now for the cause of Christ. … C.S. Lewis was right. Athanasius is being talked about today precisely because he did not move with his times. “Brothers and sisters, be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.*” Don’t move with the times. Move the times.

Brick by brick. ✤

P.S. Just this past week (at the time of this writing), a new school administrator came up to David Goodwin at a conference and said one of their donors had been buying back issues of The Classical Difference on Ebay and giving them to parents at their fledgling school. Who knew you could buy them on Ebay! Hint: You can also purchase back issues from us here at ACCS.

STORMY GOODWIN is the ACCS Web and Publications Manager and the mom of three classically educated kids.