Stated simply, yes - we are absolutely a Christian school. Ambleside's philosophy is guided by the work of British educator Charlotte Mason who was a devout follower of Christ and had a deep respect for the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of children. We believe that children are created in the image of God and, because of that, they are worthy of our respect, love, guidance and care. Because they bear the stamp of the Almighty, each one has infinite dignity, worth and potential. Knowing these things affects the way in which we approach education.
Our atmosphere is one of peace and joy where the love and lordship of Christ pervades all. Our curriculum is rich in ideas which aid students in a better understanding of God and the state of mankind. Man's potential for good and evil are often part of our discussions as we seek to point students toward noble ideas that are good, true and beautiful. Finally, we understand that our role as educators includes training children in the habits of the good life. To neglect a student's habit formation is to despise them. And so, we see weakness not as an annoyance or an area to manipulate their behavior, but as a chance for growth. Our teachers actively address weakness with students and their parents and genuine growth happens as a result.
As we study the example of how Jesus taught and shepherded, we see much crossover between his approach and ours. Rather than condemning, he inspired - often through stories (parables) which cut to the heart of his listeners and transformed them from the inside out.
"I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10 (NASB)
This abundant life is the daily pursuit of students and teachers at Ambleside.