Our Governing Statements
The video (below) explains how the founders of St. Mary's College planted oak seedlings five centuries before they would be needed.
Imitating their spirit, The Oaks adheres to four governing statements which, taken together, describe and guide all that we do. They can be seen as answers to the following four questions:
Why do we exist? (Statement of Purpose)
What do we do? (Mission Statement)
How do we operate? (Statement of Faith)
What is our desired result? (Vision Statement)
Statement of Purpose
The undergirding philosophy of The Oaks is a complete belief in and adherence to the Bible as God's Word, applicable to all areas of life.
As a result of this conviction, The Oaks should be considered an extension of the family unit, under the assumption that the education of young people is the responsibility of parents and the immediate family, rather than the responsibility of the government or even of the church.
As parents and teachers we want to provide for our children an education that is both rigorously Christian and vigourously thoughtful.
"To provide a Classical and Christ centered education".
In the programs and teaching at all levels, as well as through extra-curricular activities and examples set by faculty and staff, The Oaks strives to:
Teach all subjects in the curriculum as part of an integrated whole with the Scriptures at the center.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (II Timothy 3:16-17)
Provide a clear model of Biblical Christian life through the school staff and board.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
Encourage every student to begin to develop a personal relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ.
And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, All authority is given unto Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Emphasize grammar, logic, and rhetoric in all subjects. (Grammar is to be understood as the fundamental rules and data of each subject. Logic is to be understood as the ordered relationship of particulars in each subject. Rhetoric is to be understood as the means by which the grammar and logic of each subject may be expressed clearly.)
Encourage every student to develop a love for learning and to achieve maximum academic potential.
Provide an orderly and secure atmosphere conducive to maintaining these standards.
Statement of Faith
The following is the foundation of beliefs on which The Oaks is based. They are also the key elements of Christianity that will be unapologetically taught in various ways through all grade levels. The substance of these statements is considered primary doctrine at The Oaks. Secondary or divisive doctrines and issues will not be presented as primary doctrine. When these types of doctrine or issues arise, they will be referred back to the family and local churches for final authority.
We believe the Bible to be the only inerrant, authoritative Word of God.
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father and His personal return in power and glory.
We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful men, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary.
We believe that salvation is by grace through faith alone.
We believe that faith without works is dead.
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved to the resurrection of life and they that are lost to the resurrection of damnation.
1.We believe that the bible clearly instructs parents, not the Church or the State, to “bring children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Therefore we seek to teach and discipline in a manner consistent with the Bible and a godly home environment. (“In Loco Parentis”)
We believe God’s character is revealed not only in His Word but also in every facet of creation. Therefore we teach that all knowledge is interrelated and can instruct us about God Himself.
God wants us to love Him with our minds, as well as with our hearts, souls, and strength (Mark 12:30). Therefore we seek to individually challenge children at all levels and teach them how to learn, versus teaching them to learn by unthinking repetition.
We want to help parents teach their children that all they do should be done “heartily, as unto the Lord.” Therefore we seek to encourage quality academic work and maintain high standards of conduct. This includes biblical discipline principles.
We aim to graduate young men and women who think clearly and listen carefully with discernment and understanding; who reason persuasively and articulate precisely; who are capable of evaluating their entire range of experience in the light of the Scriptures; and who do so with eagerness in joyful submission to God. We desire them to recognize cultural influences as distinct from biblical, and to be unswayed towards evil by the former. We aim to find them well-prepared in all situations, possessing both information and the knowledge of how to use it. We desire they be socially graceful and spiritually gracious; equipped with and understanding the tools of learning; desiring to grow in understanding, yet fully realizing the limitations and foolishness of the wisdom of this world. We desire they have a heart for the lost and the courage to seek to dissuade those who are stumbling towards destruction; that they distinguish real religion from religion in form only; and that they possess the former, knowing and loving the Lord Jesus Christ. And all these we desire them to possess with humility and gratitude to God.
We likewise aim to cultivate these same qualities in our staff and to see them well paid so that they may make a career at The Oaks. We desire them to be professional and diligent in their work, gifted in teaching, loving their students and their subjects. We desire they clearly understand classical education, how it works in their classroom and how their work fits into the whole; that they possess a lifelong hunger to learn and grow; and that they have opportunity to be refreshed and renewed. We desire to see them coach and nurture new staff and to serve as academic mentors to students. We look to see them mature in Christ, growing in the knowledge of God, their own children walking with the Lord.
We aim to cultivate in our parents a sense of responsibility for the school; to see them well informed about the goals of our classical and Christ-centered approach. We desire them to grow with the school, involved in and excited about the journey. We aim to help them to follow biblical principles in addressing concerns, to be inclined to hearing both sides of a story before rendering a verdict, and to embrace the Scripture's injunctions to encourage and stir up one another to love and good works.
Finally, in our relationship with our community, we aim to be above reproach in our business dealings and supportive of the local business community. We further seek to exemplify the unity of the body of Christ, to develop greater fellowship and understanding with the churches, and to bring honor to our Lord in all our endeavors.
"If we work upon marble, it will perish; if on brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble into dust; but if we work upon immortal minds, and imbue them with principles, with the just fear of God and love of our fellow men, we engrave on those tablets something that will brighten to all eternity."
"To know the laws of God in nature and revelation, and then to fashion the affections and will into harmony with those laws - this is education."