The development of New Life Christian Academy: a resourceful K-5 to twelfth grade christian school established in a rural setting on St. Helena Island, South Carolina
AbstractThis dissertation will address the implementation of New Life Christian Academy (NLCA), a Christian Education School, produced out of New Life Deliverance Temple (NLDT), in St. Helena Island, South Carolina. The desire was to target students who have a desire in educational and spiritual achievements regardless of race, creed or religion. Parents who have become disillusioned with the Beaufort County public school system will be presented the progress of the current students at NLCA, who have transferred from the public school setting. The researcher founded the school by merging a homeschool run by a parent of NLDT and a new school which had never been operational. The advantage the researcher has concerning this project is that he was responsible for the grassroots implementation orchestrating every step from changing the county code allowing a school to locating modular buildings to house the school. NLDT is not considered a ‘mega ministry’ (2,000 or more membership) nor is the church located in a major metropolis, but on a dirt road in a rural section of St. Helena Island. Though the church possessed meager funds, this lack of capital did not prevent the pursuit of building a Christian school on church property. The researcher formed a board to assist in searching for rules and regulations so that the school will be in compliance. The first teacher hired by NLCA was Mrs. Mary Bolles who started her homeschool and was very well versed in Christian and secular education. NLCA has formed relationships between parent, teacher and student resulting in increased communication. The empirical data to assist in developing the foundation for the school will include: (a) Surveys conducted showing how the children have transitioned into the Christian/ Secular educational setting, (b) Showing how other Christian Schools operate within Beaufort Schools, (c) Data which will confirm the weaknesses of area county schools, and (d) surveys which will aid in satisfying the needs of students, staff and parents. Theologically, the Biblical basis for the school was discovered in Daniel the first chapter, showing four youths who had been forcibly removed from their native land and were successful in enemy territory, not compromising their Jewish values. The objective remains to parallel this Biblical past into a current motif which will allow the student to experience holistic curriculums of education, enabling them to meet life’s challenges, utilizing a Christian perspective.