How to Hire a Humanist

One of the most important duties of the school leader is to serve as the “gate keeper” of the school family.  Admission decisions must be in keeping with the school’s mission.  But the keeping of the gate does not apply only to student admission; the school leader must also hire well.

This photo (click photo for link), “Now Hiring” is copyright (c) 2012 Nathan Stephens and made available under a Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode).

© 2012 Nathan Stephens.  Creative Commons.  Click here for full citation (#9).

My friend, Scott Barron, says that strong school heads–hire well, fire well, and raise funds.  Although a simplistic approach, the fact is that effective school leaders must hire well.  Hiring well can prove to be a challenging task.  Is the teacher qualified?

Academic qualifications.  Check

Spiritual qualifications.  Check

People skills.  Check

Biblical worldview.  Assumed!

I recently heard from a mother whose junior high son had come home from his Christian school with tales from science class.  The teacher had begun a new unit with the statement that “evolution is a fact.”  After a dead end conversation with the teacher and a visit with the department head, the parents were puzzled as to why the worldview of the teacher was never determined prior to the teacher’s hire.

How does such happen?

Research has shown that more than 85 percent of teachers hired by Christian schools were not asked specific worldview questions during the hiring process.  Many teachers reported that they were not asked about their view of creation, Bible miracles, or the absolute authority of the Bible.  Further, many of these same schools advertise in word, print, or website that the school promotes and teaches a Christian or biblical worldview.

Further, recent research reveals that among Christian school teachers and students tested within the last two years, students scored solidly within the ranges of humanistic worldview while teachers scored in the bottom portion of a moderate worldview (Nehemiah Institute’s PEERS Worldview Analysis).  In other words, Christian schools are attempting to communicate to students a biblical worldview with a faculty that does not have a biblical worldview.

This begs the question–Will the student be greater than his master?

So, what can be done to bring effective change to our Christian schools?  Let me suggest several things that Christian school leaders can do to improve the biblical worldview of it students–

•  Embrace a personal, biblical worldview

School leaders must be proactive in studying, evaluating, and implementing a personal worldview that reflects biblical principles.  Leaders cannot expect to lead a staff or produce students with biblical worldviews any other way.  Leaders must dispel the idea that salvation, tenure in Christian service, or a degree from a religious institution automatically gives them a biblical worldview.

•  Commit to employing teachers with a biblical worldview

▪  Screen new hires regarding biblical worldview; perhaps administer a    worldview test to identify the strength/weakness of new hire’s worldview

▪  Provide professional development training in biblical worldview

•  Teach biblical worldview in school curriculum

▪  Integrate biblical worldview concepts in each grade levels curricula

▪  Teach a class in biblical worldview using proven protocols for teaching worldview

▪  Assess students’ biblical worldview

If Christian schools are to successfully instill a biblical worldview into students, school leaders must alter the present course.  All research indicates that our present course has put us in a downward spiral.  Leaders must make a firm commitment to change the course.

So how do we hire a humanist?  Just continue our “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach.

How is biblical worldview assessed in your school faculty?  in the students?  

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Edward is the founder and managing editor of Focus on Christian Education. He also serves as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of Christian Schools.

Please note: we reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Dan Smithwick

    Every teacher, in every subject, on every day, teaches worldview.

    • Matt Ticzkus

      Dan, you are correct! It’s so easy for us to overlook this point as we look to hire staff. Thanks for commenting and welcome to the Focus Blog!

    • Edward Earwood

      Dan, I know that I am preaching to the choir when you are reading this blog. Thanks for the work that you do reminding educators that our worldview is on display everyday in every way.