THE CHRISTIAN imperative to “Go . . . Teach!” is part of our Lord’s Commission to the Church (Matthew 28: 19-20). We are to teach for the purpose of communicating the truth and significance of the Gospel — literally to teach obedience to “everything I have commanded you.” Imparted beliefs and values fulfill their objective when they prepare “God’s people for works of service” and thus edify the Church (Ephesians 4:12).

Because all truth is God’s truth, and learning is one way we worship God with our minds, Evangelicals, therefore, affirm the positive importance of the “life of the mind.” We declare that in our age the ideal Christian personality is one that is spiritually devoted to Christ, socially aware and intellectually demanding, and that this trinity of values is rooted in the Lord’s injunctions to “make disciples,” “love your neighbor,” and “go . . . teach!”

Although the command to teach is permanent and unchanging, the specific structures through which the Church fulfills its educational mandate are not. The Church’s teaching ministry today is carried out through a variety of structures.

The Family is the basic structure and plays a crucial role in teaching Christian values and shaping a Christian culture. Love for Christ, the Scriptures and the Church often is strengthened or weakened in the matrix of the family. What the family teaches about Christian faith is not accomplished simply through conscious effort, but also through how its members relate to one another.

The Church is where the educational mission is carried out in focused and sustained ways to the greatest number of people. The church teaches through worship and proclamation of the Word, and systematically through the church school. In too many instances, the church school is not utilized to its fullest potential. We urge care in developing and selecting curricula that encourage Christian study, and in the recruitment of teachers who will prepare adequately and be effective in the classroom.

Christian Day Schools are an option for an increasing number of Evangelicals. Their primary justification rests in a commitment to help pupils integrate faith and learning. To insure that these pupils receive a quality education, we believe that standards of academic excellence in Christian schools should meet, or exceed, those of public schools. For this reason, we encourage quality teaching methods and facilities and caution against any system of childhood education that fails to offer, a full range of studies in the arts and sciences or that fails to relate biblical principles to those studies.

Bible Colleges are a major source of teaching and training. With their strong commitment to Bible teaching, these colleges provide a steady stream of pastors, Christian education workers and missionaries. In more recent years, many of these colleges have strengthened their liberal arts curricula and have added major studies in such areas as music, counseling, Christian education and missions. We commend these developments and urge our Bible colleges to maintain a high commitment to academic excellence while emphasizing the practical aspects of ministry.

Christian Liberal Arts Colleges and Universities pursue the mandate, of educating students for personal and spiritual growth, professional achievement and effective citizenship. They are now a key part of the church’s program, educating both mind and spirit in an environment where learning and faith are integrated. We call upon trustees, administrators and faculties of Christian colleges to keep their institutions abreast of the times in teaching methodologies and learning resources. We further call upon our liberal arts colleges and universities to provide time for their faculties to do research and writing. When faculty are given time to prepare scholarly publications, Christian perspectives will be put into the broader market¬place of ideas.

Seminaries provide training and specialized education for the effective ministry demanded by the professionalized nature of modern society. The authority and respect accorded in earlier times to the Puritan minister derived in large degree from the fact that he was the most highly educated member of his community. A graduate theological education is important in a society where a master’s degree or higher is required for sustained work in an increasing number of professions. However, the pursuit of academic skills should not diminish or eliminate the practical aspect of one’s training, especially in the areas of preaching, administration and counseling. We call upon our evangelical seminaries to wed the academic and practical and to emphasize spiritual formation so that future pastors can effectively lead their congregations in growth and ministry.

Evangelicals are fortunate to have such varied and substantial structures through which they can respond to Christ’s commission to “Go . . . Teach!” We acknowledge with gratitude our debt to those individuals who labored in the pest, and those who labor today, that the teaching ministry of the church might be strong and effective.

As Evangelicals, we are challenged to recognize our obligation to do everything within our power to strengthen our families, local churches, Christian schools, colleges, universities and seminaries. With the growing influence of secular humanism, eastern religions and universalism, the responsibility to “Go . . .Teach!” has never been more urgent. We resolve now, before God and one another, that we will give ourselves to prayer and the financial support of our educational enterprises, understanding the absolute necessity of their success if we are to project our evangelical heritage into the next century and beyond.