colson educators

Cultivating Courageous Faith in the Next Generation

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When I enrolled in “History of Christianity” in college, I realized the professor didn’t have the same view of Christianity that I did. Having grown up in East Tennessee in the 1990s, I was heavily involved in youth group, with pastors who greatly influenced my faith—but in that environment there weren’t many challenges to Christianity. I don’t recall hearing terms like “worldview,” and we certainly didn’t seem to have the same cultural and social challenges we have today. After college, I plugged into a great church, where I discovered apologetics and learned more about Chuck Colson’s story of faith. I knew (and my church leaders confirmed) I had a passion and love for teaching, so I entered seminary not to be a pastor, but to be equipped in apologetics to become a teacher who could minister to high school and college students and prepare them for the challenges that lie ahead.
I strive to be as excellent and gracious a teacher as my seminary professor Dr. Bruce Little, whose teaching had the greatest impact on me. He insisted that before we spoke or wrote anything, we better know what we were talking about. Yet, as he frequently told us, he was tough because he loved us. He knew the culture would be hard on us, and he raised the bar because he knew we could reach it. I hope my students will speak of me like I speak about Dr. Little—a man who genuinely loved his students and expected great things from them. As I strive to follow his example, I’ve been blessed to equip students for this cultural moment in my role as dean of academics at Hickory Grove Christian School—most recently through our partnership with the Colson Center and Colson Educators.
Our partnership with the Colson Center began when Hickory Grove’s head of school, Dr. Jimmie Quesinberry, identified a crucial need among our teaching faculty: a deeper comprehension of culture, the Christian worldview, and how they interact. Because teachers play such a vital role in shaping how students see the world, our school’s goal became clear: to help teachers and students confidently explain how Christianity addresses pressing questions about sexuality and gender, race, justice, the sanctity of life, and more.
In 2019, Hickory Grove participated in a Colson Educators-based course, where Christian worldview training is incorporated as part of their education (students) and professional development (teachers).
Since then, our staff and students have achieved remarkable milestones, with a total of 21 teachers and 20 students completing the coursework. They have a better grasp of the Christian worldview, which is already making a major impact in our school and beyond. I hope you’ll be as encouraged by their testimonies as I am.
Suzy, science teacher at Hickory Grove: As both a high school science teacher and a mother of two middle school-aged daughters, the program has been so meaningful to me. I feel equipped to engage in meaningful worldview conversations with my students and help my daughters navigate the culture in which they are living. I am able to incorporate the concepts I learned into my science class and help students evaluate anything they encounter through the biblical worldview lens.
Bre, a 2022 graduate: Taking the Colson class in high school helped me to see the importance of being prepared to face trials of faith. The Colson class was equal parts teaching and discussion, where a variety of topics were covered, including the sanctity of human life, modern deconstructionism, and how our widespread societal beliefs developed. When I converse with peers and older adults, their eyes tend to widen when I bring up these aforementioned topics. I surprise myself with the confidence with which I am able to articulate my perspective. The Colson program has made me passionate about my faith, driven me to a personal relationship with God, and given me a desire to be a part of the cultural conversation. Amanda and Elton, parents of a 2022 graduate: The curriculum and associated class discussions provided our son with the opportunity to expand his faith through much deeper knowledge and understanding of biblical concepts. It equipped him to confidently engage in discussions with believers and non-believers about God’s Word and why he has put his hope and faith in Christ alone. These encouraging stories testify to the impact God has made through the Colson Educators, which has equipped our teachers and students to be firmly rooted in Christian truth, not merely as a shield against challenges, but as a springboard for growth and engagement. The Colson Center is committed to harnessing strategic partnerships, especially by recognizing the profound influence educational institutions have in cultivating the Christian worldview in the rising generation. This partnership creates a ripple effect where administrators empower educators, who, in turn, equip students. Armed with a fortified Christian worldview, students become catalysts for transformative change as they live out their faith in their homes, congregations, academic pursuits, and future careers. It is encouraging to see the fruit of this partnership as teachers, students, and parents grow in clarity, confidence, and courage to live out their faith in this cultural moment.
billy hutchinson Dean of Academics | Hickory Grove Christian School