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Inclusion as a Biblical Calling

Taken from "An Introduction to Inclusion in Christ-Centered Schools" from the Christian Learning Center Network

Though you could cite studies that show inclusion as beneficial or laws that insist upon general education environments whenever possible, we advocate for inclusion because we believe it's God's calling for community.  Dr. Thomas B. Hoeksema, education professor emeritus at Calvin College, lists some assumptions underlying inclusive Christian education:

1. All children are valued equally by God, who created them in God's image and for God's purposes.

2.  The responsibility to be "present with" members of the body of believers, in this case children, who are experiencing "not so ordinary" circumstances, is to be carried out not only by the nuclear family but also in other "spheres" by the congregational family and by the Christian school family.

3.  All children must be taught to take seriously the Biblical mandate to love and care for one another, and they must be shown how to do so.

4.  Developing spiritually and learning to live the life of discipleship are critical for children with and without disabilities, and schools play an important role in such nurture.

5.  Being part of a regular, ongoing community such as a Christ-centered school is important for all children, including those with disabilities; in fact, quality of life is best protected and maintained in community.

6.  Voluntary support systems such as Circles of Friends are readily formed in schools, and ultimately will result in continuity in the care and support of persons who have atypical needs beyond the school years.

7.  Friendship between disabled and so -called nondisabled persons will be mutually beneficial.

8.  It is part of the mission of the Christian school community to bring the good news of healing and wholeness, and of shalom, the webbing together of all people in justice and delight, it its own members and to the world.

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