LOVE LEARNING: The world is full of the glory of God and we hope to help people awaken to the wonders around them. Our prayer is that people will be transformed from the stereotypical Westerner staring empty-eyed into a TV or computer screen into people sitting on the edge of their seats, thirsting for truth and ready to stand aright in a passionate search for the true, the good, and the beautiful. In short, we hope people will fall in love with learning so that education becomes a lifelong process, an unending career in which everything great—nature, music, poetry, art, history, literature, philosophy—becomes a means to an end, an opportunity to experience the all-pervasive presence of God, a way to see the glory of God that, in St. Paul's words, causes us to be transformed into His image "from glory to glory."
DESIRE GOD: We are committed to building up the faith of Christians. We believe it is essential for Christians to understand their heritage. By studying the Bible, the key writings of the Church, and the various worldviews competing for their allegiance, a clear sense of Christian identity begins to emerge. The ultimate goal of understanding the faith, however, is not simply to gain intellectual knowledge as an arsenal of defense for the Christian worldview. Instead, the objective is to lead to a life of unceasing contemplation of the Holy Trinity; in short, to a life of prayer.
LOVE THE LEAST: Before His ascension, Christ made a clear mandate to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything” He commanded. Prior to this Great Commission, Christ also made it clear that the Kingdom of God is prepared for those who put their faith into action by feeding the hungry, quenching the thirstY, offering hospitality to the stranger, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, and visiting the imprisoned. Christ concludes by asserting that whatever we do unto the least of His brothers we do unto Him. Out of obedience to Christ, and compelled by the belief that all humans are created in the image of God, we intend to provide multiple outreach opportunities, locally, nationally, and internationally
DEVELOP LEADERS: We hope to shape young people into servant leaders. In addition to studying the principles of leadership, we will provide plenty of opportunities to develop one’s leadership capacities (e.g. mentoring younger students, facilitating Great Books discussions, and serving the local church)
PREPARE FOR LIFE: Through an integrated program of intellectual study, spiritual formation, outreach opportunities, and leadership development, we hope to prepare young people for college and life beyond through various seminars and workshops (e.g. Vocational Guidance, Time Management, Budget and Finance, Resumes and Job Interviews, Carpentry, Auto Mechanics, Lawn Maintenance and Landscaping).
DISCERN VOCATIONS: The two famous dictum at Delphi commands, “Know Thyself.” Many young people today attend college and choose a degree and career with very little knowledge of themselves. They have never been given the opportunity to explore their personalities, gifts, skills, or personal strengths and weaknesses. We plan to offer the tools required for people to discern their vocations, that is to say, to determine who God has created them to be and what He has called them to do.
REVIVE HOUSEHOLD ECONOMIES: Poet and farmer Wendell Berry is frequently asked what city people can do in response to the decline of household economies. His common response is quite simple, “Eat responsibly.” He goes on to offer several practical suggestions: participate in food production; prepare your own food; learn the origins of the food you buy; buy the food that is produced closest to your home; and, whenever possible, deal directly with a local farmer, gardener, or orchadist. We intend to heed his suggestions and promote them as best as we can. In addition to offering a neighborhood Farm-and-Art Market, we plan to eventually offer a variety of workshops that develop household and kitchen skills (e.g. Raising Chickens, Beekeeping, Homestead Gardening, Seeds and Seedlings, Growing Culinary Herbs, Practical Flower Gardening, Canning and Preserving, Bread Baking, Cheese Making, and Soap Making).
PROMOTE LOCAL CULTURE: Every community has a distinct personality. It manifests itself in its local culture, which is the accumulation and preservation of its memories in story and song. When a community becomes obsessed with progress and more concerned about keeping up with other communities than embracing and developing its own identity, it begins to lose its culture. It loses its memories of itself and its local character begins to disintegrate. Its members forget their stories; they no longer know one another, and consequently, no longer trust one another. The end result is fear and people no longer help one another. Furthermore, its local economy falls into decline and it becomes dependent on outsiders. In the words of Wendell Berry, “A good community depends on itself for many of its essential needs and is thus shaped, so to speak, from the inside—unlike most modern populations that depend on distant purchases for almost everything and are thus shaped from the outside by the purposes and the influence of salesmen.” We love the Wichita community and its culture and we are determined to promote it by preserving its memories and supporting its local economy.