This study is a MUST read for all who have chosen classical Christian education.
At Liberty Classical, the research in the Good Soil Report proves what we have long known: the life long benefits of a classical Christian education far outweigh its educational counterparts. The cultivation of the whole student in a classical Christian program leads to an overall positive outlook on life, enhanced spiritual lives, and an ability to think independently and influence culture.
We often say at Liberty that we are building lives that inspire--building moral leaders who will influence the culture for Christ. As it turns out, we really are. Take a look!
Released in January of 2020, The Good Soil Report is a 2018-19 comparative study of 24-42 year old alumni from public, secular private, Catholic, evangelical Christian, religious homeschool, and ACCS (classical Christian) schools, on topics of life-choices, preparation, attitudes, values, opinions, and practices.
7 LIFE OUTCOMES
Because of the size of the study, the data was concentrated into the 7 "life outcome" categories below to more easily reflect the findings.
ACCS | secular private | public | Catholic | evangelical Christian | religious homeschool
1. College and Career
This measures college and career preparedness. ACCS alumni lead the respondents in this category, meaning they felt the most prepared for college and beyond, followed by and private prep school alumni. In addition:
- ACCS alumni had the highest % of respondents report to have "Earned A's or Mostly A's" in college
- ACCS alumni had the highest % of respondents report to have earned a Bachelor of Arts or higher
2. Outlook on Life
This category examines indicators of one's outlook on life. Do the respondents feel purpose, gratitude, trust, etc.? Here, ACCS alumni far outpace the other school groups with the highest % of respondents having a positive life outlook and overall fulfillment.
- The percentage of ACCS alumni respondents who believe spirituality is important to them was nearly 80
- ACCS alumni had the lowest % of respondents answer that "life often lacks clear goals or a sense of direction" and they "feel helpless dealing with life's problems" but the highest % of respondents recognize "I have so much to be thankful for"
3. Christian Practices
This category looks at one's involvement in the church and church community. It includes questions about church attendance, volunteerism, and observation of religious practices. ACCS alumni lead with the highest % of respondents in this category, followed by Homeschool and Evangelical school respondents.
- ACCS alumni respondents report nearly 80% of them attend church at least 3x / month--more than 20 % points higher than Evangelical school respondents, who come in second.
- ACCS alumni also have the highest % of respondents who attend small groups, pray alone, and read the Bible.
4. Christian Life
This category looks at the integration of Christian practices into one's everyday life. Do you talk about God with your family, tithe, and institute biblical beliefs on marriage and divorce? Respondents with a higher % show a greater commitment to Christian life, and ACCS alumni lead this category as well.
- ACCS alumni are more inclined to believe living together before marriage is morally wrong, along with divorce. They also show the lowest probability of divorce based on the rates reported.
- ACCS alumni showed a higher % of respondents who have put their children in a religious school.
5. Traditional & Conservative
This profile looks at differences between Christian and secular schools. The term conservative here is meant to reflect which respondents are likely to exhibit values considered "socially conservative." Questions in this category include beliefs and attitudes toward the government's role in resolution, and the role of sin.
- Overall, ACCS alumni respondents are the least likely to agree "the federal government should do more to solve social problems" and that the lack of authority is a main problem in our country
- ACCS alumni respondents are more socially conservative than the other groups, with the highest % of respondents believing "premarital sex is morally wrong" and that the "bible is an infallible guide for personal faith and behavior"
6. Independent Thinkers
The questions in this category reflect attitudes toward cultural engagement practices, whether in business or personally. This profile looks at a number of combination metrics (multiple questions together) to truly identify independent thought.
- ACCS alumni respondents have the highest % of respondents who "read" overall, and who are "reading non-religious books"
- ACCS alumni respondents are among the highest % of respondents to be "tolerant of non-Christian religions" but less likely of the belief that "religion is a private matter" not to be engaged--meaning they are unafraid to challenge cultural norms
The Influencer category looks at not only if you are engaging culturally, but how. What is your impact on cultural and societal issues? Much like Christian Practices profile evaluating one's relationship with his church community, Influencers looks at one's relationship with the greater community.
- ACCS alumni have the highest % of respondents who report to know a higher number of influential people are involved in more organizations outside of church than the other groups surveyed
- ACCS alumni also report a greater obligation to speak out against injustices and impact their community though political and community service
"This report is the strongest indicator yet of the powerful nature of classical Christian education across many distinct categories."
"This report should serve to reinforce and motivate us to complete the process. Liberty envisions a future in which each generation of Christians is more prepared than the previous one to defend and advance the historic Christian faith taught in the Scriptures."