While The Oaks has many uncommon and exciting distinctives, one question I often hear often involves our name: Why are we called “The Oaks?” While there are certainly more prescriptive names for what we’re doing, or names that would locate us geographically, pedagogically, or even theologically, our name comes from the most foundational and vitally important goal of our education - developing the whole child - mind, body, and spirit. We believe such an approach should begin with establishing a strong spiritual foundation for life - one that will ultimately inform all other arenas.
Now, about that oak tree. The second half of Isaiah chapter 61, verse 3 reads: “that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” That is our goal for our students, our faculty and staff, and our school. As a school community, we want to be a place that nurtures, sustains, and helps to grow our students into strong and effective Christians in the world. Ultimately, we are working to equip students to thrive wherever they are planted as strong examples of God at work in the world. Moreover, “that He may be glorified” is the filter that our decision-making, long and short-term planning, and day-to-day efforts must pass through, and that ultimate goal is essential within our mission and vision. We are not a school for our glory or for the glory of our students. We are a school built for God’s glory that will equip students for good work toward a high calling.
Such lofty goals are inspiring, and as I believe any good mission and vision should be, aspirational as well. There is never a time, this side of eternity, where we will have built enough of the Kingdom, or where we will have given God enough glory through our words, deeds, and worship. But, we are compelled to try to advance the Kingdom and to glorify God in all that we do for our time here on earth. Equipping students for those purposes is no simple matter, and the day-to-day of how that works out is something we will continue to spend much of our time doing and much of our energy assessing, honing, and refining.
Ultimately, our prayer for this school and its students echoes Paul in his letter to the church at Ephesus: “And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power…to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.” (Eph. 3:17-19) The Oak tree is the visible product of our school - the capable, compassionate, and committed Christian learner, and the roots Paul mentions are the foundation we are laying now - the firm hold to Scripture, eternal truth, and a lifelong love for learning about our Creator and His creation.
We’d love for you to see and experience this growth for yourself and your students. Please reach out to schedule a tour, and plan to attend one of our open houses on November 12, or January 21.
All my best,