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Seminary prof underscores importance of Christian education


WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–Education for the glory of God comprises the heart and soul of Ken Coley’s life.

Coley, professor of Christian education administration at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., shares his vision for strong leaders in Christian education in a book he wrote entitled “The Helmsman.”

The book’s purpose, according to Coley, is “to serve as a guide for scholastic leaders, pastors, board members and teachers who want to go into administration.” The book focuses on administration in Christian schools.

“The Lord is using Christian schools in a really significant way to partner with Christian parents to develop a Christian worldview in their children,” he said. “Consequently, the leaders of these schools have the significant responsibility as a ship’s captain to lead in such a way that the school follows God’s purposes so the school does not become lost.”

The book provides biblically-based descriptions of the tasks a Christian educational leader should perform, and Coley likens a leader to the helmsman of a ship and unpacks the responsibilities of an administrator, builder, builder of the body and steward.

Coley presents information on issues from the foundation of a school’s philosophy and governance to balancing finances and handling various legal issues.


He has committed his working years to the education profession, teaching middle school and high school for seven years before serving as principal of a Christian school for 15 years.

Coley presented the fall faculty lecture at Southeastern in November, touching on the principles included in his book. He primarily focused on answering the question, “How should I educate my children?”

“This decision, quite possibly, will be the most significant decision that a parent will make on behalf of their children,” Coley said. “As a Christian parent, we are to lead our children to the Lord and guide them as they transition into adulthood with a Christian worldview. When your son or daughter leaves your house, walks across the stage and receives a diploma, will they have a biblical worldview?”

Also in the lecture, Coley answered various questions pastors may face concerning education. One of the questions he addressed was, “Doesn’t God expect Christian children to attend public school where He wants them to witness to unsaved classmates?”

Coley compared a child’s education to the training that soldiers receive before going to war, and he called children in Christian homes “God’s soldiers for the 21st century.”

Since the publication of The Helmsman this past summer, Coley has traveled across the country to speak about Christian education. His lectures are at one-day seminars sponsored by the Association of Christian Schools International.
For more information, visit www.acsi.org.