Rosslyn Academy inspires and equips each student to develop their God-given gifts for
Christ-like service in the world community.
Imitating Jesus Christ in all that we do and say as individuals and as a school.
This aim is at the heart of the school culture and animates the other four Core Values – Excellence, Service, Intellectual Virtue, and Community. As a community of imperfect people, Rosslyn does not presume to have ‘arrived’. And yet, whether wrestling with new concepts in the classroom, giving 100% for teammates on the sports field, or pursuing the Good, the Beautiful, and the True, the goal is the imitation of Christ.
Philippians 2:1-8 illustrates well what is meant when thinking of Christ-likeness:
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving each other, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Cultivating a welcoming and supportive family of diverse members united behind the school’s mission.
This core value comes out of both the commitment to Christian unity and the school’s unique history and demographics. Rosslyn is a partnership between three evangelical mission groups (Eastern Mennonite Mission, International Mission Board of the Southern Baptists, and the Assemblies of God) who, despite their different theological distinctives, are unified behind the core beliefs of orthodox Protestant Christianity and their common aim to see the Christian church grow in Kenya and throughout the world. (To see the core beliefs around which the school unites, please see the Rosslyn Academy Core Tenets under the employment section of the website.)
Rosslyn’s incredibly diverse student body is another reason why the school has put such an emphasis on community. While Rosslyn students come from over 50 different nations, and a host of cultures and languages, there is far more that unites than divides us. The common commitment to Rosslyn's Christian educational mission, the common third culture kid (TCK) experience, and the shared opportunity to experience life in Kenya are factors that bring unity out of diversity, turning differences into one of Rosslyn's greatest strengths.
This value is expressed well in the following passages from Scripture:
Psalm 133:1: How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony. (NLT)
1 Peter 4:10: God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. (NLT)
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a: Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. (NLT)
Maximizing God-given gifts and talents, as individuals and as a school to His honor.
The school’s mission is driven by the assumption of excellence found in the Christian value of stewardship. Rosslyn believes that every person who is a part of this community has God-given gifts, and it is Rosslyn's responsibility to develop and extend these gifts in the service of God and others. Rosslyn’s mission to see ‘each student develop their God-given gifts’ means that we value a holistic education, where artistic, athletic, social, and spiritual gifts are developed alongside the intellect.
This stress on developing each child’s unique gifts does not, however, mean a compromise in academic growth. Just the opposite. Rosslyn believes that excellence in every area of life requires excellence of thought. As the Apostle Paul states in Philippians 4:8, ‘And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.’
Further, Rosslyn believes that excellence cannot be separated from excellence of purpose, excellence of will and excellence of service. Colossians 3:23 makes this clear, stating, ‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord, not for people.’
Developing God-honoring thinking habits that result from an earnest pursuit of truth consistent with Scripture.
Rosslyn Academy's Intellectual Virtues
Intellectual Courage . Intellectual Curiosity . Intellectual Carefulness
Intellectual Fair-mindedness . Intellectual Humility . Intellectual Honesty . Intellectual Tenacity
Intellectual development at Rosslyn is not just about students developing an impressive knowledge base and then using that knowledge in God-honoring ways. Rosslyn also wants to see a transformation in the very character of student’s minds. In other words, it is the aim for students to become God-honoring in the way they think as demonstrated by consistently honest, careful, tenacious, courageous and humble thinking habits. Jesus expressed this integration of faith and learning powerfully in Matthew 22:36-37. When asked, ‘which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ He replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’ – adding ‘with all your mind’ to the Shema Yisrael (Deutoronomy 6:4-5). The Apostle Paul also sums up the importance of intellectual character to all of life in Romans 12:2, where he states, ‘Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.’ (NLT)
In practical terms, this pursuit of intellectually virtuous character means that Rosslyn pays particular attention, not only to academic content and skills, but to the process of learning itself. For instance, are students courageous enough to ask questions in front of their peers and if not, how can we help them to develop the intellectual courage they will need to become a life-long learner? Or, are students so intellectually curious that they are compelled to keep asking the sorts of life-enriching questions that will positively transform their lives and the lives of those around them? And if not, how can we inspire in them a love of Truth that will consistently compel that level of curiousity?
The emphasis on intellectual virtue, however, does not mean Rosslyn places less value on the other aims of education. In fact, it is just the opposite. The belief is that by stressing a love for truth and valuing the learning process, students are even more likely to excel in their pursuit of traditional academic aims – mastering content, developing strong thinking skills, and learning to communicate well. This belief has been born out in our consistently high standardized test scores and university entrance record.
Modeling Christ’s example of selfless support of others.
While the practical demonstration of this Core Value takes multiple forms at Rosslyn (the Cultural Field Studies program, the Christmas Project, class service projects, etc.), the aim is to become a community of people who have adopted a disposition to serve. Rosslyn's hope is that service will simply be a natural outgrowth of who Rosslyn is.
Romans 12: 9-13 sums up this aim well, ‘Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.’ (NLT)
Jesus Christ modeled the service we aspire towards, as we see in Matthew 20:28. "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many." (NLT)
Again in 1 John 3:16-18 we see this example illustrated. "We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion, how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions."