Timothy and Donna Brownlee first became familiar with Maranatha as members of Full Faith Church. “We looked into the possibility of Christian education, and we believed God would provide the money,” says mother Donna Brownlee. Timothy and Donna have enrolled all four of their children at Maranatha: three have graduated, and their youngest is in sixth grade at MCA. Donna shares how MCA has impacted the entire family.
“To me, if you have the Word of God at the center of all you do, you’re going to have success, guidance and fellowship,” Donna says. “That’s what I want in a school for my children, and my husband feels the same way. So many influences that help your children grow in the Word are the Godly influences at Maranatha.”
Maranatha’s excellent academics, paired with its focus on college preparation, laid a strong foundation for the Brownlee daughters. Alexis, Courtney and Brooke all went on to study at competitive universities. Courtney completed her undergraduate degree at Kansas State University, and was accepted to eight different law schools. She accepted a generous scholarship and is now in the law program at the University of Kansas. Brooke is a freshman at Kansas State University, where she was awarded a scholarship as well.
“It’s easy to see the Maranatha teachers’ commitment to knowing how each child learns,” Donna reflects. “There’s a different educational path for each child, and our teachers make the effort to know how to reach them, instruct them, discipline them and guide them according to the Word of God.”
MCA’s commitment to shepherding children well extends beyond the classroom. “Our children have had outstanding coaches,” Donna says. “They encouraged them to do their best, to think of others and to not let competition be all about yourself, but for the good of the team. MCA athletics teaches lots of valuable skills that I believe you can carry forward throughout your life. It’s really about learning to glorify Christ.”
Courtney participated in cross country and ran long distance while at MCA, and Brooke ran track. Maranatha afforded Brooke the opportunity to compete in state-wide meets from freshman year on. Nicholas, who is in sixth grade at MCA, has yet to choose a sport. “But MCA continues to give him those options, and I’m excited for that,” Donna says. “That’s so fun to me — students can try something new, be welcomed into it and be given the opportunity.”
God has used Maranatha in the family’s life in ways large and small. Donna remembers a time when her son missed the bus to an after-school practice. When a teacher realized what had happened, she took Nicholas to the field house herself. “The details do matter, and that was just so above the call of duty. I was so grateful. This is real Christian community.”
Timothy’s company, Timothy R. Brownlee, PC, has also made a commitment to Maranatha as a generous Corporate Partner. “We are fiercely loyal to the school, and my husband has been touched to be recognized.”
The Brownlee family feels the impact of authentic Christian community daily. But perhaps the most profound expression of the Maranatha family took place years ago, when their daughter Alexis died unexpectedly while on a missions trip in college. With the powerful faith foundation laid at Maranatha, the family celebrates Alexis’s life with joy. “We know that she knew Jesus well,” Donna says. “We have every assurance that when the Lord invited her to Heaven, she said, ‘I’m coming.’”
Alexis’s celebration service was held at Maranatha, with 750 people in attendance. “The Maranatha family really came around us at that time,” Donna says. “It was a worship service that really glorified God and we felt truly supported. Maranatha came around our family to celebrate what God had done in Alexis’s life. We have a thankfulness for her life. It really stood out as a testimony to Christian community.”
Most teenagers don’t know they have already begun an expedition that will determine their future. Consequently, the MCA Social Studies Department has purposely developed a curriculum to outfit these novice adventurers for life’s journey. Like a mountain climber, each student is given the necessary accruements to ascend the mountain of life, but rather than a rope, a pickaxe, and hiking boots, they are given lessons on character, a Biblical worldview, and the ability to think critically and creatively.
Students attending Maranatha will learn lessons in character as illustrated by the life of Robert Perry, who persevered through multiple failed attempts to reach the North Pole, and only after the loss of eight frostbitten toes, planted the American flag at the top of the World. Perry’s grave marker sums up the lesson learned from his life: “I shall find a way or make one.” Fanny Farmer adds to the lesson on perseverance, teaching that a stroke as a teenager is not an obstacle to success, as she ultimately overcame her crippling paralysis to become the Mother of Cooking Measurements, including the teaspoon and the measuring cup. Farmer’s life is an invaluable lesson for students who often have perceived or real handicaps, teaching that they too can achieve noble aims if they don’t let their shortcoming become an excuse for inaction and failure. Students will also learn that making the decision to live a life of character impacts more than oneself. Easy Eddie’s decision to turn from a life of crime as Al Capone’s lawyer demonstrates this moral principle. The choice to live a principled life not only helped bring down a crime boss, but modeled sacrifice and honor to his son Butch O’Hair, who as an American pilot, single-handedly saved much of the Pacific Fleet from a Japanese squadron during WWII. The examples of Perry, Farmer, and O’Hair all provide a model and a standard for students to emulate the rest of their lives.
Learning with a Biblical worldview is another key component of the MCA social studies approach. Students learn that life is orchestrated by God’s providential and sovereign hand rather than by accident. For instance, a customary teaching of the sinking of the ocean liners the Titanic and the Lusitania is that tragedy is simply a part of this meaningless and pain-filled life. Whereas, the providential view of these two events provides hope and inspiration that life, even at its darkest, has meaning and purpose. For instance, the Titanic’s untimely demise, resulting from the diamond-sharp cut of an iceberg, opened the door for the evangelist John Harper to proclaim the Gospel to a ready audience. A short three years later, the Lusitania, struck by a German torpedo during WWI, led Mrs. Belle Naish, the sole survivor of a young honeymooning couple aboard the ship, to donate their newly acquired retreat near Bonner Springs, Kansas, to the Boy Scouts. This became Camp Naish, a Scout camp, which has for many decades played a critical role in developing young men of character. Two ships, two tragedies, and two opportunities to teach that God is present during even the greatest moments of sorrow.
Along with the teaching of character and a Biblical worldview, an MCA student will develop creativity and critical thinking skills. Hands on activities, the deconstruction of primary sources, and debates are all used to develop essential learning qualities in Maranatha students. Students can expect to participate in simulations like rounding up and driving cattle on a long drive to Abilene, marching and learning French during a WWI boot camp, writing political platforms, giving speeches, polling the student body, and making campaign commercials during a simulated election, and writing briefs, deliberating, and handing down opinions as part of a mock Supreme Court. Students will also explore and analyze the writings of American Founders, philosophers, journalist, and poets, so they can vote and act in the future as knowledgeable and well-grounded citizens. Additionally, students will debate political, social, and economic positions to sharpen their understanding of life’s complexity and challenges.
It is common knowledge that no one climbs a mountain or begins a journey without first finding an experienced and knowledgeable guide. Such a shepherd should know how to effectively equip and train the novice climber with expertise and with the requisite skills to overcome both expected and unexpected challenges. What is true for a mountain climb, is true for life. Maranatha is a great place to find quality guides and to train your young adventurer for the challenging journey of life.
— Mark Hoduski, Social Studies Department Head
Christian education is an investment, one that can pay eternal dividends. At Maranatha, everything we do starts with scripture. God’s word written on a child’s heart is eternally valuable, and that’s why faith is woven throughout Maranatha, from the classroom to the field. We simply cannot put a price tag on Christian education. But the value of Christian education is not only eternal. Christian education has value from a practical, tangible perspective as well. If you’re crunching the numbers for your own children, you’ll find that a Maranatha education very well may be the best financial investment for your family.
Maranatha students benefit from a college preparatory curriculum.
Of MCA graduates, 95% continue on to higher education. From their first days at MCA, students’ minds are intentionally cultivated, helping young people develop critical thinking and master problem solving techniques. Our talented, committed educators have the experience and desire to prepare students for rigorous collegiate academics. MCA students are not only accepted to competitive universities; they are prepared to succeed once they enroll. Christian education is a valuable investment because it sets the stage for success in college.
An MCA education sets the stage for students to earn competitive scholarships.
The Maranatha Class of 2017 was awarded $1,377,676 total scholarship dollars. We are committed to a disciplined and excellent educational environment, and our graduates join a group of truly accomplished alumni. Scholarships were awarded from organizations and colleges across the country, in honor of students’ excellence in the classroom, on the field and in the community. It’s a valuable aspect of a Christian education that you simply can’t afford to ignore.
Students can earn dual credits while in high school, with the opportunity to earn up to 33 hours of college credit!
Most colleges require full-time students to take 12 credit hours per semester. At that rate, an MCA graduate who takes dual-credit classes can potentially start higher education with more than a year of credits already complete! According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2017–2018 school year is $34,740 at private colleges, $9,970 for state residents at public colleges and $25,620 for out-of-state residents attending public universities. It’s easy to see the value of a Maranatha education in dual credits alone.
A wide array of co-curricular activities allow students to build strong resumes, setting them apart in the college admissions process.
Admission to competitive colleges, as well as scholarship decisions, hinge not only on a student’s transcript. Applicants need to demonstrate that they are well-rounded people. Of Maranatha students, 89% are involved in co-curricular activities, including sports, band, choir, scholars bowl and clubs. From award-winning music programs to championship athletics, opportunities include drama, Student Council, science fairs, math olympics, yearbook, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and much more. Maranatha’s Athletic Department offers the most athletic options of any school in its class (2A) in the state of Kansas. Our students are also thoroughly engaged in voluntarism, with the Class of 2017 completing more than 2,240 hours of community service. An MCA education pays dividends in the kinds of experiences our students receive.
Take out a pencil and paper and do the math: there’s quite the return on a Maranatha tuition investment. Considering Christian education for your own family? At Maranatha, we are committed to fostering Christian character in every student, just as you would for family. We strive to educate, nurture and train students for Godliness and excellence, so they’re equipped to transform our world for Jesus Christ. Contact our admissions department today to schedule your visit, and see for yourself the value of a Christian education.
After college at Pittsburg State University, Bryan Burdette coached at several schools in Kansas. His teams included football, track, baseball and basketball. “It’s funny how God puts things in front of you,” Mr. Burdette remembers. He’d felt God calling him out of southeast Kansas; at the same time, his role in the Kansas Coaching Association included posting coaching job openings online. “I saw the opportunity at Maranatha, and I immediately applied for it. Today, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I’m called to be here.”
Mr. Burdette began at MCA in 2013, and continues teaching and coaching today. “I try to be an example for my students, and we’re always talking about how God created you for a specific purpose. When He was creating the universe, He created you! So we try to glorify him and please him in how we live out that purpose.”
His classes include not only physical education and health, but also technology, including video production. Mr. Burdette explains how he integrates faith into his technology classroom. “God gives us technology so we can be more efficient in what we do,” he says. “At one point, the hammer was the highest technology. It’s not about the technology itself, but how you use it. We have a God-given ability to use and create technology to His glory.”
Mr. Burdette shares about a project in his video production class: a video similar to the Allstate Insurance “Mayhem” commercials that focuses on “spiritual mayhem.” Students create a video about something that can bring about struggle in your Christian life. “It’s all about considering what things can trip us up spiritually,” Mr. Burdette says. “Last year, some senior students chose senioritis, and the video was about how getting off track and losing motivation can bring about spiritual mayhem.”
On the football field, Mr. Burdette appreciates the freedom to intentionally incorporate Christian values. “This year, we focused on really paying attention to the miracles God does in our lives. God sustains us for the whole game, God helps us get through this season. We also talk about courage and fear and adversity. Fear will cripple us in our lives if we let it, and we need to trust in Jesus.”
As he writes in his Philosophy of Maranatha Football, “Our success will not be measured by wins and losses, but in how well we close the gap between our potential and our performance as players and as men. Victory on the field in itself does not bring glory to God. Only victory won with proper attitude and perspective bring such glory.”
Football also provides many opportunities to learn about teamwork and Christian community. “We talk about working together as a team, how to be counted on and what it’s like to count on others, trusting others and being trustworthy ourselves.”
The MCA football team is on the smaller side compared to other teams. “But this has been an unbelievable year,” Mr. Burdette says. “We’ve been learning how God works in the details. The teams we play have no idea the heart that we have in this group until they start playing us.”
For Mr. Burdette, coaching and teaching come second. It’s his heart for influencing students that always comes first. “My point is not to coach or to teach, but to be an influence on kids’ lives and show them that God loves them no matter what they do — and I try to show them that same love as well.”