Since the 1940’s, Coca Cola has used “It’s the Real Thing,” as one of its slogans. As a youngster, a few years later than the 1940’s, the popular advertisement on TV was the song, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke…” When I think about what Maranat ha Christian Academy is, I’ve several times told people, “It’s the Real Thing!” Having been involved in other Christian schools either as an administrator or as an accreditation team member, I have seen some outstanding schools and I’ve seen a couple that had pretty “wrapping paper” but when you dug deeper, you learned that the marketing campaign was better than the actual product. What is really encouraging is when you find a school that really is all they say they are, and more, and that the word Christian in their name is so much more than just their middle name. Maranatha Christian Academy is one of those amazing gems; they are indeed “The Real Thing!”
Last week, I subbed for a high school Bible class and after we finished the lesson for the day, having a few extra minutes, I asked the students to share with me and their classmates about the message their pastor had taught the previous Sunday and what take-aways they had from it. All ten students in the class were able to share about their pastor’s message and what they learned. One student took out his notes from the sermon. I shared what my pastor had preached on as well and leaving that class period, I felt blessed! Our students are in church and what parents are teaching their young adults at home is being echoed in unison here at school as well as in their churches.
Today, I attended an Admissions Open House for families who are interested in our Kindergarten program. Some of these families have their children in our Kinder-Prep program and some are checking out Maranatha for the first time. In the audience today were two Maranatha Alumni, one from the class of 1995, and the other from the class of 2001. Both were dads who wanted their children to have the same great experience that they had here. Speaking in Secondary Chapel today is Miss Anna Hoduski, a Maranatha Alum from the class of 2012. On our school board, we have two members whose spouses are Maranatha graduates and one board member who was, himself, a student. When our alumni are coming back, wanting to serve, wanting the same great things for their own children, there is genuineness!
Today, I watched our first graders sing a worship song with lots of hand motions and enthusiasm. One of the first graders stood up front and led the group, a future worship leader perhaps! While I am certainly very proud to tell people that MCA ranks in the top 7% in the state of Kansas in their ACT scores and that we offer 36 college credit hours for our students to earn while still here on our campus, and that our students are doing well in college and attending some really wonderful schools, what I want to shout from the rooftops is that MCA is indeed “The Real Thing!” Not only are the children receiving a fabulous education that will prepare them well for the next steps of their life, they are becoming those young men and women who will be world changers in their generation. How do I know? This year, there was one senior who was unable to attend the Senior trip for financial reasons. The students got together and raised the money to make it possible for all members of the class to attend. These seniors put action to their desires and have created an opportunity for the entire class to bond together in a way they will remember at their reunions in future years!
I also have the privilege of working alongside both a fantastic faculty/staff and an awesome school board. Our faculty and staff work tirelessly for the benefit of our students. They come early, work late, and grade papers well into the night in addition to leading discipleship groups, heading up clubs and dramas, and creating special projects like our 4th grade teachers did recently so that their students could have a better appreciation of what the Underground Railroad was really like. As a fellow Board member, I work with eight other board members who genuinely place God and His ministry first. They pray for this school and sacrifice their time and talents to help create the very best possible environment for all students. Their dedication and sincerity is, as the students might say, “Totally Legit!” I am proud to be part of this MCA Family!
I was encouraged yesterday, by a colleague, to pursue expressing the value of a Christian education at Maranatha Christian Academy.
Here’s a play on a recent commercial by Mastercard:
- Cost of a basketball (Our men’s team is currently ranked 5th in the state of KS in our division.): $24 – $94
- Cost of a year’s tuition at a 4-year college (that you can save by taking advantage of our dual credit classes): Roughly $8K – $58K depending on the college
- Cost of having your child educated in a safe and nurturing environment where they are taught a Biblical worldview and nurtured in their faith: Priceless!
Looking back, I can tell you it is indeed Priceless! My husband and I sacrificed each year to have our children attend Christian schools from Pre-school through high school graduation. Raising children is a full-time job and not for the faint of heart, but it is also the most rewarding privilege. Here’s my simple illustration of Priceless! The picture to the left is of my son, Gene, an Army officer stationed in Georgia, and my adorable grandson, Micah.
When I look at this picture, I can’t help but smile and whisper a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord! Everything about this picture makes me rejoice! God’s Word is very clear that His Word does not return void and that when we “Start children off on the way they should go, …even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
My son and daughter-in-law are both strong Christians and are living out their faith. They are raising our grandson in such a way that it will make it easy for him to want to love and trust Jesus for himself when he is older. I hope that when Micah is old enough for school that he will perhaps be here at MCA, but I’ll be thrilled if he is at a genuine, Real Thing, Christian school wherever my son is stationed at that time. Are children perfect – definitely not (though as a mom I want to believe mine are), but neither are their parents (I’m certainly not). However, a loving Lord does a miraculous job of intervening in our lives and taking care of us when we put Him first!
Our children are our most precious treasure and they deserve the very best! Maranatha Christian Academy gives them that Best: A partnership with Home, School, and Church, where the students are taught and cared for by adults who will challenge them academically, mentor them as they grow up, and disciple them in their Christian walk. When I see my son holding my grandson, there is no sacrifice that isn’t worth that! I’m so thankful that our children were raised, at home, at school, and at church with a healthy respect and love for the Lord. It is Priceless! It is the Real Thing!
Thank you for being a part of this Genuine, Real Thing, MCA Family!
Blessings! #MCATheRealThing! #Priceless!
Head of School
Discover MCA at our March 1st Open House
Join us Thursday evening to learn more about Maranatha Christian Academy. We start the evening with a Kindergarten Preview at 5:00pm, followed by an all academy Admissions Open House at 6:00pm on our gym campus located at 15000 W. 63rd street, in Shawnee Kansas.
The evening will include an opportunity to visit with our faculty and staff, hear from our administration and tour both campus locations. Students at MCA are challenged to grow in their Christian faith through compelling chapels, service projects, thought-provoking Bible classes and Christ-centered role models. Interested in learning more about this? Please plan to join us on Thursday, March 1st.
If this event does not work for your schedule, please send us an online inquiry or call 913-631-0637 to schedule a time to visit MCA. It’s a great time to be an MCA Eagle!
Come to the MCA 2nd Annual Celebration of the Arts!
Support your students and our Fine Arts Programs while enjoying a dinner and a show!
Come Cheer Boys and Girls Basketball!
Priority Re-Enrollment is Here!
You don’t want to miss THIS!
Important Enrollment Dates for MCA:
February 28, 2018: Current Family Priority Enrollment Ends
March 1, 2018: Enrollment Opens to New Maranatha Families
March 1, 2018, at 6:00 pm: Admissions Open House at the MCA gym
Important Enrollment Links:
Complete your enrollment at: Enroll With Smart
You save $200/student if you re-enroll (online portion and paper portion) by March 31, 2018! Use the discount enrollment code for each student; your code is: MCAeb18.
Enrolling a new student at Maranatha? Head here: Application and Admissions
Financial Assistance can be applied for once your current student is re-enrolled for the 2018-19 school year. We require new or inquiring families submit a completed application for admission prior to submitting an application for financial assistance. Please go to our Financial Aid Page for more details.
Have you every wished you could give twice as much or have twice the impact to bless? Well, your wish has come true!
A very generous, anonymous donor, has gifted to MCA an amazing matching gift challenge. We have until March 31, 2018, to raise donations and this anonymous donor will match our giving up to $100,000.
We need absolutely everyone’s assistance to make this happen! We need students, alumni, parents, grandparents, staff, churches, and businesses to donate to MCA! Each one of us can reach out. Can you be a gift to Maranatha?
There are several methods you can use to donate to this exciting campaign:
Read the rest of this entry »
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.