Family Ministry


Introduction: Family Ministry in the University Model® School

In this unique model of education the role of the Family Ministry component of the school community is essential. The purpose of this Ministry is:

  • To keep parents and teachers confident, competent, encouraged and informed for optimum success in their co-teaching roles;
  • To build adult relationships and practice authentic Christian community at each grade level;
  • To promote a life-giving, positive, joyful, school-wide spiritual climate of freedom in Christ where character development, the pursuit of virtue, spiritual formation and compassionate service are the distinguishing marks.

Building a school culture involves shaping all aspects of our school environment—athletics and student life, teaching, discipline, administrative practices and so on. This process is guided by the ministry’s Five Year Plan which lays out the mission and purpose as well as the strategies for this kind of culture to be achieved. Based on prayer and consistent input from all stakeholders in the community — parents, deans, students, teachers and board members, this plan is the basic strategy plan for the ministry overall.

The Culture we are Trying to Build

Colossians 2 opens with a great statement of how best to help people see the reality of Christ.

“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in who are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2: 2-3

Encouragement for each member and unity in love gives us the “full riches of complete understanding.” Therefore we want our culture to be encouraging and loving.

In a climate of unity, marked by love and encouragement, people can actually know a mystery, the mystery of God which is Christ in whom are “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” In other words, raising children up in an authentic Christian community is an optimum learning environment as well as a powerful means of evangelism to our children.

Because we know that the presence and power of God is in our midst, we desire that our school culture reflect that prime reality. Therefore, we hope to build a school culture that is positive, optimistic, encouraging and hopeful (in our homes, school environment including disicipline, and in our classrooms). And because we live by faith and we know that God in His great sovereignty is always in control, we will not fear any circumstance and therefore can also be a festive, celebratory people (student life activities, Town Hall meetings, and all school community celebrations).

Parent Education

Because of the unique challenges of the UMS model, an active, relevant family education program is not only necessary but essential for all of us to succeed in the difficult task of co-partnering for our students’ moral, spiritual and academic education.

Moreover, to keep parents “confident, competent, encouraged and informed” in their roles as co-partners, the school provides a number of opportunities for training, encouragement, problem-solving, and education. All University Model® schools are expected to create and run relevant and timely family education programs.

All professionals must continually study, take classes and often recertify to keep abreast of changes in their fields and parenting is no exception. Because we exist in a culture that no longer supports our values, we must come together to strengthen one another morally, spiritually and academically as well. In addition, since many of our parents have grown up in an American culture that is opposed to our values as Christians, many times parents have to un-learn a number of things in order to be successful partners in this model. Therefore it is vital that periodically parents and school come together to share information.

Over the next few years we will be developing a more helpful, more comprehensive family education program. To that end, some meetings we expect all stakeholders to attend—these meetings are published well in advance and reminders are sent out frequently weeks before these events occur. Other meetings will be optional while others may not be mandatory, but highly recommended. In addition the school will hold brown-bag or coffee shop meetings on topics of special interest to any parents who are interested. Social media use, teen relationships, perfectionism, and strategies for parenting different personalities and temperaments are some examples.

In the next few years we hope to develop multiple opportunities for parents to stay informed and current in their co-teaching roles. Blogs, Posts, special meetings, video and audio resources on our website and the like will be some of the many ways we hope to do this.

Because we are a school community, and because our relationships with one another are vital; because we have selected this model of education because it supports the authority of the parents in the home, coming together on a regular basis for training, encouragement, information, and direction is not optional, but crucial to the success of our mission.

Patriot Dads

Patriot Dads cookout 2015

Without the contributions of our school dads a vital piece of the heart of our school is missing. Men need to be with one another, to sharpen one another, and to encourage one another. Also, our sons and daughters are desperately in need of other dads and moms with various degrees of expertise and wisdom to sow into their lives. That is why an active dads’ community is also a necessity.

Our community of dads is called Patriot Dads. This group exists for three specific purposes: to present opportunities for dads and their children to have fun together; to bring dads into fellowship with one another for encouragement and occasional training; and to involve dads in all aspects of our school community life through special projects and fundraisers. That includes, especially, providing funds and other resources for Wylie Prep students to have opportunities to enlarge their understanding and experience through special activities.

The Patriot Dads Scholarship and Mission Fund is generated by activities and fundraisers to support Wylie Prep students on yearly mission trips and/or college expenses through scholarships. It is funded by Patriot Dads who schedule and put on special events throughout the year.

Chapel Program

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Our chapel programs are named and designed to perpetuate celebration, growing up, knowledge of God and the passion and power that God gives us. Hence the names: Celebration (K-2); Crossover (3-6th); Awaken (7-8th) and REVIVE (9-12th). Teaching materials and methods are drawn from the Family Ministry Five Year Plan for each grade level with worship being a central aspect in each one.

As soon as students are able, we will invite them into ownership and leadership in each chapel program. Students praying, teaching others, leading worship for others, and putting on entire chapel programs is our goal as teachers and leaders coach students along the way.