About ICS

About

Immanuel Christian Schools proudly offers a complete Christian education for students in Early Education to Grade 12. There are two campuses, Elementary (EEP-Grade 5) and Secondary (Grades 6-12), operated by the Society for Christian Education in Southern Alberta since 1962. Immanuel Christian Schools is an alternative school system under Lethbridge School District No. 51 and serves about 600 students and their families.

Mission

To provide a Christian environment in which God calls His children
To develop and use their gifts for joyful service in His kingdom.            

Statement of Faith

We believe that the Society for Christian Education in Southern Alberta must provide an education that is shaped by a faith rooted in Scripture. The Bible imparts divinely inspired and authoritative insight for every dimension of life. Christian education, therefore, tells us how to understand ourselves in relationship to God, to others, and to all creation.

  1. We believe the 66 Canonical books of the Protestant Bible to be the inspired and only infallible authoritative written Word of God.  One may not add to or take away from God’s holy word. II Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:20-21, Revelation 22:18-19. Titus, 1:2,  John 17: 16-17
  2. We believe that there is one God eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Matthew 28:19, II Corinthians 13:14,  Matthew 3:16-17, Genesis 1:26, 1 Peter 1:1-2
  3. We believe that the universe originated by the creative act of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and that the form of every kind of life was fixed at the time of its creation.  Genesis 1, John 1:1, Psalm 104: 24 & 25, Hebrews 11:3, Genesis 2: 7 & 22, 1 Corinthians 15:37-39
  4. We believe as a direct result of His creation order, God established the family unit, as described in the Scriptures, as the basis to procreate and pass on His word from generation to generation.   In his providential care, the natural laws of His creation require us to protect the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death.  Genesis 1:26-28, Genesis 2: 18-25, Psalm 139:13-16, Romans 1, Matthew 19:4-6, Hebrews 13:4 and Ephesians 5:1-5
  5. We believe in the true deity and true humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His pre-existence, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His future visible return in power and glory.  Colossians 1:13-20, John 1:1-14, Acts 1:9-11, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Mark 16:19
  6. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man.  Hebrews 9: 15, I Timothy 2:5, Acts 4: 12, 2 Corinthians 5: 21
  7. We believe that mankind is conceived and born in sin and therefore lost, and that salvation is received only by the grace of God, through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, which the Holy Spirit works in our hearts. Genesis 3:17-19, Romans 1:18-32, Romans 3:21-26, Ephesians 2:8-10, Galatians 2:16, Romans 1:16-17, Romans 5:18-19, John 15:26, II Corinthians 1:21-22
  8. We believe that by the present indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit, Christians are able to live godly lives, and that every believer should practice the holiness which God requires. Our words and actions of faith and hope, as well as our honest seeking of God's will, as revealed in the Bible, lead us to reconciling relationships with God and each other.   Romans 12:1-2, Titus 2:11-13, Matthew 6:12,  Ephesians 1:13-14, Romans 8:1-4
  9. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost: they that are saved will live; those that are lost will be condemned. John 5:25, 28-29, Matthew 25: 46, Acts 24: 15, Job 19: 25-27
  10. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  John 17:20-24, I Corinthians 12:12-13, Psalm 87, Revelations 21, John 3:16-21
  11. We believe that, individually and communally, we are called to the task of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to people of all languages and nationalities with a view to their salvation.  Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:39, II Corinthians 5:20, Acts 10:42, Isaiah 52:7, Romans 10: 14-15, Psalm 105: 1, 2

Immanuel Christian Schools are interdenominational Christian schools that embrace the Christian faith from the reformed perspective as summarised in the Apostle’s, the Nicene, and the Athanasian Creeds.

We believe that God created, and continues to maintain, the entire universe. Early on, our first parents rebelled against God. Since then, all human lives have been twisted, impaired, and marked by the sin that stems from this broken relationship. The heart of the Bible’s message, and the reason we understand the gospel to be such good news, is the revelation that God has not abandoned His creation, but has determined to set things right.

We believe the redemptive intent of God finds its center in the life and work of Jesus Christ. In the person of Jesus, God executes a just punishment against the sin of humankind, and graciously offers forgiveness to all. Because He suffered and died, Jesus Christ reconciles sinful people to their Creator. He fulfills God’s promise to restore the whole creation. By His resurrection and ascension to His heavenly throne, Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord of the universe.

We believe this world and all who live in it belong to God. Although our world remains troubled and flawed, the work and victory of Jesus give us hope. We eagerly wait for the day when Jesus Christ returns and is publicly acknowledged as the Lord of all. On that day, the redemptive purposes of God will be complete and God will erase every vestige of sin and suffering. Until that day arrives, the Holy Spirit works faith in us and inspires us to live in ways which acknowledge the truth of the good news in Jesus.

We believe that our place in God’s world is one of special privilege and responsibility. Made in God’s image, we human beings are the crown of God’s creation. We are called to be responsible caretakers: loving others and ourselves, and developing the resources of creation as God’s stewards. Since the entire universe is the Kingdom of our Lord, every dimension of life must be understood in relationship to Him.

We believe that our Statement of Faith forms the basis for sound biblical instruction.

We recognize that there are other interpretations, convictions, and doctrines professed by Christians, which they believe to be consistent with the above. However, such beliefs shall not be promoted by Immanuel Christian Schools, though they may be respectfully discussed.

Philosophy

We believe that our children are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).  They are God’s gift to us. Parents have a responsibility to educate their children in the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4) and love them as God loves them (Matthew 19:14). One of the most important contributions parents can make in the lives of their children is to provide them with an education that recognizes the fundamental connection between faith and understanding.  We as a school society desire to fulfill our mission in the context of the Creation-Fall-Redemption-Restoration narrative outlined below.

Creation-Fall-Redemption-Restoration

Creation:  Colossians 1:16-17 tells us that “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -- all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together”.  When studying creation, students will find not only unimaginable variety but also deep orders and interdependencies.  The book of Job (chapters 38 & 41) tells us that God loves and celebrates His creation.  Psalm 104 tells us God is intimately involved with all things in creation.  According to Scripture, we human beings have been created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27).  This implies teaching students to act as caretakers and stewards of creation.  We can also learn to image God by living in community with one another.(Genesis 1; Psalm 19:1a; John 1:5; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3a)

Fall:  Creation still declares the glory of God but it also declares the tragedy of sin.  The first sin in the Garden of Eden has taken on universal consequences. Romans 8 teaches us that all of creation was subjected to frustration due to sin (verse 20).  Creation still sings and rings, but it also groans.  Human beings do not live the way we were meant to live.  Sin offends God, betrays God, and interferes with the way God wants things to be. (Genesis 3: 12-13; Psalm 14:1,3; Jeremiah 2:27; Romans 1:21; Romans 7;15)

Redemption:  Genesis 3 tells us that after Adam and Eve had disobeyed God, sin entered creation.  The prophets tell of God’s judgment, but they also see God’s salvation on the horizon in the form of a Messiah (Isaiah 53: 3-7).  The mission of Jesus, our Savior, was to die for our sins. Our sin is great and our power to make up for it is inadequate (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Students need to see the beauty and grace that exists with the gospel. There is hope! I Peter 1:3 exclaims “Praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!”  The reason for our hope and joy is Jesus.  This is summarized in Romans 3: “for all have sinned and fallen, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (verses 23 & 24). (Genesis 17:7; Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 53:5; Luke 24:34, 2 Corinthians 5:19; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:1a, 12)

Restoration: We have hope in our world, a hope that we could not achieve without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  Seeing God’s grace not only in our Savior, but also in many shining examples of light in a dark world reminds us that God is in control.  He has a plan for Creation (Revelation 21) and for us (Jeremiah 29:11-13, Ephesians 2:10).  God’s grace also reminds us that He didn’t give up on His creation; therefore, neither should we.  Recognizing the work of God both inspires us as a Christian school community to recognize and affirm His majesty, as well as to work for Him to help reconcile Creation.  As a community and as individuals we are called to be a light to the greater community.  (Psalm 1:1-3; Luke 24:32; Psalm 103; 20-21; I Peter 4:10-11; Hebrews 13;1-2; II Timothy 1:7; James 1:5)

Philosophy in Practice:  We see Scripture as both a topic of study and a lens through which we see all other things.  Our world belongs to God.  We will guide and challenge students to see the fingerprints of God both throughout history and in the present.  For Immanuel Christian schools to be responsible and authentic towards our mission, we need to engage in ongoing thinking and developing learning opportunities to help students develop their gifts for joyful service in the kingdom of God.  We desire to teach students to hear God’s voice amidst competing messages.  However, we want to avoid simply putting up high fences between ourselves and the larger public establishment.  Given that God claims all of creation as his own, we must follow our calling to help redirect it that way.   At Immanuel we desire to partner with parents and students in seeking a transformative view of Christianity.  This concept is codified in our Education statements.

Educational Statements

Our educational statements are derived from our Mission.

(A)  We strive to offer an authentic, Biblical Christian education, consistent with the narrative outlined above.
(B)   We strive to be a Christian school community and in doing so promote a Christian environment in which our students are educated.

A. Biblical Education:

  1. We believe that the universe originated by the creative act of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and that the form of every kind of life was fixed at the time of its creation. 
  2. Immanuel recognizes that humankind became sinful by nature after Adam and Eve showed disobedience to God.  By extension we recognize that Creation is now distorted and in need of renewal.  Our study of the past and present confirms that both nature and human institutions are flawed and due to sin.  
  3. Given our fallen nature, we recognize the need for a redeemer.  This is not only for us but for all of Creation.  In Jesus Christ we find our hope for renewal.  Part of our mission is guiding students in recognizing the hope we have in Jesus and in living lives of gratitude and service in whatever calling we have.
  4. At Immanuel we acknowledge the Bible as the infallible word of God.  The commands of the Bible reflect God’s perfection.  Students learn to develop their sense of morality by obeying Biblical commands.  These commands help us live life the way our Creator intended for us to live and find true fulfillment in life.
  5. Our teaching staff are committed Christians as well as provincially certificated professionals.  We teach the Alberta Program of Studies with Christianity embedded in the curriculum.  
  6. At Immanuel, we recognize that each student is a unique creation, created in God’s image.  We recognize that all students come with different gifts, talents and needs.  We aim to meet the needs of our students, regardless of circumstance, so that they can be the people God created them to be
  7. At Immanuel we are committed to excellence in the education we provide.  We desire to develop the intellectual gifts of students.  Critical thinking, problem solving, and acquisition of knowledge are all parts of our academic programming.
  8. At Immanuel we are committed to skill development in students.  These skills enable students to learn, both in class, as well as in a host of vocational settings throughout life.
  9. At Immanuel we recognize students as image bearers.  Students are created as mental, physical, social, spiritual, emotional and physical beings.  We seek to impact a student’s head, heart and hands.  Students are taught to work to the best of their abilities.

B. Christian School Community:

  1. Immanuel Christian Schools recognize parents as being primarily responsible for raising their children.  Our desire is to support parents in raising and educating children in a Godly manner. In this endeavor, regular communication with parents is an expectation.    
  2. Immanuel Christian Schools desire to work in cooperation with local Christian churches that support our “Statement of Faith”.
  3. At Immanuel we believe that we are called to live and learn as a community of believers.  We have been commanded to show love for God, by showing kindness to those around us.  Whatever we do for the least of our neighbors we do for God.    
  4. Immanuel Christian Schools recognize that a healthy and vibrant school community is built on parental involvement.  Parents are invited to be involved in a range of school activities and serve in a variety of capacities above and beyond involvement with their own children at the school.  
  5. We are members of various Christian education support groups, such as the Prairie Center for Christian Education (PCCE), Christian Schools Canada (CSC) and Christian Schools International (CSI) to help maintain and further develop expertise needed to provide an excellent Christian education.
  6. We believe that a redeemed life is one that is lived in community.

Conclusion:

Educating students for kingdom work requires that we develop the intellect and skill set of students.  We also desire to honor the fact that students are created as spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual beings.  Students are recognized as “image bearers”.  After the fall this image has been distorted, but we have hope thanks to our Savior.  We educate students to develop their God given gifts as a means of working towards the restoration of Creation.  We not only seek to instill a Christian worldview to help students see the world through the lens of scripture, but we also desire to give students a chance to act, engage and deepen their faith and learning through service learning and co-curricular activities.  We want our students to explore what it means to serve others, be agents of justice, create beauty, be stewards, be engaged in building communities of grace and speak the truth in love.  Education at Immanuel is not only focused on the present, but also on preparing students for the places and roles in which God has called them to serve in the future. 

History

Immanuel Christian Schools is owned and operated by the Society for Christian Education in Southern Alberta. The Society is made up of members who have paid their annual dues and who support the mission and vision of the Society. The membership elects a Board of Directors who are charged with overseeing the operation of the schools.

ICS was born in the 1960's. Local Reformed Christians formed a Christian school society. Their first goal was to create a Christian Grade School. A building from the Claresholm Air Force Training Base became our school when it was moved to 802-6 avenue north. Classes were started for grades 1-6 in September 1962. Over the next three years grades 7-9 were added. The first grade 9 class graduated in June 1966.

In the spring of 1971 kindergarten was started. It later was extended and modified to meet government regulations under the Early Childhood Services Program. Immanuel's kindergarten program was accepted in 1973 and has been in operation ever since. In 1974 plans to extend our school to include a Senior High started. Then in 1975, with definite plans for a Senior High wing, the society approved the concept of a Christian High School and in September 1976 it started. During that term two sections of grade ten began in that wing. Two grade 11 classes were added in 1977 and a grade 12 section in 1978. The first grade 12 class graduated on June 14, 1979.

In 1977 the largest addition to Immanuel was undertaken. A regulation size gym, a typing room, a band room, a printing room, a library, and six classes were added. Also, two classes were renovated to be used as a lab and an art room. Since then many upgrades to classrooms, the staff room, computer room, science lab, counseling room, shop and music room have been completed. The Society also built and opened a campus in Taber during the 1980's.

In 1996 the society purchased the old George McKillop School on 5th Ave N to replace their Elementary "H" wing. Six new classrooms were built on the new campus and our elementary classes were moved there in the fall of 1997. Most of the "H" wing was torn down the following year turning it into an "I" wing.  Now Immanuel Christian Elementary is located on their own campus (K-6) with Immanuel Christian High School remaining at the 6th Ave N location. In 2000, a fire destroyed the remaining rooms of the "I" wing creating a real need for storage space.  This need, along with increased enrollment demands, led the society to vote (in the fall of 2000) for the construction of a new library, computer room, music room and classrooms at the ICHS campus.  Construction on what was to be called the "LIFE Wing" started in the summer of 2002.   In 2004 (after two years of construction and school occurring at the same time) the LIFE Wing was completed.

In 2009, the School Society approved the Taber local's request to separate the Taber Campus from the Society and enter an Alternate School arrangment with the Horizen School District. As of September 2009, the Taber campus has been operating as Taber Christian School as a fully-funded alternate program under the public school district.