Parachurch organizations are organizations that come along side the church in order to help the church fulfill the great commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Anyway parachurch organizaitons were envisioned to operate this way. Today it is possible for some parachurch organizations to function without any direct connection to a [local] church. Which I find tragic.
This school year, I am discovering one of the strong values of the Evangelical Academy is its view and (desired) relationship with local churches in the Vienna area. The school leadership really views the school as a parachurch organization in the truest sense of the word. This doesn’t always work out well but the school is really making a concerted effort in realising its relationship to the church. One can see this in a variety of ways. For example, graduation.
Since we are basically an evening school it takes six to eight years for one to graduate. We do not have graduating classes but individuals graduate when they have completed the curriculum. It is kind of nice because the graduate really gets a special graduation. The graduation does not take place at the school but is coordinated with the local church the student is active in. Part of the worship service is recognizing the student and they receive the diploma. It is nice because the church has seen this person in the past years involved at different ministry capacities before their eyes. This is a special time for everyone, the student, the church and the school.
Above are some pictures from a few of the graduates from past years.