Get Wisdom!℠ program
Dana Foster Vrechek
Dana is an attorney and the daughter of Christian historian and evangelist the late Dr. Marshall Foster. Marshall was not only Ron Kirk’s mentor, but also one of his oldest and dearest friends. Dana now presides over her father’s ministry the World History Institute. She writes here regarding announcement of the publishing of the Get Wisdom! Education Program.
Congratulations! What a deep need America has for this kind of training. I’m so proud to say you were my teacher once.
Thank you so much! I remember seeing you both at my parent’s party in their San Juan Bautista home and thinking how lovely it would be to live close by. You both share a worldview with our family that is increasingly rare and I am so thankful for your prayers. If you are ever in the Franklin area, please know we’d love to see you and take you to lunch or dinner, if you have time! I have a deep admiration for all that you both have done for the Kingdom and for my dad.
I am so very proud to have your family influence in my own philosophical and spiritual lineage. The ideas you and my dad believed in are truly bearing fruit and I can’t wait to hear about your next project. If we can promote it in any way within our small newsletter community, I’d love to do that as well. Please share away, may He richly bless you in every way, and to God all the glory!!
The following is an excerpt from the book The Long Road to Hope, a Day of Small Beginnings, “Chapter 4: Puzzle Pieces” (El Cajon, CA: Christian Services Network, 2006). Jennie is the daughter of Jay and Vickie Dangers. This family pioneered a mission to orphans and widows to the devastated nation of Uganda through rebuilding families of those most in need, evangelizing, and giving the people the tools of practical economic endeavor, education, and leadership. Thus, they are on the way toward rebuilding their lovely country, so horribly damaged by tyranny, war, and discouragement. New Hope Uganda has served the nation since the mid 1980s.
While there was much verbal encouragement, my parents were unable to raise a single dollar to make this new vision possible. No, the Lord still had three more significant puzzle pieces He must lay down during the next two years before He said, “Go!”
My mom met Christina Kirk through a women’s Bible study they both attended. At the time, my parents were looking for a Christian school in which I could be enrolled for my first year of academics. Christina’s husband just happened to be the principal of a newly founded Christian school; would my parents like to come and visit? Little did we know that from that “chance” meeting in a large community Bible study the Lord would lead us to a couple whose influence would have an immeasurable effect on our family, the work in Uganda, and countless lives throughout the world!
As I began my first year of school at the Master’s School in Camarillo, California, my parents were introduced to the concept of a truly Christian education.
“I always thought I’d received a Christian education,” my dad recalled.
“Yes, the curriculum was the same as that in a public school, but my teachers were Christians, and we prayed before each class and had chapel once a week, so I assumed that made my education a Christian one. What we were hearing at the Master’s School was something new.
Ron and Christina Kirk taught that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge—of knowledge about math, science, literature—everything! He is the author of all things, and in Him all things hold together! He created the world with laws and patterns, with one nonnegotiable standard of truth—Jesus Christ.
“‘Indeed,” they said, “the fool has said in His heart, ‘There is no God.’” It is all too often that Christians base their educational principles, psychology, philosophies, and belief patterns upon the wisdom of men and women who have said there is no God.
However, the Kirks, and many others with them, believed that every aspect of their curriculum (one that was extremely rigorous and surpassed that of most schools around), and their methods of child discipline and discipleship must all be reasoned biblically. For two years, my parents were immersed in the exciting and freeing Biblical principles—the Principle Approach®–that the Kirks and others taught.
Ron and Christina spoke “kingdom language.” They not only talked of how the knowledge of the glory of the Lord must permeate every aspect of the classroom but also of how the Word of God was the answer to every question of how to raise children in the home and how to have a healthy marriage. Though my parents sought to be good parents, they were frustrated with what they saw in our family. They had listened to the reaching of Christian psychologists on family issues sought to implement their methods to the best of their abilities. However, so much of what they were hearing was a complicated and confusing mix of Biblical and humanistic approaches to discipline and child-raising, and my mom’s frustration and discouragement grew. In fact, Josiah and I were such a struggle for my parents that when my mom found out she was pregnant with Jamie, child number three, she burst into tears!
“I can’t even control the two I have!” she cried. “How on earth will I handle a third child?” But with the Bible as their reference and guide, I remember Mom and Dad repenting to Josiah and me of how they had failed to be godly parents and how they were, from then on, going to instill biblical principles as the new and only foundations of our family—a consistency of discipline—that provided clarity for Josiah and me to understand where our boundaries were, enabling us to be truly free. Under the counsel of the Kirks and with the Scriptures as our new practical guideline for every aspect of our lives, our family was revolutionized.
Our time in Southern California as a part of the Master’s School was a very major turning point in our lives,” my dad said, “and since that time, it has become an ongoing hobby of ours to study these biblical concepts and to find ways of implementing them practically into all we do. Our time being discipled by the Kirks greatly helped mold what Kasana is today.”
President and Founder, New Hope Uganda
Jennie’s dad Jay Dangers adds in a handwritten inscription in our copy of Jennie’s book:
You [Ron and Christina] appear significantly in the Chapter 4, but in fact, your influence on our lives is all through the book. Through what you have imparted to us, your lives have touched thousands of people on at least 4 continents, probably 5, and the ripple effect continues. How can we thank you enough? May God’s rich blessing be on you in every way and on all who are dear to you!
Managing Editor, Chalcedon Foundation
One of the most committed Christian educators and scholars I’ve ever known…and (in my view) has been the ONLY person to ever take Van Til’s and Rushdoony’s ideas and apply them consistently to educational methodology (in the [now published Making Christian Heroes of Ordinary People] manuscript that I think cries out for a wider audience).
Thousand Oaks, CA
Buy truth and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding. — Proverbs 23:23
Thank you all for your time and study and prayer and self-discipline that has resulted in the series on Saturday mornings the past three weeks on child-training. It seems I’ve neglected to mention the foremost ingredient in your labor-love, God’s love shed abroad in your hearts (Romans 55).
The principle approach to teaching struck my heart and soul with all the fire of a lightning bolt from the fingertips of our God! I think that those two hours yesterday may have been the most important two hours in my life to date (all 29 years of it) with the glorious exception of the two hours within which I first received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, at which time He baptized me with the Holy Spirit.
Why? Because in an instant, I saw how, through the Bible-principle theory and methodology of education, all knowledge and all created things are His servants (II Corinthians 10:5) and all point to Jesus Christ. That man has not so perceived his world does not change the truth (Colossians 1:16-20, Romans 11:36, Ephesians 1:10, 23, 23, and that oft-quoted class, Romans 1:20!)
In the two hours of introduction to the first Christian theory of education ever communicated to me, I grabbed hold of instruction that is already revolutionizing my entire relationship with knowledge and everything and everyone created (Romans 12:2). Knowledge is no longer a false messiah to avoid. It is the revelation, at every point and at each moment, of God and the glory of God. It is Christ’s servant, and as such magnifies the Creator and our Redeemer Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit. I am totally swept away by this key to understanding and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10).
This Scripture in Proverbs (below) comes alive and fills my heart in light of His Way, as you’ve shared it the past three weeks, especially with what you shared yesterday:
Take hold of instruction; do not let go. Guard her, for she is your life. — Proverbs 4:13
I am thrilled beyond imagining with the principle-approach to life and learning. I, who upon meeting Christ, discard all knowledge, except Bible verses, as vanity; at last meet knowledge in Christ, as the servant of Christ Jesus that it is. Education, as a tutor in Christ, as instruction in God, at last has value to me again. Its value is in God….
The task impressed upon me by the Holy Spirit for the present time, and impressed through the three lectures I attended, is the necessity and urgency of my being His student, applying myself diligently to learning of Him. One cannot teach what one does not know; nor can one instruction another in that which he himself has not learned. So I seek the knowledge and instruction of Christ and in Christ which will equip me to share Him and Eternal Life! with others.
So I shall seek, and apply myself, and study, and wait on the Lord!
The call He has given me for the present is the call to prepare, to be His student, to search His Word diligently. That I am confident in doing. And as I learn of Him, confidence shall come for harder things, for more skillful things, for sharing what I’ve learned and quite possibly for teaching children someday, perhaps even teaching full-time as a vocation.
Thank you for sharing Him with me, and marvelous things which I have not known. Thank you for your love and the instruction you have received from Him and offered to me.
I love you in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Dr. Jay Grimstead
Director, Coalition on Revival and the International Church Council Project
I have known Ron Kirk for a number of years and I value him highly as a friend with deep integrity.
Ron is a brilliant scholar, historian and theologian. He is also an excellent writer. He has a broad grasp on reality and on the world of people and ideas and his thinking is deep and thorough and is expressed in ways that always range from being “interesting to exciting”. If I was looking for an editor or one needed to organize concepts and paragraphs so that they flow logically and smoothly, I would hire him. He is one of my most deep thinking friends. Also, he has a sweet spirit as a co-worker and participant in any group.
Coalition on Revivial, P.O. Box 1139, Murphys, CA 95247
Renee Presnell, Asheboro, NC
Former Board Member of Covenant Academy
I am privileged to have the opportunity to write a letter of recommendation for Ronald Kirk. What a blessing it has been over the past two years to get to know Ron and his family. Our first months of acquaintance were via e-mail and phone calls in response to a potential headmaster position at Covenant Academy in Asheboro, North Carolina. I was serving on the Board of Directors and was the liaison between Ron and other board members. It was through those correspondences that I quickly recognized a man who walked with integrity and humility in the ways of the Lord.
Ron’s passion for teaching and learning motivates and ignites a desire in others to search harder and dig deeper, to grow beyond the norm of today. What has encouraged me the most in my friendship with Ron is that he is self-learner. Having not had a formal background in education and yet be steps ahead of most educators I know speaks volumes for Ron and the power of the Holy Spirit to anoint a man for His service.
Ron is zealous when it comes to living life according to the Holy Scriptures, those fundamental principles that God has set before us that mainstream churches seem to put aside. His desire is to live a life holy and blameless before His God. This can be seen in Ron’ relationships with people and how honest, encouraging, and forthright he is even when sometimes it is difficult to be so.
Ron is a very detail-oriented person very methodical in his approach. He is great with follow-through and seems to give 110 percent in whatever he does. He is a good public speaker and can articulate his message very well. I have learned much in sitting under Ron’s teaching. I only wish he could be my pastor or my children’ teacher!
Augusta, GA, One Week Seminar
“God is using the [Principle Approach] to raise up a generation of ‘repairers of the breach’ and ‘restorers of the paths to dwell in.”—E.B.
“This was the best course in a Christian curriculum I have ever taken.”—B.C.
“A way for our child to know God is the center of all knowledge and seeing the fruit of His wisdom.”—T.D.
“To be very close to Christ…A very different approach that brings change in all the family.”—M.W.
“A place to be free to be all we are in Christ…The Gospel in action.”—S.H.
“The only true [approach] that actually uses the Bible as the source of all teachings.”— J.M.
“The students of the [Principle Approach] will be strong Christian leaders for our future.”—D.M.
“[Teaching with the Principle Approach] blessed me, thrilled me, and filled my life with a new purpose.”—M.G.
“While admitting his own weaknesses, the student is encouraged to put forth efforts in faith to master the subject and to trust God to provide the results.”—V.B.
“I have a masters degree in reading education. I have just learned more in two minutes than I learned in two years at the university.”—C.A.
“Ronald Kirk has much knowledge and an ability to deliver it.” “I learned and re-learned a lot….” “Excellent….” “Inspiring.”—Conference Attendees
“Ronald Kirk is the only person in the country I know who has the capacity to teach the Principle Approach, applying it so broadly and deeply.”—paraphrase, Dr. Charles Hull Wolfe, founder Restore America and seminar leader
Dear Mrs. Kirk,
Last week we had the opportunity to attend a Principle Approach Seminar in August, Georgia, where Ronald was teaching. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to sit under Ronald’s teaching and to gain understanding of the Principle Approach in particular and Biblical thinking, education, and history in general as he shared his wisdom and knowledge with us. We were able to express our deep thanks to Ronald while we were there but wanted to thank you for sharing your husband with us for the week.
Without the explanation and wisdom that Ronald shared with us, we would still find the Principle Approach an unapproachable method for us. His teaching also helped to strip away some of the secular humanism of our own education, freeing us more to train our children not by those same destructive methods of humanism but by Biblical principles.
Thank you again.
Jeff and Kathy P.
Former Master’s School Student
Mr. Kirk, I have long wanted to tell you that I truly value and will forever retain my seven years at The Master’s School as a very fond memory. I loved the focus on Christian American Heritage, building godly character, and striving for excellence. I hope to teach and instill in Dylan certain unique aspects of what I learned and how I learned at TMS, literature days, 3-ring binders, and learning self-government and good stewardship to name a few. Going to TMS was a special experience and if I were to live my life over I would still go to the school…
I had a defining moment in college when in one of my English classes I was THE ONLY student who knew what a preposition was and could still recite the list…No one I talked to could ever account for actually having had a grammar class in school. Shame.
I made great friends at the school who remain some of my oldest and dearest friends.