Twenty-five years ago, I initiated a Friday night study group focused on R.J. Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law, primarily with women and girls. As my homeschooling chapter closed with the graduation of my youngest child, I found myself pondering, “What comes next?”
My husband suggested various paths, but none resonated with me. Then, unexpectedly, an idea struck me: perhaps my calling was to continue teaching, but to shift my focus towards those who are educators themselves—homeschooling moms. Although I wondered how I would spread the word, a sense of assurance came to me during my prayers: “Don’t worry; they will come to you.”
Then, an email landed in my inbox from a woman who shared that her husband had purchased several of my homeschooling books for her. Her mother, who lived in the UK, was facing challenges in teaching her children, and this woman asked if I could offer some guidance. After a reassuring phone call with the mother in the UK, where I provided some coping strategies, things began to change. When I subsequently started a one-on-one study of the Institutes with the original woman, named Nicki, she expressed a sense of guilt for not sharing such valuable knowledge with other women she knew. And so, the Chalcedon Teacher Training Institute was born.
Since that time, I’ve led at least five group studies focusing on Rushdoony’s seminal work, involving women both nationally and internationally. The transformations I’ve witnessed in them have been nothing short of remarkable. When these women “turn the corner” and start viewing all aspects of life through the lens of God’s Word, tangible change occurs.
In time, as our study of the Institutes came to a close, many asked if we could move on to other of Rushdoony’s works. If you go to ctti.org, you will see the resultant courses that began as “pilots” but morphed into readily available courses for people to do solo, or in a small group. I came to understand that when you empower wives and mothers to embrace and apply the full Word of God to every area of life and thought, great things happen.
Today, not only can you take these courses online, but they include the books, lectures pertinent to the subject matter, questions for thought and discussion, and in some cases recordings of an original class. I am continuing to add courses and the benefit to me is that I get to re-visit the books and lectures afresh and realize how much I missed initially.
Our current line-up includes: the Institutes of Biblical Law, In His Service, Cure of Souls, Revolt Against Maturity, Foundations of Social Order, Law & Liberty, Freud, and an in-process class with the first four chapters of Systematic Theology being added to regularly.
When many people comment on my knowledge of Scripture and its application, it has everything to do with the fact that for almost three decades I’ve endeavored to share the blessing of Rushdoony’s insights into the Word of God.
There are additional courses on the horizon thanks to those who have decided to take books they have found useful and are putting courses together for individual or group study.
Are you looking for a way to reach out to those hungry and thirsty for God’s Word to be the governing force in their lives? Well, you might consider starting one of these “ready-to-use” study guides as a way to be the salt and light you are instructed to become. And, although these studies had their focus with women as students, I have heard from people around the world how useful they are to both men, women, boys, and girls as a way to establish their work of the Kingdom.
Go to either ctti.org or chalcedonteachertraining.com and subscribe. It’s free and you have access to all our offerings.
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].