What is an Elementary Christian Education Bachelor’s Degree?
Teaching jobs in all sectors, including Christian education, are on the rise. As parents feel more empowered to make choices in their children's schooling, they are finding schools that align with their belief systems and values. Many Christian schools are looking for people with Christian education degrees to meet those growing needs.
This Bachelor of Science (BS) in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Christian Education degree program at GCU will help you learn, not only how to be an elementary teacher, but how to do it from a faith-based perspective. You will develop the skills needed to guide children through an academic journey infused with a biblical perspective. In addition, you will study child and adolescent development in both theory and practice through class and field learning experiences.
Earn Your BS in Elementary Christian Education at GCU
The Christian education degree at GCU leads future educators into grade K-8 classrooms where they will deliver high-quality Christ-centered educational experiences. Founded as a teacher’s college in 1949, Grand Canyon University is the perfect institution to attend if you are in search of a Christian education degree. The college itself uses a Christian worldview to ensure the integrity of its overall programming. This BS in elementary education with an emphasis in Christian education degree combines the educational history of the college with its faith-based approach to ensure future Christian educators are prepared for their own classrooms.
This Christian education degree is offered in collaboration with Grand Canyon Theological Seminary. Future teachers will be able to seek initial licensure for elementary and middle school roles, as well as while train in the disciplines of Christian formation. In addition to the general elementary education programming, GCU students will take specialized courses in the biblical, philosophical and spiritual foundations of Christian development. The additional training meets the requirements of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).
Future Christian classroom teachers studying at GCU will compete 120 hours of observational and practice-based experiences in addition to classroom. As a part of the 120 hours, they are required to complete 10 hours in an ACSI or CCSC approved Christian school They will also serve as student-teachers in 15-week programs, preferably conducted at a Christian school.
Become a Teacher with a Christian Education Bachelor’s Degree
The Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Christian Education degree at GCU will help future teachers fulfill their dreams. The program can lead to initial licensure in the field of elementary education. Instructional strategies, teaching methodologies, assessment techniques and Christian values and ethics are at the core of the degree. Courses are led by experts in areas such as elementary education, Christian studies and faith-based instructional practices.
You will also study:
- Lesson development to engage diverse learners
- Assessment practices to support student achievement
- Classroom management techniques
- Special education laws and practices
- Christian ethics as related to educational issues and current events
- Biblical-based character development
- Christian worldview as a basis for educational practice and philosophy
This degree program, like others from the College of Education leading to teacher certification, may require practicum hours, state examinations, student teaching, and institutional recommendations from Grand Canyon University.
What Can You Do with a Christian Elementary Ed. Degree?
GCU graduates with Christian education degrees have a wide-range of opportunities ahead of them. They are qualified to teach in Christian environments, as well as secular ones. Find work as a:
- Public elementary school teacher
- Public middle school teacher
- Christian elementary teacher
- Christian middle school teacher
- Director of religious education
- Seminary teacher
- Social services providerM
Christian educators work in a variety of environments. These include school settings as well as locations hosting private educational programs. Some of these environments may require affiliation with specific Christian denominations or beliefs in specific Biblical teachings. As a graduate from the GCU Christian education degree program, you might end up working in:
- Public elementary and middle schools
- Private, Christian elementary and middle schools
- Faith-based education centers
- Social service agencies
Combining your dream of teaching with your strong faith will make you a dedicated, high-quality teacher. Your own Christian beliefs will ensure that you connect deeply with your future students. Contact Grand Canyon University to find out how to begin your path toward a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Christian Education.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
- UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.
- MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
- PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
- BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
Required General Education Courses
This course provides an overview of the principal political, economic, and cultural themes and constitutional developments that shaped the United States from the Colonial period into the 20th Century.
This is the first in a two-course sequence designed for prospective elementary school teachers. Concepts include set theory, functions, numeration systems, number theory and properties of the natural numbers, integers, rational numbers, ratios, proportions, decimals, and percents, with an emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking.
Program Core Courses
Teacher candidates survey how children and early adolescents grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas while understanding the implications for designing and implementing developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences. This survey of the seminal concepts, principles, theories, and research related to development of children and young adolescents allows teacher candidates to build foundational knowledge for constructing learning opportunities that support individual student's development, acquisition of knowledge, and motivation. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.
Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge on planning instruction and formal and informal assessment strategies. Teacher candidates will examine instructional planning based on knowledge of students, learning theory, connection across the curriculum, curricular goals, and community. Formal and informal assessment strategies for planning, evaluating, and strengthening instruction for elementary students are also examined. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.
This is the second in a two-course sequence designed for prospective elementary school teachers. Concepts include elementary probability, data analysis, descriptive statistics, geometry of shapes in two and three dimensions, congruence and similarity, measurement, and geometric transformations, with an emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking. Prerequisite: MAT-150.
Teacher candidates are introduced to the educational needs of students with mild to moderate disabilities and their families, including the definitions, characteristics, prevalence, causes and educational approaches to these disabilities and disorders. Teacher candidates will identify cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional patterns of learning and development for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Teacher candidates also survey the special education process involving the application of various laws and regulations. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance not required.
This course introduces the text of the Old Testament with emphasis on the biblical narrative, genres, major historical periods, and theological themes.
In this writing intensive course, teacher candidates examine how to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and encourage students' positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation. Teacher candidates build foundational knowledge regarding the importance of establishing and maintaining positive collaborative relationships with families, school colleagues, and agencies in the larger community to promote the intellectual, social, emotional, physical growth, and well-being of children. Practicum/field experience hours: 5. Fingerprint clearance required.
Teacher candidates will examine how to teach foundational skills to develop proficient readers with the capacity to comprehend texts across a range of texts and disciplines. Teacher candidates will build additional knowledge regarding print concepts, phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and fluency to promote early literacy and independent readers. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210 or ECS-125.
Teacher candidates examine a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students to develop a deep understanding of the major concepts and procedures that define number and operations, algebra, geometry, measurement and data, and probability. From this foundational knowledge, candidates select, adapt and use research-based methods, instructional strategies, and interventions to advance the mathematical abilities of students and have them apply their knowledge and abilities in meaningful ways. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210.
In this course, teacher candidates examine how to foster and support student autonomy in the classroom. Candidates analyze how to provide purposeful feedback and establish a learning environment in which students participate in their own learning and engage in collaborative goal setting, self-assessment of progress, reflective thinking, and questioning with intention. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210.
In this writing intensive course, teacher candidates study how to teach a diverse population of students by examining the foundations and dimensions of social justice in education, social constructs, privilege, prejudice, and oppression with the goal of becoming culturally competent educators. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.
This course is a survey of the Arizona constitution and government. It meets the teacher certification requirement for Arizona government.
In this course, teacher candidates examine the fundamentals of the legal, historical, and educational foundations of Structured English Immersion (SEI) and other instructional programs for English language learners. Theoretical principles of language acquisition and the role of culture in learning are examined. Methods of assessment are identified and analyzed. Teacher candidates identify strategies to promote English language development and improve student achievement. Through Universal Design for Learning they plan, deliver, and evaluate standards-based instruction for English language learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.
Teacher candidates will examine fundamental concepts of physical, life, earth and space sciences, and health education. Teacher candidates will build foundational knowledge on a variety of age-appropriate inquiry-based instructional strategies to teach science, to build student understanding of personal and social applications, to convey the nature of science, and student development for the practice of skills that contribute to good health. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210.
This course introduces the text of the New Testament with emphasis on the biblical narrative, genres, major historical periods, and theological themes.
This course is an introduction to the philosophy, theory, and practice of teaching in Christian schools. A basic analysis of educational philosophies within the framework of a Christian worldview is central to the course. Candidates construct a personal and guiding philosophy of Christian education incorporating biblical principles, and develop lesson plans using biblical integration and perspectives. Candidates may also have an opportunity to participate in observing and delivering instruction in an ACSI or CCSC approved K-12 education setting. This course provides required components as a part of the ACSI certification application process. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.
This writing-intensive course systematically studies the biblical, theological, and philosophical foundations of Christian ethics as compared with other ethical systems that shape public discourse on ethical issues. Emphasis is placed on personal morality and an exploration of contemporary issues relevant to the Church’s public witness.
This course examines the biblical truths, spiritual disciplines, virtues, and habits that contribute to the process of discipleship, form Christian character, and result in Christ-likeness. Special attention is given to the doctrine of sanctification and teaching related to ministerial ethics and the cultivation of Christ-like character. Prerequisites: BIB-106 and BIB-107.
Teacher candidates will examine a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students to develop deep understanding of the major concepts and modes of inquiry from the integrated study of social studies and other related areas. Teacher candidates will build foundational knowledge on promoting elementary students' abilities to make informed decisions as citizens of a culturally diverse democratic society and interdependent world. Teacher candidates will integrate the content, functions and achievements of the performing and visual arts as primary media for communication, inquiry and engagement among elementary students. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisite: ELM-210.
Teacher candidates will build foundational knowledge on how to use concepts from reading, language, and child development to teach reading, writing, speaking, viewing, listening, and thinking skills. Teacher candidates select, adapt and use research-based methods, instructional strategies, and interventions to individualize meaningful and challenging learning for students, with an emphasis on literacy. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: ELM-210 and ELM-305.
Teacher candidates are engaged in the student teaching experience that includes practical classroom experiences, research, analysis, and teaching to support the creation of a Student Teaching Performance of Evaluation (STEP). Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in POS and content area; a 2.8 GPA; successful completion of NES or your state’s mandated content area exams; and approval and placement by the College of Education Office of Clinical Practice. All paperwork for student teaching must be submitted by the due date the semester prior to student teaching.
Online and Evening program disclosures (4.5 years)
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.