Does School Still Make Us Think? with Dr. Elizabeth Youmans

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At a Glance

Do you want to see lives and nations thrive and flourish? If so, changing the way we think about education and changing the way we educate is essential. Education forms and transforms our thinking, character, and decision-making. This influences us individually, within our families, and even in our societies. It’s not enough to put a veneer of Christianity over our secular approaches to education, we must help students discover truth in their learning. Don’t miss this eye-opening episode with lifelong educator Dr. Elizabeth Youmans, the developer of The AMO Program and the Founder and President of Chrysalis International.

What You'll Hear
  1. The Principle Approach to Education (9:32)
  2. Education and the Biblical Worldview (20:53)
  3. Start with God’s Definition of a Child (34:09)
  4. Reframing Education from the Ground Up (47:11)
  5. The Church’s Role in Education (49:09)
  6. What is The AMO Program? (1:03:17)

For the past 30 years, Dr. Elizabeth Youmans has traveled throughout the world as a trainer of teachers, a conference speaker, and a consultant to Christian school founders, faculties, pastors, and homeschoolers. She has helped them establish their vision and expression of Christian education by training faculties, mentoring educational leaders, and writing books and curricula centered on biblical principles. Elizabeth was called into the sphere of Christian education as a parent of a child enrolled the founding year in a Principle Approach® parent cooperative in Chesapeake, Virginia. She was so interested in the Christian history lessons her son was receiving, she asked permission to audit his third-grade class. The rest is history! When one of the teachers had major surgery that year, Elizabeth was asked to teach in her place. The vision was so successful that first year, it was renamed StoneBridge School. For fifteen years, she served as a classroom teacher, curriculum writer, and school administrator when StoneBridge was designated the national demonstration school for the Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE), home of the Principle Approach. She led a team to design and launch the unique high school vision for StoneBridge School, where she remains an emeritus board member.

Elizabeth served North American education at FACE as a national trainer of teachers, a curriculum writer, an editor of The Noah Plan®, a published K-12 Principle Approach curriculum, and as a graduate school professor at Regent University in Virginia Beach. She now has 40 years of pioneering experience in Word-centered education at the local, national, and international levels, as she continues to impart the vision for educational reform by laying teaching and learning solidly on the foundation of Christ and His Word.

Chrysalis International, a Christian educational institute located in Orlando, Florida, was founded in 2000, when the Lord propelled Elizabeth into the nations. For the next 15 years, she traveled and taught on five continents. Inspired by an international NGO in 2002 to design a principle-based curriculum for at-risk children around the world, she wrote a turn-key curriculum and training program for use in the Church that is suitable for any educational setting. Known as the AMO® Program, it is a multi-generational program with a children’s enriched curriculum and worldview courses for the adults who teach and disciple them. All are available in four languages.

Today, she instructs and disciples international educators in their calling of educational leadership in the nations. She governs and co-teaches the AMO® Program online courses of study, continues to write and edit new teacher guides for the AMO® Program, and governs the activities of the non-profit.

In addition to all the traveling Dr. Youmans has done professionally, she and her family lived in Germany and she has traveled to Antarctica on a scientific expedition. Elizabeth is the mother of four grown children and enjoys her eight grandchildren and one great grandson. She is a member of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Orlando, Florida.

Educational Background:

Ed.D., Whitefield Theological Seminary and College
M.A.Ed., Regent University, Virginia Beach
A.D.A. Internship, Fort Sam Houston Medical Center, Texas
B.S., Pennsylvania State University 

Using the link above, you can read the transcript, listen along, and adjust the speed of the podcast while you listen.

"Instead of just teaching children about the Bible and all those Bible stories they've heard over and over again in Sunday school, we have the children reading the Scripture for reasoning with truth. They need the revelation. Without the revelation from the Word there is no enlightenment."

Dr. Elizabeth Youmans (1:06:09)

  • 11:47 “Because it’s one thing to understand the knowledge, the academic principles, how to work with the children in the classroom, but it’s something else to understand the art of teaching and learning, because education is truly teaching and learning.” Elizabeth Youmans


  • 14:27 “So, first and foremost, the principle approach is rooted deeply in the Word of God, laying the Word as the foundation for all instruction, thinking, writing, communicating. So the Word becomes actually the focal point.” Elizabeth Youmans


  • 15:00 “So principles are basically eternal truths that come from Scripture, and they are alive. They have that inherent power that helps us govern our thinking and reasoning, because they’re sustained by the authority of God’s Word.” Elizabeth Youmans


  • 15:42 “When we lay every subject on Scriptural truth and we teach God as the author, then the subject becomes a study of the nature of God.” Elizabeth Youmans


  • 17:21 “When we think of our Bible now, we don’t think of it as a foundation for education, as a subject like geography or math. In fact, we don’t see a connection between the Bible and those subjects. We tend to think of the Bible as a spiritual book that has to do with things that are spiritual… And now in our universities the study of the Bible is put away into a department called religion that’s separated from geography and math. So most Christians don’t even think in the way you’re talking.” Scott Allen


  • 33:31 “Every child is a promise with a name, a passion, a story, and a place in His story. There are no ordinary children.” Elizabeth Youmans


  • 43:31 “We have to teach Christian parents, teachers, and principals, how to think and reason for themselves. When we started our program, what I realized immediately is that in order to be a teacher, I’ve got to understand these [Biblical] principles. Because if you take a Christian out of the secular setting, they’re just going to do what they’ve always done, which is teach secular philosophy, secular ideas, and then put some Scripture over their teaching and call it Christian.” Elizabeth Youmans


  • 47:20 “I just want to encourage you if you’re involved in Christian education and you’re listening to this podcast that’s what you need to do. It’s not just enough to kind of take the secular model and Christianize it. That’s not gonna help. You’ve got to build from the foundation up. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to connect to Elizabeth and you need to learn from her what that means.” Scott Allen


  • 54:59 “The truths of God’s word are eternal. They transform our thinking. ‘As a man thinks, so he is,’ so it changes the way he makes decisions, which changes his character, which places him at the disposal of God to use him for the very purpose for which God created him. And the influence just extends from his own individuality to his family, to friends, to community and to, ultimately, the nation. And that’s how we disciple nations through education.” Elizabeth Youmans


  • 1:06:09 “Instead of just teaching children about the Bible and all those Bible stories they’ve heard over and over again in Sunday school, we have the children reading the Scripture for reasoning with truth. They need the revelation. Without the revelation from the Word there is no enlightenment.” Elizabeth Youmans
Go Deeper

Don’t Let Schooling Stand in the Way of Education: A Biblical Response to the Crisis in Public Education

Darrow L. Miller, editor


With alarming speed, our public schools have dropped any pretense of religious neutrality. As a result, our children are adrift in a sea of relativism. Many are abandoning Christianity, and those who don’t are left with an enfeebled faith that matters only one day a week.

Genuine educational reform will require more than a new curriculum. It will demand an entirely different philosophy of education.

Darrow Miller and a group of outside-the box educational revolutionaries will help you re-discover a compellingly biblical approach. Begin your journey of educational rediscovery in the pages of this book.

Healthy families produce healthy nations. Healthy families are those united by a solid spiritual foundation in Christ. Today, the prevailing culture has redefined marriage and family, and its habits of thought and practice dominate, even in the Church. Christian parents need a biblical vision of wholeness and joy in marriage and family life and a practical plan for applying the wisdom and power of God’s Word to their lives. As the Family Goes, So Goes the Nation is a primer of principles and practices that illuminates God’s pathway for righteous marriages, parenting, and family life. God’s way is the way of beauty, truth, and goodness, the way of celebration, blessing, and healing love in our homes and in our nations. God established the family as the bedrock of society to reveal the kingdom of Christ here on earth. Discover HIS way and and walk in it!

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