All posts by Dr. Daniel Ray

Accreditation TIME at OCA

OCA Families,  

This next week OCA will be going through our five year accreditation review. This is a very important process that OCA goes through to demonstrate the commitment to excellence that OCA has with our leadership, faculty, facilities, curriculum and programs. This is a costly endeavor for a school to participate in (not to mention very time consuming). This past year OCA has been collecting data in preparation for this review. In order for each of you to understand the process I thought it would be a good idea to share what will be taking place next week.

OCA will host four individual administrators from different GACS member schools. These four individuals job’s will be to examine our leadership, faculty, facilities and review our schools financial review for the school including Athletics and Fine-Arts. This accreditation team will examine files, watch our teachers in action and most importantly to see if we are doing what we say we do. The team will be asking questions to students, parents, faculty and staff. The team will meet with all of the OCA employees minus administration to ask questions as well. On Thursday evening the team will have dinner with the Trustees to ask questions of this group.

The total process takes three full days for the accreditation team to gather all the information needed to write up a report concerning OCA’s accreditation status based on 12 standards. In the end the cost for accreditation is around $10,000 to $12,000 on top of the $7,500 already paid yearly. Please help OCA by praying this next week to see God show up and show out. So you my be asking the question of whether accreditation is valuable and needed at OCA? In short the answer is yes!

Here are the main reason’s why?

Currently, Oakwood Christian Academy is fully accredited by the American Association of Christian Schools (AACS) and the Georgia Association of Christian Schools (GACS). At the end of this accreditation process the school hopes to add Advanced Ed (formerly known as SACS).

Recognition of AACS Accreditation

AACS Accreditation is a means whereby the American Association of Christian Schools can assist member schools in building stronger Christian schools. AACS is a national/international accreditation body.

Recognition of GACS Accreditation

The accreditation program of the Georgia Association of Christian Schools has been recognized and approved by the following Georgia state boards and authorities:

Georgia Private School Accrediting Commission (GAPSAC)

The Georgia Board of Education has approved the Georgia Private School Accrediting Commission (GAPSAC) of which the Georgia Association of Christian Schools is a charter member. All schools provisionally or fully accredited GACS are entitled to benefits, including transfer of grades and credits to public schools, on the same basis as students from public schools. No additional tests over and above those required by public school students have to be taken by students from GACS accredited schools, nor additional measures whatsoever will be required.

Georgia Board of Regents

The Georgia Board of Regents has approved graduates from GACS provisionally or fully accredited schools for entrance to colleges of the University System of Georgia (USG). However, individual colleges of the USG may place additional requirements, over and above those required for graduation by the Georgia Board of Education, on all students (from both public and private schools) applying to a particular college. Usually these requirements are based on the “Freshman Index” which is a combination of SAT or ACT scores and course grades from the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA).

For this reason, we recommend that any student planning to attend a college or university of the USG to contact that particular college or colleges no later than the beginning of their junior year of high school to be assured the student is on track to meet admission requirements. Information on the Freshman Index may be requested from any college or university of the USG.

Georgia HOPE Scholarship

Graduates of schools which are candidates for accreditation provisionally accredited or fully accredited by the Georgia Association of Christian Schools are eligible for HOPE Scholarship on the same basis as are graduates from public schools in Georgia. Application for these scholarships may be made through the Georgia college or university to which the student has applied.

OCA will also be seeking accreditation through a regional accreditation known as Advanced Ed (formerly SACS). Last month this accreditation group changed its name to Cognia. The new name comes from the Latin word cognitio, which means knowledge. The name change reflects the nonprofit’s belief that knowledge is the key to helping people reach their aspirations—regardless of circumstance or background.

This means that Oakwood will be as fully accredited as it possibly can be as an institution. Oakwood would have a state, regional and national/international accreditation along with a list of Christian organizations that are attached with these accreditation’s. At that point OCA would be the most accredited school in North Georgia. Again we ask for your prayers as we continue to keep our eyes focused on Christ in all that we do while we maintain accountability and sustainability for our faculty and students. Feel free to say hello if you see one of our visitors on campus Wednesday-Friday of this next week.

In His Hands,

Dr. Ray

Merry Christmas from OCA

It’s that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. Among all the things I love about Christmas the music is one of my favorites. I am not the one complaining when local radio stations start playing all Christmas music. I am all about gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, stockings hanging in the living room, and saying “Merry Christmas” to everyone. However, let’s all remember what Christmas is all about.

I am truly blessed. I work at a Christian School, go to a great church, have a Christian family, and Christian friends. Sometimes it is hard to remember to spread the gospel when you are preaching to the choir most of the time.

For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don’t have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmastime when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons.

MangerChristmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby.

Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for the things we have done that are wrong. The Bible says that all have sinned. We are all born with a sin nature. We do things that do not please God. Through the sins of Adam and Eve, we have all inherited that sin nature. We need to have that removed. The only way is through Jesus. Jesus came so He could die on the cross for ALL of our sins. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us.

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” I John 1:9

We can truly be happy at Christmas! No matter what may be happening, we can know that we are His children. Look at Christmas in a new way this year. If you have not done so, this is the year to invite Jesus into your heart. You will then have a “Merry Christmas.” The joy and peace you will receive will last forever as you look to God for all your needs to be met. If you have asked Jesus into your heart please spread the word this Christmas season.

Merry Christmas to all,

Dr. Ray


So what do you have to be Thankful for?

So what do you have to be Thankful for? Each year we gather with friends and family to celebrate. Celebrate what? For many of us the celebration is about the meal that is prepared. Surely, we have more to celebrate than just food. At OCA we get to celebrate our middle school soccer team winning the ISC conference for four years in a row. We also got to celebrate the life of Chris Hulsey who served as a Pastor and Evangelist in our community for many years. We also get to celebrate the unbelievable task of being part of a Christian school where we teach and worship a risen savior. Yes the pilgrims celebrated coming to a new world and the hopes there was to come. We too celebrate the hopes to come and the HOPE that we have received as Christ followers.

Happy Thanksgiving OCA- enjoy the time off to celebrate with friends and family.

Dr. Ray

Oakwood Christian Academy longs to team up with families and churches to help build stronger relationships with Christ. I am excited to announce that Oakwood Christian Academy is teaming up with movie producer and director Rich Christiano to show the movie “Play the Flute“. This is a wonderful movie that brings to life the ministry of a youth pastor at a new church and trying to get his students to fall in love with God’s word and to act it out in life. The movie will be shown on Wednesday, November 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the movie theater in Fort Oglethorpe. There will be no trailers shown before the movie. I will speak a few words and then the movie will begin. We have roughly 225 tickets available to sell. Tickets are $12 each. I have included a movie trailer below. My desire is for each 7-12th grade student and a parent to attend. We have also invited some area youth groups that our students and families are a part of. Tickets are now on sale. Students need to bring in their money and they will receive their tickets for the movie. First come first serve! I am also fine if younger students want to come as well it is just that some of the content they may not understand completely.

Thanks so much!

Dr. Ray

Biblical Worldview- Help for Parents

As we continue to look at a biblical worldview I came across a great resource for Why Kids Need a Biblical Worldview and Where to Start. This is a great resource for parents. I appreciate the work that Jonathan Morrow puts in to preparing students for daily life and especially after high school from a biblical worldview perspective. The downloads attached are a great tool as well.

Dr. Ray

Why Kids Need a Biblical Worldview and Where to Start

3 Reasons Every Parent Needs to Know

If you’re a parent, then you want your kids to live well. You want them to flourish. You want them to follow Jesus all the days of their lives. This is a prayer I regularly pray for my kids. But how does this happen? What does this look like? What’s at stake? It starts with building a biblical worldview.

Kids need to know how to navigate reality–all of it.Jonathan Morrow

Three Reasons Why Kids Need a Biblical Worldview

(1) Kids need to know how to navigate reality–all of it. As new parents we want our kids to learn their colors, shapes, and ABC’s as soon as they can. As well we should because this knowledge is essential to navigating life. But what about their spiritual and moral ABC’s? There’s more to life than just the physical.

As parents we need to
equip our kids with how to navigate spiritual and moral reality too. They need to understand concepts like truth, forgiveness, love, justice, authority, creation, faith, and history–just to name a few. So let’s get excited about them reading for themselves but let’s also be intentional about narrating key aspects our faith so they can absorb them into their spiritual and moral vocabulary.

It’s never too late, but it’s great if you can start early.Jonathan MorroW

(2) What kids find reasonable as they grow will depend on what kind of worldview they are building. While its true that worldviews are more often caught than taught, that doesn’t mean we don’t teach. By the way, this is why unfiltered screen time and media has such a powerful influence on our kids. It’s also a mistake to assume that public education at school doesn’t shape our worldview–it’s not neutral to the big questions that matter. Kids default assumptions about reality and how it works (i.e., their worldview) are being set without them (or many times their parents) even realizing it.

The good news is they can catch a biblical worldview in the home too! And they can be taught the truth. This means that not only what we say but how we say things in the home is really important. Our kids are absorbing both. Attitudes matter. Here is what God’s Word says:

“Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.” – Proverbs 17:1

Our words, attitudes, and reactions set the table for the truth we are trying to impart to our children. We can have air tight theology we want to communicate but it may fall like water on hearts of stone if our relationships with our kids are filled with conflict. As parents, we need God’s grace and help every day with this…I’ll stop now because that is convicting for me as a Dad.

(3) Most people tend to make commitments to God earlier in life. The National Survey on Youth and Religion revealed that 59% of kids “made their first commitment to live their lives for God before the age of 14.” That is in comparison with about 5% from the teenage years (ages 14-17) and almost 5% of emerging adults (ages 18-23). (For more on this, check out Souls in Transition: The Religious & Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults by Christian Smith)

This indicates how formative and important the early years are to establishing a lasting faith. Introducing kids to a biblical worldview early in life makes a difference. But let me be quick to point out that God can do what ever he wants and that plenty of people come to faith later in life. In fact, that was my story. I became a follower of Jesus at 17 as a junior in high school. So it’s never too late, but it’s great if you can start early.

Remember the goal? We want them to live well. And if Christianity is really true (and it is!) then that means grounding them with a biblical worldview. By God’s grace and empowered by the Holy Spirit, this is what we are after:

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.”—Ps. 92:12-14

I know life is crazy busy and some days its all about survival mode. And we need to apologize quickly when we blow it. But every little conversation or bedtime story in the context of a loving secure relationship with Mom and Dad makes an eternal impact. Here’s a place to start. I’ve created a pdf that has my top 5 biblical worldview resources for kids. Order one of these resources today, and start reading it together. You can do this!

<< FREE DOWNLOAD >> Top 5 Biblical Worldview Resources for Kids

Do you have a teenager? then check out my top 10 list of biblical worldview resources for teenagers.