Essential Questions

The Essential Question Project is an integral part of the overall curriculum of Evergreen Christian School and is designed to help the student articulate the Christian worldview and build Christian scholarship. The project commences in Grade 9 with students being provided their first five essential questions and culminates in Grade 12 with the completion of the senior thesis and oral defense prior to graduation. Each year students are provided five new essential questions to answer.

Essential questions (EQs) touch on important topics that every Christian should be prepared to address as they venture out into the world as representatives of Christ. EQs not only represent questions posed by those critical of Christian faith, but they also serve as models for applying the Christian worldview to various cultural and moral issues. We not only want our graduates to be able to respond to the various challenges facing Christian belief, but we also want them to be able to engage with culture as a positive witness. While Evergreen’s Essential Question Project does not exhaust the number of questions followers of Christ will face in their lifetime, it provides a foundational framework upon which responses to any number of questions can be fully constructed.

Graphic with definition of essential

All students will develop a digital portfolio over the course of their enrollment at Evergreen. This portfolio will contain the student's written responses to twenty essential questions that every Christian should be able to answer. Students are provided five essential questions at the start of each school year, with each grade level focusing on the same five questions. These questions are multi-disciplinary, being addressed across the grade-level curriculum, and are designed to help the student articulate the Christian worldview and build Christian scholarship.

Ninth graders will ask how we can trust that the Bible is reliable, tenth grade students will explore the nature of beauty, eleventh graders will wrestle with the relativity of moral values, and seniors will reflect on whether salvation is exclusively found in Christ. The portfolio is designed as an aid in the development of the senior capstone project. 

The capstone of the Essential Questions Project involves the completion of a 15 - 20 page senior thesis that students defend orally in front of a panel of faculty members. The thesis is a comprehensive written articulation of the student’s Christian worldview. Here they express what they believe and defend it in the face of criticisms from contemporary culture. At the oral defense, faculty and administrators will ask students to elaborate more fully on what they have written, probe them with challenging questions, and assess how well they are able to defend themselves. This senior capstone represents the completion of our overall school mission and is designed to ensure the student graduates with a strong foundation of faith and scholarship. Students who successfully complete this project represent a mission accomplished.

The following are sample EQs with the grade level in which they are introduced.

Essential Questions Graphic for Grades 9-12

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