Founded in 1980 by civic and church leaders who recognized the need for in-depth training in Christian principles and values, the Habersham Christian Learning Center (HCLC) has consistently delivered biblical teaching to public high school students through a released-time program.
HCLC is modeled after the Gainesville Christian Learning Center, which was founded after former Georgia Supreme Court Judge Bill Gunter recognized teens lacked the ability to translate Christian teaching to daily choices. He expressed the need for a program that would be separate from the public school, but available to public school students during their school day with parent permission. The program would need to be supported by the community as no tax dollars would be used. Classes needed to be taught by full-time teachers with appropriate degrees, and students would need to receive elective credit for their courses.
When Habersham County churches, businesses, civic organizations, and individuals learned about the Gainesville Center, they pledged to support their own Center. Through the hard work and dedication of the community, the first classes began on January 25, 1982, ranging from 3 to 11 students. Since then, HCLC has taught Christian values and principles to Habersham teens each semester. Today, HCLC serves 130 students daily by teaching godly wisdom.
Habersham Christian Learning Center, Inc., is a non-denominational, not-for-profit, community-based educational and spiritual service organization. HCLC’s mission is to provide life-style and character development courses for high school students through a released time for credit program; to provide guidance and assistance to HCLC students and involved family members with social/emotional/spiritual aspects of living; and to serve as a community resource or support for seminars, Bible studies, workshops, and/or youth activities as requested by the community.
Habersham Christian Learning Center offers a teen education program with the added component of crisis intervention taught by experienced instructors. Through daily classroom education, teachers empower 130 students to make sound decisions while enabling them to grow spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually by equipping them with Christian ethics, morals, and values.
Courses offered include:
- “Life and Work Planning” focuses greatly on helping students identify their values while teaching godly values such as diligence, respect, kindness, compassion, discernment, and wisdom. As they plan for their future careers, families, and spiritual lives, teachers give daily bible lessons and pray with their students.
- “Dating and Relationships” teaches youth what God desires for their friendships, families, dates, and marriages. Teachers communicate values of respect, purity, honesty, healthy communication, dealing with conflict, and forgiveness to the students in this course.
- “Interacting” focuses on how students should relate to God, others, and themselves. Students learn about God’s love and grace for them and how to extend those values to others and themselves. They learn self-esteem and others-esteem. Students practice healthy thinking patterns and making wise decisions.
- In “Survival Strategies,” students confront the difficulties of life. Teachers guide them through topics like integrity, communication, anger, stress, depression, and grief. Students learn self-control, self-awareness, and mental strength. They practice coping skills and supporting those in need.