What is your GEIST quotient?

From the desk of Shawn Rhoads, Director of Residence Life:

A few weeks back, I wrote on a person’s GQ (Global Quotient) in combination with their IQ and EQ (Emotional Quotient) adding up to a strong leader of the future. I’ve been doing more thinking on that subject and have another Q to add to the equation and that is your SQ, your Spiritual Quotient, i.e., one’s spiritual health and well-being.

One of the elements that is often neglected in many, if not most, public school settings as well as some private school settings is the addressing of a student’s spiritual well-being. As a strong proponent of the private Christian school model, I am a firm believer in the concept of training the WHOLE child, including, if not especially, the spiritual part of him, or as St. Paul calls it, the inner man.

You can get the intellectual, the emotional, the physical and every other aspect of a person right, but if you neglect to train the spiritual aspect of him, will the other elements not unravel in time? The spiritual health of a man will act to inform and direct all other components of his life. If he is spiritually healthy, his SQ will act to keep these other facets of life in line and in balance and in proper operating order.

Or conversely, a weak or lower SQ will work against a man, misdirecting or misinforming these other facets. Like Lewis states in Mere Christianity, “I cannot keep my ship from colliding with other ships for very long if I do not keep my own vessel in ship shape, rudder, gears, controls and all.”  And that is precisely what we are all about here at Brook Hill, training the whole child, body, mind and soul – social, emotional and volitional.

And so I amend my earlier equation from my previous blog article to include SQ.  This is how I would frame it now, to include the spiritual part of a child:

GQ (Global Quotient) + EQ (Emotional Quotient) + IQ (Intellectual Quotient) + SQ (Spiritual Quotient) = TQ (Total Quotient)


Funny thing about this particular acronym, GEIST (pronounced with a long “i” sound, as in heist), is that it is the German word for spirit, as in ZeitGeist, or spirit of the times. This is where we get our English word ghost. And since it is the spirit of a man that ultimately controls the entirety of a man, is it not fitting that our GEIST brings us to our total quotient? To boil it down into a couple of lines of rhyme…

If the spirit of the child, neglected, the rest of him is misdirected. 

But steer and guide and train his soul, no marvel that his life is whole. 

Last thought – maybe you worry that you have or your child has a low SQ. No need to be worried since your SQ is different from your IQ in that your SQ can take significant leaps. In other words, there are some simple things you can do to increase you Spiritual Quotient, or improve your spiritual well-being. There are two practices you can begin immediately. Start reading your Bible and start praying. The Bible is the mirror of the soul and prayer is the spiritual tooth brush, hair brush and mouthwash of the soul. If you don’t like what you see in the spiritual mirror, prayer will begin bringing about the spiritual changes you desire. Other exercises that will raise your SQ would include giving, serving others, attending church or Bible studies regularly and finding an accountability partner, to keep you encouraged and honest with yourself. Just as a rising tide floats all boats, a rising Spiritual Quotient floats all other Quotients.