A recent study from the University of Notre Dame’s sociology department reveals that former students of classical Christian schools have a higher commitment to and involvement in their church communities over their lifetimes. For example, almost 90% of these graduates attend church three times a month, compared to about 70% of former homeschoolers and evangelical private school students and about 35% of former public school students.
One way to characterize recent trends in American society is that communities are falling apart and people are becoming more isolated, lonely, and alienated. Even beyond the general advantages of a classical Christian education, the parish school answers some of the deepest needs of the human heart by giving young people a lifelong place to belong, an actual community of Christians of all ages and a place in that community that is enduring.
In addition, the parish school gives the child an opportunity to serve the Lord. We are familiar with Joshua 24:15, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” A child needs a household. They need a deeply rooted identity as a member of a family, as a member of a church, and as a citizen of the United States. Each of these can be considered “households” and are crucial to the Christian life of a young person; yet serve is an active verb requiring action not just identification.
While other schools either allow for service to the Lord outside of school, or perhaps actively promote it, only parish schools practice the sacramental reality of service to the Lord. The identification of Christ with His Body, the Church, is so intimate that our Lord said to the future apostle Paul, who at the time was persecuting the Church, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4). A student in a parish school worships with the Church as service to the Lord but also actively serves and obeys Christ by serving and obeying the local church in one of her teaching ministries.
If affection for and commitment to the Body of Christ is the goal, there is no better way to work toward this goal than the spread of healthy parish schools. It provides an intimate connection between Christ, His Body, and the local, incarnational reality of that Body in the local parish. Because Jesus equates loving his Body with loving Himself (Matthew 25:40), this affection for and commitment to the Body of Christ should indeed be our goal.
Atonement Academy, our newest parish school, will teach young high-school adults to “serve the Lord” through worship, catechesis, education, and other ministries of the Reformed Episcopal Church of the Atonement. We pray and trust that God will bless this and other efforts to help revitalize this once thriving parish in the heart of Northwest Philadelphia.
The Rev'd Andrew Brummett, ASA Executive Secretary
Gymnastic exercise of the heart, soul, mind, and strength in love of God and neighbor is the work of ascetical theology in the Christian Life, and the blessing many students enjoy in good schools—if their parents and teachers can resist protecting them from it. JPB+
Christ Academy in Collingdale, Pennsylvania, is a Classical, parochial micro-school that has provided meaningful education to students since 1886. An aide is desired for the 2020-2021 school year to assist in the Lower School with duties oscillating between a combined K-2nd grade classroom and a combined 3rd-6th grade classroom. Suitable candidates would be willing to teach multiple disciplines across diverse age groups, be keen to exercise Classical pedagogies in cultivating a love of wisdom and virtue, and be eager to grow in a life of communal worship rooted in the Anglican tradition. Interested parties may send resumes, cover letters, and references to email@example.com.
The ASA Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Fr Andrew Brummett, Middle School Headmaster at member school Christ Academy in Collingdale, PA, will be serving as Executive Secretary of the ASA. Welcome!
See Member Schools and visit their website.
The Saint Timothy School (Dallas, Texas) is a parochial & classical micro-school (~55 students & 8 faculty) which functions as a series of “one-room schoolhouses.” Suitable candidates have an earned degree, relish the rigor of teaching multiple disciplines to a three-year span of students, are happy to drive on wheels already invented (i.e. enjoy teaching the grammar of a subject), and will be comfortable with daily prayer book worship in The Reformed Episcopal Church. Contact school 214.521.6062 for an application.
The Saint Andrew's Church and Academy in Lake Almanor, California, hosts a choir camp each year in late July. Register at Saint Andrew's Church and Academy. July 19-26. Learn and enjoy the rich music of our Anglican heritage in the beautiful setting of the northern Sierra mountains. Caravan leaving from Dallas.
Saint Andrew's Academy has long been Boarding School for Americans, and has now successfully completed the process to board foreign students. Please direct inquiries to their office or website.