Christ at the Center
We believe that the key to a Christian education is having Christ at the center of all learning, not as an add-on in the curriculum. Spiritual life involves every activity of the school, and teachers integrate a Christian perspective into all subject areas.
While taking a holistic view of spirituality, we offer many specific and intentional activities to highlight the spiritual dimension of life.
- Elementary students receive daily Bible instruction using the Encounter curriculum and attend a weekly chapel service at their level of understanding. Learn more about Encounter.
- Middle School students generally attend Bible class twice every week, a weekly chapel service, and have extended times for focusing on their relationship with God.
- High School students attend chapel four times per week, meet one day per week in advisory groups and take a theology/Bible class each year. Chapel includes special series with guest speakers, such as Commitment Week, Missions Inspiration and Education Week, and Career and Faith Week, allow for focused intentional attention to spiritual growth.
Students and faculty come from a variety of Christian congregations. Teachers, curriculum and chapel services emphasize a personal relationship with God through Christ, salvation through faith, and a commitment to following the life and teachings of Jesus.
Chapels add an extra dimension of group worship, as well as input from local pastors, inspirational speakers, singing groups and other resources that broaden the students’ awareness of the broader Church and God. This time of worship and cultural events invites students to personal faith, Christ-like love, peacemaking and service for focused and sustained attention to spiritual growth. Chapels give attention to the rhythms of the school year and the cycle of the Christian year.
Chapels – See more Chapel Videos – click here
WHY DO WE HAVE CHAPELS?
- Offer teaching that is warmly ecumenical from an Anabaptist perspective that speaks to heart and mind.
- Provide biblical teaching that integrates faith with current issues relevant to our faith journeys.
- Create a climate that disciples Christians as well as invites seekers to faith.
- Make time for worship, prayer, and reflection in the school day.
- Foster awareness of being God’s missional people in the world.
- Highlight special callings in the church and the world, as a way to nurture each student’s calling.
- Develop worship leading, performance, and technical abilities among students, as well as model adult leadership.
- Build community by gathering together the whole student body and faculty.
WHAT’S IN CHAPEL?
- Balance worship and faith-focused chapels with occasional assemblies that, while not worship, build and celebrate community.
- Attend to school life, while at the same time developing awareness of the wider world and the global church.
WHO SPEAKS IN CHAPEL?
- Faculty and students.
- Local pastors and representatives of Anabaptist-related institutions, from the U.S. and around the world.
- Guest speakers who know and respect the mission of the school.
WHAT MUSIC DO WE SING AND HEAR?
- In addition to the hymnal (Hymnal: A Worship Book), from which we take our core music, we welcome and celebrate with a balanced selection of Christian music of other styles.
- Music groups from within the school regularly lead worship and perform.
- Choirs, particularly from Mennonite colleges, often travel to perform at our chapel services.
Faith Practice Statements
Ultimately, beliefs in our head are nothing unless they are “made flesh” in actual actions and attitudes. We have identified 15 things that, as a result of our faith, we do and are:
- In this school students know they are loved and valued by God which enables them to value and love each other.
- Peacebuilding, including the use of restorative discipline, is regularly modeled and practiced as a lifestyle of nonviolence, seeking justice and being part of a reconciling faith community.
- Our school values and is responsive to cultural, racial and socio-economic diversity.
- Our school provides a welcoming community where it is emotionally safe to raise questions, to value and learn from differences, and to care for each other.
- The school enables students to practice global awareness, cultural sensitivity, anti-racism, and compassionate living.
- Students grow in their understanding of stewardship of all God has entrusted to them, including the natural environment.
- Staff members in our school are committed to modeling the life of Jesus Christ.
- Students grow in understanding the process of biblical discernment by asking questions, practicing spiritual disciplines, and engaging with other Christians.
- Students are encouraged to grow in relationship with Jesus and to follow Jesus daily in life through attitudes and practice.
- Our school does everything it can to eliminate the obstacles that exclude or hinder the ability of students to receive a faith-infused, education of excellence.
- Stories and symbols of faith and reconciliation are regularly shared in our school community.
- Our school invites parents to become partners in the faith formation of their child.
- Our school is a community that lives the gospel message through praying, serving others, and enabling students to grow in understanding that they can make a positive difference in the world globally and locally.
- Our school builds a strong faith and learning community in which students and staff support each other.
- Our school enables students to live a life of curiosity, wonder and mystery as they join with God to bring the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven.
What do Mennonites Believe?
An international group of Anabaptists (Mennonite World Conference) developed this list of Shared Convictions. Anabaptist simply means “re-baptized” and refers to people who were baptized as adults during the Protestant Reformation upon confession of Christ as their Saviour and Lord. Mennonites are named after an early Anabaptist leader named Menno Simons.
- God is known to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Creator who seeks to restore fallen humanity by calling a people to be faithful in fellowship, worship, service and witness.
- Jesus is the Son of God. Through his life and teachings, his cross and resurrection, he showed us how to be faithful disciples, redeemed the world, and offers eternal life.
- As a church, we are a community of those whom God’s Spirit calls to turn from sin, acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, receive baptism upon confession of faith, and follow Christ in life.
- As a faith community, we accept the Bible as our authority for faith and life, interpreting it together under Holy Spirit guidance, in the light of Jesus Christ to discern God’s will for our obedience.
- The Spirit of Jesus empowers us to trust God in all areas of life so we become peacemakers who renounce violence, love our enemies, seek justice, and share our possessions with those in need.
- We gather regularly to worship, to celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and to hear the Word of God in a spirit of mutual accountability.
- As a world-wide community of faith and life we transcend boundaries of nationality, race, class, gender and language. We seek to live in the world without conforming to the powers of evil, witnessing to God’s grace by serving others, caring for creation, and inviting all people to know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
In these convictions we draw inspiration from Anabaptist forebears of the 16th century, who modeled radical discipleship to Jesus Christ. We seek to walk in his name by the power of the Holy Spirit, as we confidently await Christ’s return and the final fulfillment of God’s kingdom.