American denominational schools prepare students for college and beyond



Ask the graduates to express what their denominational education was like, and you will get some serious criticism of how they built a strong moral foundation and how their teachers nurtured compassion. From all ages and from all Christian backgrounds, from Catholics to Evangelicals, many have spoken – and are grateful – of their schooling, excited about how it has shaped their lives and world views.

A well-taught faith-based education gives students a broader perspective on life than their peers in public schools. It assumes that a person’s education is not limited to the intellectual sphere, although many now prepare their students for the vagaries of the data-centric and digital-centric 21st century. Rather, it goes beyond to encompass the spiritual aspects of the person. It usually offers a carefully crafted curriculum that revolves around a traditional biblical understanding of the world and of human nature. Adjustment? Stimulating environments in which students feel safe and happy.

In these schools, students immerse themselves in a diverse community of like-minded friends, teachers and clergy, fostering an inspiring educational experience that builds character. Here are four faith-based schools in the United States that do just that:

Highland View Academy

Located on a beautiful campus in the hills of western Maryland, along the Appalachian Trail, Highland View Academy is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian school and boarding school.

Here, students grow up to become full graduates by participating in a wide variety of academic and extracurricular opportunities, including STEM Certification, college-level credit courses, competitive team sports and a robust Music program.

HVA is a home away from home for a diverse student body representing 14 nationalities. The small size of the school – the student-teacher ratio is 5: 1 – allows individualized support. Its semi-rural location eliminates distractions and its Christian worldview develops exceptional results.

At HVA, education is not the only point of interest; the school emphasizes the importance of the whole person, nurturing the mental, spiritual and emotional well-being of the students.

As a STEM certified school, HVA prepares students for college and beyond. Incoming freshmen are enrolled in a freshman science course called Integrated STEM during the fall semester. Those who are interested in going further can progress through the STEM certificate program. Nationally certified in 2019 by the National Institute for STEM Education (NISE), it empowers students to become technologically competent, logical and innovative problem solvers and thinkers.

At HVA, knowledge goes beyond academics. Students benefit from the school’s growing music, sports and gymnastics programs. They make lifelong friends by sharing vegetarian meals. During events – such as retreats, weekly workshops, community events, interclass tournaments, and student-led spiritual programs – they create memories they will never forget.

With its semi-rural setting just an hour from Washington, DC, HVA students can take invaluable trips. Many have the opportunity to explore the Senate and Congress rooms of the United States Capitol, the Library of Congress, and other historic locations. To learn more about how HVA educates for eternity, click here.

Saint-Michel Catholic Academy

If you are looking for a Christ-centered, college-preparatory learning community, then Saint-Michel Catholic Academy is the place for you. Exclusively for students in grades 9 to 12, this is a school built on four pillars: service, integrity, intellectual curiosity and courage.

With a focus on academics, the arts and athletics, SMCA has built a balanced framework. Source: Saint-Michel Catholic Academy

“St. Michael’s is committed to being the best school possible – by fulfilling the mission promise to help our students grow in their lives of faith, embrace learning, and give back to the local community and beyond.” school principal Dawn Nichols said.

The school transforms students into well-rounded graduates thanks to its Winter term program and Global Studies Program that have life changing potential. Both are unique academic, cultural, service, travel and language immersion programs.

As part of the winter program, for example, students can choose to attend mini-seminars, do internships, or participate in a travel program that includes exchanges with sister schools, trips to service to solve real world problems in various cultural environments, as well as travel.

St. Michael’s is also building a new university wing, the Advanced Learning Opportunities Center project, which aims to meet the new demands of educational models that go beyond the classroom and expand the school’s capacity to respond to the need for an immersive and ambitious learning space.

Ultimately, learning at St. Michael’s not only prepares students for academic success, but also facilitates students in the development of 21st century skills and a global mindset, in addition to promoting the character development.

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

At Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (CHCA), students thrive academically, socially and spiritually. This Christ-centered, multi-faith college preparatory academy prepares students for real impact.

American schools

CHCA’s curriculum is designed to challenge students and ensure they are ready for college. Source: Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

Here, students conduct independent research projects, run small businesses, learn in a teaching kitchen, participate in real-world internships, perform on stage, and earn in athletics. Students learn outside the walls of the classroom during intersession, design and build robots, and spend hundreds of hours at home and abroad. Through it all, they are challenged to grow spiritually and develop resilient faith. Each student’s experience is as unique as they are.

CHCA’s curriculum is designed to challenge students and ensure they are ready for college and beyond. “We have carefully designed our college readiness program – preschool through grade 12 – to foster lifelong passions for learning and to provide thoughtful and effective leadership,” said Randy Brunk, Director of school.

At the CHCA, Athletics and the arts are more than just activities outside the classroom. These are opportunities for students to discover their passion and talent. There is a wide range of top notch sporting facilities and options including football, cross country skiing, volleyball, golf, tennis, swimming and more.

Hands-on learning and real-world application are also essential parts of the International Student Program (ISP) at CHCA. International students receive a tailor-made and personalized experience that cultivates academic, cultural and social integration in the school community.

Christian Heritage Academy

the Christian Heritage Academy has one goal: to glorify God by serving Christian parents and their children while providing a high quality Christ-centered educational program. HCA is an evangelical Christian prep school located in southern Johnson County, Kansas for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

American schools

HCA believes that education should be about empowering their students to be successful, to be confident and to respect them. Source: Christian Heritage Academy

The Christian school offers an unprecedented opportunity to equip students with a biblical perspective on every subject for a lifetime. HCA passionately believes that education should be about empowering their students to be successful, self-confident and respect the world around them, ready to make a difference in our global society.

The school is committed to providing a quality STEM-based educational program to students. Students benefit from extracurricular learning opportunities such as a Bridge Building Competition, FIRST Robotics, FIRST Technology Challenge (FTC), Scholars’ Bowl, National Science Bowl, Science Olympiad, etc.

Students are immersed in a culture of hard work where excellent academic results are made possible by small class sizes, dedicated teachers, and superb facilities. When not focused on their studies, students participate in extracurricular activities such as basketball, cheerleading, volleyball, soccer, and track and field.

As a seventh-year parent shares, “We really appreciate HCA. It has been a blessing for us, we couldn’t be happier.

* Some of the institutions featured in this article are Business Partners of Study International


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