Episcopal schools are “created to be models of God's love and grace…. Above all, Episcopal schools exist not merely to educate, but to demonstrate and proclaim the unique worth and beauty of all human beings as creations of a loving, empowering God.”
These words and the following description of the defining features of an Episcopal school are borrowed and adapted from the website of the National Association of Episcopal Schools. They inform the approach we take to early childhood and elementary education at Grace Episcopal Day School, a school founded by Grace Episcopal Church.
An Episcopal school is a community whose mission integrates spiritual formation into all aspects of the educational experience. Episcopal schools are most distinctive when they are true to this mission and when they do so in a graceful and inclusive manner.
Episcopal schools have been established, however, not solely as communities for Christians, like a parish church, but as ecumenical and diverse ministries of educational and human formation for people of all faiths and backgrounds. Episcopal schools are populated by a rich variety of human beings, from increasingly diverse religious, cultural and economic backgrounds. In fact, the intentional pluralism of most Episcopal schools is a hallmark of their missions.
Social Justice & Service
They are created to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being. These principles are the basis on which identity and vocation are to be defined in Episcopal schools. At Grace, we strive to ponder the question: What does it mean to be a good person?
Religion & Spirituality in the Curriculum
It is also a distinguishing characteristic of these schools that they seek to integrate religious and spiritual formation into the overall curriculum and life of each school community. Episcopal schools are clear, yet graceful, about how they articulate and express their basic identities, especially in their religious curricula and traditions. They invite all who attend and work in them – Episcopalians and non-Episcopalians, Christians and non-Christians, people of no faith tradition – both to seek clarity about their own beliefs and religions and to honor those traditions more fully and faithfully in their own lives. Above all, Episcopal schools exist not merely to educate, but to demonstrate and proclaim the unique worth and beauty of all human beings as creations of a loving, empowering God.
By weaving these principles into the very fabric of the school's overall life, Episcopal schools ensure that their missions are built on the sure foundation of a Christian love that guides and challenges all who attend our schools to build lives of genuine meaning, purpose, and service in the world they will inherit.
For more about Episcopal schools, please visit the website of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES).