Oak Hill Blog

What Does a Christian Boarding School Education Look Like at Oak Hill Academy?   

Since 1878, a defining feature of the school’s mission has been to provide our students with the opportunity for spiritual education and growth.  Many of the families who choose Oak Hill Academy place a high priority on finding a college prep boarding school that addresses their student’s needs and has a foundation in Christian principles.   

Our students have always been welcomed by the local congregation of Young’s Chapel Baptist Church here on campus for Sunday service.  In homeroom, our school community starts each day together in prayer followed by a short devotion that sets our eyes toward God and prepares our minds for the day ahead.  This also means that our academic curriculum encourages studentsto consider their own religious principles and values. Our graduation requirements include each student taking one  unit within our Religion Department.  There are three distinct course offerings to choose from: Bible as Literature, Honors Survey of World Religions and Christian Ethics. 

Today, we want to highlight a popular course called Christian Ethics, taught by our campus minister, the Rev. Chris Luper.  Rev. Luper also serves as pastor at Young’s Chapel.  This offers a great example of how our approach to providing a Christian-based academic opportunity is effective today. 

Christian Ethics is an introductory course to ethical decision-making informed by the Christian tradition and scripture. This course presents a biblical model for ethics in a postmodern world.  Throughout this course, students are challenged to consider the moral and ethical realities of life in the United States in the twenty-first century.  As Reverend Luper explains, the course is designed to help students develop their own value systems as they prepare to enter into adulthood and confront these issues head-on for themselves.  It is important to know that our students come to us from a wide variety of faiths and religious backgrounds.  Through this course, our students are challenged to consider a variety of viewpoints and articulate their values by considering a wide range of real-world topics such as capital punishment, euthanasia, gender roles, and gun-control laws to name a few.  Debates, class discussion, and academic writing abound.  Many students credit the class with making them better thinkers,more confident in communication and public speaking.   

It is this growth that is at the heart of Rev. Luper’s love of teaching this course.  As he explains, “When we start each school year, the answers and opinions the students share all seem to come straight from Tik-Tok. But, at some point every year, I begin to hear original and self-generated thoughts and ideas coming through.  It is amazing to see my students develop a concept of themselves and their values organically and outside of the confines of social media.” 

Students all point to the unique social environment as being a catalyst for being able to be open and honest with themselves and others as they consider ethical questions.  It is a small class, as are all of the classes at Oak Hill Academy, but beyond that seeing their classmates across a variety of social settings – at dinner, at games, hanging out at the campus store, going on off-campus trips together – that builds in a trust factor with their peers not found in their previous schools.  It is also helpful that the main classroom rule is that we are not critical of others’ viewpoints and are respectful of all input.  The students here feel a freedom and confidence to participate that goes beyond what they’ve experienced before in a classroom setting.   

At Oak Hill Academy, offering an academic curriculum rooted in Christian principles is not limiting.  In fact, courses like Christian Ethics serve as a great example of how this really serves to provide the space many students need to find the thought freedom and intellectual confidence to grow.   If you are looking for a boarding school education for your student that promotes self-determination, values development and confident expression – all within a supportive Christian environment – our admissions department would love to connect. 
Please contact us at admissions@oak-hill.net

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