Since Oak Hill Academy’s founding in 1878, the opportunity to provide spiritual growth has been an important part of its mission. The school was founded by the congregations of several small churches in the area, and from the beginning, the Oak Hill student body has been welcomed as they attend Sunday service each week, right alongside members of the greater Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, community. Even though our student body has changed a lot in the intervening years since our founding, our mission hasn’t. And this consistency and steadfastness is a beautiful thing to see in practice in an ever-changing world. Our alumni, myself included (class of 1987), take a lot of comfort knowing that today’s generation is being exposed to the same life-changing opportunities for spiritual growth they had. Frankly, most of our students come to Oak Hill Academy without having “spiritual growth” as one of their top 3 goals. However, for many students, it is a very real and tangible side benefit of attendance here.
Our student body is incredibly diverse, with 18+ nations and 24+ states represented. There is economic, racial, political and yes, religious, diversity found in our student body. Our approach, therefore, is inclusive in nature – not exclusive, or with a doctrine-specific lead-in. We all attend church together – Muslim students, Jewish students, side by side with those raised in Catholic and Protestant Christian churches, and those students who have never regularly attended services of any kind. The message that is delivered is clear: We are all children of God, created by God and loved by God. With that consistent message of hope and responsibility, we are planting seeds.
There are other spiritual opportunities at Oak Hill Academy. Homeroom is a daily gathering of the whole school community in the Rev. A.J. Fletcher Chapel in the center of campus. We start the day in prayer with a short devotion which is often spiritual in nature, but always encouraging and uplifting. This is followed by the business of our small, college prep boarding school – announcements and recognitions. Additionally, weekly Youth Group meetings represents a significant opportunity for students to explore or hone leadership skills as the group often plans service projects and other events.