We exist for no other purpose than to educate the young in Jesus Christ.
He is at the center of everything that we do.
Our site selection committee is in the final stage of choosing a location for the school. Because natural beauty is a critical component of our educational philosophy, we have narrowed our focus to two areas of the continental United States: Northern New England and the Ozark Mountains of Southern Missouri. We hope to announce our final decision this year.
We encourage you to join our mailing list so that we can keep you updated. From time to time we offer informational Zoom sessions for benefactors, stakeholders, and other interested people. We use our mailing list to announce these sessions.
This is, understandably, one of the first questions that we are asked. We address it elsewhere on the site, but it makes sense to include a brief overview in the FAQ as well.
Simply stated, our educational model is not limited to classroom learning. We want our students to mature spiritually and to deepen their lives in Christ by deliberately engaging with the beauty and the challenges of the natural world. We want them to develop the skills to work cooperatively with one another in building up an authentic Christian community that supports them during their time with us and for the rest of their lives.
As stated above, our only purpose is to educate the young in Jesus Christ, but with that — indeed, with Him — as our source, we can realize positive downstream benefits for the life of the Church more broadly. The students will develop lifelong bonds and connections that will support their families long after they’ve graduated. God willing, they will become fathers and mothers of strong Christian families; vocations will be fostered, missions will be planted, and the Gospel will be preached in new places. Finally, a physical campus with chapel, grounds, catering, and dormitory spaces can be put at the service of the broader Church and community when school is not in session. For example, we could host youth and family events, bible camps and retreats, assemblies, sports clinics, conferences, and home-schooling and ministry supports.
In discussions with parents and benefactors, we are often asked what our policy will be with respect to day student enrollment. It has been something that we have considered prayerfully since we began this project.
We understand why parents might appreciate this option but, ultimately, we had to decide against it. The building up of Christian community and the development of strong bonds among students and alumni are central to our vision. We believe that process cannot be limited to classroom hours. It extends beyond the school day and even the work week. There would inevitably be a divide between those students who live and work together on campus and those who go home on Friday afternoon and return on Monday morning.
While we cannot offer a day option, we will do everything within our means to reach out to Christian families through homeschooling supports and summer programs.
We don’t have an ideal student profile or a long list of prerequisites for admissions consideration. However, we would encourage parents to keep in mind that not every child is suited for this type of education and lifestyle.
For instance, there is a strong physical component to our model. Students will be expected to do chores, engage in physical activity, play sports and generally keep active. If your child is of a more sedentary nature, he may not be a good fit.
Parents should also consider that we will operate a small working farm. Not only will cows be milked and eggs be gathered, but some animals will be raised for consumption. If a child is overly sensitive about such things, he might not thrive in this environment.
There is no perfect candidate because there is no perfect person. It is our job to work with parents to help the students entrusted to us to reach their full potential while never losing sight of the fact that they are, after all, still very young. High standards and expectations will always be lived in a context of love, mercy and forgiveness.
Ultimately, we are looking for age-appropriate commitments on the part of our students. A commitment, first and foremost, to Jesus Christ. A commitment to study and to work. A commitment to responsible stewardship of the land and the care of our animals. And a commitment to one another expressed by respect, good sportsmanship and responsibility.
We hope to bring committed students in so that we may someday send them out to proclaim the Gospel both in word and by the example of their lives.
Specific financial information will be available when we begin accepting applications for student placement. The high costs associated with running a boarding school (housing, meals, salaries, off-campus excursions) are certainly a concern, but our fundraising plan includes tuition supports. God willing, no otherwise qualified student will be turned away for an inability to pay.
His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon has given the founders his encouragement to proceed with establishing Saint Alexander Academy. Once a final location is chosen, we will ask the local hierarch for his blessing.
The school will be governed by a lay Board of Trustees, which will cooperate with all canonical Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions.
Saint Alexander Academy is committed to building up the Church in North America. This is where the Lord has placed us and we feel an obligation and an urgency to work in this vineyard. However, we will certainly consider a limited number of applications from students outside the United States and Canada. Specific requirements, including English-language proficiency, will be included in our application materials.
Yes, we welcome students who share our faith in Christ to apply for admission. We would be honored by the presence of students from other Christian traditions and look forward to building strong, cooperative relationships whenever possible.
Specific requirements for non-Orthodox student admission will be included in our application materials.
Well, yes and no. The term classical education can apply specifically to the Greek and Latin classics; the liberal arts generally; or anything falling under the definition of traditional pedagogy. We recognize the value in each of these concepts and we will broadly incorporate them into our curriculum. However, our general educational philosophy is to do what works. That is, to take the best of the Western intellectual tradition and marry it to the necessities of modern life. Our students will receive a strong grounding in foundational subjects: Theology, modern languages, Latin, biblical Greek, mathematics, history, the arts and sciences, and English grammar and composition. We will also emphasize individual creativity (music, poetry, art, craftsmanship), physical fitness, and practical skill development.
Our definition of practical skills is rather broad. It might include milking a cow, wiring an electrical socket, framing a house, and growing and preserving food. If, for example, a young woman chooses motherhood as her vocation, we want to be able to support her — and her future family — by giving her the skills she needs to develop cottage industries and home-based opportunities.
Regardless of whether a student is college bound or not, he will be expected to learn the fundamentals of self-sufficiency and will be encouraged in artistic and creative pursuits. Every student will, by God’s grace and our efforts, develop his intellectual, spiritual, and physical faculties. We want to be a place of boundless creativity, full hearts, and dirty hands.
This section could also be titled, “Which policy will my children hate the most?”
Broadly speaking, there will be no screens at Saint Alexander Academy. Students will not be permitted to have personal cellphones on campus. There will be no WiFi in dormitories and no televisions in student spaces.
We say broadly speaking because we can certainly imagine hosting the occasional movie night or, perhaps, having limited, supervised internet availability in our library.
Our educational philosophy views the outdoors — the glory of God’s creation — as a natural and critical extension of the classroom. Rather than melt into electronic screens during their free time, our students will be encouraged to hike our land and wooded trails. They might organize a pick-up basketball game or spend some time fishing. They could tend the animals on our farm or read a good book. They might write poetry, practice a musical instrument, pen a sonata, or paint a landscape. They would be limited only by their imaginations and the good counsel of their teachers.
The work is ongoing and fundraising has begun. Our goal is to open our first phase in the Fall of 2025.
Our working plan is to accept a Freshman class each autumn until we are at full capacity. We have an alternate plan that allows for the simultaneous admission of a Freshman and Sophomore class in the first phase if additional fundraising goals are met.
We get this question a lot! If you are interested in working with us, we encourage you to get involved early. Staffing a boarding school is very different from staffing a day school. We are, in a very real sense, building a Christian community. Skills, talents, personalities, philosophies, and personal commitment all have to be taken into consideration. It will be much easier to choose teachers and staff if they are already known to us.
We ask that you pray for us and for the success of this mission. We want to be guided by God’s will and we pray that everything we do will be for the glory of Jesus Christ.
We have just launched our $5m Founder’s Initiative — the first phase of our fundraising plan. Meeting this initial financial goal will allow us to break ground on our own land. Your spiritual and financial support are critical to our success.
Please consider partnering with us. Your generosity to Christian education today will, by the Grace of God, have a positive impact well beyond the lifetime of anyone reading this FAQ. A truly Christ-centered education could have generational impact for the Church and for our society.
We can’t do this alone, we need you!