Our Mission & Distinctives
Everybody knows someone who has the MBA degree, but cannot balance a budget or someone with a PhD in Leadership but could not lead a two-car funeral procession. It is possible to get all A’s in school but still flunk in life. This is why we expose our students to the Grit, Grace, and Growth Real-world Apprenticeships in their Upperclassmen years. These beyond-the-walls learning experiences where students apply their Christian discipleship and Classical scholarship with practical wisdom. Organizational partners are hand-picked and invest in students with meaningful work experiences to develop the virtues of grit, grace, and a growth mindset.
All of our students graduate with both an academic transcript and a professional resume with three real-world apprenticeships (grades 11-12) and four skills-based guilds (grades 7-10). Before the industrial revolution and the centralization of many professional industries, students would complete their academic training, and then be initiated into the desired industry through being paired with a master. Whether the industry was law or medicine or theology, apprentices gained industry-specific technical knowledge through experiences with master craftsmen.
The Grit Apprenticeship
The Grit Apprenticeship constitutes a rite of passage into being an upperclassmen through getting dirt under their fingernails. We think there are a lot of kids in this generation who have never used a shovel. Through two weeks of manual labor we help our students experience what it feels like to earn a paycheck by the sweat of their brow. Coram Deo upperclassmen learn what it means to work hard with their hands and this helps balance out their academic training with a gritty character.
The Grace Apprenticeship
The Grace Apprenticeship prepares students for a life of service and winsome engagement with the outside world. Students develop their social graces through 80 hours in the service industry, learning how to look a customer in the eye and provide for their needs with a smile and a kind word. Their apprenticeship begins with an application and interview and focuses on the skills of the problem-solver and the attributes of collaboration, persuasion, reflection and productivity.
The Growth Apprenticeship
The Growth Apprenticeship occurs during students’ senior year and focuses on the professional skills of the scholar-practitioner and the attributes of scholarship, craftsmanship, inquiry and eloquence. Students work with a mentor from the organizational partner and tie aspects of their Senior Thesis to their experience. They are expected to learn more about the company’s industry and create unique value through their own creative contributions.