Prepared for College, but not “College Prep”

Written by Ryan Evans on March 3rd, 2016

One of Providence’s central goals is the cultivation of character and virtue in our students. We have a rigorous curriculum that trains students how to think intelligently and pursue academic excellence, but ultimately the number one priority for our graduates is that they think and act biblically in joyful submission to the Lord Jesus Christ. We desire graduates who are faithful to live lives of integrity and purpose in whatever God calls them to do.


Our graduates are thoroughly prepared for college, but we refrain from using the term “college prep” for a couple reasons. First, the phrase “college prep” tends to lead schools to measure success primarily (if not solely) by how many graduates move on to college. While college is a noble calling for our graduates, it is not the “end all” and we want to avoid measuring success by this standard. Second, setting the goal of college admittance tends to eventually take over the primary mission and renders virtue and Christian character as a subordinate (if not tertiary) priority. We are pleased with a student who boasts a nominal GPA, but has developed and lived out virtues of responsibility, faithfulness, stewardship, discipline, obedience, and integrity.

The goals of cultivating character and academic preparation, however, are by no means mutually exclusive. If this were an infomercial, this is where the salesman says, “But wait! There’s more!” Classical, Christian schools ARE doing an outstanding job preparing students for college and for academic success beyond high school.

The Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS) recently completed a research study of standardized test scores among graduates at various schools, including those at independent, religious, and ACCS schools. The results were encouraging: in all tests, the aggregate results for graduates of ACCS schools were at the top of the list in every category.

As we continue to strive toward fulfilling our mission, it’s encouraging to see confirmation in the lives of our graduates that they not only demonstrate the virtues of a God-centered life, but also are fully equipped to think and perform on a high academic level in whatever vocation they pursue.