We are committed to offering our students varied opportunities for reflection, mindfulness, introspection, and service. To be truly empowered to live and lead exemplary lives, the young women at APH are invited to grow in inner wisdom as well as intellect. With guidance from campus ministry, students learn to navigate their unique inner landscape. We build a sense of connection as a school through shared retreats, community service experiences and daily gatherings at morning meeting. Each student is also required to take a full credit of religion classes that explore finding unity, respect and understanding in diverse cultures. Courses explore world religions, social justice and the role of women in an ever-changing society. Whether you are unsure of your spiritual beliefs, or practice your faith within a religious tradition, you are welcome at The Academy at Penguin Hall.
WHY CAMPUS MINISTRY?
In support of the mission of The Academy at Penguin Hall, we are called to create a safe, affirming, and vibrant community. Here at APH, we understand and appreciate the talents, gifts, challenges, and life circumstances of each individual, honoring the inherent dignity of all. Through a wide array of on and off campus programs, service, and outreach opportunities, and shared interfaith liturgical experiences, our students, faculty, staff, and families come to know each other well.
Additionally, we recognize the prejudice, discrimination, and privilege that members of our community may face due to many factors: culture, nationality, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, size, religion, age, gender, physical ability, and learning abilities. Our goal is to create an inclusive, diverse environment where empathy and self-awareness allow every member of our community to flourish. We strive in all ways to put our culture of kindness into action.
Our program combines learning goals and community service in ways that can enhance both student growth and the common good. Service to those in need is woven into the fabric of our school, and as a requirement for graduation, each student will complete 25 hours of volunteer service each school year. Service retreats with guidance from campus ministry and fundraisers for student chosen charities afford the students a variety of options to affect change in others’ lives. Students have much to learn from those they serve. Their developing identities evolve in part by their active service to others in the school and the global community.
CAMPUS MINISTRY IN ACTION
At APH, we encourage our students to find ways to engage in the world around them through meaningful service, engagement that is sparked by their own interests and passions. Students have volunteered on service trips to Haiti and New Orleans and Latvia. They have worked to ease hunger and homelessness, to help protect animals and the environment. With guidance from campus ministry as needed, students are invited to discover what we hope will be a lifelong desire to work towards compassion, justice, and equality in the world around them.
CAMPUS MINISTRY IN THE CLASSROOM
Whatever a student’s faith background, religious studies at APH is an invitation to explore the basic tenets and practices of the major world traditions, the impact of social justice and the role of women in shaping an ever-changing society. Students learn about and from each other and in the process deepen their personal spiritual journeys. In today’s global world, we have a unique opportunity to forge bridges of understanding and respect by finding the unity in our diversity.
In World Religions, students consider the major teachings, beliefs and devotional practices of the world’s religions, including views of the absolute, ceremonial rituals, sacred experiences and prevalent stories. This course commonly can include modules on Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Taoism, Confucianism, Islam, Hinduism, and various indigenous traditions. This course is designed to support students’ personal growth and curiosity and to increase their understanding and appreciation of the major world religions.
In Sacred Activism, we consider models of social teaching, as well as models of how people from across traditions and time periods have answered the call to be of service in the world.
Faced with a world where social problems can seem overwhelming and impossible to change, our students ask what is our responsibility and calling as individuals and as a school community? This course challenges students to notice what needs there are in their own inner lives and communities, and then through practices of reflection and discernment, find multiple ways to create positive change.
Other electives in religion and spirituality are developed as student and faculty interest emerges.
CAMPUS MINISTRY IN OUR COMMUNITY
First Years: The 9th-grade retreat provides students the opportunity to bond with their new classmates, explore their identity, and set the stage for their high school goals and aspirations. The retreat consists of whole small group time, periods of reflection, and fun community building activities. It serves as a dynamic way for the students to be introduced to the spiritual life of The Academy at Penguin Hall.
Sophomore Retreat: The 10th-grade retreat invites our students to take a deeper look at each year’s guiding core value. (Two recent examples are resilience and integrity.) Again, through a mix of whole and small group time, periods of reflection, and fun community building activities, students will come to know themselves and each other better.
Junior Retreat: The 11th-grade retreat highlights the theme of “Decision Making & Choices.” On this retreat, students investigate the many choices they are faced with in high school: socially, academically, and spiritually, through whole and small group discussion, quiet reflection time and fun. Students are asked to examine how they are called to live a life of purpose, and how their gifts may best serve the world.
Senior Retreat: This is a culminating celebration of our students’ experience at APH. The senior retreat combines a hands-on service project and time to focus on the transition from high school to their next steps on the journey. Time will be given for seniors to reflect on their relationships, to engage in deep discussion within their small groups, and to prepare for graduation with a deep sense of completion, satisfaction, and readiness for life beyond The Academy at Penguin Hall.
In addition to providing service opportunities and retreats, our Campus Minister proves interfaith liturgies, and various other opportunities for prayer, discussion, engagement, and learning. For more information about Campus Ministry, please contact Brigid Beckman.