Belonging to the Whole

In most large school settings, it’s easy for students to gravitate toward what they’re familiar with or good at doing. An athletic student sticks with the athletes, poetry lovers hang with the literary crowd, etc., not realizing they are part of a much fuller community! 

On the second day of school, Upper School – grades 7 through 11 – left for a three-day retreat at Camp Shamineau in Motley, Minnesota. You might wonder what’s the point of taking a break from school before it even really starts? Part of the intention behind the retreat is, of course, fellowship among students and teachers. A more broad purpose is to fulfill our mission of providing a holistic education where the students grow spiritually as individuals, and at the same time recognize they are part of a whole school. We’re training young men and women to see that their identity is not only in what they’re good at or what they enjoy, but that it is in the Body of Christ as it is represented outwardly at Agape Christi Academy. 

How to implement this weighty idea? A House system! The students were divided into four “Houses”: 

  • Edward, for King Edward VI of England and Ireland
  • Boniface, for St. Boniface of England
  • Bunyan after John Bunyan, writer of Pilgrim’s Progress and prisoner for the Lord
  • Knox, for John Knox, theologian and a leader during the Reformation. 

Within the Houses, the students were integrated with other students from different grades and as a result became acquainted with less familiar students. Throughout their three-day stay, Houses competed against each other, played challenging games, and listened to talks from their teachers on the blessing of the classical, Christian education they are receiving. The wonderful end result of a House System is a unified community of diverse ages and talents. We want students to develop an affinity for their fellow schoolmates and for their school community as a whole. The initiation of the House System at the retreat is a tangible example of the biblical truth that in Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek. This is something secular schools are trying to attain, but do not because the unifying Person is absent. We are excited about the development of a House System and thank all the parents and staff members that contributed to this retreat!