Providence Christian Academy Equips Students to Thrive
By Our Town Staff
Providence Christian Academy believes with a passion that students should not only be equipped to thrive in the classroom, but outside the classroom and after graduation. For more than twenty-five years, the K-12 school has been doing just that.
“We want Providence students to be thriving when they are in the midst of family life and careers years from now,” said Head of School Dr. Sean Chapman. “We want our graduates to be strong men and women who are pillars in their families, churches, communities, and workplaces, bringing the grace and truth of Jesus Christ to bear in their lives and their interactions with other people.”
Accomplishing this requires more than just a challenging academic environment. It means giving students opportunities to serve others, to learn to lead, and to grow in their walk with Christ.
As a K-12 school, Providence intentionally connects its students across grade levels. For example, the “Buddy Brigade” matches older and younger students to give upperclassmen an opportunity to encourage younger students in their faith, praying with them and modeling respect and friendship. Students also help lead the weekly worship services and discipleship groups for fellow students. Even second graders have a kindergarten “reading buddy.”
“At a young age, students can discover how they are wired to lead,” said Middle School Principal Terri West. “Sometimes it’s out front, and sometimes it’s quietly by example. It’s fun to see how our students realize their leadership skills and grow into them as they get older.”
Another emphasis of student life at Providence is understanding and serving the needs of others. Every grade level engages in service projects, including collecting food for local co-ops, providing necessities to needy families, and supporting ministries that help refugees. High school students serve thousands of hours a year in local ministries and nonprofits. And multiple overseas mission trips give students the chance to serve cross-culturally.
Most of all, Providence encourages students to grow in their faith in Jesus Christ. All of these leadership and service opportunities are set within a Christ-centered environment that is undergirded by a caring and attentive staff.
Providence knows that its Christ-centered school culture is what gives meaning to its academic program – one that is both challenging and innovative. The strength of the program means students excel. For example, K-7th graders average at the 88th percentile on standardized tests. In high school, seventy percent of the AP Calculus students in the last four years scored the highest score you can make on the AP exam compared to the national average of twenty-four percent. Providence students are prepared to attend some of the best and most selective colleges and universities, like recent admissions to Harvard, Duke, and Cornell.
Student-athletes participate in thirteen GHSA sports including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball, and volleyball. Three-quarters of high school students participate in one or more varsity or JV sports. Providence has multiple state and regional championships and has sent athletes on to compete at over sixty colleges. Last fall, the school cheered on its own Collin McHugh, who pitched in the World Series for the championship-winning Houston Astros.
Fine arts are another emphasis at Providence. Last spring the Providence drama department won a Shuler Hensley award (the high school equivalent to a Tony award) for its Broadway musical Mary Poppins. The middle school production of Peter and the Starcatcher won first place at the one-act competition this fall, and three students have won best actor awards this year.
Families that join Providence become part of a covenant Christian school community that is often described as a family.
“Our boys receive a great education at Providence, but what sets the school apart for our family is the way our kids are taught and loved by the faculty and administration,” said Heather Leo, who has a son in high school and one in middle school. “When your child is taught to problem solve, even through mistakes and failures, it develops them into leaders. When a teacher takes the time to explain a difficult assignment or extend grace on a hard day, it tells our kids that they are not defined by their successes and failures. Their identity is found in their Creator who has crafted a purpose for them. Providence works with families to help kids pursue their God-given purpose.”
Find out more about Providence Christian Academy at an upcoming open house. Dates are available at their Lilburn campus, or at their recently opened high school in Johns Creek. Visit www.tourprovidence.org for all the details.