Christian Science: The Principia Difference

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Yes, there is something different about Principia. Spend even a few hours on campus and you’ll notice it. 

It’s not just that we don’t have locks on our student lockers (although that’s nice). It’s not just that our students greet friends and strangers alike with a friendly hello. (That’s nice, too.) And it’s not all those panther mascots you’ll see in our hallways and gyms (though we do like those)!

The palpable difference you see, feel, and experience here stems from Principia's purpose—“to serve the Cause of Christian Science.” 

All of us—students, faculty, and staff—are Christian Scientists, striving to follow and apply a principled and spiritual approach to everything we do. Although Principia is not affiliated with the Christian Science Church and Christian Science is not expressly taught, the School is dedicated to helping students become effective spiritual thinkers and healers. Our faculty, staff, and coaches encourage students to pray and to practice applying spiritual laws in their daily pursuits. And our standards of behavior call for honesty, purity, and selflessness in all situations.

In fact, the teachings of Christian Science infuse our entire approach to education. Three pillars (part of the institution’s 23 governing policies) aptly summarize Principia’s uniquely different and expansive approach to teaching and learning:

  • We refuse “to accept as final any belief of limitation. . . .” (So, we don’t engage in any type of psychological, developmental, or IQ testing or labeling.)
  • We dedicate ourselves to training students “to think clearly, vigorously, fearlessly, tolerantly, and unselfishly”—in every aspect of their lives.
  • We believe “that education in its fullest sense . . . includes the building of character.”

Spiritually based character education

Principia seeks to help develop and unfold the “whole man”—the intellectual, spiritual, social, physical, and moral qualities inherent in each of us.

Of course, our program prizes educational excellence, through handwrought, experiential learning and the development of essential communication and teamwork skills. But we also prioritize the development of ethical, principled individuals, of young adults who are vigorous, tolerant, clear, and selfless thinkers.

The best part is that we view sound character as inherent in every man, woman, and child. It’s not Principia’s job to instill good qualities; it’s our privilege to expect, enable, and celebrate the unfolding of character in our students. 

Check out the Summer 2014 issue of the Principia Purpose for more on our approach to character education.

Inspiration that’s Timeless and Timely

A rich source of inspiration in our work is Education at The Principia, a collection of talks and writings by founder Mary Kimball Morgan, who was a Christian Science practitioner and teacher.

Although these ideas were first shared with parents, students, and staff members nearly 100 years ago, they are just as relevant and timely today. Subjects addressed include educational reforms, spiritual approaches to discipline, parent-child and teacher-child relationships, and the development of character. Every enrolled family receives a copy of this book and is encouraged to delve into it to better understand and support Principia's work.

Curious? Contact us if you’d like copies to share with parents and educators in your community.