Introduction to Christian Boarding Schools
Many Christian boarding schools are simply college preparatory private residential schools with a faith affiliation. They may provide a classical education, adding Latin and Bible studies to the list of core classes, and they often serve the high school grades (9–12) or middle school and high school (7–12). Christian boarding schools with a college preparatory bent have many denominations, including the following:
• Eastern Orthodox
• Free Methodist
• Roman Catholic (including spiritualities linked to specific orders such as Augustinian and Dominican)
• Seventh Day Adventist
• Society of Friends/Quaker
• United Methodist
In Canada, you can find Anglican schools.
Various Types of Christian Boarding Schools
Christian boarding schools come in a number of different types. While some people may think of Christian boarding schools as college prep schools, with an emphasis on academics and faith, while there are many such schools, there are other possibilities.
One of the other types of Christian boarding school is the Christian military academy. Many of the US military boarding schools have a faith affiliation, though this is not always clear from their names. Many are non-denominational, while some are explicitly Episcopalian, Methodist, or Presbyterian.
There are also Christian therapeutic boarding schools, designed to help teens with a variety of issues in a therapeutic setting that is overtly Christian as part of its philosophy. If a child has grown up in a faith-filled environment and/or takes his or her faith seriously, choosing a faith-linked program can help support the child when he or she needs help. As with Christian college preparatory schools and Christian military schools, Christian therapeutic boarding schools may have a particular sect affiliation—for example, Evangel House Christian Academy is affiliated with the Assemblies of God—though many are non-denominational.
Choosing a Christian Boarding School
The type of Christian boarding school that might be helpful to a particular student will depend greatly on what kind of help is needed. For example, if the student was born outside of the United States and needs ESL support, this can be provided in a variety of Christian academic settings, including Randolph-Macon Academy, a military academy that do not have any therapeutic element. A child with an eating disorder, however, may require a therapeutic setting with a specialty in that particular issue, and the non-denominational Christian Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating Disorders might be an appropriate placement. For a defiant teen, parents should look not at a military academy, but at a therapeutic school with that focus, because military academies—Christian and otherwise—are not accredited for nor licensed to provide therapeutic treatment, but rather focus on academic excellence and leadership skills.
Because not every Christian boarding school is clearly identifiable by its name, it is useful to avoid assumptions and/or to use sources, such as accrediting agencies, The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP), and Boarding School Review to help