What distinguishes Episcopal education?

As an Episcopal school, St. Luke’s is grounded in the rich history of intellectual inquiry that characterizes Anglican education.  When asked what makes an Episcopal school different, our beloved former rector and Head, Reverend Joseph DiRaddo, would frequently state, “the Episcopal faith is not threatened by ideas.”

Episcopal schools are Christian communities committed to academic excellence and the embodiment of God’s love within a dynamic, nurturing school culture.  According to the National Association of Episcopal Schools, the principles and ideals of Episcopal education are expressed through school worship, community life, age-appropriate religious formation and study, and a commitment to social justice.

One of the hallmarks of Episcopal education is our intentional pluralism.  Episcopal schools accept students from a wide variety of religious, cultural, and economic backgrounds and welcome the diversity of beliefs and experiences that all students bring to the community. Through the routine of regular school worship (what we call "Common Prayer") and a pervasive culture of respect, Episcopal schools aspire to deepen each student’s personal faith and relationship with his or her God.

Episcopal education values a commitment to social justice alongside academic excellence.  Acceptance of and appreciation for human differences is one manifestation of social justice.   Dedication to service is another key feature in the embodiment of this principle.  Like our peer Episcopal schools, St. Luke's provides ample service learning opportunities to cultivate within our students a lifelong desire to positively impact our communities and our world.  According to the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, diocesan schools are “consistently producing committed and caring individuals who become leaders in our various communities.”

Are Episcopal schools independent schools?

In her article Understanding the “Independence” of Independent Schools, Ann Mellow writes: “The strongest Episcopal schools . . . successfully balance and blend a clear and strong Episcopal identity with best practices in independent school education and, in so doing, sustain Episcopal schools that not only survive but thrive.

Regardless of corporate structure, most Episcopal schools operate in the “independent school” world.  Independent schools are the primary peer institutions and competitors of Episcopal schools; and membership in the “independent school” community distinguishes Episcopal schools from other types of private, non-public schools such as Catholic parish or diocesan schools, private proprietary schools, Christian academies, and for-profit schools.”

St. Luke’s is an accredited member of the Southwestern Association of Episcopal Schools (SAES), an organization with 118 member schools across six southwestern states.  AES is the only Episcopal accrediting association in the United States, and it is also the only religiously affiliated accrediting association recognized by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Accreditation Commission.