The basis of Trinity School's Spiritual Life program is found in our Doctrinal Commitments. If you have questions about Trinity's beliefs and doctrinal commitments, our Headmaster, Dr. Chip Denton, would be glad to meet with you. Please contact the Administrative Assistant to the Headmaster to arrange an appointment.
Lower School Spiritual Life
Integral to the education of Lower School students is comprehensive learning about what it means to love and be loved by God. In their daily Bible classes and in weekly Fellowship opportunities, students learn about the love and character of God through the model of their teachers. Age-appropriate and practical application of Biblical principles is taught in areas such as peacemaking, service to one another, and stewardship of time and talents.
Middle School Spiritual Life
We desire to see Middle School adolescents deepen their Christian faith and to be intentional about how that faith influences who they are and how they act. This is a grand goal, but by keeping our eyes set on it and doing all we can to cultivate an environment alive to the Word, we honor our Middle Schoolers and the Lord who made and defines each of us. This work, we trust, is worthy and its fruit bountiful.
We provide corporate worship weekly, morning homeroom devotions daily, and formal, yearlong Scripture study in our Bible classes. We pray for our students and look for opportunities to guide and shape them. Even discipline, when it occasionally is needed, is seen as an opportunity for spiritual reflection.
As Coordinator of Spiritual Life for the Middle School, Serena Whisenhunt oversees our “Sanctuary” worship time, envisioning their topics and arranging speakers. With others, she works collaboratively and proactively to cultivate and sustain a healthy, safe, and welcoming environment for study, deepened relationships, and spiritual growth.
- Middle School Bible Courses
Seventh Grade Bible
The seventh grade Bible curriculum focuses on the Old Testament books from I Samuel through Malachi. The course begins with a brief review of events, figures, and themes encountered in the sixth grade study of Genesis through Ruth. Students also explore in depth the reasons for studying the Bible. To develop a greater appreciation for and understanding of themes in the Old Testament, students write frequently, produce art work, create story summaries, memorize significant portions of the text, and learn background information. Activities and class discussions are designed to help students identify more closely with the Bible. Throughout this study, students are taught to recognize God’s sovereignty in Biblical history and to understand the movement of the Biblical narratives toward God’s plan of salvation.
Eighth Grade Bible
The eighth grade Bible curriculum focuses on the New Testament, specifically the person and work of Jesus Christ, and the life, impact, and practices of the early church. In addition to exploring the New Testament, students memorize and use the Nicene Creed as a theological framework to engage with and appreciate God’s story. The course is structured to provide students with strategies for reading the Bible as God’s grand narrative of salvation; interpreting Scripture within a historical context; interacting theologically with the text in search of contemporary relevance; and discovering and applying God’s timeless truths, principles, and practices to their lives.
Upper School Christian Life
In each of Trinity's Upper School classes, students are encouraged to learn about God's world and our place in it. They discover and develop their God-given gifts as they study, participate in athletic and co-curricular activities, and serve others in Christ's name.
Our Christian Life program challenges each student to consider the claims of Christ, come to know him as Savior and Lord and grow in his or her relationship with Him. Through morning Cornerstone devotions, weekly worship, prayer, conversation with faculty members, and fellowship groups (either through school, church or parachurch groups), we strive to share and grow in God's love.
The Rev. Ellen VanTongeren serves as our Dean of Christian Life, overseeing Cornerstone devotional assignments, facilitating and supplementing the work of the Student Worship Planning Team, providing support for students and staff who lead small groups, and serving as a resource for the entire US community.
- Praying and Worshipping Together
Three days each week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) the entire Upper School gathers for Cornerstone, a 10-minute time which includes a student-or faculty-led devotional followed by prayer and announcements. Devotionals regularly include a Scripture text, song, or testimony.
Every Tuesday and Thursday the day begins with ten-minute devotionals by advisory group.
Each Thursday morning the Upper School gathers for a 45-minute worship service. The worship times are planned by a student group faciliated by the Coordinator of Spiritual Life. Worship includes singing, times of prayer, silence, and Scripture reading. Student musicians are coordinated and led by Janet Ray and Marty Stam.
Worship speakers and panelists include students and teachers from the Trinity community as well as local pastors and Christian leaders. To aid them in their planning, the worship planning team holds 2–3 retreats per year.
Worship is designed to be a time of dialogue between God and us, in which all present are invited to listen and speak to God. In worship we celebrate the character of God, take time to silently confess our sin, reflect on the way we have seen God work among us, share what we have learned about God, lift up to him the needs of our community and our world and discover how we may grow to be like Christ.
Students are encouraged to take part in small groups through local churches or parachurch organizations. Each year faculty members and students have the opportunity to lead or participate in small groups at Trinity if they choose. Some students lead groups for younger students as part of their senior Capstone project.
- Required Theology Courses
Humanities ClassesThe Humanities Program integrates the study of Scripture into students’ explorations of Ancient Civilizations (grade 9), Western Studies from Medieval to Modern Times (grade 10), and American Studies (grade 11). No prior knowledge of Scripture is expected. The study of Scripture enriches and deepens students' understanding both of the Humanities topics and also of Scripture itself.
Theology Studies IThe goal of this one-semester course is to help students read and live the Scriptures more faithfully and knowledgeably. At least three things are necessary in order to meet this goal: to understand one’s self and one’s world; to understand the Scriptures themselves; and to understand some of the ways Scripture has been read and lived in the past. Knowledge of these three things is bound up together, and the course is defined by the boundaries of this triangle: self, Scripture, and the church. The nature and history of Scripture are the introductory topics; students also explore basic guidelines for sound reading of God’s Word. With this background, figures from the church, past and present, help to broaden students' perspective of what Scripture is, how it should be read, and how it should be lived.
In the engagement of “self,” the scope of the course is the entire world of the modern teenager. Any issue that concerns or any entity that influences any teenager in this class—and beyond—is relevant. Indeed, whatever informs contemporary culture, from science to pluralism, may be addressed. As students engage with Scripture, the scope includes all 66 books of the Bible, seen through the interpretive lens of the student and the historical figures studied.
Theology Studies IITheology Studies II is the second one-semester course in theology required of all Trinity graduates. This course explores what it means to have a Christian view of the world. Students examine the Big Questions all human beings ask about the world we live in; the kinds of answers that different religions and philosophies (including especially a post-modern worldview) have proposed; and the distinctive questions and answers the Christian gospel poses and proposes. This course has a strong element of what is often called apologetics: Understanding why we believe and addressing honestly the most difficult questions any Christian must face. One of the goals of this course is to prepare students for a thoughtful, faithful, and benevolent engagement with the secular academic culture, which they are likely to encounter in their college years.