"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." Deut. 6:6-7 (KJV)
God is blessing us and changing us in many ways with the founding of Richmond Academy. We are confident that He will continue to mold us into His school. It is important for us to allow God to be the catalyst for change, rather than the world or our own quest for significance and success. The following outline reflects our desire to share a clear understanding and vision of the “heart” that is crucial to the Richmond Academy experience.
Dr. S. Chad Ross established Richmond Academy in 2003 to meet the need for an educational alternative to the existing public schools in Richmond, Indiana. Dr. Ross and the founding trustees asked God to make every provision for every family desiring a private Christian education. This endeavor would emphasize the development of each student’s body, mind, and spirit. Their intent was to establish a school that would encourage the cultivation of relationships, service and community outreach. The triangle philosophy, symbolizing the spiritual, academic and athletic dimensions of a whole person, is articulated in our mission statement:
Richmond Academy is a coeducational, independent, college- preparatory school dedicated to nurturing and challenging the whole person — body, mind, and spirit — to the glory of God. Committed to Christ, Richmond Academy strives to provide a biblically based, academically excellent education in a nurturing environment, developing students’ full potential to impact their world for Christ.
Through the triangle philosophy, we have sought to ensure that strong academics and challenging athletics can prosper together in an environment in which God is the foundation. A spirit of cooperation, rooted in wholesome relationships, is necessary for this model of education to be effective.
We offer to our school family the following thoughts on where we are, our goals for the future, and practical ideas on how this model of education can continue to bring glory to God.
Three scriptures illustrate our school’s foundation for unity - past, present, and future:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
Be still, and know that I am God… Psalm 46:10
…And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
The heart of the gospel is that man can have a personal relationship with the Creator through Jesus Christ. We have many individuals in our school who are Christians; however, any attempt to institutionalize this relationship is ineffective. That is why Richmond Academy does not have the word Christian in its name.
People, created in God’s image, are given a variety of gifts. We are to offer these gifts to God by doing the best that we can through His power in any endeavor. As Eric Liddell stated in Chariots of Fire, “God has made me fast, and when I run I feel His pleasure.” It is exciting to discover that God delights in our enjoyment of His creation. When we realize that Jesus loves us just as we are, not as we think we should be, we don’t have to perform to earn His approval. Nevertheless, we praise, honor, and worship God when we use the special gifts and talents He has given us to His glory. Spiritual emphasis programs and religious talk do not produce the power that exists when individuals are truly seeking to follow Christ.
Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” Following Christ means dying to self and surrendering to His leading in our lives. We should be willing to trust God, serve others, and pursue humility. At Richmond Academy we are more concerned with the quality and depth of our relationships than the outcome of our efforts.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2
Believers must look past what is temporary and what is perishing [the things of the world]. Things not seen are eternal. Pursuing God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the souls of men should consume the believer.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom... Proverbs 9:10
The teacher looks not only at the truth of things; at the same time he looks at the faces of living men who desire to know His truth. Love of Truth and love of men — only the two together constitute a teacher. Thomas Aquinas
Richmond Academy is a college preparatory school for students with average and above average academic ability. Richmond Academy cannot be all things to all people; we must trust God to care for those we cannot touch. Contemplative learning is encouraged along with practical opportunities to experience lessons associated with life.
Richmond Academy could easily become accessible only for the academically and financially elite. This would be tragic. The culture of the age tempts us to target those students who would advance the school’s reputation. Richmond Academy should be different. We recognize the practical significance of test scores, college entrances and the number of National Merit scholars. However, our expressed priority is nurturing a strong academic work ethic to develop life-long learners. Our school’s motto is “Let Truth Prevail”; thus, the pursuit of truth should be our highest ideal such that students develop a meaningful world view and healthy relationships.
Richmond Academy seeks high quality educators who have hearts for God and demonstrate expertise in their field. One of the greatest attributes that our teachers should possess is a teachable spirit. Richmond Academy desires its leadership team (everyone who reports directly to the headmaster), faculty and staff to have a personal relationship with Christ, a relationship demonstrated by true servant leadership, humility and unconditional love. Our faculty should be a diverse group who teach here because they embrace and carry out the school’s mission. We want teachers who inspire the joy of learning, teachers who challenge students to think! We look for faculty who love students and pursue truth.
Do you know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do in order to get a crown that will last forever. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
God made me fast…and when I run I feel His pleasure. Eric Liddell, Olympic champion
Physical education and participation in athletic competition form an integral dimension of a well-rounded learning program. Richmond Academy encourages competition, the spirit of teamwork, and consistently doing one’s best. Our foremost desire is to encourage an athletic environment where Christ-like humility and self-discipline are the priorities. Richmond Academy seeks to serve every student in physical education, athlete and non-athlete alike.
While we hope that God will bless us with many outstanding athletic endeavors, it is even more important that we continue to encourage our athletes to embrace the full spectrum of student activity and leadership.
We hope for a greater celebration of changed lives and stronger relationships born out of our athletic program. Our emphasis on athletic excellence must never overshadow the more important goal of the triangle philosophy: we long to reach students and touch lives, to God’s glory, through athletics.
Effective schools exist for the students; students do not exist for the school. Chuck Swindoll
Richmond Academy seeks to admit girls and boys of average and above average academic ability who desire to be part of a school whose mission is focused on developing students in academics, athletics, and spiritual growth to the glory of God. During the admission process, the admission committee seeks to understand each applicant’s aspirations, dreams, and giftedness. One of the goals of the admission process is to predict a student’s academic progress. Knowing that understanding the mission of Richmond Academy is a process (that is a joyful journey) for each family, we seek to discern whether the student and family would ultimately embrace the mission of the school.
Given the unique nature of the school, the headmaster and the director of admission occasionally accept students who are considered academic risks but whose families desire our mission.
In summary, Richmond Academy’s vision is about:
…But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:l8