“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. … Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” —Ephesians 4:29, 32 (ESV)
Expanding on our elementary Culture of Kindness initiative, Heritage Christian Upper School seeks to foster a Culture of Integrity. Integrity is simply acting in accordance with one’s stated beliefs and values. We actively encourage truthfulness, moral courage, and accountability for one’s actions in a gracious and merciful manner. We want to do more than state our beliefs—we want be “doers of the word,” people who show our faith by our works, like those who build their house on solid rock.
There are many ways to approach the task of creating a culture of integrity, but not all work equally well. Common approaches tend to fall on opposite ends of a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum, shame-heavy approaches tend to produce unintended consequences such as secrecy and hypocrisy. On the opposite end, libertine—or shame-averse—approaches, which deny the reality of human sinfulness, tend to produce open immorality. In between these extremes is the approach the apostle Paul describes as “speaking the truth in love.” This is what we aim for.
With God’s help, we seek a balance of justice and mercy while striving to apply standards equitably to all. One tool that helps with this is our faith-based application process. HCA families are required to sign a statement of agreement with the school’s doctrinal and ethical commitments, a parent commitment form, and a church membership/pastoral reference form verifying good standing with a local evangelical church. This minimizes conflict up front by agreeing to work together on the basis of commonly accepted standards and expectations.
Leading the way on the front lines with our students are our caring and capable faculty and staff. These dedicated men and women model “truth in love” as they teach and counsel students and as they collaborate with one another and with parents. Not only do they provide high-calibur instruction in academics; they provide equally excellent training in what it means to be a disciple of Jesus in the nitty gritty of real life. In short, they love their students with the love of God.
In partnership with the administration, HCA’s upper school Student Council developed a student Code of Ethics that outlines the expectations to which students intend to hold themselves and each other accountable before God. This code, which is consistent with the existing Student Handbook and family covenant, promotes ownership and leadership among the students.
Another significant distinctive of a Heritage Christian education, and another key supporter of our Culture of Integrity, is our gospel-centered curriculum. Because the gospel—or good news about Jesus Christ—is integrated into all classes, it weakens the sacred-secular dualism that can so easily lead to hypocrisy. Moreover, keeping the gospel—rather than a mere list of rules and expectations—at the center of our efforts reduces the risk of the weeds of legalism and self-righteousness growing in the soil of our students’ hearts.
Heritage Christian Academy provides excellent facilities that help students feel at home while flourishing in academics, arts and athletics as well as in their social and spiritual growth.Preview HCA’s upper school campus