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St. Dunstans Academy Shield

Why a Boarding School?

Families are the primary place of education,

and the place where boys first learn virtue and the love of God and neighbor.

Christian Boarding Schools in VA

Why then, are we encouraging families to send their sons to boarding school?

Around the age of 14, boys in virtually every culture around the globe and through the centuries have begun their rites of passage. These events help them leave boyhood behind and embrace their calling as mature men.

American culture no longer provides the opportunity for boys to separate from their domestic life, be initiated into manhood, and incorporated into a body of men.

At a boarding school designed to bring up godly men, these opportunities are ever-present, and intentionally built into the rhythm of school life. The combination of faithful Christian rhythms and culture, a band of brothers to live with, and the guidance and love of godly mentors help boys grow into the men God created them to be.

The Band of Brothers

Boys thrive in what Anthony Esolen calls “the platoon,” and what William Shakespeare called a “band of brothers.” Boys are inspired by good company and an adventure lived out with good companions. They spur one another on to brave deeds and the formation of good character. When this social instinct is warped, evil company “corrupts good habits” (1. Cor. 15:33). When it is sanctified, even a small group of good men can do great work for the Kingdom of God.

The Power of Good Mentoring

Boys also learn to be men by imitation. They watch other faithful men live out their vocations in the world, and strive to live their lives the same way. As Paul exhorted the Corinthian church to “imitate me” (1 Cor. 4:16), so young Christian men need to be watching older men if they are going to grow into manhood successfully.

This mentoring from a group of faithful Christian men is increasingly difficult to find. Many faithful parishes are small, and boys do not always have a group of men present to usher them into maturity.

A School Designed for Christian Formation

Boarding school provides unique opportunities for faithful daily worship, meaningful work, rigorous studies, powerful mentors, and great adventures. For many boys, it is the best place to gain a coherent vision of the rich and abundant life Christ has to offer.