While we embrace a rigorous academic standard, this does not mean it is unattainable except by a select few. When students are taught with a classical model, they are able to learn more, learn faster, and learn more in depth. Children have a greater capacity for learning than we give them credit for and can find joy in being challenged. As a classical Christian school, we seek to educate every child in a way which helps them attain their God-given potential and develop the gifts God has given them. We expect students to filter into a wide variety of fields and careers upon graduation, and it is assumed that any God-honoring field of study or vocation is fair game for a young person with a St. Stephen’s education.
We support the parents’ God given calling to educate their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Our parents and faculty work together to achieve this end goal. We cultivate a community of parents, teachers and children who share the same values. Students form close friendships as they learn and grow together, helping and encouraging each other along the way.
We intentionally keep our student/teacher ratio low in order for every student to be known as an individual. Smaller class sizes provide plenty of opportunity for teacher/student interaction and help teachers care for the needs of each child. Students spend time developing ideas, wrestling with the ideas of others, and learning how to respond to those same ideas when they encounter them throughout their lives. We want students to know what is true, good, and beautiful and to know why. We want mature, confident students who enter the world as leaders, able to learn, think logically, and communicate well.
"The gift of knowledge is a life-long blessing. The skill of discernment is critical for life-directing choices. The building of a child’s character satisfies a parent’s duty to pass on values. The teachers and staff at St. Stephen’s Academy are able partners to these tasks and we are pleased to call them ‘family’."
"Though our family has long been a friend of the school, we did not come to St. Stephen’s until part way through high school. Before that, our son attended three Christian schools in the Portland area. Each included many wonderful Christian families, administrators, and teachers, but it became apparent as the years passed that St. Stephen’s was more successfully creating a student culture that prizes Christian faith, social grace, and academic zeal. In the end, it is simply the young people themselves who most clearly reveal the priorities of the churches, families, administrators, and teachers who make up the school community. At St. Stephen’s, these factors have, by God’s grace, created a group of children and young adults that is a great joy. We invite you to come and see."
"Our son entered St. Stephen's at 9th grade after homeschooling during his elementary and junior high years. While this was quite a different learning environment, the staff and students helped him make the transition with little difficulty. The teachers at St. Stephen's are wonderful role models who have inspired him to work hard and enjoy learning and have also provided lots of extracurricular activities in the form of sports, drama, and a trip to Washington D. C. During every class, he is challenged by the coursework and learns every subject as an integrated part of the world God made. Throughout the year, I have seen not only his mind change, but also his heart change as he comes to know God and His creation more fully. Because of spending his high school years at St. Stephen's, my son will have an excellent academic education, but most importantly, he will know what is true, good, and beautiful and know why. Every school day is spent internalizing a Biblical worldview which enables him to confidently share his faith with those around him. I am thankful that the money and time invested in St. Stephen's now is preparing my son for the rest of his life."
"The curriculum is rich, the teachers are loving and caring, the parents are committed and involved in their kids education, and most importantly my kids LOVE their school. They memorize poems that melt my heart. They are learning Bible stories they love to retell with passion. They have a chance to practice the fruits of the spirit daily as they interact with other students, with biblical guidance from their teachers. I firmly believe in the learning model of classical Christian education and the approach that is taken so kids not only learn a ton of information, but they retain and really know and understand it! My kids can recite word for word every song, scripture, and poem they have learned this year. It's amazing! My favorite part is I get to learn alongside them as we practice daily memory work."