Westminster Leads Way Academically, Athletically and Artistically
Building on the opportunities presented by its new $70 million, 70-acre campus, Westminster Christian Academy is making the most of the possibilities presented by the new property to lead the way in academics, athletics and the arts in St. Louis.
“Our building presents a wide range of opportunities for our students – opportunities to build our programs and to become better,” says Head of School Jim Marsh. “We are examining how we move forward and maximize those opportunities. We have been blessed, and now we need to be a blessing.”
Westminster is taking strategic steps to implement specific academic improvements, including the implementation of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) major, with involvement in the Project Lead the Way initiative.
The decision to implement this program began with recognition of the world’s need for individuals highly skilled in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Marsh sites Apple as an example, noting that the company is looking overseas to hire many of its engineers. “This has monumental implications for the kind of education our students receive,” says Marsh. “It means taking significant steps to equip young people who aspire to pursue careers in those fields. By giving them opportunities to see if God has gifted them in a certain area, we are able to encourage and nurture that gift as best we can,” says Marsh.
A student who “majors” in STEM will be able to use every opportunity in his or her education to become more skilled and knowledgeable in the field, taking advantage of opportunities to be mentored by individuals at companies such as Boeing and Monsanto. “This will provide a much richer experience for these students – not only in the classroom but also in the outside world,” says Marsh.
The school was grateful for a $65,000 grant from the William R. Orthwein, Jr. and Laura Rand Orthwein Foundation to make the implementation of the program possible next year.
While STEM will allow students who choose the major to focus primarily on science and math, Westminster has established hallmark programs in each of the disciplines so that students may become proficient as they would in a specific major in college. In the history department, the We the People program allows students with an aptitude for civic competence and responsibility to interact with members of Congress and be impacted by support from educational, professional, business, and community organizations across the nation. In the Bible department, the Senior Integration Project prepares and equips students to face the opportunities and challenges that face Christ’s disciples in this complex and increasingly fast-paced world. The English department provides an intensive conferencing program, in which students go through several drafts with each writing assignment and are mentored by their teachers along the way. Westminster’s physical education department is developing a stronger focus on lifetime fitness and training the all-around athlete through its Strength and Conditioning program. Plans for a fine arts conservatory in which instructors will be continuously available to aspiring musicians are in the works.
Marsh says, “Each of these programs is distinctive and challenges students to not only learn but apply key skills that they will carry with them into college and beyond in the professional world.”
*The above information was provided by Westminster Christian Academy in a press release.