“A Heritage from the Lord”
Holmesburg Christian Academy (HCA) is a small, Christian school in Northeast Philadelphia, serving 200 students from preschool through 8th grade. At HCA, we believe that children are indeed a gift from the Lord, as our school’s verse proclaims: “Children are a heritage from the Lord.” (Psalm 127:3).
Our mission is to challenge and prepare a diverse family of learners to make a positive impact in our ever-changing world by growing their faith through academic, spiritual, and social experiences that integrate creative thinking and a Biblical worldview, all for the glory of God. Our vision and passion are for children, who are most precious to the Lord – our children, the children of our churches and communities.
We are a small school. One on one attention. Every child needs it, and lots of it. So we keep class sizes small. This fosters a better connection between students and teachers and between teachers and parents, and it gives our school an atmosphere of family-like community. It also allows us to make sure every student is able to get the help they need to succeed. We strive to make them feel known, understood, and valued as they learn so that they will grow to be confident, articulate, and graceful in their social interactions and engagements.
We are a school that loves “big thinking.” God is bigger than we can comprehend. He made heaven and earth, galaxies and mountains, you and me. Yet He made it so that we can really know Him and understand something of Him and His plan for us in the world. In the Bible we discover what education (and everything!) is ultimately about: glorifying and enjoying Christ in everything we do. And that transforms school and learning from being a necessary evil to a delightful act of worship.
Whether we’re discovering the logic of algebra, marveling at the complexity of biology, or getting lost in a well-crafted piece of literature, we know that everything we learn reflects something of Him, and that is glorious. Our students learn to think big because our gracious God is big.
We are an experienced and accredited school. Started in 1975 as a ministry of Holmesburg Baptist Church, HCA gradually expanded from 16 students to about 200. Unlike many smaller schools, we are fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and we are a member school of the Mid-Atlantic Christian Schools Association.
The community in which Holmesburg Christian Academy serves has experienced significant change over the last 40 years. These changes have created a variety of pressing needs.
Safe Place in a Broken World. Originally serving families from local churches, we are increasingly sought out by non-Christian parents seeking to provide their children with an escape from the broken public education system and the broken morals of the world around us. As the social and economic structures of our community continue to collapse, the need for this safe place in our community grows only greater.
Support. In years past, our children often had stable Christian families with loving parents, this is no longer the case. Many are from broken homes. Some are foster children. Many have behavior and emotional issues. Some have no background of Christian faith. These changes make it more necessary to invest relationally in our children and their families with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our teachers are not just teachers, they are missionaries! We must have the resources necessary to provide the patient emotional and behavioral supports that these students need to succeed.
Challenge and Hope. More and more students are arriving at Holmesburg after having been failed by the public and charter school systems. Students that have learning difficulties have been sidelined. Nothing has been expected from them, so they have not grown at all. At HCA we believe that each student is made in the image of God, and we encourage them to perform to the fullest potential. “YOU CAN DO THIS!” is the rallying cry. Thanks to our part-time special education teacher, we have been able to include many children that we previously would have turned away. But we need to do more!
Financial Resources. The families most in need in our churches and our community are simply unable to afford the tuition that we must charge to keep the school running. HCA currently relies on tuition for over 95% of our budget. This makes it hard to accept students in need, and to ensure proper funding for the full range of services and educational opportunities we aim to provide. This dependence on tuition also impacts organizational stability as enrollment changes. We must move from a tuition-only model to a tuition + giving model, aiming to increase outside support from under 5% to 35%.
A Changing Call
The mission of Holmesburg Christian Academy to educate children for the glory of God remains. But as the position and role of the church in the urban environment has changed over the last 40 years, so also has God’s call to us.
HCA is called from its earlier work primarily inside the church to a new mission field that lies beyond. For us to embark on this new mission, we must be sent. We know that God has called us to this work. We need partner churches and individuals to send us forth for this work, with encouragement, prayer, and financial support.
Christian education is an essential light for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we believe it is most needed in places that can least afford it. That’s where you come in: will you partner with us in this mission? Let’s bring the light of Jesus to children through Christian education.