Christian Character Development Program
“A PACS student will not lie, cheat, steal, defame others or destroy their property, nor will they tolerate those who do.”
The purpose of the Christian Character Development Program is to educate and develop the next generation of leaders for Christ by teaching biblical values that promote personal integrity, ethical decision making and sound judgment, social responsibility, accountability within a body of believers, and acts of service.
Effective Christian education transcends intellectual development; it involves the affective and practical teachings of Jesus Christ as its foundation upon which traits like integrity, moral and ethical decision making, and servant leadership are taught.
The program consists of four pillars: distinguished speakers, student discussion groups, the student honor code, and a community service program.
Pillar I: Distinguished Speaker Series
The first pillar of the Christian Character Development Program is a recurring series of distinguished speakers whose presentations repeatedly emphasize the Christian character traits of integrity, ethical decision-making, sound judgment, social conduct, and servant leadership. Presentations are given quarterly during chapel and are attended by the entire upper school student body, faculty, and staff. Parents, grandparents, and family members of the student body are always invited to attend.
Pillar II: Student Discussion Groups
The second pillar of the program consists of small student discussion groups (or seminar groups) that are led by members of the high school faculty. These discussion groups are held the week following each speaker’s presentation, and students are assigned to groups by grade.
Discussion guides constructed from the speaker’s main teaching points are used by the teachers to facilitate and encourage students to share their impressions and opinions on the topics the distinguished speaker presented. Through repeated exposure to the five topics: integrity, ethical decision-making and sound judgment, social conduct, accountability within a body of believers, and servant leadership, the objective of these first two interactive pillars is to develop young Christian men and women of character to meet the challenges of high school and in life.
Pillar III: Student Honor Code
All students are expected to uphold the standards of the Honor Code, an exceedingly challenging endeavor for parents and teachers to impart due to the mass media and technology community’s almost inexhaustible resources, which provide 24/7 accesses to conflicting ethical and moral messages upon young, impressionable minds.
Prince Avenue Christian School Honor Code
The school’s Honor Code encompasses five main areas: lying, cheating, stealing, defaming another person or intentionally damaging another person’s property, and remaining silent when a student has knowledge of these actions. In the PACS community, lying, cheating, defaming others and intentionally damaging another person’s property cannot be tolerated.
Lying: A student lying or purposely misrepresenting the truth violates the Honor Code.
Cheating: A student giving or receiving unauthorized help on a test or graded assignment, or a student submitting the work of another as his/her own, violates the Honor Code.
Defaming others: A student speaking or writing (includes on-line) with malicious intent to injure unjustly a person’s reputation violates the Honor Code. Malicious intent is the deliberate attempt and plan to do harm both in the real and on-line worlds.
Intentionally damaging the property of another: A student deliberately and intentionally causing damage to property of the school, the property of the faculty and staff and administration, or the property of his/her fellow students violates the Honor Code.
Remaining silent when a student has knowledge of these actions: When a student has personal knowledge of the Honor Code being violated, he/she is obligated to inform the proper authority (teacher, coach, staff member or administer).
The inclusion of the student honor code in the Christian Character Development Program is deliberate, and its presence is intended to elevate student awareness of its importance within the day-to-day operations of the upper school.
Pillar IV: Volunteer Service Program
The program’s final component is servant leadership, which requires students to engage in a specified number of volunteer service hours by grade. The modeling of Christ like behavior in the form of volunteer service reinforces the knowledge and theoretical concepts heard in the distinguished speaker presentations and discussed in the student seminar groups.
Students may accumulate their volunteer service hours as an individual or as a member of a group. Service Club Advisors (Beta, Interact Club, NHS or NJHS), grade advisors, co-curricular teachers, and athletic team coaches routinely seek volunteer service opportunities for the students to build camaraderie within their respective programs.
Students must accumulate sixty-five hours of volunteer service to meet graduation requirements from Prince Avenue Christian School. This is intended to be an incremental approach that leads up to the capstone service project senior year which is the international missions trip. The volunteer service hours accumulated in each grade must be completed before the student begins the next school year. Documented summer service hours will be accepted.
Volunteer Service Hour Requirement by Grade
- 9th Grade: 10 hours
- 10th Grade: 15 hours
- 11th Grade: 20 hours
- 12th Grade: 20 hours (omitted if the student attends the senior mission trip)