Faith Formation

Lower School students lead chapel

“Minnehaha Academy is first and foremost a Christian school. This is the definite purpose for which it was founded. We make no apology for emphasizing that this is its distinctive feature. On the contrary, it would be necessary to apologize if this were not so. Minnehaha Academy believes that true education consists of more than the acquisition of knowledge. It stands for the training of the heart as well as the head and the hand.” 

- T.W. Anderson (First President of Minnehaha Academy)

Faith at Minnehaha

Ultimately, integrating faith and learning happens by creating a space that welcomes conversations and questions, and fosters relationship. Daily, we strive to be a caring community of whole and holy people who walk with Jesus. 

In a practical sense, we integrate faith through:

  • Worship in chapel
  • Instructional strategies like Learning Transformed
  • Deeper learning in Core Formation Experiences
  • The Leadership Institute
  • Pursuing the work of racial righteousness and reconciliation 

Students’ spiritual development extends far beyond our scheduled Chapel times into all areas of student life including classroom instruction, athletics, daily interaction with faculty and staff, and classroom practices such as devotions, time in prayer, and Bible teachings. 

Faith formation is an ongoing process, through the work of the Holy Spirit within a caring community of faculty, staff, students and families, of inviting people to know God’s love, encouraging hearts and minds to trust and follow Jesus, and inspiring lives of servant leadership as we discover our unique potential in sharing our God-given gifts with the world.


In chapel, students and faculty encounter God through worship in a caring community. Chapel is where we tell the story of what God has done, hear what Christ is doing, and encourage one another to join the work of the Holy Spirit in the renewal of all things. As an important part of our life together at Minnehaha Academy, each school has corporate worship once each week. Chapel typically consists of music and a message.  

Kinder and Upper School chapel
Student-Led Chapel

Leading Peers and Sharing Gifts

Chapel is an opportunity students have to share their gifts with their peers, and deepen their leadership skills.

Students are responsible for creating chapel services throughout the year. As a class or as Chapel Interns, students write the message, prepare worship music, and run the AV equipment. They are responsible for creating a service that will resonate with the age of the students they are designing the chapel for. And, contrary to what you might initially think, older students do not necessarily prepare chapels only for younger students. Kindergarten students prepared a chapel service for Upper School students as a part of their Core class. Student-run chapels are powerful times when students can encourage others, hone their leadership skills, and share what is on their heart.

"It's hard to describe the uniqueness of Minnehaha Academy.  All I can say is, God is there."

-Chris Blue, '75 alum and parent

Transformational Learning

At Minnehaha Academy, our desire is that students become active participants in God’s story, engaging their whole selves: head, heart, and hands. Using the paradigm of Teaching for Transformation the following practices are how we provide a high quality education integrating Christian faith and learning so that students grow in wisdom and stature and favor with God and others. 

Deep Hope

Each faculty member has worked on a ‘North Star’ vision for students & their learning in God’s story. A deep hope creates focus, direction, & serves as an invitation to a way of being together in the classroom, and asks teachers to think about what they want students to remember from their class 60 years from now. 


Stories help us make sense of the world around us. In each classroom learning is oriented around a storyline that serves to offer context, deepen understanding, and connect us to God’s story in a Distinctively Christian way. Storylines are one way teachers express their deep hope for students. 


The throughline is the way we walk out our faith in Jesus. Throughlines help us realize who we are created to be and the work we are appointed to do, leading to deepened character through a clarified sense of identity, purpose, and vocation. Derived from our philosophy and mission statement, they are: Justice Seeker, Image Bearer, Community Builder, Beauty Creator, Creation Keeper, Servant Leader, Order Discoverer, Truth Discerner, and Mosaic Encourager.

Deeper Learning

Exceptional Academics begins with the development of meaningful skills and knowledge. Students Cultivate Potential through Core Formation experiences and projects that use their knowledge and skills to produce beautiful work that addresses real needs and real problems in the real world.

Learning TransformeD In Action 

Middle School Students Lead Lower School Chapel

Leadership Institute

The Minnehaha Academy Leadership Institute (MLI) is a program specifically designed for Middle and Upper School students who want to deepen their leadership skills. Through a variety of intentional activities during the year, students grow as servant leaders who use their gifts to glorify God and bring good to their neighbor. 

Read about the Leadership Institute

Racial Reconciliation

We are committed to fostering an environment that exemplifies racial harmony and peace fueled by our love for Christ and one another. We desire to be a model of God's beloved community, living out the belief of the inherent honor and dignity of each individual as an image bearer of God.

our Commitment to Racial Reconciliation

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