The mission of The Collegiate School of Memphis is to prepare young ladies and gentlemen for college success within a highly structured, nurturing, Christian environment.
The Collegiate School of Memphis embraces as its core values those ideals which enable young men and women to grow and develop both personally and in relation to those with whom they come in contact. We believe that these core values will foster in students, faculty, and staff the pursuit of authenticity, discernment, curiosity, understanding, and empathy in their relationships with God, self, and others through purposeful, intentional, focused study.
The culture of the school is one characterized by charity, mutual respect, and kindness. All people are to be treated with dignity as made in the Image of God. Everyone at Collegiate is expected to maintain the highest standard of respect for one’s self, other people, and property. In light of this expectation, manners, politeness, and etiquette will be stressed and taught throughout a scholar’s experience at the school. Scholars at Collegiate are taught that they must choose a positive attitude as they enter the building. Choosing to wear a smile, extend a warm handshake, or offer words of encouragement are commended, whereas if scholars choose to roll their eyes, pout, or use disrespectful body posture, they are choosing to be disciplined. Collegiate is dedicated to a school culture of respect and kindness.
Collegiate believes that academic success is a result of hard work. Our instructors teach that the only place where “success” is found before “work” is in the dictionary. Hard work is overtly encouraged in every class. Hard work is near the heart of the culture of the school. We are in full agreement with Thomas Edison who said that “Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.” Every person at Collegiate—the administration, staff, faculty, and scholars—is required to put forth the continuous effort required to bring out the human potential of every individual scholar. There is no substitute for hard work—it is the “Collegiate Way.” Scholars will be asked to work harder than they ever have before, yet they will also be encouraged, supported, and loved as they do. Work is good.
Collegiate is passionate and dedicated about educating the whole scholar. The school has a standard of high expectations and maintains rigorous academic as well as behavioral standards. At Collegiate, a scholar’s words, attitude, and actions are as important as his or her academic performance. We agree with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “Intelligence plus character is the goal of true education.” At Collegiate, scholars are expected to tell the truth at all times. Any scholar who chooses dishonesty will appear before the school’s Honor Council which upholds the high ideals of the school. Integrity is expected from everyone at the school.
Teaching the whole person—encouraging healthy development physically, morally, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and academically—is a primary objective of Collegiate. The entire school experience is to encourage and train scholars to take responsibility for each of these areas of their lives. To encourage personal responsibility, scholar choice is always stressed—scholars either choose to make their homework a priority or not; they choose to respect the rules of the school or not; they choose whether they are in afternoon detention or not by the choices they make. Through stressing choice, our goal is that scholars progressively internalize their responsibilities.
Academic performance is a by-product of self-discipline and self-control. Highly structured environments are more conducive to learning; therefore, all scholars will be required to follow the guidelines in the school and rules of classroom decorum closely. Furthermore, self-discipline is a mark of maturity which is a goal as the school seeks to educate the whole person. Self-discipline is stressed, as part of the school’s culture, in ways as simple as learning how to maintain silence, having the ability to read in an uninterrupted fashion, turning in all homework assignments, and learning how to maintain a scholarly posture during class. We firmly believe that discipline in the details leads to success in the larger issues.
The human will is one of God’s great gifts to us and one of the most powerful human faculties that we possess. Some call it “drive;” others refer to it as “grit;” some describe it as “stick-to-it-ness.” At Collegiate, this fighting spirit is consciously fostered. Someone once said, “Often the difference between the possible and the impossible is a person’s determination.” We believe that “stubbornness pointed in the right direction” can take a scholar far in life.
All who are part of Collegiate are asked to invest themselves in the school’s community and culture. Everyone has ownership and everyone has a responsibility to make the school’s culture and community even stronger. Whether it is a smile from the head of school, the outstanding quality of a teacher’s lesson plan, the scholar who produces excellent homework, a scholar thoughtfully holding the door for another scholar, or simply picking up a piece of litter in the hallway to spare a custodian the effort, everyone has a role in building a strong community. At Collegiate, we are part of something larger than ourselves—we all are striving to build a community of faith, joy, encouragement, respect, and excellence.
Paul wrote to the Church, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I will say it, Rejoice!” As Christians, we have joy because we have a genuine reason to rejoice; God, our Creator, loves us and has made Himself known to us. He has forgiven us for all of our wrongdoings and has rescued us through the work of His Son. He has prepared a place in Heaven for us and has promised to take us to be with Him when our time on Earth is finished. Finally, God has promised us that everything will be made perfect when His Son, Jesus Christ, returns to make all things new. We certainly have a reason to rejoice, and at Collegiate the joy of these realities is communicated and modeled by the faculty and staff. At Collegiate, you will see plenty of smiles.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good” is a common refrain in the Bible. God’s people are to be a thankful people who are continuously thankful to God for who He is and for what He has accomplished. God’s people are to strive to develop a disposition of gratitude for the gift of life, for the gift of creation, for the gift of family, for the gift of truth, for the gift of work, for the gift of friends, for the gift of learning, for the gift of forgiveness, for the gift of salvation, and for the gift of Heaven, our eternal home. At Collegiate, we want to be grateful for all of God’s gifts. Each day throughout the school we seek to foster an environment of gratitude and encourage the continual expression of thanksgiving to God and to one another.
It is no accident that a cross is on the crest of our school. The cross of Jesus Christ is a powerful symbol that reminds us of God’s supreme sacrifice on our behalf. The Bible teaches us that “Greater love has no one than this, that he lays down his life for his friends.” As followers of Christ, we are called to a life characterized by sacrificial love. When Jesus taught His disciples how to serve, He took up a towel and a basin of water, and He washed their feet. He then told them, “I have set for you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” In obedience to this command, we at Collegiate strive every day, as God grants us the strength, to encourage, serve, and love one another sacrificially. It is the way of the cross.