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Curriculum Detail - US

Upper School Academic Departments

Religion

The Religion program encourages each student to become the person God created and calls him or her to be. With the Bible as its foundation, the program seeks to nurture students personally, and to challenge them intellectually and spiritually as they explore the Jewish, Christian, and other faith traditions.

Five quarters of religion are required for graduation: Sophomore Ethics, Senior Ethics, New Testament Survey (a semester class), and one other religion class.

  • Ethics for Sophomores

    Grade 10
    One Quarter
    ¼ credit
    This is a required course.
    This course focuses on the specific moral decisions of life in the Upper School: lying, cheating, stealing, drinking, and relationships, among others.
  • Christian Themes in Films

    Grades 10–12
    One Quarter
    ¼ credit
    This course focuses on recognizing and analyzing Christian themes that appear in films, such as redemption, sin, repentance, human freedom, and love. Films range from Freedom Rider to Chariots of Fire.
  • Senior Ethics

    Grade 12
    One Quarter
    ¼ credit
    This is a required course.
    The course explores the ethical implications of faith. Themes of human disobedience and God’s justice and the ethical foundations for developing guidelines for a responsible believer are explored.
  • New Testament Survey

    Grades 9-11
    One Semester 
    ½ credit
    This is a required course.
    This course will introduce students to Christianity as a cultural, relational, and political force shaping the world, particularly the modern United States. The course examines how Christian scriptures and traditions have contributed to American public life and how diverse groups of Christians have drawn upon faith to address the most pressing social problems of their day. Our focus will be on conceptions of justice in human relationships derived from faith, tradition, reason, and experience. The goal of the course is to prepare students to think critically about religion in the world, and to equip them for their own work in facing the challenges of the 21st century.
  • Religion and Music: Sacred Sound

    Grades 9-12
    One Quarter
    1/4 credit
    This course will explore the numerous roles that music plays in religious and spiritual contexts around the world. We will compare religious musical practice from a global perspective, exploring the connections between religious doctrines, rituals, and cultural performances. The scope of the class will cover the major world religions using listening, analysis, and discussion to develop a foundation of understanding for music’s role to express reverence for and connection with the divine.
  • Religions of the World: Contemporary Issues

    Grade 9-12
    One Quarter
    ¼ credit
    During this quarter-long course, students will be introduced to two religious literacy frameworks that will serve as a guide for the exploration of each religious tradition. They will begin the quarter by exploring the concept of religious freedom by analyzing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18 and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. For the remainder of the quarter, students will have an opportunity to review the basic beliefs and practices of five traditions with the primary focus on exploring how religious traditions deal with current issues: climate change, gender, being a religious minority in the United States, and violence and peace.
  • Religion and Music - Sacred Sound

    Grades 9-12
    One Quarter
    ¼ credit
    This course will explore the numerous roles that music plays in religious and spiritual contexts around the world. We will compare religious musical practice from a global perspective, exploring the connections between religious doctrines, rituals, and cultural performances. The scope of the class will cover the major world religions using listening, analysis, and discussion to develop a foundation of understanding for music’s role in expressing reverence for and connection with the divine.
  • Summer New Testament Survey

    Grades 9-11
    One Semester 
    ½ credit
    This is a required course.
    This course focuses on the Bible, starting with fundamental readings from the Hebrew Scriptures but spending a majority of time on the Christian writings that comprise the New Testament. In order to help students understand the complexities involved in Christianity continuing to be a major influence on culture in the modern world, there are periodic forays into historical and contemporary material that illustrate the interplay of religion and culture. For example, time is spent on modern ways of interpreting scripture that have shaped our western world and American society. Students consider how modern science has challenged the traditional Christian world-view, and question the degree to which politics should be influenced by religious belief.

Department Faculty

  • Photo of Sean Cavanaugh
    Sean Cavanaugh
    Religion Department Chair and Chaplain
    703-212-2770
    Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, VA - M.Div.
    East Carolina University, Greenville, NC - B.A.
  • Photo of Elizabeth Rees
    Elizabeth Rees
    Religion Teacher and Chaplain
    703-212-2759
  • Photo of Scott Strednak Singer
    Scott Strednak Singer
    Religion Teacher
    703-212-2708
    Temple University - Ph.D.
    Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary - M.A.
    Centre College - B.A.
Age 3-Grade 12 coed Episcopal day school in Alexandria, Virginia

Campuses

List of 3 items.

  • Lower School

    Age 3-Grade 5
    400 Fontaine Street
    Alexandria, Virginia 22302
  • Middle School

    Grades: 6-8
    4401 West Braddock Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304
  • Upper School

    Grades: 9-12
    1000 St. Stephen's Road
    Alexandria, Virginia 22304