At SFC, our deepest foundation is biblical truth. We view each school subject, each sport, and each friendship through a Christian lens. Because of that, our teachers and staff build students up by taking an active role in their lives. We are not just interested in academic or athletic performance — we care about each student holistically: body, mind, and soul.
Faith is key — whether in the classroom or on the field — our hope is for students’ head knowledge to sink in and become heart knowledge. We approach every opportunity with a student as a chance to mentor and model discipleship.
“In athletics, it starts with a relationship,” Athletic Director Doug Miller affirms. Coaches don’t just look at the athletes on the field or the court but look at their hearts as individuals. “It allows us to have very truthful and very loving conversations with our athletes and thus, a mentorship comes out of that intentional relationship we work towards.” In athletics, academics, and extracurriculars, SFC students are shown how to honor God by loving Him and others.
Instead of only focusing on academics and intellectual knowledge, our teachers are after deeper growth. Fifth-grade language arts teacher Jessica Martin says, “Our role has shifted from bringing information for students to learn, to cultivating who they are.” We want to ask the question, “What does a lifelong learner who loves Jesus look like,” then emulate those traits inside and outside the classroom.
“That’s why I love Christian education,” Jessica shares. “Whether it’s in a discussion or learning prepositional phrases…, who I am and how I feel about Jesus comes through in those conversations.” Our teachers are able to blend their passion for Christ and education to serve their students every day.
Our students are given many chances to learn through failure. It can feel like their world is crumbling if they don’t complete their homework or forget their lunch for the day. These real mistakes are affordable — meaning students can learn from their failures in a safe environment.
“Life will throw you lots of things. You’ll make mistakes. Unfortunate things will happen,” Hannah Park, our Lower School principal reflects. “But it’s when these things happen in life, our teachers are surrounding our children right then and there to help them understand how you can get through them.”
Our three character building blocks for the Lower School are respect, responsibility, and resourcefulness — in all areas of life. “Ideally we want to see kids who treat each other with respect and kindness,” Jessica adds. We think it’s vital that every SFC student understands what compassion and empathy mean, and how to shine the light of Christ. At SFC, our job isn’t to make sure students never experience hardship. But our job is to ensure that they know how to regard others as important, take ownership of their actions, and think critically. Every decision can be an act of worship to Christ, and our staff walks with them in the process of growing into who God has created them to be.
Focused on faith
Bible teacher Mark Andriany says, “I don’t want any kid to walk out of my class with the mentality that the Bible is just a textbook.” His main objective is not for students to be filled with facts about Jesus. He wants them to leave Bible class genuinely enjoying God for who He is.
“We want these kids to understand that their faith is not just about some doctrinal head knowledge,” Mr. Andreotti adds.
With their focus on honoring God in everything they do, our faculty and staff have the chance to model that to students. “I have the freedom to live out my faith and my Christian walk and to be able to encourage kids in that,” says Jessica Martin. It’s not about forcing students to believe something, but showing them the beauty of Jesus through tangible actions.
“We’re a faith-centered family — focused on the love of Christ,” says Middle School principal, Todd Deveau, “Everything is taught from a biblical worldview. You can feel the Holy Spirit in every nook and cranny all across the campus, and everything we do is to bring glory to God.”
Creating opportunities for students to invest in others
One opportunity for our Lower School students to show the love of Christ is through the buddy program. In fifth grade, students have the chance to be a “buddy” to a first grader. Through this exciting opportunity, our fifth-graders are able to act as mentors to their first-grade friends. Science teacher Jackie Lewis notes, “It really brings out the best in them. They make good decisions and they’re responsible, attentive, and caring towards their younger buddy.”
The Middle School has over 40 electives, all opportunities for students to explore, to be curious, and to discover their passions. In all these electives, our mission is to give each student the chance to realize their unique giftings.
For Grant Stephenson, it’s overseeing a student-run store through a leadership elective. Students purchase inventory and sell on campus during the week. The best part? It’s driven by a mission-minded focus. The proceeds go toward funding meals for students at a nearby elementary school.
Samuel, one of our seventh-grade students, says, “It’s an opportunity for our Middle School as a whole to be able to do something that is not just focusing on us and it is able to help other people who are less fortunate.”
Mr. Stephenson’s goal is for students to fully understand that their work is making a lasting impact on other kids. It’s a practical way to love their neighbor. “Santa Fe Christian students always impress me when you get them out of the classroom into ministry opportunities,” Mr. Stephenson says. “They always rise higher than expectations.”
Another one of our students, Carson, appreciates the purpose behind the student store. “It’s just enjoyable because one, you get to do hands-on activities, in this case, the student store. Another thing is that we know that it’s going to a good cause.”
The two greatest commands for us as Christians to live out are to love God and love others. And through this store and other avenues, we offer our students a real way to live this out.
Opportunities to grow in their faith
The classroom isn’t the only place where a Christian worldview is front and center. One of the greatest opportunities is through our chapel program, driven by relevant themes like “authenticity.”
Lower School Assistant Principal Amanda Walker says worship is more than singing songs. “It’s teaching them how to build a personal relationship with God while being in a setting with a lot of other people. So it’s personal, but it’s in a community.” We show students that even something as simple as placing your trash in the trash receptacle can glorify God.
Some of our other outreach opportunities include a Middle School service trip to the San Diego Rescue Mission. Advisory teacher Kelly Lind says the purpose is to “allow them to grow their empathy for others.” By interacting with others, our students can broaden their perspective and grow in being compassionate and loving.
Kristi Ellis, assistant principal of our Middle School, says another chance has been partnering with a nearby elementary school to create a school garden and write letters to their students. This has helped our Middle School students to experience greater empathy and care for others.
One of our seventh-graders, Megan, shares, “It really humbles me when I get a letter from them [students] because we’ve never met in person. They’re so vulnerable with us and it’s just really fun to be able to see what they say.”
Another seventh-grade student, Sadie, reflects, “It feels good because we [are] stepping outside of ourselves and doing something to help others. It’s not really something you get to do most of the time, because sometimes you’re self-centered. So it’s nice to step outside of our comfort zone.”
Principal Dr. Deveau reflects on the unique process of discipleship, “It’s going to look a little different depending on whether someone is a fourth-grader, a seventh-grader, or an eleventh-grader. [But] they’re ready to understand and wrestle with different elements of faith.”
In the classroom, in athletics, in ministry, and in chapel, our students are encouraged to be deeply rooted in their faith. All our faculty and staff are committed to helping each one of our students continue to grow and strengthen their love for Christ.