Character Education

Canterbury School recognizes that the elements of a student’s intellectual, moral, and social growth are inextricably intertwined.

That's why we strive to create an environment that supports such growth through respect for self and others, and a cooperative attitude toward learning and working within a community of high standards and expectations.

Within the academic program, our faculty incorporate opportunities for students to grow intellectually. Learning is a process that extends well beyond the classroom, and the most enduring form of teaching is by example. As a community, we recognize many daily opportunities for promoting and modeling ethical choices and appropriate behavior.

Our advisory groups, daily Chapel, community service efforts, and religion classes are just a few of the programs that promote character education.

Through these programs we strive to create an atmosphere of kindness, respect, trust, and honesty and among students, teachers, and parents.

These qualities, in turn, promote not only academic growth, but also the development of moral strength and self-discipline – qualities of character that will enable students to become positive, lifelong contributors to society.


Each morning, the High School comes together for House meetings, grade level meetings, or Chapel. This time for reflection includes a personal message from a faculty member, presentations from students, or a visit from a community leader. Chapel topics deal with issues important to the lives of students including local and world problems, service and volunteerism, friendship, respect for others, leadership, honesty and kindness.

Community Service

Canterbury believes in the benefits of volunteering within a community. To support this belief, community service is expected of all students in various ways at different grade levels.

Sophomores are required to complete 20 hours of community service and juniors must complete 40. All projects must be approved by the school.

While the hour requirement is substantial, many students are voluntarily active with projects above this number through church and community organization activities as well as through the school’s Key Club and school-sponsored projects. Additionally, the entire faculty and student body participate in a House Service Day in the spring, helping organizations in the community.

Spiritual Development

From service opportunities, to studying religious leaders and Biblical heroes, to learning about the differences and similarities of world religions, to supporting individual spiritual growth and promoting peace, Canterbury’s religion program makes an impact on the daily lives of students.

While the school is non-denominational, the founders felt it was important it be grounded in Christian principles. In doing so, the school focuses on teaching values and helping students to grow in spirit.

The basic principle of religion classes is to present students with the underlying issues, themes, beliefs and practices common to many religions. The Canterbury community is made up of many religions including Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Christian. With this in mind, classes are respectful of diversity and do not teach doctrine. Religion classes also are seen as a way to address ethical situations and personal beliefs from an intellectual perspective.

High School students are required to take Introduction to Ethics and World Religions. Introduction to Ethics focuses on discussions of honesty, the Honor Code and relationships with family and friends. Students also delve into issues such as capital punishment, media influence and rumors. In World Religion students learn about different religious viewpoints by studying major figures of world religions. Additionally representatives from various faiths are invited in to answer questions from students.

All seniors take a Senior Seminar as well as Ethics and Diversity. Senior Seminars mirror Freshman Seminars typical in many college programs. The seminars focus on a central question that students explore through research and discussion. The Ethics and Diversity are courses one-quarter-long explorations of topics related to ethical decision-making and perspectives for thinking about issues of diversity relevant to contemporary society.