Educational Philosophy

Our Educational Philosophy Body, Mind, and Spirit

The Benedictine Schools of Richmond are Catholic college preparatory high schools, Saint Gertrude High School and Benedictine College Preparatory, co-located on the Benedictine Abbey campus. The schools offer single-sex educational environments for young men and young women. This unique coordinate program is founded on the mutual complementarity of women and men and the equal dignity of all human persons.

We seek to introduce and deepen each student’s relationship with the person of Jesus Christ, to learn from Him, to be transformed by Him and through Him to discover his or her call-in life. We see education as a quest for Truth, beauty, and goodness. We seek to form all students to be self-motivated learners and leaders in their vocations. We provide a common Catholic culture, steeped in Benedictine values, that promotes the education of the whole person -- body, mind, and spirit.
    • SGHS Girls Smiling

Why Single-Sex Education?

An education of the whole person includes an understanding of why we are here and for what purpose, in addition to mastery of knowledge, tasks and skills. God formed us, male and female, each with a profound dignity and unique talents. The sexes, as designed and revealed to us, are good and are of equal dignity; their differences allow for their unique strengths and gifts to come to life in an integral and complementary way. The formation of young women and young men is best fostered during the adolescent years in the context of a single-sex educational environment and a supportive community. Among its many benefits, a single-sex environment provides appropriate and successful role models and promotes greater openness with other students and teachers. 
Single-sex education also encourages focused learning removed from the pressures associated with the opposite sex. It cultivates individual confidence and more natural leadership opportunities. It fosters lasting friendships among peers and greater positive relationships with teachers, administrators, and students. The result is a community with shared values, equal dignity and enhanced academic curiosity, interests, and achievement. Therefore, Saint Gertrude High School and Benedictine College Preparatory, while embracing a common Catholic culture based on Benedictine values, maintain distinct single-sex academic and leadership programs.

Why leadership development?

Each student is called to discover his or her God-given gifts and talents and to consider how to put these at the service of humanity and the Gospel: to whom much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:48). Robust leadership development programs are at the heart of Saint Gertrude High School and Benedictine College Preparatory’s educational approach. Leadership is a core part of the academic curricula of both schools and is put into practice through distinct leadership programs. These leadership programs allow students to learn responsibility and self-mastery, grow in self-confidence and the integrity by which they hold themselves and others accountable.
    • Cadet Saluting an Officer
    • Mass in the Gym

Why the importance of a common Catholic and Benedictine culture?

As Catholic college preparatory high schools steeped in the rich legacy of our Holy Father Benedict and the Benedictine order, the Church’s oldest religious order, we bring a life perspective that is not only rich in practical knowledge but rich in Wisdom, living a life focused on the transcendent. Benedictines have served as the cornerstone of Christian civilization for centuries, founding monasteries and schools, working, and praying, sinking deep roots in a place and fostering vibrant and long-lasting communities in service of Our Lord. A meaningful education is enhanced by the support of a common culture and community; much like the faith of the individual is nurtured by the community of the Church. Saint Gertrude High School and Benedictine College Preparatory, therefore, while maintaining the distinctiveness of their own programs, share many traditions and extracurricular activities. These shared experiences are designed to form bonds of community both inside the brotherhood of the Cadets and the sisterhood of the Gators. They also allow our young men and women to develop the proper relationships with each other in their daily lives.

Drew Mugford ‘86, BSoR Principal

"We can see the beneficial results of our educational philosophy every day in the growth of our students in both schools, and I have witnessed this growth personally. All three of my daughters attended Saint Gertrude High School and have flourished since graduating. While two of my daughters were very outgoing when entering SGHS, one of them lacked self-confidence. However, her single sex education allowed her to have more leadership opportunities in the classroom which slowly helped her gain more self-confidence. Her academic performance improved each year as well. As a result, she was accepted to the college of her choice and excelled, leading to her pursuit of a master’s degree. Her story is just one of many similar stories at both of our schools."