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Recommended reading

December 19, 2008

From the Pulpit of Saint James School, by the Revd Dr. Stuart Dunnan, is a must-read for anyone concerned with education, the Church, and the potential for moral education to accompany pure academics in a residential school. Published in the school’s 150th year, and the tenth of Dr. Dunnan’s headmastership, it is a collection of sermons on the subject of his school, secondary education, and the Christian faith and life by a distinguished teacher and thoughtful homilist. As the book states,

“At a time when many Episcopal schools have developed away from their church identities, some boarding schools have become day schools, and most secondary schools have grown larger, Father Dunnan has strengthened the church identity of Saint James, restored its boarding program, and preserved its smaller size, while also increasing its diversity and improving the quality of its academic and extracurricular programs. In doing this, he has developed a strong apology for Episcopal schools, for boarding schools, and for smaller, more focused secondary school communities. In all three ways, his argument is distinct, and he provides a uniquely encouraging perspective for secondary school educators and for parents of teenagers in America today.”1

Saint James School, located five miles southwest of Hagerstown, Maryland, was founded in 1842 by the Revd Dr. John Barrett Kerfoot, protégé of that distinguished cleric, William Augustus Muhlenberg. It is the oldest extant member of the group of great Episcopal schools founded on the English model in the United States, among them St. Paul’s, St. Mark’s, and Groton.

1. Dunnan, 173.

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