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Programs of Study

Scroll down to explore the Academic opportunities available at Hillcrest.


Programs of Study

Scroll down to explore the Academic opportunities available at Hillcrest.


Bible & Worldview

Developing a biblical worldview is a core tenet of every Hillcrest education. Students will leave Hillcrest with a solid understanding of what it means to think and act as a follower of Christ.

Bible & Worldview

Developing a biblical worldview is a core tenet of every Hillcrest education. Students will leave Hillcrest with a solid understanding of what it means to think and act as a follower of Christ.

Bible Courses

7th Grade Bible

Students will be asked to dig deep as they navigate through and find the answers to their biggest questions about relationships with God (e.g., Why should I even trust Him?), themselves (e.g., What if I really mess up?), and others. During each lesson students will plunge into the Bible and study one Biblical passage that relates to the topic they are focusing on, and will end their study with a direct connection to Jesus.

8th Grade Bible

The Bible is the infallible, inerrant and inspired Word of God. It is the basis of faith for billions of people around the globe, yet many students express frustration over their attempts to understand the Bible. They have picked up a smattering of information over the years and know certain parts of God's Word better than others, but most still do not see how those stories fit together. And yet, when the pages of Scripture are opened One God, One Book, and One Story emerge. The aim of this course is to help students understand the big picture of the Bible, and how their story fits into God's unfolding plan of salvation..

Worldview I

This class is designed to help students develop a biblical worldview.  Because worldviews are pertinent to every person’s life – the way we think and the way we act—and because virtually every worldview promises some sort of salvation or utopia, the study of worldviews is of critical importance. By the time the student completes this course, they should understand how certain ideas comprise a worldview’s content and give it form.

Worldview II - Understanding the Times

Worldview II takes students through an in depth study of the six major worldviews, looking at each worldview's perspective in ten academic disciplines.

Christian Relationships

In this course specifically designed for upperclassmen, students will explore personality traits, family dynamics and social issues in a biblical context.

Local Missions  

Students will engage in mission opportunities in the Fergus Falls area and gain context for living a missional life through studying God's Word and reading mission-focused texts.

Philosophy & Religion

This is a two semester course designed to give each student a reading series of intellectual, historical, and religious works. Reading comprehension and analytical discussion of the works will be measured throughout the semester. Through the reading of these works, the students will understand the reliability of the Bible and Christian doctrine.

Old Testament Survey (offered every other year)

An introductory look at the Old Testament beginning with Genesis and going through Malachi.

Book of Genesis

In this Bible course, student will be learning about the origins of the world, nature, man, sin and the covenant God established with Abraham and his descendants.  Topics of monumental importance such as creation versus evolution, man’s fall into sin, and the universal flood are studied.  The goal is to understand the book as it ties into the whole salvation story centered around Jesus and to glean practical lessons for our daily lives.


The emphasis of this course is a semester long study of the book of Proverbs.  The study is lecture and discussion based and will involve some small group interaction.

Minor Prophets

These little-known books of the Old Testament were written for times and situations that were quite similar to the moral and religious atmosphere of our own society.  The students will learn that God’s Word speaks to our lives as they hear the prophets’ messages to the two kingdoms of Israel.  There is much law and judgment but also much grace and Gospel for us to apply.

New Testament Survey (offered every other year)

An introductory look at the New Testament beginning with the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and continuing through the book of Revelation.

Book of Mark

The emphasis of this course is a yearlong study of the Gospel of Mark.  The study will be discussion based and therefore involve a considerable amount of working in small groups. The main text will be a blank manuscript of the Gospel of Mark.  This course is also designed to provide students with practical experience in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ both in work and indeed.

Book of John

It is apparent that the Apostle John wrote with brazen intentionality and ruthless selectivity. His purpose was clear, “These (miracles) are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). John’s aim was to focus less on what Jesus did and more on who He was so that each reader would come face-to-face with the One who made God known to us (John 1:18). This course will be a verse by verse study of the Apostle John’s eyewitness gospel account. It is designed to be highly discussion based, and will focus on the deeper theological teachings that John addresses. The objective is for students to find life in the name of Jesus and no other (John 1:12; 10:10b).

Book of Acts

The Act is not done yet.  That is, the act of God’s Holy Spirit, extending the Gospels and building His church through those who believe in Jesus.  In this course, the students see the apostles in action during the early years of the Christian church.  Students learn from the examples, messages, and practices of early Christians as well as study some current mission themes and models.  The objective is to facilitate the students’ own involvement in spreading God’s Kingdom.

Epistles of Paul

Students will learn about the Apostle Paul and the things he believed by engaging in a chapter by chapter, verse by verse Bible study of each of  Paul’s letters: Romans, I & II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I & II Timothy, I & II Thessalonians, Titus, Philemon.  A historical overview is included for each book with information about the church or individual recipient of Paul’s letter.  Both theological and practical issues are discussed in depth.


History & Social Studies

History & Social Studies

History & Social Studies Courses


Geography is a 7th grade social studies course. Students will strive to understand how man and God’s creation interact as well as how we can be good stewards of all that has been entrusted to us by God. Building on US Geography knowledge gained at the elementary level, this class seeks to review and refresh the students’ current mapping skills and abilities and then expand that knowledge by applying it to World Geography. This class will  focus on the world in the Solar System and then narrow the focus on individual continents, countries, peoples, cultures religions, and economies.

U.S. History

U.S. History is an 8th grade social studies course focusing on the emergence of the United States, via hopeful colonizers and entrepreneurs, as a nation of united colonies with a significant role in global events. This historical period begins with the age of Exploration in Western Europe and concludes with a survey of our burgeoning role in international events; how historical movements such as industrialization and immigration played a role in moving the United States into world leadership roles. This course will begin to move the student toward higher level thinking and discussion of over-arching subjects and topics as well as enable them to connect the older history of the United States to current events and issues. The student will also comprehend the critical role that a Christian world view had on the foundation and development of the United States as a country and as a world leader/power.

world history

World History is a “big picture” look at the events and civilizations that have formed the world we know today. This freshman level survey course observes history through a Christian perspective, beginning with the creation of man and moving through the rise of civilizations and empires, culminating in the events of the Reformation and Renaissance. World History is a challenging course that is intended to meet basic social studies graduation requirements for HLA students, as well as prepare students to continue toward the successful completion of senior high level US History and Western Civilization survey courses. Emphasis is placed on gaining critical thinking skills, cogent essay writing abilities, and demonstrating aptitude through reasoned discussion.

early u.s. history (1500-1865)

Early U.S. History is a brief survey course of the history of the United States from the period of colonization through the Civil War era. Many primary source documents and Goldfield’s The American Journey will be used as the course texts. In addition to studying the historical time period to the Civil War, a brief update of top news stories will be given each day so that students will build a comprehensive understanding of major events that currently shape the modern world. This course will give the students a basic knowledge base and set of skills that will give them an understanding of American history that will prepare them for the CLEP exam or an introductory college course.

Modern u.s. History (1877-present)

Pre-Requisite: Early U.S. History

Modern U.S. History is a survey course of the US as a major player in world affairs. Materials from authors such as Eric Foner, Stephen Ambrose, the center for foreign policy development, and numerous primary sources are studied. In addition, a part of each day will be a study and evaluation of current world events taken from a variety of sources. This course concludes the high school level U.S. history survey. This course will give the students a basic knowledge base and set of skills that will give them an understanding of American history that will prepare them for the CLEP exam or an introductory college course.

philosophy and religion

Philosophy and Religion is an upper level literature and critical thinking course. This class is a search for truth and the existence of God through the pages of philosophical works and biographies from the past century. Students engage with a variety of key texts, both historical and contemporary, learning to read critically and analyze important theological and philosophical questions. Philosophy and Religion augments many of Hillcrest’s core classes, bringing together ideas from upper level English, History, and Christian Worldview courses.

economics and marketing

Economics/Marketing/Leadership is a high school class primarily for juniors or seniors. There are no pre-requisites. The class provides students with some background and understanding of a national economy, of the business world, of markets and marketing, and of the skills and personality qualities that relate to being an entrepreneur or a leader in any organization. An overview is provided of basic economics, both micro and macro, the “laws” of leadership (John Maxwell), and basic principles and topics in marketing.


Sociology is a year long course that analyzes and studies human relationships with each other and God. The course places a high emphasis on how sociological theories and methods can be applied to daily life. Both a secular humanistic view of sociology and a Biblical Christian view are studied and contrasted within each unit. This course prepares students for an understanding of how our increasingly secularized nation views and approaches current sociological issues and problems of the day. Students will understand the different approaches to issues such as drug use, cohabitation, divorce, euthanasia, abortion, violent crime, racism, poverty, and education. Seniors and Danielsen students currently enrolled in the social track will be given first priority for this course.

ap european history

AP European History is a college level course that covers the time period of the Italian Renaissance to the 21st century. The course includes the political, diplomatic, intellectual, cultural, philosophical, demographic, economic, and military history of the time period. Students in this course should possess strong reading, writing, and analytical skills. Each student will take the final College Board AP exam which will be administered in May. This course is the final course in the history department for students who have taken World History and the United States history survey courses. This elective course is the culmination of history courses taken at Hillcrest Academy and is strongly  encouraged for high-achieving students in the Humanities program.

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English Courses


English 7 is a formational and foundational course which prepares 7th grade students for success in all academic areas. Students receive foundational skills in language arts, writing, speaking, and reading, including analysis of the novel, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Students will prepare four book reports during the year and deliver two speech presentations to the class – an oral book report and an informative/favorite vacation speech.


English 8 is a high school prep course for 8th grade students which builds upon the foundational skills learned in English 7. Students receive instruction and practice in skills involving language arts, writing, speaking, and reading, including analysis of the novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Students will prepare four book reports during the year and deliver two speech presentations to the class – an oral book report and an informative/favorite Bible character speech.


English 9 is the first level of high school English/language arts. Students receive instruction and practice in skills involving language arts, writing, speaking, and reading. Highlights of English 9 literature analysis include a variety of African American literature, To Kill A Mockingbird, and an introduction to Shakespeare through Romeo and Juliet. Students will prepare four book reports during the year and deliver two speech presentations to the class – an oral book report and an informative/topical speech.


English 10 is a sophomore-level language arts class which builds on the skills acquired in English 9. Students will receive instruction in, practice, and show mastery of skills involving language arts, writing, speaking, and reading. Highlights of English 10 literature analysis include Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and two novels, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Steinbeck’s The Pearl. Students will prepare four book reports during the year and deliver two speech presentations to the class – an oral book report and an informative/topical speech.


International English is an elective course for Danielsen School exchange students in the English subject area. This class uses an anthology of texts in a variety of genres from all over the world, selected to give an understanding of English as an international language used around the globe. The main focus is on communication, both written and spoken.


American Literature is an English/Language Arts course taught at the 11th grade level. Students will read and analyze several classic American novels of the 19th century. Students will also learn to prepare a research paper according to standard manuscript form, be involved in a continuous vocabulary improvement program, and learn to write and edit with a clear grasp of the intricacies of capitalization, punctuation, and sentence structure.


World Literature is an English/Language Arts course taught at the 12th grade level. Students will study, interpret, and analyze several formative works of world literature. Students will also learn advanced writing in the English language for both communicative and academic purposes, expand vocabulary with advanced terminology, and demonstrate solid understanding of the principles of English grammar and usage.


AP European Literature is designed to help students become careful, serious readers of a wide variety of literature, balancing both classic and contemporary works. The chosen literature for study will emphasize British and American writers from the 16th century to the 21st century but will also include a few from other cultures. The workload of the class will be consistent with that of a college literature course. An additional requirement is the national AP English Lit. & Comp. Exam given in May. Earning a grade of 3 or higher (out of 5) on the exam will enable students to receive college credit at most universities in the United States.

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Mathematics Courses

Math 87 – 7th grade

Pre-Requisite:  Math 76 desired but not required

Math 87 is taught at the Junior High level using Saxon Course 2 as its primary text. This class is designed for incoming 7th and 8th grade students. The students shall use skills associated with understanding numbers, basic problem solving with whole numbers, fractions and decimals, proportions, probability, and area of two and three-dimensional geometric figures. Students are introduced to percents and algebraic equations.

pre-algebra - 8th grade

Pre-Requisite: Math 87 or placement test.

Pre-Algebra continues an orderly study of mathematics as students move from a focus on computational skills to an application of these skills in an algebraic problem-solving environment. The topics covered in this course help students develop an understanding of basic principles of algebra along with an introduction to other topics including geometry, proportions, probability, and basic data analysis. Larson Pre-Algebra is the primary text for this course.

Algebra 1 - 8th or 9th grade

Pre-Requisite: Algebra .5 or placement test

Algebra 1 continues an orderly study of mathematics as students move from Pre-Algebra into a more thorough application of algebraic principles. This course uses Larson Algebra 1 as its primary text. The topics covered in this course help students to solve and graph linear equations and inequalities both as individual problems and systems of equations. Higher degree polynomials are introduced and students learn how to graph, factor, and solve a wide variety of expressions including quadratic equations.


Geometry - 9th or 10th grade

Pre-Requisite: Algebra 1 

Geometry emphasizes logical methods of thinking through deductive and inductive reasoning using theorems and postulates involving parallel and perpendicular lines, triangles, quadrilaterals, circles, and polygons. This course uses Larson Geometry as its primary text. The topics covered in this course help students develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of geometry and how it applies to their overall understanding of mathematics. This course may be taken prior to or concurrently with Algebra 2.

Algebra 2 - 10th or 11th grade

Pre-Requisite: Algebra 1

Algebra 2 begins with a review and extension of topics from Algebra 1 and then moves into a study of real and complex numbers. This course uses Larson Algebra 2 as its primary text. Core concepts include a complete study of equations and inequalities involving polynomials, an introduction to exponential and logarithmic functions, rational and radical functions, conic sections, and probability. Preparation for Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus is the primary focus of this course.

Pre-Calculus – 11th or 12th grade

Pre-Requisite:  Algebra 1 and Algebra 2

Pre-Calculus prepares juniors for AP Calculus and seniors for college math entrance requirements. Pre-Calculus reviews, expands on, and then advances many of the topics learned in Algebra 2 and Geometry. The content focuses on polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions, and provides an introduction to Calculus through limits, differentiation and some applications of differentiation.

AP Calculus – 11th or 12th grade

Pre-Requisite:  Algebra 1 and Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus

AP Calculus is the highest level math course offered at Hillcrest Academy. This course culminates in the AP Calculus AB national test. Success on the AP test leads to college credit, the maximum equivalent being a semester of college calculus. This course centers on limit processes. The idea of a limit is used to develop the operation of differentiation, and its opposite, antidifferentiation. In addition to applications of the derivative, this class considers differentiation and integration of natural logarithmic and exponential functions, which are applied to finding areas between curves and volumes of solids.

Consumer Math

Pre-Requisite: Algebra 1

Consumer Math is a practical course on the management and understanding of personal finance. This course follows Algebra I and Geometry, which, along with Arithmetic, provide the basic math skills needed for life. The class covers a variety of relevant financial topics including budgeting, economical decision making, savings, and financing major commitments such as college education.




Armin Jahr | Head of Science Dept.

Science Courses

Science 7

Science 7 is a life science course. Life science explores observations and decisions about living things. In Science 7 students will learn about observations other people have made as well as develop skills necessary to make good observations on their own. Students will look to what God has said about life and living organisms as they learn the principles He has given to direct our decision making concerning living things. The text presents the material from a Christian perspective.

Science 8

Science 8 is an earth science course. In Science 8 students study God’s natural world including geology, oceanography, astronomy, meteorology and the environment. Through a close look at the water cycle, the motions of the universe and the external and internal forces that shape the earth, students develop an increased appreciation for God’s creation. As they are led to examine their own lifestyles, they become conscious of the impact their actions have on the environment.

Physics 9

Physics 9 provides the student with a foundation in physics and chemistry as preparation for more-advanced science courses. In Physics 9 students study the basic structure of matter, how forces produce motion and hold matter together, the various forms of energy, chemical elements and the compounds they form. The text emphasizes science not as the source of ultimate truth, but rather as a tool to learn about God’s world. By studying science, the students discover the laws or ordinances that God has established to govern the physical world.


Biology is the study of life systems. The class content is taught from a Christian perspective, which marvels at God's creative design in all of life's diversity. This is a rigorous college preparatory class designed to introduce you to the major focal points of biology, including organic chemistry, cell biology, genetics, theories of biological genesis, classification and comparative anatomy & physiology. The class incorporates labs, field work and dissections for a hands-on biology experience.


Pre-Requisite: Physical Science, Algebra 1, Biology is recommended.

Chemistry is the study of matter: its properties, interactions and formations. This class provides an overview of the discipline of chemistry, relating chemical models to real world substances. Topics include atomic structure, bonding, measurements & formulas, reactions, stoichiometry, gas laws and an introduction to organic chemistry. Concepts are reinforced through labs. This is a rigorous college preparatory class that focuses on mastering foundational skills necessary for success in college chemistry.


Pre-Requisite: Physical Science, Algebra 1,  Geometry is strongly recommended.

Physics is the study of the interaction of time, matter and space. It is the foundational to art, the sciences, technology, engineering, robotics, computer applications and life. The class is based on group projects and hands-on experiences alternating with concept development to achieve three goals: 1) gain problem-solving skills within a team context, 2) gain a strong conceptual understanding of physics, 3) become highly proficient at applying physical models to predict real life outcomes. Topics covered include Newtonian physics, kinetics, energy, waves, sound, light, magnetism, electricity and an introduction to quantum physics.

Anatomy & Physiology

Anatomy and Physiology is an introductory course in which students study one of God’s spectacular creations, the human body. The course includes a basic overview of the body’s biological systems, how they are organized and how they function. Students study interactions between various cells, tissues, organs and organ systems. Anatomy and Physiology explores practical and relevant applications of anatomical knowledge to everyday life. This course is especially useful for students contemplating a future medical career.


Foreign Language

Foreign Language

Foreign Language Courses

Junior High Languages - Grades 7 & 8

This one-year Junior High course has no pre-requisite.  It covers the same material as Spanish 1 but with a variation in some activities.  There are also more mission stories which are not only enjoyable but also help the students to see God’s work in other languages and cultures around the world.

Spanish 1

This first level course has no pre-requisite. Students will learn to communicate in both written and oral Spanish. Time is spent acquiring vocabulary to communicate. Some basic grammar is learned but that is not the focus. Actions, song, writing, storytelling, games, lots of practice in pairs and use of the Spanish New Testament are some of the means used to learn the language. Emphasis is also put on becoming mission minded.

Spanish 2

Pre-Requisite: Spanish 1

In this course students build on what they learned in Spanish 1, refining and amplifying their communication skills in Spanish. Class devotions are in Spanish, some grammar topics are mastered and an emphasis is put on reading Spanish.

Spanish 3 & 4 (offered as necessary)

French 1

A first level course, no pre-requisite is required.  The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the French language through everyday situations in which they practice listening, speaking, writing, and reading French.

French 2

Pre-Requisite: French 1

A second level course.  Students must have taken French 1 or an equivalent course.  The purpose of this course is to provide students an opportunity to further study the French language, increase vocabulary and improve listening and reading comprehension.

Spanish 3 & 4 (offered as necessary)


Computer & Media

Computer & Media

Computer & Media Courses

Junior High Computer Apps

An introductory computer course focused upon developing typing and basic computer skills.

Computer Applications (Tech Academy)

This course will present the information and skills necessary to become proficient in the use of Google Apps and other web 2.0 applications available in the cloud. Students will learn basic computer skills in production and formatting documents, spreadsheets, and multimedia presentations. In addition students will develop skills in online research, communication and project collaboration.


Pre-Requisite: Computer Applications

Students will learn throughout the year to make digital presentations and to become digital storytellers. We will use technology to integrate images, graphics, narration, sounds, and music into a finished video work that can be published to physical media or uploaded to the internet. For each project, students will follow the steps in the creation process: Preproduction; Production; Post-production. Students will employ with a large variety of computer software as creative tools. They will also use scanners, still cameras, video cameras, lighting and microphones.

Marketing & Media Mentorship

Students who are excelling in creative disciplines may be selected for a hands-on marketing & media mentorship program offered by the Hillcrest marketing & publications office. Students in this program will develop and hone marketable skills by actively participating in the promotion of the school. Activities include photography, video editing, social media management, writing, design and layout. 


Students in this course produce the Beacon, the annual yearbook of Hillcrest Academy.


Business & Finance

Business & Finance

Business & Finance Courses

Marketing, Economics & Leadership

This fascinating course includes an introduction to general economics in addition to studying and evaluating the distinctions of American marketing and leadership models. The student is equipped to critique various organizational leadership models as well as current marketing strategies.

Foundations in Finance

The materials presented in this course will help students establish healthy financial habits and goals as they move towards collegiate life and beyond. Students will learn to apply biblical principles to all areas of personal finance. 


Physical Education

Physical Education

Physical Education

Junior High Phy. Ed.

This course meets weekly. Emphasis is placed on physical exercise with participation in various recreational and athletic activities.

Physical Education

This course meets once a week with students up through 10th grade that are not involved in a varsity sport or strength training.  Emphasis is placed on physical exercise with participation in various recreational and athletic activities.

Strength Training

This course meets four days a week and can be used to meet the Phy. Ed requirement.  The purpose of the class is to build strength, speed, jumping ability and agility for dedicated athletes. Students will work hard each day in the weight room on the Coremax equipment.


This course will look at various health topics from a Christian perspective.