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So Much More Than a Diploma.

Hillcrest started in 1918, birthed out of a youth revival movement. Calls from churches around the nation inspired the Church of the Lutheran Brethren to offer a high school option to match their Bible School program. We forged a dynamic college-preparatory program, earning praise from universities for the preparedness of our students. It is with this historic background that we are entering a new century incorporating Classical Christian Education. By the time our students graduate, they will be leaving Hillcrest with so much more than just a diploma.


Educating for a Life of Eternal Significance


Hillcrest holds a long and storied tradition: Alumni love Hillcrest. This is in part because students develop and fortify a Biblically-based view of the world that stands true outside the doors of Hillcrest. Hillcrest instructs students to love God’s Word, have passion for the world God created, and be active in His Kingdom.

Hillcrest students do very well in their academics. Academic excellence is an expression of worship. As students build an understanding of God’s love for them, they are inspired to understand God deeper in their academic pursuits. Students gather glimpses into the mind and character of their loving Father in heaven as they pursue their education here at Hillcrest.

By building a comprehensive Biblically-based view of the world at Hillcrest, Students see that right living involves Biblically-based thinking. It is our prayer that our 18 year-old graduates will not simply attend college, but that they’ll impact their university with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Students who graduate from Hillcrest don’t simply do so with a strong academic base, but with a concept of seeking the Lord in their college experience.

At Hillcrest there is a strong practice of staying in contact with graduates in genuine concern for the spiritual, academic, and social life. Students and staff often write letters of encouragement to recent graduates, and Hillcrest grads visit teachers and staff regularly.

These visits are centered around a perspective that Hillcrest’s greatest test of accomplishment isn’t how many students attend college or university, but how many are serving the Lord in the years after their time here.

Here at Hillcrest, we understand that the college and early adulthood years are integral to faith expression later in life. The training and equipping at Hillcrest is done to not only exercise good practices, like attending church and being active in faith formation, but to build apologetic muscles. Hillcrest students are challenged to defend their faith and understand why faith formation is imperative after their time at Hillcrest. It is very common for Hillcrest students to have staff contact them on their faith formation in college.


Why Hillcrest Students are Better Prepared for Life, and Enter College Confidently


Recent research shows students are growing-up slower than past generations. Dr. Jean Twenge believes this is due to incessant use of social media and personal devices.

Hillcrest has a community of over 14 different cultures. It is easy for these cultures to retreat to personal devices for affirmation and positive feedback rather than receiving character shaping connection in a learning community. One of our goals is to produce healthy students who are emotionally, mentally, and physically strong. In building a strong and supportive student body, we find it essential to allow students to connect and develop without a constant pull to use technology.

Hillcrest students develop a strong sense of self and community inside Hillcrest’s technology parameters. Hillcrest has what Dr. Sherry Turkle from MIT calls "sacred spaces", places where technology is not allowed. Hillcrest has a device-free policy during the school day. This allows students to engage with classroom concepts and friends during the school day without being pulled away to conversations or ideas that are outside the focused learning environment.

The resident halls do not provide wifi connectivity. The Student Union offers monitored wifi connection for students in a safe and public place. In the evening time, students check-in their personal devices before lights out. This enables students to receive a restful sleep and provides time for students to engage in Bible Study and Bible reading. We believe it is imperative for students to learn to control the influences of social media and personal devices. Hillcrest’s parameters are designed to build strong and healthy living habits.

In this community, Hillcrest students build muscles to manage life. They share rooms with students from other cultures, learning how to communicate in the face of conflict and cultural differences.

These cultures spill over in the classroom. A simple example is that Hillcrest students come from countries that support communism, socialism, capitalism, and tribal ideologies. The Hillcrest classroom holds varied perspectives. Students learn to use logic, and to communicate in love inside the classroom setting.

The living and learning environments at Hillcrest are governed by the Bible. Students are taught that every person is made in the image of God and holds special rights. They are also taught that ideas have consequences that impact image bearers. Ideas are handled with logic, while students are treated with love and support befitting their image that rests in the character of God and not the content of an idea or argument.

Inside this learning environment students build muscles that strengthen confidence and equip them for life. Students’ sense of self is reinforced in the image of God, where they study and are taught that their value was set in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Inside this framework, Hillcrest students report that their first years of college are completed with confidence, facing difficulties but having the ability to handle the obstacles.


2018 SAT Scores

2018 ACT Scores

Percent of Graduation Class Entering PostSecondary Training After Grad

October Student Survey Results


Say students are
warm, polite, and welcoming


say school is challenging
and manageable



Say they have at least 3 teachers, staff members, or coaches who give help, support or encouragement


Say their teachers are interested in them and supportive






A.  Hillcrest, as a Christ-centered Bible-based environment:

  1. Believes in God, the Father and Creator; in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God; and in the Holy Spirit presently active in the world.

  2. Believes the Bible is the infallible and inspired Word of God; the foundation and final authority for faith, doctrine and conduct.

  3. Affirms the biblical view that every person is created in the image of God, is separated from God through inherited and actual sin, and can only be restored through faith in the redemptive work and person of Jesus Christ.

  4. Agrees with the foundational doctrines taught by the Church of the Lutheran Brethren.

  5. Welcomes students of other church affiliations and religious beliefs to learn in this Christ-centered Bible-based environment.

B. Hillcrest sees a life of eternal significance for its students when:

  1. Their ultimate meaning is found in God’s creative and redemptive love for them.

  2. They realize, develop and use their gifts and abilities humbly for the glory of God and the good of others.

  3. They engage their world as servant leaders with God’s gifts of mercy, grace and compassion.

  4. They submit to God’s design for moral integrity, respect for authority, civic responsibility, discipline, and accountability in their lives and communities.

  5. They are able to discern, share and live out biblical truths.

  6. They seek excellence and truth in order to make a difference now and throughout their lives.

  7. They recognize their skills, abilities, potential and vision have worth and influence in vocation.

C. Hillcrest equips its students for a life of eternal significance in these ways:

  1. Hillcrest collaborates with home and church in the Christian education of its students.

  2. Hillcrest equips students through their overall “Hillcrest experience,” including school culture, residential life, cross-cultural relationships, and instructor mentorship.  Having the theological resources of the Lutheran Brethren Seminary on the same campus provides an added benefit.

  3. Hillcrest equips every student with a comprehensive understanding of the Word of God through Bible classes and in its entire curriculum.

  4. Hillcrest instills a Christian worldview in its students through all academic disciplines.

  5. Hillcrest provides a holistic educational environment, including the fine arts, athletics and service clubs.

  6. Hillcrest, as a college preparatory school, stresses academic rigor and the pursuit of post-high school education.

  7. Students are taught to view every trip off campus as a missional opportunity.  

  8. Hillcrest faculty and staff function as mentors as they lead by example and coach students in all areas of life.  This includes helping students determine significant objectives for their lives.

  9. Hillcrest instructors expose students to a realistic view of other standards and philosophies even though they may be in conflict with the Christian worldview.

  10. Hillcrest provides, encourages, and creates an excitement for learning that is lived out among the faculty, staff, and students.

  11. Hillcrest provides the unique aspect of residential life for high school students, where the goals of the home, church, and school are supported and reinforced.













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Rev. Brad Hoganson | President

Hillcrest started as a place for high school students to form their faith. It continues to do that, and much more.

Hillcrest students are trained to develop an understanding of the world. Their training in our classrooms prepares them to engage college and career, their next steps after high school. But I believe time at Hillcrest equips students for something long range. They’re equipped to live lives of eternal significance.

My role at Hillcrest is to steer the overall program. In that, I connect with alumni and donors. Our alumni continually share the classes, instructors, or community events that had a significant impact on their maturity. They comment how their faith is alive and robust today because they built habits of faith formation in our halls.

I am looking forward to sharing some of these stories with you as you explore and consider Hillcrest for your family. God has done great things in our halls, and he continues to change hearts, minds, and lives to align with His character at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy.


Jeff Isaac | Principal

Today’s high school students find themselves under immense pressure to conform to the thinking of this world.  Many find themselves in desperate need of transformation in what they believe about God, the way they act, and the way they think.  They need a renewing of their mind, to be moved from where they are right now into a deeper and more intimate relationship with the one true God. 

While at Hillcrest, students will receive a holistic education that touches their heart, mind, and soul.  They will be challenged to engage their culture, to be Christian in their thinking and actions, and to use their gifts to honor God and advance His kingdom.  

As you pursue the best educational environment for your high school student, I encourage you to check us out.  Look through the information available on this web site and then give us a call.  We have people ready to provide you with even more information that can help you in this vital decision.  Better yet, set up a visit and experience a day in the life of a Hillcrest student.


Board of Directors

Jahn Dyvik | Secretary
Long Lake, MN

Eric Ewan | Chair
Fergus Falls, MN

Katherine Heggland
East Hartland, CT

Vaughn Kavlie
Eden Prairie, MN

Heidi Konynenbelt
Jeffersontown, KY

Matthew Brue
Minnetonka, mn

Jeff Langness
Fargo, ND

Josiah Larson | Vice-Chair
Minneapolis, MN

Rev. Nick Mundis
Eden Prairie, MN

Paul Quam
Battle Lake, MN

Mark Soholt
Cape Coral, FL

Accreditations and Memberships

Minnesota Nonpublic School Accrediting Association

Minnesota Nonpublic School Accrediting Association

The Association of  Christian Schools International

The Association of
Christian Schools International

The Minnesota State  High School League

The Minnesota State
High School League

Minnesota Independent  School Forum

Minnesota Independent
School Forum

The Church of the Lutheran Brethren

The Church of the Lutheran Brethren

Ministry Safe Training

Ministry Safe Training


Hillcrest Lutheran Academy is a Ministry of the Mission-minded Church of the Lutheran Brethren

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Church of the Lutheran Brethren President Paul Larson
delivering message at Hillcrest prayer day

The Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America came out of revival movements in the late 1800s. In these movements many youth caught a fire for evangelism and mission.

The small synod devoted nearly all efforts to sending missionaries to unreached people groups. The heart of China and Africa were impacted by the Lutheran Brethren missionaries in the early 1900s. The schools that the Lutheran Brethren formed were integral in supporting, caring, and sending future missionaries to these unreached areas.

The Church of the Lutheran Brethren formed Hillcrest to guide young people to carry the vision and passion for strong Biblically-based theology while also carrying the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Hillcrest proudly represents the Lutheran Brethren mission, continuing to train young people in the Biblically-based mission-minded tradition of the Lutheran Brethren.