JUMP TO SECTION
WHAT TO EXPECT
Hillcrest parents say their students receive a more diverse and integrated school environment than many of their friends in larger cities. Because of the unique small town feel of Fergus Falls, students are drawn into the stories and beautiful cultures that are present at Hillcrest. This reality fosters a robust classroom, where differences of opinion are expressed as students learn how to form logical thoughts and are trained to communicate winsomely in an academic environment.
Hillcrest's academic program is dynamic. Most classrooms are discussion oriented, where students learn concepts and practice dialogue. Hillcrest follows a Classical Christian approach to education, employing the trivium as a foundational structure in how to approach students in various stages of development who have strengths in numerous learning styles. Hillcrest unites students around the simple fact that all are made in the image of God. With this foundation we approach academia as an exploration into the mind, character, and structure of God and how He communicates himself to the world. Traditional academic disciplines like mathematics, history, language, and communication are all founded on a Biblical base. Students see the structure of the world and understand what happens when humankind ascribes or rejects God’s design. This is done in a foundation of learning the vocabulary of the various academic disciplines, understanding the logic of these disciplines and how that logic unveils the character of God. In learning these foundational elements, students then exercise communicating God’s character through spoken, written, and visual presentation in what is called the rhetoric phase of the Classical Christian approach to learning.
The thrust of Hillcrest’s academic program rests on the foundation for all aspects of the Hillcrest experience. The foundation of Hillcrest is the Bible. Students see that God’s word speaks directly to everything from dormitory living and athletic contest to academic progress and artistic expression. It is common for students to say they feel God is everywhere at Hillcrest, and that they can’t escape to a place where God isn’t present during their time at Hillcrest.
We look forward to communicating more of our program to you. Please reach out to us, leave a message through our online chat feature, or stop by for a visit to talk with our students, meet our staff, and hear how God could use Hillcrest to drive your student to deeper faith and greater conviction in their Christian walk.
My sophomore year was a turning point for me in more ways than one. To me, it felt like the two year transition into American culture, coming out of Sub-Saharan Africa had ended. I had assimilated. I was ready to thrive.
I set two specific goals for myself: I would make the Varsity Squad in soccer, and I would audition for the prestigious Chamber Choir. I signed up for my choir audition, and registered for soccer. Throughout that week of scrutiny I gave it my all. As I ventured home Friday, tired and sore, I knew I had done my best. Now I would rest, patiently awaiting what week two would bring.
Monday delivered a double blow, not seeing my name on either list. I was once again a JV soccer player, and a second rate Concert Choir member. That night I struggled with discouragement. I resolved if I was to be in Concert Choir instead of Chamber, and on JV instead of Varsity.
My efforts did not go unnoticed. Those two weeks set the tone for the rest of the year. I had incredibly successful athletic seasons. And was part of multiple award winning Choral ensembles. I excelled academically, and worked every task to my utmost ability. I learned something that Friday. It’s always worth it to strive, even when faced with failure, because overcoming produces a virtue found nowhere else. Resilience.
I see Hillcrest as a sort of divine potter's wheel. The clay of my life was scrupulously collected throughout my years in africa, and now it has been refined, molded. It now has purpose and use. God has used Hillcrest as a place to truly begin to show me how I am His vessel.
WHERE STUDENTS GO
Hillcrest holds strong bonds with their students that extend past graduation day. Recently the student body commits to writing the graduates from the previous year. Their notes of encouragement continue the bond of friendship while continuing the commitment to spiritual growth.
It is common for alumni to visit Hillcrest during college breaks. Many times students slip past their underclassmen friends to find their way into the classroom with the instructors who made an impact. In these meetings, if we listened in, it would be very normal for the former Hillcrest Comet to share where they’re going to church, what their friend group is like, and how their daily devotions are impacted their life at college. Hillcrest instructors aren’t as concerned with what college students’ favorite classes are. Their number one objective is to mentor former students in continued spiritual growth.
It is under this banner that Hillcrest formed a mantra. While most schools are concerned with what students’ SAT scores are, Hillcrest focuses on how students are developing their faith and Intellect to form Christian character. Many schools will gauge success on what kind of 18 year old walks away from their school. Hillcrest wants to know what kind of 28 year old returns to the Castle to show their family the place their spiritual commitment was realized. The best test of our program is to look at the 28 year old graduates.
Here are a few statistics from those students:
Taylor Filippini | ‘10
“I learned to follow God step by step at Hillcrest.” Taylor is a Duke University Medical Fellow, working as a primary agent for funding of research and development.
Cody Joy | ‘12
“I developed a love for science in Hillcrest’s robotics program.” Cody is completing his doctorate while serving as a specialist in research of a portable cancer detection device.
COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY
Hillcrest students are prepared for college, and more importantly the challenges they’ll face in life, at Hillcrest. Our program integrates the Bible into every discipline, academic and extra-curricular. That means students learn to live life with Jesus, being challenged to engage every aspect from a Biblical foundation.
With this training students are propelled from Hillcrest. The academic program develops preparation for university rigor, while also calling students to consider their giftings. While each student is challenged to enable a smooth transition into the university, some students elect to serve the Lord following their senior year. Many students join mission movements, feeling equipped to share the Gospel boldly following their time at Hillcrest. Other students crave practical training, taking a link year experience where they explore employment, seek out internships, and support the local church. All of these choices fall in line with Hillcrest’s mission, to equip students in a Christ-centered Bible-based environment for lives of eternal significance. For some that means attending the university. For others they feel called into specific ministries directly from high school. For still others they may feel called to engage the work force. Hillcrest is more concerned with what kind of 28 year old comes back to visit Hillcrest than with what schools our 18 year olds are accepted into. That said, we do have students attending many rigorous and well-respected universities.
Class of 2018:
82% Attending a College or University
8% Attending a link year Christian discipleship program
5% Serving in a Christian ministry
5% Entered the workforce
Colleges the Class of 2018 are attending:
Gustavus-Adolphus, University of Pittsburg, Liberty University, Concordia College, South Dakota State University, Grand Canyon University, Stana Monica University, The University of North Dakota, University of Kansas,