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HILLCREST LUTHERAN ACADEMY

Welcome to Hillcrest!

 

Starting at a new school can be scary. We work hard to make it smooth and comfortable at Hillcrest.

Over half of our student body is new each year. Our Danielsen program, a partnership with the Danielsen School in Bergen, Norway, brings a new 25+ students each year. In addition to that, Hillcrest brings in a new 60 to 70 students each year. That means you aren’t the only one who is new.

To help students assimilate and make friends we organize a Welcome Week. The week is devoted to orientation. There are athletic practices, school orientation meetings, and faith-forming services and teachings that help students gain a perspective of what school is like at Hillcrest.

Every student walks through Welcome Week together. This puts the entire student body on the same base as we start the school year. The culture at Hillcrest is warm and inviting, with returning students excited to meet and befriend new students. The culture at Hillcrest is fun, and you’ll find it easy to visit with students here.

Below we’ll outline some of the programs we run to help you meet new friends and engage in life outside the school day. Our philosophy drives us to help you make friends and build strong mentorship connections. We believe that if you feel cared for you will be more open to the maturing and growing opportunities that await you at Hillcrest.

 

Spiritual Formations Gallery


Spiritual Formations Gallery


Spiritual Formations


Spiritual Formations


 

Faith Forming in Hillcrest Classrooms

 
 

A life of significance is marked by so much more than academic achievement. Scholastic challenges are important, but only in the context of salvation in Jesus Christ. Our program will push you academically, giving you a Biblical perspective of God’s creative order.

You’ll learn mathematics, history, science, and the like that will prepare you for college, both secular and faith-based institutions. Our students score very well on college placement exams. But the driving force in our classrooms has eternal significance.

Our classrooms will challenge you to deeply consider God’s creation order. You’ll see the form and functions inside mathematics, biology, engineering, chemistry, the arts, and many other important subjects. You’ll see there is a need for God because of the incredible created order. But Hillcrest doesn’t simply want to push you to belief in God.

Hillcrest will challenge you to engage your faith as a living and moving aspect of your life. You will be pushed to consider your personality as a gift of God, to be shaped and molded in His image. The academic school day incorporates a number of faith-forming aspects.

For starters, you’ll have devotions in nearly every class. We don’t do these to baptize our curriculum, thinking that simply saying a prayer or reading a passage of Scripture before class makes the subject matter “Christian”. Instead, we do this to orient our thinking. Taking time out of our day to consider the Lord and what He is doing greatly focuses attention on understanding the character of God in the lesson plan.

It is normal to feel like your history class is a like a Bible class and your Bible class is like a history class. This is because we do a great deal of faith-integration into the lesson assignments. Our faculty are assessed on how they establish their subject on the foundation of a Biblical worldview. This means our English courses often explore great stories and great writing in light of the Bible. Mathematics is the study of God’s organization in the universe. History is a discovery of what happens when people and nations bow their knee to God, and what happens when those people groups don’t. Faith formation often happens effortlessly in Hillcrest classrooms.

 

Building Faith Forming Habits in the School Day

 

Loves are built every day for us. Many students build a love for achievement or popularity based on their school culture. Positive feedback drives a majority of students in a specific direction. At Hillcrest we care deeply what habits are being formed for students in the school day.

Hillcrest builds rhythms for students to engage in spiritual exercise. Hillcrest’s chapel program is one of the most powerful forces on campus that drives students to positive spiritual formation and growth.

A staff member unpacks a God-oriented perspective in chapel.

Chapel is a thirty minute school assembly Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Hillcrest operates a worship program that teaches students how to lead music worship in churches and small group settings. Hillcrest currently operates six worship teams, four focused on the chapel services, and two focused on other spiritual formation events at Hillcrest.

Inside the Chapel period Hillcrest fleshes out a school theme that is decided on by the faculty, staff, and student leadership. Past themes include FreeDone and Practice Makes Purpose. The design of these themes is to unpack salvation, found in Christ alone through faith alone in God alone. The themes help students understand the interplay of the free gift of salvation while also understanding their engagement in faith-formation and good works.

Hillcrest staff often speak on various topics, in addition to local pastors, ministry leaders, and friends of the school. These adults bring perspectives and life experiences into Hillcrest’s chapel program. The most powerful lessons are often delivered on Fridays. Friday holds Hillcrest’s student led testimony times. A senior will stand in front of his friends and share what the Lord is doing in his or her life. The worship teams will work with the message of the student to align worship songs to guide students to consider the way God is real in the speaking student’s life. They also find songs that lead the student body in praise and adoration of God’s work in the life of the student body.

Inside Hillcrest’s Chapel program are faith forming activities. Students gather in huddle groups each month as part of the program. These groups are led by Senior students who are equipped to take the student body through a small group Bible study. The Bible study prepares students for the upcoming Prayer Day.

Prayer Day at Hillcrest is a 100 year old tradition that started in a revival at Hillcrest. Each semester we cancel classes for a couple afternoons or for an entire day to prayer for our school, nation, and world. These days help students understand prayer and form habits of faith formation.

In addition to the Chapel program, many students will engage in small group Bible studies or prayer groups that occur before the school day. Clubs also drive students to have rhythms in their life of faith-formation.

 Senior leaders take students through a Bible study packet that leads up to the Hillcrest Prayer Day.

Senior leaders take students through a Bible study packet that leads up to the Hillcrest Prayer Day.

Hillcrest also encourages students to engage in the local church. Hillcrest sees itself as a support for parents and ministry of the local church. We do not replace parents nor the local church. That said, many Hillcrest students attend weekly youth group meetings on Wednesday night where they have additional mentors in the local church. Hillcrest also expects students to attend weekly church services on Sunday mornings, directing students to the worship times as a mandatory aspect of the Hillcrest program. Students begin to develop habits of attending church on their own with their friends, habits we believe will remain as they embark on college and university study.

All of these programs run on the back of Hillcrest’s culture of mentorship. Hillcrest has an expectation that students remain engaged not only in their faith formation but also in the community of faith. Hillcrest assesses the student body each semester to ensure students are finding adult mentors. The benchmark for Hillcrest is to guide each student to have a minimum of three adult mentors. These assessments drive follow-up contact with students, forging habits of faith formation that will linger beyond Hillcrest.

Hillcrest staff stay after school to connect with students and mentor groups to deeper faith-formation.

 

2018 ACT Scores

Percent of Graduation Class Entering PostSecondary Training After Grad


Hillcrest Chapel Videos

A missionary shares on virtue in one of HIllcrest’s chapel services

A Hillcrest Senior shares a testimony of God in a Friday chapel

 

Hillcrest staff explain the Huddle Group lesson for Chapel, the small group student led Bible study.

Student led worship service during a Worship Wednesday part of the Chapel program

 

October Student Survey Results

94%

Say students are
warm, polite, and welcoming

98%

say school is challenging
and manageable

 

79%

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

95%

Say their teachers are interested in them and supportive

 
 
 
 

Dorm Life Gallery


Dorm Life Gallery


Dorm Life


Dorm Life


 

Hillcrest’s Student Life Program Unites Many Nations

 
 

The residence halls at Hillcrest Academy is more than just a housing complex. Students experience mentor groups, one-on-one support from their Resident Assistant care-takers, and a number of activities to unite the student body and enhance their experience at Hillcrest.

Students gather in small groups during the Welcome Week

Resident Directors are mentors who ensure a safe and comfortable living environment for the students. Resident Assistants are typically college-aged mentors who monitor the resident halls and enhance residence hall life by providing quality activities, one-on-one mentorship, and small group devotionals.

Residence hall life is a highlight for many students with activities planned nearly every weekend. Students have the chance to attend amusement park outings, shopping trips to the Mall of America, and various intramural activities.

A resident hall family group bakes pies at the home of their mentor mom as part of the Family Group program

Shared experiences in student life activities enable students from all over the world the chance to build life-long friendships. Many Hillcrest Academy students have had the chance to travel overseas to visit friends they've made at Hillcrest. A central component to their friendships have been the activities organized within the resident halls.




Students gather at the Men’s Residence Halls for an evening cookout and volleyball tournament.

While it sounds like the residence halls will wear-out our students, be assured that we value rest and contemplation. The halls have various policies which help students establish healthy devotional and study habits to set them on the path to success wherever God may be calling them.

Students have the opportunity to participate in student-led devotional and worship times. While we work hard to establish a quality program, there are many opportunities for student leadership. Devotional sessions for individual nationalities are strongly encouraged and are facilitated by the Resident Director with a student-leader. 

 Students enjoy slip-n-slide kickball as one of the many activities planned during weekends.

Students enjoy slip-n-slide kickball as one of the many activities planned during weekends.

 

Department Leadership

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Craig Nersten | Resident Life Director

218-737-6412 | cnersten@ffhillcrest.org

Student Life Highlight Videos

Move-in Highlight

Slip-n-slide Dorm Activity Highlight

Fall Festival Dorm Activity Highlight

Opening Picnic Highlight

Homecoming Highlight

Boys Soccer Highlight

 
 
 

Student Body Gallery


Student Body Gallery


Student Body


Student Body


 

Hillcrest’s Student Body Offers a Unique and Challenging Cross-Cultural Experience

 
 

There are currently 14 countries represented at Hillcrest from around the world. That means that when you’re talking economics in Sociology you’ll have someone from a communist country, socialist country, and capitalist country. You’re perspective will be challenged inside the diverse experiences Hillcrest students bring into the classroom.

We like to say that Hillcrest’s cultural climate enables an intercultural perspective. We work hard to unite the various cultures underneath the banner of Jesus Christ. That means our classes start with places all students can speak from. In this unity students are able to explore the diversity of cultural norms and priorities, calling into question bias and virtue signaling to correctly sharpen thinking and practice to be more Biblically-based and Christ-like.

Outside of the classroom the cultures blend effortlessly. There is a general set of questions each high school looks to address during their development. Our 40+ years of experience in ministering to students from various cultures has taught us that students all have a passion to understand God, understand creation, and understand themselves in light of the order of the world.

Students build strong bonds inside the residence halls. Each student rooms with someone from a different culture. That means students from the United States will have either a Norwegian, Asian, or African roommate. These opportunities teach students how to communicate cross-culturally while also helping students build bonds with people from around the world.

International students find Hillcrest a fantastic place to not only solidify their English comprehension and speaking ability, but to also build an understanding of the Biblical perspective. Students from foreign countries are propelled into the American university system with a strong foundation, having built good practices and gaining great understanding of the systems used in America.

Because Hillcrest is located in the midwest there is a general politeness and honoring of people. Most Hillcrest staff have background in foreign missions, which enables students from around the world to feel welcome in a faith-forming environment without needing to “become American” in the process.

Hillcrest celebrates the various cultures through cooking events and opportunities for students to share their culture in chapel services and other community presentations. It is common for students from

 

98%

OF GRADS ATTEND
POSTSECONDARY TRAINING

4:1

STUDENT TO STAFF RATIO

 

40%

OF STAFF HOLD ADVANCED DEGREES

14

COUNTRIES REPRESENTED
IN THE STUDENT BODY

 
 
 

Clubs and Organizations Gallery


Clubs and Organizations Gallery


Clubs and Organizations


Clubs and Organizations


 

THE MISSION OF HILLCREST LUTHERAN ACADEMY IS TO EQUIP STUDENTS IN A CHRIST-CENTERED, BIBLE BASED ENVIRONMENT FOR A LIFE OF ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE.

 

SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY

 

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.

 

98%

OF GRADS ATTEND
POSTSECONDARY TRAINING

4:1

STUDENT TO STAFF RATIO

 

40%

OF STAFF HOLD ADVANCED DEGREES

14

COUNTRIES REPRESENTED
IN THE STUDENT BODY

 

TITLE

TITLE 2

TITLE

TITLE 2

 
 

Technology Explained Gallery


Technology Explained Gallery


Technology Explained


Technology Explained


 

THE MISSION OF HILLCREST LUTHERAN ACADEMY IS TO EQUIP STUDENTS IN A CHRIST-CENTERED, BIBLE BASED ENVIRONMENT FOR A LIFE OF ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE.

 

SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY

 

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.

 

98%

OF GRADS ATTEND
POSTSECONDARY TRAINING

4:1

STUDENT TO STAFF RATIO

 

40%

OF STAFF HOLD ADVANCED DEGREES

14

COUNTRIES REPRESENTED
IN THE STUDENT BODY

 

TITLE

TITLE 2

TITLE

TITLE 2