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A Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Ages 3 Through Grade 12

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Our Episcopal Identity

I am a soul open to searching. - ESD Manifesto

ESD was founded on the belief that every child was made in the image of a loving God. Our Episcopal Identity has to be incarnate. It is visible in how we all live and interact with one another and what we carry forth into the world.

The Rev. Amy Heller

The Rev. Amy Heller

Senior Chaplain, Chaplain: Beginners - Fifth Grade
The Rev. Tim Kennedy

The Rev. Tim Kennedy

Chaplain, Middle and Upper School Chaplain, Middle School Religion Teacher
Courtney Phelps

Courtney Phelps

Director of Community Service Learning
Elizabeth Goatley, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Goatley, Ph.D.

Director of Diversity and Inclusion

What This Means to Us

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the origin of our school’s name?

The Episcopal School of Dallas was named in 1974 by our Founding Rector and Headmaster, The Reverend Canon Stephen B. Swann and the members of the Bishop’s School Committee, comprised of seven adults and four seventh-grade students. The name was chosen because of the tradition of quality education evident in Episcopal schools across the nation.

Why is the Chapel called All Saints Chapel?

At the completion of the chapel in 2002, the Merrell Road Campus Chapel was named All Saints Chapel. To quote our Founding Rector and Headmaster, “It was the most inclusive name that came to mind. Not polarizing, no baggage with local or national church politics and, in my opinion, a welcoming and open greeting to every human being.”

What do Episcopalians believe?

“As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ, and both our worship and our mission are in Christ’s name. In Jesus, we find that the nature of God is love, and through baptism, we share in his victory over sin and death.”

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What is our relationship with the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas and the greater Episcopal Church?

The Episcopal Church is divided into geographic regions called Diocese which are led by a Bishop and his/her staff. The current Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas is The Right Reverend George Sumner. Bishop Sumner has oversight of all the ordained Episcopal clergy who serve in parishes, missions, schools, and pastoral ministries (hospital or prison.) The Diocese does not own or operate any of the School’s property. We are committed to the Gospel as a means of service and social justice. Our Chaplains are ordained clergy who, with oversight from the Diocese of Dallas, embody that commitment and direct our worship practices.

Is ESD a Christian School, an Episcopal School or an Independent Day School?

Yes. We are a Christian School as we are founded on and committed to living out the teachings of Jesus Christ as interpreted through the Anglican tradition with its emphasis on scripture, tradition, and reason. We are an Episcopal School in our worship practices, use of the Book of Common Prayer, hymnals, student servant leaders, and participation in Holy Eucharist weekly and/or monthly by division. We are a tradition that helps confirm faith but not one that requires conversion to Christian doctrine. We are an Independent Day School in our accreditation by National Association of Independent Schools and our institutional practices.

Does ESD welcome students of all faith traditions?

Yes. We welcome children and families of all faith traditions. Religious diversity enhances the quality of the education that ESD provides and is essential to the development of well-rounded people. We do expect that as part of our community, your child participates to the fullest level in all aspects of our life on campus.

Why does my child attend chapel daily?

Daily Worship is the first of our four Founding Tenets. We worship daily to grow spiritually. We gather in Chapel for prayer and thanksgiving for God’s blessings in our lives. Together we wonder about how we can love God and our neighbor as we discern our spiritual gifts and bear God’s image to the world.

What is Holy Eucharist?

Holy Eucharist, Communion, the mass, is a specific form of worship centered on Jesus’ final meal with his friends and his words “do this to remember me.” In the Episcopal tradition, Holy Eucharist is a sacrament. The bread and wine become means of God’s grace and love. When we gather weekly (or monthly in the Lower School), we hear again the story of Christ’s life, death, resurrection and how we are to live until he comes again. At the beginning of each school year, the Chaplains lead an Instructed Eucharist to educate the school community about this worship tradition.

Does my child have to receive Communion?

No. Communion, the receiving of the consecrated bread and wine during Holy Eucharist, is given to all baptized Christians (in grades two and above) of any denomination who desire to receive them. If your child does not wish to receive Communion, they would hear words of blessing, asking God to be present with them.

Why are religion courses required for all students?

Religion classes are offered in each division and are a requirement for graduation. Such study expands our student’s knowledge of a wide variety of sacred writings, theological interpretations, and moral reasoning. Religion classes encourage a deep and lifelong desire to pursue faith, justice, and truth.

Why is community service learning a graduation requirement?

Our fourth Founding Tenet is Service to Others, which grows out of a belief that when we serve others we are putting God’s love in action. Through community service our students are instilled with a sense of lifelong responsibility for the world God has entrusted to our care. Serving others raises social awareness in our global context, develops compassion, empathy, and a heart open to others. We believe we are following Christ’s teaching when we share our blessings of resources, time, and commitment.

What does ESD mean about being diverse and inclusive?

Diversity enhances the quality of the education that ESD provides and is essential to the development of well-rounded people. The Episcopal School of Dallas values diversity in all its forms, including but not limited to socioeconomic background, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.

Is ESD associated with outside faith groups on campus?

Daily Worship (our first Founding Tenet) is our commitment to religious life and formation in the Episcopal tradition of welcoming people of all faith traditions. In order to maintain our Episcopal Identity, the only groups that meet on campus are led by our Chaplains in a school setting. We are grateful our students and families are active in their own faith communities.

What do I do if I have more questions about ESD’s Episcopal Identity?

Please contact our Senior Chaplain, The Reverend Amy G. Heller.

November Virtue of the Month: Thankfulness

Give thanks in all circumstances. I Thessalonians 5:18

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First page of the PDF file: EpiscopalIdentityStatement_2019

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