OUR EPISCOPAL IDENTITY
ESD is firmly rooted in living out its Christian faith through its Episcopal identity expressed in these four areas: Daily Worship, Religious Studies, Community Service Learning, and living as a Diverse and Inclusive Community.
Programs that make up our Episcopal Identity:
The Episcopal School of Dallas was named in 1974 by our founding priest and Headmaster, Father 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.
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.”
“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.” To find out more, please follow this link: http://www.episcopalchurch.org
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please contact our Senior Chaplain, The Reverend Amy G. Heller.