Academic Departments

Religion Department

The study of religion at VES, along with our tradition of corporate worship and prayer, challenges our students in the search for the ultimate meaning of human existence.

In recognition of our school’s foundation in the Episcopal Church and the significant role Christianity has played in the shaping of Western civilization, the Religion department offers the New Testament course each semester. And in recognition of our pluralistic and multi-religious world, the department offers a World Religions course, asserting that an understanding of the faith and values of others is essential to global citizenship.
  • New Testament (F)

    Prerequisites: None. Open to students in grades 9 through 12.

    The New Testament class surveys the New Testament and the fundamental teachings of Christianity. Old Testament/Hebrew Bible history and themes will be introduced as a foundation for understanding the first-century world and the writings of the New Testament. Particular attention will be paid to the life and teachings of Jesus. Connections will be made to the life of the Early Church, the teachings of the Apostles and traditional Christian beliefs.

    Upon completion of the course, students are expected to:
    • Understand the basic history and culture of the Old Testament and the first century world as a foundation for interpreting the New Testament.
    • Think critically and discuss intelligently topics related to religious beliefs.
    • Be able to read, understand and interpret the authorial intent of New Testament texts.
  • World Religions (F)

    Prerequisites: None. Open to students in grades 9 through 12.

    The goal of the World Religions course is to present a survey of the basic tenants, rituals, values and experiences that define the major religious traditions of our world. The course will explore religions from both an external and internal perspective. An “external” perspective reflects those elements of a particular religious tradition that can be interpreted from the outside (historical figures, social changes and political affinities). An “internal” perspective seeks to explore the ways in which adherents derive meaning from their particular religious tradition, or how their religious tradition answers the big questions of life: Why I am here? What is the good life? What is expected of me? What does the afterlife look like?

    At the end of this course students will be able to:
    • Identify key figures, principles, holy days and rituals from the world’s religions.
    • Understand how cultures are shaped by religious ideas.
    • Gain perspective on one’s own religious tradition through the investigation of the religions of others.
    • Write meaningfully and reflectively about religious ideas and their application to, and interpretation of, the human experience.
  • Hebrew (S)

    Prerequisites: None. Open to students in grades 9 through 12.

    The goal of elementary Biblical Hebrew is to foster appreciation of the ancient Hebrew language and to develop skills in vocabulary, grammar and translation sufficient to read and enjoy the Old Testament in the original language.

    At the end of this course students will be able to:
    • Recite and write the Hebrew alphabet from memory
    • Identify and use vowels and other diacritical markings
    • Read aloud in Hebrew
    • Identify commonly occurring nouns
    • Use an Hebrew-English lexicon
    • Identify pronomial suffixes, prefixes and independent pronouns
    • Identify the person, number and aspect of common verbs
    • Properly organize sentence word order
    • Translate chapter-length passages (e.g. Genesis 22, 12:1-20, Deut. 5:1-22, Joshua 24:1-20)

Department Staff

  • Adam White

    Chaplain/Department Chair/Religion Teacher
    Eastern Mennonite University - B.S.
    Eastern Mennonite Seminary - M.A.R.
    Drew University - M.Div.
    Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg - S.T.M.
A College Preparatory, Independent Boarding and Day School for Students in Grades 9-12
400 VES Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503 • 434.385.3600