Pensacola area Trinitas Christian School


#1

My daughter and I will be relocating to the Pensacola area in June. My relatives [whom we will be staying with for a while] are independent fundamentalist Baptist. They have suggested Trinitas Christian School for my daughter, who will be going into the sixth grade this fall. I was told that there are Catholic students there. As a parent, the classical education seems pretty attractive, especially the Latin, logic and rhetoric; that and my daughter is looking forward to checking out the school herself.

My questions are: can anyone recommend this school and how well are Catholics tolerated here? Thank you for your time.


#2

I would wonder why you aren’t looking for a Catholic school for your daughter. Pensacola has plenty of Catholic schools and I would hesitate going on the recommendation of fundamental Baptists in regards to choosing a school that is not Catholic.


#3

I live about an hour west of Pensacola. Though I can’t say I am familiar with Trinitas, it appears to be an excellent Christian school, but emphatically not Catholic. It appears that their particular view of Christianity pervades the entire curriculum and all aspects of student life (they appear to hold a fundamentalist view of the Bible), and I therefore would far prefer that my child attend a Catholic school, of which there are several:
ptdiocese.org/SubPage.asp?pageID=331

There are many Catholics in this part of the Gulf Coast, partly due to the large military presence (Pensacola Naval Air Station and Eglin Air Force Base, east of Pensacola). There is also a very strong, fundamentalist Christian presence, of course.

Though originally from New England, we have enjoyed living in this area (except during hurricane season!) Welcome to the area!


#4

Well, I’ve been looking at some of the articles and senior thesis papers on the website. They seem opposed to scholasticism. Ideally, sure, she’d go to a Catholic school. In fact, they all sound fine, but the distance stinks. Oh well, I’ll figure something out. Thanks for your two cents though.


#5

I know someone whose son attends Trinitas. While I am sure that the academics are superb, I do know that they needed to sign some statement of faith to enroll. I would suggest one of the many Catholic parochial schools in the area, in particular Little Flower. However, if a classical education is what you desire, then Trinitas will fulfill your needs. Just be aware of their Evangelical perspective and make sure your child has a sound foundation in Catholic teaching.


#6

A couple of people have recommended the Little Flower school. Again though, it is a half hour commute from where we will be.

I am not so concerned with the soundness of my daughter’s faith or the fact that it will be challenged in this school; her and I are accustomed to it. She wants to go to the school for the academic challenge and to learn Latin and Greek. The other thing this school has going for it is that it is within walking distance from the house. There are other private schools nearby, but they are all protestant or public schools. She is going to begin junior high this fall, so I’m not too keen on the idea of her attending public school.

Though a bit off topic, no matter where she goes to a Catholic, protestant or public school, I wish I could find a tutor to instruct her in Thomism. Is this a silly idea for a sixth grader?


#7

You must do what’s best for both of you. I’m sure that the school is very educationally sound, and they definitely learn the Classics. As a side note, look up a few of the other Catholic schools in the area. St. Paul’s is not far from there. There’s also St. John’s (which would be far) and Sacred Heart.

She is probably too young for an intense study of Thomas Aquinas, but, again, you would know better than anyone here. We were introduced to some of his proofs for the existence of God as well as a basic understanding of transubstantiation at the local Catholic High School. A comprehensive study of Summa Theologica probably wouldn’t come into play until she takes college level courses.


#8

Professor, you make some really good points.

Last night, for the second time, she confided that she is concerned how the other students at Trinitas would react if they found out she was Catholic. I know she is eager for the academic challenge, but despite her pleas and protests I really do not think this school would be in her best interests.

I’m certain I will be stressing out over this school dilemma for the next 2 months, at minimum. I just graduated nursing school, so we will be staying with our relatives until I get on my feet employment - wise. I can’t realistically picture moving out prior to the start of the fall semester. To further complicate matters, I plan to begin working on my MSN at Spring Hill College in Mobile this fall as well. We may end up in Mobile eventually, but as a single parent I don’t care to consider making a hasty move to a city where we have no family at all.

Thank you for the guidance regarding the study of Thomas Aquinas. She and I have been going through the Catechism of the Summa by Thomas Pegues, so it’s good to know that is probably sufficient for the time being. She has more of an analytical mind than I do, so I often wonder if I’m doing her a disservice in trying to explain these things. Perhaps I am the one who could use the tutor? I’m sure a formal logic class wouldn’t hurt me one bit.

Thanks again for the feedback.


#9

This area is predominantly southern Baptist but has a rather large Catholic community for the South. I’m not sure she would face discrimination although the issue will undoubtedly come up. I think keeping her Catholicism a secret would not be a good idea. If nothing else, I can promise you that she would not be the only Catholic in attendance. I would strongly suggest a visit to the school before enrolling. You should also consider allowing her to attend a day of classes, even if it’s at the start of the next school year.

My reservations about Trinitas have to do with the Statement of Faith that is part of the admissions process. (trinitaschristian.org/admissions.aspx). All parents are required to sign it to be admitted. Among other things, it speaks about justification through faith alone (as opposed to faith and works) and the primacy of the Bible (as opposed to Scripture and Tradition). I think in practice it acts more as a protection of the school so that if and when doctrinal dispute arise, they can refer to their statement of beliefs. Be sure to read it either way.

That’s exciting about Spring Hill. I assume the MSN program is designed for full-time nurses. The nursing program in general was very distinct from the rest of the school, so I’m not very familiar with it. Mobile is a good community with an even larger Catholic presence. You could always try Trinitas or a Catholic school for this first semester and see how it goes before making major decisions. One step at a time.

I’m sure the Holy Spirit will guide you through your teaching of your daughter, so don’t fret too much! She is a sixth grader, after all, and Aquinas is dense stuff. The important thing is that you are trying to expose her to Church teaching at a young age and are raising her Catholic. Her faith development will always be more important than her understanding of theology although they obviously inform each other. You’re doing the right thing. Remember that.


#10

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