by Dr. Barbara Moses, Philadelphia Mennonite High School
It is a joy for me to announce that Philadelphia Mennonite High School has merged with The City School. The City School is a Kindergarten-12 Christian school in the heart of Philadelphia, committed to making a Jesus-honoring, college-preparatory education accessible to families in the city. Our mission is to train students’ minds, disciple their hearts, and bring light to the city—one child at a time. You can see that we are natural partners in ministry; In fact, PMHS and The City School have been serving together since we opened our doors in 1998. We have exchanged best practices, pursued dual-enrollment opportunities together, learned alongside one another at professional development conferences, and prayerfully helped each other through seasons of difficulty. This year it became clear that we could honor God and serve his people better together than we ever did apart. So, after months of prayer, discussion, debate, and careful deliberation, we are pleased to announce to you that PMHS is now The City School.
As we grow, our Mennonite heritage will be honored and will continue to guide our mission. We will continue to cultivate relationships in the Mennonite community and draw inspiration from the rich social and theological distinctives of the Mennonite church. As always, our first love and priority is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As The City School, we have adopted five core commitments: to Jesus, the city, shalom, excellence and accessibility. Our commitment to shalom, in particular, is inspired by our Mennonite heritage. The great theme of peacemaking, which was central to our identity as PMHS, lives on in this commitment. Shalom means peace, but it means so much more: harmony, wholeness, justice, unity, and completeness. With these commitments guiding the practical, day-to-day decisions we must make as educators, I believe our school will continue to honor the Mennonite tradition as strongly as it ever has, in new, creative, far-reaching ways.
As The City School, we have been received as members of the Mennonite Education Agency (MEA). In addition to strengthening our relationships in the Mennonite community, MEA’s senior director Elaine Moyer is working closely with us to pilot a program that will allow us to better serve students with learning difficulties. We have hired a full-time learning support coordinator, whose passion for serving students with learning challenges was a driving force in this decision. Through this program we will make an excellent Christian education accessible to more children who have historically not had access to good educational options. This is new territory for us, and it is a testament to the blessings that follow our decision to grow and merge.
Our high school has been a place of joyful learning for 16 years, and I can tell you with full confidence that our students will continue to thrive in The City School community. Our current students will join their City School peers this fall at our Rittenhouse campus, in the heart of Center City Philadelphia. Many of our teachers and administrators will join them in this exciting transition, and I will be serving alongside them as an advisor and community liaison. Our beautiful PMHS building is being transformed into The City School’s second elementary school campus and will house our very first preschool class. Pooling our resources together, we have taken everything excellent about our schools and, in unity, submitted it to our faithful Lord, who continues to bless our mission.
Thank you to our friends at the Franconia Mennonite Conference and everyone who has prayed for and partnered with Philadelphia Mennonite High School over the years. I hope your generosity and faithfulness will follow us into new terrain as The City School. Now, more than ever, we have the opportunity to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth, to our city—one child at a time.