Spiritual Life

Our goal is, through precept and example, to instill in every student the mind of Christ. Realizing that all people are children of God, students will be taught that all people should be valued—that they should be viewed as Jesus would view them and treated as Jesus would treat them.

Harding Academy seeks to be a Christ-like presence in our city and around the world. As such, we seek to embrace a Christian worldview in all things.

Campus Ministry: The vision of Campus Ministry at Harding Academy is to find a true understanding of who God is, to paint a portrait of what following Jesus looks like, and to impact our community for the fame of his name. It is through those three lenses that we approach all that we do.

Our Campus Ministry has 5 specific components:
1.    Intentional Discipleship
2.    School-wide Spiritual Environment
3.    Serving Memphis
4.    Worldwide Missions
5.    Chapel

Intentional Discipleship: One of the great things about Harding Academy is the focus on making disciples. This happens in a variety of locations and in many different ways. It may happen between a coach and an athlete on an athletic field or between a band director and a musician prior to a concert. It might even happen between students at the lunch table. Daily we are blessed to hear intentional conversations between many different people on ways that we can better follow Jesus.

School-wide Spiritual Environment (18 months–Grade 12): One of our goals at Harding Academy is to extend faith beyond church walls and chapel seats. It is not an uncommon sight to see an athletic team having a devotional before practice or walk in on our drama department praying before a performance. You might even walk in on a math class that is praying for a classmate! We know that God exists far beyond church buildings and worship centers, and we hope to meet him where he already is.

Serving Memphis: Memphis is our city. We love our city and embrace our city. We know that Memphis has deep divides and an abundance of brokenness. We also know that Jesus doesn’t run from brokenness but seeks to engage it in Kingdom-centered ways. There are many great people and organizations in Memphis, and we are blessed to partner with groups like Agape, Streets Ministries, HopeWorks, and many others.

Over the past few years, our students have participated in a special day of service with Jesus Loves Memphis, tutored second and third graders at Streets Ministries, organized Christmas parties, collected coats for children, and given socks and towels to our friends at the Memphis Union Mission. We #BelieveMemphis, and we hope you do, too!

Worldwide Missions: Many of our students participate in mission trips, both international and domestic, with a church group. Our students have been to Ghana, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Belize, Guatemala, St. Louis, Atlanta, Miami, Nashville, and many other countries and U.S. cities.

We are in the early stages of beginning our own mission trip program at Harding Academy. Six ago a student suggested that we take a mission trip to Honduras. Since that time, almost 100 members of the Harding Academy family have made that trip. We look forward to adding new trips in the years to come!

Chapel / Middle and High School (Grades 6–12): Perhaps the most evident sign of our spiritual life is our chapel program. Every other day our students have a chapel experience. Our campus ministers and the chapel planning team are very intentional about meeting students where they are and including a variety of experiences that may speak to each student. On some days our entire faculty, staff, and student body gather together in our auditorium for worship or to hear a guest speaker. On other days we might break out in groups around campus in order to experience a more intimate setting. Some chapels are based on prayer and silence, while others may use Play-Doh and markers to allow students to express their own faith.

In 2015 we began meeting in small groups every few weeks and our students love these chapels! The groups consist of about 10 students of the same grade and gender and one or two staff members. It is in these groups that discipleship begins to go even deeper. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for these groups in the future.

Chapel / Little Harding and Lower School (Age 18 months–Grade 5): One of the greatest blessings in lower school is having teachers and students to come together twice a week for chapel. Class presentations, skits, guest speakers, and messages from student leaders are some of the ways we learn about God and see how works in our lives is the goal of our chapel time. Several times a year groups from upper school visit our lower school campuses to give chapel presentations and interact with our younger students

Campus Ministers: Harding Academy has two campus ministers that are dedicated to our spiritual life. Seth and Jenna King have been married since 2011 and are proud to call Memphis home. They have two daughters, Evelyn who was born in August 2015 and Libby who was born in March 2019.

Jenna is from Plano, TX and is a graduate of Abilene Christian University (B.A. in English, 2010) and Lipscomb University (M.A. in Christian Practice, 2017). She worked as a youth minister at the Sycamore View Church of Christ for four years before beginning at Harding Academy in 2014.

Seth is from Springfield, TN and is a graduate of Lipscomb University (B.A. in Theology and Ministry, 2010). He worked at Streets Ministries in Memphis prior to joining the faculty at Harding Academy in 2012. He is also our middle school athletic director and varsity track coach.

Clubs / Groups: Beyond our campus ministry, there are many other programs that flow out of our Christ-centered worldview.

  • Bible Club–The Bible Club is primarily a service, fellowship, and spiritual growth organization for students in grades 9–12. The students have many opportunities during the school year to be a light in the community and to grow closer to each other and to God.

  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes–The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is a national organization open to students in grades 9–12 who are devoted to impacting the world for Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes and coaches. Members are those students who are interested in athletics as a platform for growing in knowledge and service to Christ. FCA provides some opportunities for intramural sports participation.

  • Girls of Harding–Selected junior and senior girls meet with middle school girls at homeroom time several times during the year. The program is intended to help middle school girls learn to live as Christians as they meet challenges such as relationships with both boys and girls, social media, conflict, and more. The program also serves to develop leadership and responsibility skills in the older students.

  • Guys of Harding–Selected junior and senior boys meet with middle school boys at homeroom time several times during the year. The program is intended to help middle school boys learn to live as Christians as they meet challenges such as relationships with both boys and girls, social media, conflict, and more. The program also serves to develop leadership and responsibility skills in the older students.

This is just a snapshot of the spiritual life on Harding campuses. If you have any questions, our campus ministers would love to talk with you. You can reach them via email: king.seth@hardingacademymemphis.org and king.jenna@hardingacademymemphis.org.