On the north side of Chicago stands a long-lasting tradition where students receive much more than just a great education. Students at St. Philip Lutheran School have been receiving a high-quality Christian education for over 70 years. During this time, over 2,000 students from the congregation and the community have passed through the halls of the Elementary School and the Early Childhood Center.
St. Philip Lutheran Church began its ministry to the Chicago community in 1893. In 1937, the congregation decided to establish an elementary school and St. Philip Lutheran School was opened with 23 first and second grade students. As the community changed, so did the needs of the families that sent their children to St. Philip. In response to the changing needs, the Early Childhood Center opened in 1986.
Today, St. Philip Lutheran School ministers to approximately 100 students, from preschool to 8th grade. The school is located in one of the most ethnically diverse areas in Chicago, providing a great opportunity for outreach to the school families and the immediate community. How does a school in an ethnically diverse urban setting personally meet the needs of its students and their families? By teaching to the whole child – spiritually, academically, and socially. This approach to education allows the school to develop students as responsible ladies and gentlemen who are prepared for the world around them.
Educating the spiritual aspect of a child has always been the major focus of St. Philip over the years. Through weekly chapel services, guest preachers, and daily religion lessons, the students’ faith is nurtured and strengthened. The teachers also play an important role in faith development as they model their faith to the students they care for.
The students also have the ability to share their faith with others by leading chapel services, praying with members at local nursing homes, sharing their musical talents at community events, meeting other Christian teens during youth group, and by participating in the weekly church services.
Students are taught much more than the core academic areas of religion, mathematics, language arts, science, and history. In the continual goal of meeting the needs of the whole child, St. Philip offers students an outstanding technology program, foreign language classes, music education, problem solving classes and more. Through the creativity and dedication of their teachers, students are continually challenged to do their best in every area of the education.
Students consistently score at or above grade level on standardized tests, attesting to the fact that they are receiving an excellent education. Students that graduate from St. Philip are ready to enter the high school of their choice and are able to handle the academic challenges that high school presents.
There are plenty of team-building activities for students to participate in while at St. Philip. The sports program allows students to participate in basketball, volleyball, track, cross-country, softball, dance, bowling, and golf. Other activities include the yearbook committee, Student Council, and youth group.
St. Philip also offers after-school clubs in addition to the above programs. Past students have participated in art club, dance club, cooking club, chess club, basketball camp, and several others. These clubs are led by parents and members from the surrounding community who wish to share their talents with our students. These and other programs meet the needs of working parents by providing organized after-school activities in a safe environment.
The mission of St. Philip Lutheran School is “Growing – Sharing – Serving Christ”.
When St. Philip Lutheran Church was formed in 1893, the first pastor had a love of education and was concerned with the education of God’s Little Lambs. This first school was closed during the year of that the Great Depression struck.
In September 1937, St. Philip Lutheran Church called Dr. Milton E. Marten to reopen the Parish school. He became its teaching principal, with a class of 23 first and second graders. The students met in a classroom in the church building. Each year, more students were applying and being accepted into the school and more classes were added to the school. By 1942, St. Philip Lutheran had an accredited school with 75 students in all grades from kindergarten through 8th grade.
In 1950, the church acquired property adjacent to the church. This property would be used to build a new Parish Activities Building, housing the classrooms and students. This building was completed and dedicated in 1953. By 1962, the school’s enrollment included 225 students, being led by seven teachers.
During the celebration of its 50th year of formal Christian education, St. Philip Lutheran agreed to expand its horizons by adding yet another facet to our ministry, that of the Preschool / Child Care Center. The doors of the Preschool / Child Care Center opened in 1986.
It has been through the blessings of God, the vision of former leaders, and the sacrifice of many people that St. Philip Lutheran was begun. Since 1937, it has been a joy to see the various ministries continue and become a foundation in our neighborhood. It is our prayer that God will continue to bless our ministry and those that we meet in the future.