Purpose and Policies
The primary Purpose of The Principia is to serve the Cause of Christian Science.
- The Principia shall seek to serve the Cause of Christian Science through appropriate channels open to it as an educational institution.
It shall be made clear that The Principia is a private philanthropy and not an official activity of the Christian Science Church.
- Principia strives to conform its ideals, policies, and practices to the teachings of Christian Science.
- The Principia shall recognize that each individual as the child of God reflects the intelligence and strength of our Maker, and that all have equal opportunity and equal ability in the sight of God.
The Principia refuses to accept as final any belief of limitation which grants greater capacity to one individual than to another. "Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science. Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God's image and likeness; the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which man is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 475:11-22. "Man" here is a generic term, including all individuals.)
- Principia is fully devoted to Christian Science as defined by its Pastor.
All faculty, staff, and students are expected to grow in their understanding of their relationship with God and their understanding of the teachings of Christian Science and engage in practices that promote the integrity and spiritual well-being of the Principia community.
Christian Science healing is expected to be considered, respected, and supported. Decisions as to the treatment of specific situations are left to individuals in the community and their families.
Principia gives preference in hiring and admitting individuals to active Christian Scientists. All Trustees, the Chief Executive, Head of School, and College President shall be actively devoted to Christian Science.
- Principia is committed to the demonstration of Christian Science. Principia supports members of the student body, faculty, and staff in turning to Christian Science, so that all may gain practical experience utilizing Christian Science in daily living. In obedience to the Church Manual of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts by Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science is not formally taught at Principia.
- The Principia shall dedicate its service to the task of training its students to think - and to think clearly, vigorously, fearlessly, tolerantly, unselfishly.
The ability to gather and weigh evidence and to form conclusions that are free from personal influence or selfish considerations is essential to the formulation of sound judgment and to the exercise of constructive citizenship in a democracy. The Principia shall encourage its faculty, staff, and student body to learn by practice and experience to test their thinking by reference to divine law as given in the Bible and as interpreted in the writings of Mary Baker Eddy.
- In all of its activities, The Principia shall place emphasis upon Principle rather than upon person.
It shall be made clear that responsibility rests in the office, not in the officer. A vigorous effort shall be made to eliminate guidance and influence through either personality or hero worship. Wherever there is evidence of such personal influence, it shall be the responsibility of the institution and its workers to eliminate the cause as far as possible.
- The Principia shall seek divine inspiration in the conduct of its work and shall therefore willingly depart from common practices whenever the fact becomes clear that there is a better way of doing things.
The Principia must not be guided alone by that which is accepted as good practice in other schools or colleges, but must seek independently and courageously to organize its work as the result of Christianly scientific demonstration, accepting from common practice only those methods and customs which best contribute to the fundamental purpose of the institution.
- Principia emphasizes devotion to the democratic way of life and individual dedication to its service, including:
freedom of thought,
freedom of speech,
freedom of religious worship, and
freedom of press.
- Teaching at Principia shall emphasize the point of view that education carries with it the obligation to use technical skills and intellectual attainments for the betterment of humanity.
- The Principia shall seek continuously to improve its educational facilities and business practices in order to keep abreast of educational progress and in key with changing world conditions.
In its educational methods and business practices, The Principia shall make constant efforts to lift its standards to the highest point that the wisdom and experience of the administration, faculty, and staff, and the financial resources of the institution will permit.
- The Principia takes the position that education in its fullest sense cannot be confined to academic subjects but includes the building of character.
In the words of Mary Kimball Morgan, the Founder of The Principia, "Developing the power to think accurately, wisely, and with intelligent discrimination; cultivating the ability to dissect thought and to discard that which is not constructive in daily living; strengthening the capacity to form high ideals and the courage necessary for standing by those ideals until they are outlined in Christian character - that is the work The Principia regards as true education."
- The Principia shall place emphasis upon that which is direct, simple, natural, and honest in all of its activities.
The institution shall help everyone express and demonstrate their own best selves – rather than to be guided by vanity, the desire for popularity, blind acceptance of fads, or susceptibility to personal influence. Every effort shall be made to eliminate superficiality. Unnecessary formality shall be avoided. However, correct and dignified procedures which are unrelated to pride or personal position, but are consistent with the purpose of The Principia's work, shall be observed at appropriate times.
- Principia is an inclusive educational institution and strives to provide all its community members access to opportunities and responsibilities for which they are eligible. The Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, and students will strive to advance their skills in understanding and supporting all community members. “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals” (Science and Health, p. 13:2-3).
- Principia is one institution, united by its Purpose and Policies. Each part serves to support the whole. The entire institution commits to a spirit of cooperation in the development of Principia’s educational program, personnel, and policies. “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Romans 12:4-5).
- Principia seeks to operate with democratic values, encouraging input and engagement. The fundamental Policies of the institution, established by the Board of Trustees, shall be interpreted by the chief executive.
- Principia seeks to fill every position with the most effective individual available. The success of the work is more important to all concerned than individual tenure. This Policy shall be implemented with wisdom, respect, and compassion. It is not essential that any employee be in full agreement with the administration. Yet, it is important that employees cooperate with the administration, be in harmony with the Policies and practices of the institution, and be committed to the success of its Purpose.
- The Principia shall extend its opportunities only to those students who are prepared to take sufficient advantage of the experience to make it clear that The Principia is their rightful place.
With appropriate differences, students must measure up to the same demands that are made on members of the faculty and staff. They shall continue as members of the student body only as they earn the right to do so through successful accomplishment to a degree which indicates their desire and readiness to be Principians.
- Students shall be placed upon their own responsibility insofar as this is practicable in terms of their individual obligations as members of this community.
It shall be understood that during a student's experience at The Principia, from pre-school through the last day in the senior year in college, each shall be subject to constructive criticism and guidance in directions which will improve their effective participation in the activities of this institution. This shall be particularly true in matters relating to growth as a Christian Scientist in a community dedicated to service to the Cause of Christian Science. The deans dealing with students shall seek every possible opportunity to provide training in unselfishness, in consideration for others, in true democracy, in good sportsmanship, in correct social customs, in appropriate dress, manner, speech, and conduct, and in any other items which will enable the student to be a good citizen and an effective Christian Scientist. Training in such directions represents a most important part of The Principia's contribution to the education of the student.
- All obligations incurred by or due to Principia should be met promptly and fully. Principia students and employees are expected to meet their obligations honestly and in a timely manner. Business practices at Principia should be based on Principle and guided by the Golden Rule.
- Any organized activity associated with Principia and carried on in the interests of Principia must exist only as authorized by The Principia Corporation.
- All Principia activities – curricular, co-curricular, extracurricular, or work-related – must be consistent with the Purpose and Policies of Principia, and community members must abide by published Principia standards.
- In the spirit of the Sabbath, Principia honors sacred time for spiritual refreshment, reflection, and renewal for individuals, families, and the community.
Updated: November 2023