Extended Introduction to Principia's Strategic Plan

Recognizing that the primary responsibility of any organization’s board of trustees is to determine and adhere to the organization’s purpose and mission, the Principia Board of Trustees offers this statement of Principia’s overarching purpose, mission, values, and vision, which we see well reflected in the following strategic plan developed by Principia’s administrative team.


We aspire to be recognized:

  • among top-tier, globally minded, academic institutions for our unique approach to the education and spiritual development of the whole person
  • for our kind, undogmatic though unapologetic culture, in which all who are interested in Christian Science feel valued

What we will continue to do:

  • Demonstrate the Christ-idea in the field of education
  • Provide programs for individuals who desire to experience and witness practical, operative Christian Science lived in association with others seeking the same
  • Put whole-person character education (physical, intellectual, social, moral, and spiritual) first in all our programming
  • Emphasize learning that deepens understanding, builds confidence, develops transferable skills, and turns the individual to God in every challenge
  • Provide professional development and opportunity for faculty, staff, and administrators who thrive in a robust environment with advanced teaching standards, elevated by the application of Christian Science in every aspect of their work

What we must learn to do better:

  • Acknowledge that there is a wide range of practice among those who value Christian Science
  • Graciously uphold our community standards
  • Be confident that Christian Science itself is not threatened nor made any less legitimate by another’s practice of it
  • Welcome humbly, and without taking offense, our mutual responsibility to offer and receive guidance that will improve effective participation in our community
  • Continuously redesign our educational offerings to sustainably meet 21st-century needs, adopting additional methods that are consistent with the Christ-idea in education
  • Remain relevant to and embracing of our alumni
    • “Granted that what is called the most advanced method of presenting a subject should receive due consideration and . . . should be thoroughly investigated, [yet] a true educator will dare to discard any or all which do not lead to independent, true thinking.” (Education at The Principia, p. 43)
    • “. . . perfect God and perfect man must be the basis of scientific demonstration. Then it must be the basis of all true education. Thought must be measured by this perfect standard.” (Education at The Principia, p 47)
    • “. . . keep the vision or the goal always before us. . . . If mortal mind worked to destroy our mission here at Principia, it would probably seek to make us lose our vision . . . by making us pay too constant attention to the details of our work. . . . We must be careful to avoid quibbling—of being too critical of others or becoming disgruntled. We have just one thing to do and that is to reject false suggestions and keep the light of Truth burning ever brightly before us. This is the only way we can ever be of real service to Principia and to the Cause of Christian Science.” (Education at The Principia, p 125)


We continue to value the principles underlying Principia’s 23 Policies:

  • The divine—inspiration infuses our work
    • “The Principia shall seek divine inspiration in the conduct of its work . . .” (Principia Policy 8)
    • “…in all that it does, The Principia shall strive to conform its ideals and its practices to the teachings of Christian Science.” (Principia Policy 2)
    • “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.” (Principia Policy 6)
    • “Do not trust at all to your clear human thinking, but demand of yourselves spiritual insight.” (Education at The Principia, p. 100)
    • “Knowing the wise thing to say—the sane thing to do—demands a very close companionship with our Father, the source of all wisdom.”(Education at The Principia, p. 32)
    • “Always insist on being master of your work. God would not give you something to do and fail to give you the wisdom, strength, and grace necessary to accomplish it. . . .  One can be deeply in earnest and at the same time spiritually light-hearted.” (Education at The Principia, p. 222)
    • “Let us continue to work for spiritual vision.” (Education at The Principia, p. 211)
  • The individual—each is seen as equal, unlimited, responsible, accountable
    • “The Principia shall recognize that man as the child of God reflects the intelligence and strength of his Maker, and that all men 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.” (Principia Policy 3)
    • Principians “shall enjoy equally all the opportunities which the Principia is able to provide.” (Principia Policy 14)
    • Principia “shall help each individual to express himself—his own best demonstrated self—rather than to be guided by vanity, the desire for popularity, blind acceptance of fads, or susceptibility to personal influence.” (Principia Policy 13)
    • “The student shall be placed upon his own responsibility insofar as this is practicable in terms of his obligations as a member of this community.” (Principia Policy 19)
    • “. . . all obligations resting upon members of the administration, faculty, staff, and student body . . . shall be met squarely and promptly” (Principia Policy 20)
    • “They shall continue as members of the student body only as they earn the right to do so through successful accomplishment . . .” (Principia Policy 18)
    • “. . . an individual will be continued in office as long as the responsibilities of his office are discharged in ways that contribute to the growth of the institution.” (Principia Policy 17)
    • “I am not sensitive to personal criticism. I am sensitive only to divine correction and instruction always and am always ready to accept wise counsel, no matter through what channel it may come.” (Education at The Principia, p. 223)
  • The community—all are committed to Principia’s success and to mutual respect, and all feel a sense of belonging
    • “A part of the secret of whatever measure of success The Principia may have attained, or will, in the future, attain is due to a certain democratic cooperation between the Principal and teachers, and teachers and pupils.  No one has been permitted to feel that he was but a subordinate…All have felt the responsibility of making the work a success, and pupils have been encouraged to present their viewpoint upon matters concerning which they may have had opinions differing from those of the faculty; and these views have been respected and thoroughly weighed…before making definite decisions.  Teachers have been consulted and asked to help in mental work when matters of importance were to be settled. The family council, whenever possible, is indispensable…a true democratic ‘getting together,’ and the opinion of one must not be valued more than that of another… There must be no distinction between persons.” As the Sowing, 97:16
    • “Principia belongs to one person as much as to another. What we need most is to keep from being self-centered . . .  Try hard to have the children feel at home and yet preserve a proper amount of formality . . .  Bring more home life into the school. Avoid anything that makes a pupil afraid of his teacher. Avoid red tape . . .  Leave in their hearts a sense of joy that the better ways of doing things were asked for. (Education at The Principia, pp. 64 and 65)
    • “To establish a relationship of mutual confidence . . . requires frankness, consideration, and respect. . . .  Unfailing courtesy begets courtesy.” (Education at The Principia, p. 50)
    • “Let all your criticisms be constructive. Never tear down until you have something better to put in the place of what you take away. . . . make good appealing.” (Education at The Principia, p. 48)
    • “. . . respect for the religious convictions of others should characterize Principia graduates.” (Education at The Principia, p.  158)
    • “Principia’s purpose is to help young Christian Scientists to live their understanding of Christian Science in association with other Christian Scientists. . . .  do we actually realize that there is no other place in the world today in which young people of such varied ages and varied experiences can come together to practice the living of Christian Science in a community dedicated to that purpose? . . . Through the give-and-take of this experience, we have the privilege of learning what are the seeming human problems that must be met, what are the difficulties that Christian Scientists will be apt to encounter in living together. . . .  to learn to live together as Christian Scientists, to see through selfishness and pettiness and pride and jealousy, to work with courage and with fortitude, to carry on in spite of every conceivable adverse and negative influence . . .  to learn to do bigger, stronger thinking” (Education at The Principia, p. 138)
    • “Principia “shall seek every possible opportunity to provide training in unselfishness, in consideration for others, in true democracy, in good sportsmanship . . .” (Principia Policy 19)
  • Integrity, excellence, selfless service, and critical thinking
    • “The Principia shall dedicate its service to the task of training its students to think—and to think clearly, vigorously, fearlessly, tolerantly, unselfishly” (Principia Policy 6)
    • “Thus through all our contacts with these young people, they should be enabled to discern the importance of establishing thought and action on the basis of Principle.” (Education at The Principia, p. v)
    • “We are told by Mrs. Eddy that ‘there is no excellence without labor’ (Science and Health, p. 457). . . .To accept the gift as something already complete, needing no further development, would be to waste the talent bestowed by divine Love and would forfeit divine help” (Education at The Principia, p.  35)
    • “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” (Principia Policy 10)


The primary Purpose of The Principia is to serve the Cause of Christian Science.

  • “The Principia must always be a credit and a help to the Cause of Christian Science. It must always truly represent that Cause. It must remain true to the ideals upon which it has been founded.” ( Education at The Principia, p. 136)


The Principia shall seek to serve the Cause of Christian Science through appropriate channels open to it as an educational institution. (Principia Policy 1)

    • “The higher education demanded by Christian Science is based upon . . . practice of the basic teaching of Christian Science—‘perfect God and perfect man’ (Science and Health, p. 259) . . . When we as Christian Scientists, refuse to judge according to sense testimony but rather base our judgments on spiritual evidence only, we shall be ready truly to educate the youth of our Cause. But not until then have we earned the right to claim for Principia that it is a service to the Cause of Christian Science. When we establish our own thinking on a spiritual basis, we shall be prepared to engage in the real character building claimed for Principia.” ( Education at The Principia, pp. 72 and 73)
    • “Principia education should mean the education of the whole man—physically, mentally socially, and spiritually, as well as intellectually.” ( Education at The Principia, p. 69)
    • “. . . show him that his divine right is to manifest physical, mental, moral, and spiritual freedom.” (Education at The Principia, p.  44)
    • “As I watch them graduate from the four-year college, mature and thoughtful, I see that many of them are really ready to enter into the work of our Cause. They are prepared by their experience in living together as Christian Scientists to take their places in church work and to accept the kind of responsibility that every adult Christian Scientist should accept on behalf of our Cause. Most of them are ready to take their own responsibilities for the Cause as far as human responsibilities can be taken, and as I see them doing that, I realize that they are really rooted and grounded in the Truth. Under such conditions I can’t help feeling that there isn’t any work connected with our Cause that is of more vital importance than this training of our youth. Here at Principia they just live naturally and happily together, but at the same time they are learning to handle their thinking wisely as Christian Scientists, and I don’t know of any more important work than that for our young people.” (Education at The Principia, p. 133)
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