Families from all religious and spiritual traditions are attracted to Friends schools; more than 90% of the students who attend Wilmington Friends are non-Quakers.
What brings families to Quaker education is often the appeal of an academic program with depth--one that truly asks students to think, to collaborate, to be creative, to take risks--within a caring community that balances focus on the individual with responsibility to the common good.
Two principles of Quakerism have a defining influence on the educational philosophy at Friends schools.
The first is that "there is that of God in everyone." In the educational setting, that translates as a belief in the unique dignity of each person, which schools have an obligation to recognize and to nurture. And every member of the community shares in that obligation to answer what is best in themselves and in others--developing talents to the fullest, and respecting the strengths, efforts, and perspectives of all.
The second principle is “continuing revelation,” the idea that truth is continually revealed through seeking, experience, and reflection. Students at Quaker schools are encouraged to ask questions, to think both independently and cooperatively, to test ideas against experience and new information, to engage in education as a process of exploration and discovery.
The Quaker testimonies, known by the acronym SPICES, are also evident in Friends schools. The testimonies include stewardship, peace, integrity, community, equality, and simplicity. Again, those guiding values attract families from many faith and spiritual traditions, seeking a school where intellectual endeavor and ethical commitment are mutually reinforcing.