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Mission & History

Philosophy/Belief Statement

Empowering Students to be

Leaders for good

Founded in 1842, Saint James School remains faithful to our historic identity as a Church School and continuing our attention to the spiritual and moral formation of our students. As an Episcopal school, Saint James welcomes students and faculty of all faiths, supporting each in our common pilgrimage of life.

Believing that young people are raised best in close relationship with each other and with adults who care for them, we remain committed to our enduring character as a small coeducational boarding school with a limited number of day students. In educating our students, we seek to develop and nurture all their talents and intelligences, challenging them to grow academically, athletically, artistically, socially and morally in the context of a close and supportive residential community.

Read our philosophy & vision statement

Bookbags line the Senior Circle
mission statement

Saint James School prepares young men and women for success in college and inspires them to be leaders for good in the world. We do this within a small and familial residential community that encourages their moral and spiritual growth. 

By challenging our students to lead for good within our community, we hope to prepare them to lead for good in the world.

Photo from 1894 on the Claggett Steps
Founded in 1842

A leader in education

for nearly two centuries

Through war and fire, Saint James School has endured much with grace and resilience while remaining committed to the school's moral code and educational philosophy of teaching the whole person.

History of Saint James School

Saint James School is far more than one of the oldest Episcopal boarding schools in the United States. The school was founded in 1842 in western Maryland as the second iteration of the scholastic vision of William Augustus Muhlenberg (1796-1877) whose work gave rise to some of the best college preparatory schools in the United States. 

Over nearly two centuries, Saint James has been through numerous setbacks: a Civil War on its doorsteps, the Great Depression, World War II, fires, economic hardship, and more. But through these ups and downs, Saint James has stood fast to its core traditions and prospers still today by remaining true to its mission of "creating leaders for good in the world."

Read more about the history of Saint James

Key Events Timeline

Hero - Image Slideshow

An undated photo of Saint James boys under the Poplar Tree
Choir in 1919
Claggett Hall
Original Claggett Hall