Please read the following Faith Perspective Statement and Employee Covenant for Capstone Classical Academy. Can you affirm both and commit to living in harmony with them?
Capstone Classical Academy is more than a school. We are a community united by a common faith. Our faith does not make us immune from the influences of the larger culture, or the weaknesses of the human condition, but it gives us a vision, confronts us when we are wrong, holds us accountable, demands that we change and grow, comforts us with forgiveness and loving encouragement, and motivates us to strive always to improve – and to make every effort to instill the same faith in our students. Ours is a story of living for God. We do not seek to be renowned for greatness by some cultural standard. We seek only to serve God humbly and with a whole heart. If anything that we accomplish or any students that we graduate are considered excellent or exemplary, Soli Deo Gloria.
Capstone requires that all employees subscribe unequivocally to the foundational truths of the Nicene Creed, which has provided doctrinal unity to the Church for centuries:
We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and was made human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead. His kingdom will never end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified. He spoke through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.
We use biblical names to refer to God, but recognize that anything we say is an analogy or a figure of speech referring to a being who is beyond our comprehension. We use the term God to refer to a being whose existence is not dependent upon anyone or anything else, and upon whom everything else depends. God is spirit, unbound by time, space, or corporeal limitation. God is ineffable, and the only appropriate response when contemplating God is awe.
And yet, we do understand God to some extent. We understand God because he has mercifully chosen to reveal himself to us through his creation, the prophets, the Bible, and ultimately in the person of Jesus. Jesus is both the ultimate revelation and the ultimate paradox. We embrace the mysteries of the incarnation and virgin birth. Even so, there is much that we cannot explain. We cannot explain how God remained God the Father while simultaneously emptying himself to become God the Son. We cannot explain how Jesus was simultaneously divine and human. Even God’s greatest revelation is not entirely within our grasp. Ours is not a story of understanding leading to faith, but of faith leading to understanding.
At the very heart of who we are, without which our hope would be despair, is the fact that God did not simply become one of us but sacrificed himself so that our sinfulness would not separate us forever from his holiness, and that Jesus demonstrated God’s power over death by his bodily resurrection and ascension. In a sterile, disenchanted world that in the end offers only oblivion, we embrace this act of supreme love and supernatural power that allows the finite to approach the Infinite, allows the sinful to stand before the Holy, and gives the weak the forgiveness, strength, and purpose to live abundant, eternal life.
Capstone is a place of struggle. When we put on Christ, we accepted the Spirit of God into our hearts, resolved to be guided by the Spirit, to die to sin, and to live in righteousness. Yet we do not live in righteousness. We continue to fall short of the glory of God. Our story is one of repeated falling, then by the grace of a loving God, helping one another back to our feet and continuing the journey of faith together. Our ministry confronts us with an extraordinary tension. Any pretense that Capstone employees are always righteous is not simply hypocritical, but denies the purpose of Christ’s sacrifice. We must never set up a Pharisaical system of righteousness that condemns any employee who is struggling with sin. Capstone would have no employees. Even so, Capstone serves children and teenagers, ages when people are especially vulnerable. This ministry entails extraordinary responsibilities to protect and nurture. For this reason our handbooks, contracts and Employee Covenant spell out in further detail the standards of attitude and conduct required of those who are employed by Capstone.
At Capstone we believe that people are whole, and that we are wholly religious. Our culture tells us that a distinction can be made between the religious and the non-religious, that individuals and schools can choose whether or not to be religious, and that individuals can be religious while the school remains religiously neutral. We deny that religious neutrality is possible, or that being non-religious is possible. When one probes the alternatives carefully, it becomes apparent that, while not everyone believes in God as we know him, all humans find it necessary to put some entity into the place from which they have removed God. All humans worship something (in the literal sense of ascribing ultimate worth to something). All humans deify something. All schools take a position on deity. The notion that the universe-creating, death-shattering Almighty God can be constrained to the realm of private opinion, and that academic, economic, public, and professional activities can legitimately be carried on without reference to him is itself a provocative religious position. Public schools and Secular private schools, while not Christian, are no less religious than Capstone. God can be at the center, some other deity or deities can be at the center, an impersonal spiritual force can be at the center, human reason (individually or collectively) or some societal process can be at the center, or individual human pride or pleasure can be at the center. But one way or another, there will be a center that is functionally divine. Like Capstone, all schools are religious. At Capstone, we recognize it, and are unambiguously Christian.
All truth is God’s truth. We are all created in the image of God and live in God’s world. Even those who do not share our faith share a common experience of creation and a craving to know God, even though they may not express their faith in the same way. People are at different places on their journey to God. God loves them all, and so do we. We have deep respect for people from other traditions, recognize that we can learn from them, and are eager to share our faith with them. Even so, Capstone is not pluralistic. We believe that God has revealed himself exclusively in the person of Jesus, and that only through Jesus is God truly known and human purpose fully realized. The foremost mission of Capstone is to educate students to see that the fullness of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty is found in Jesus Christ.
Although we believe that the church is critical to the survival of the individual Christian, that no one makes the walk of faith alone, and we expect every employee of Capstone to be part of a local fellowship, Capstone is not church-centered. Capstone was founded by members of a collection of different Christian denominations who desired as the Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians, “To maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. For there is one body and one Spirit.” The founding team claimed a simple vision of Christianity that went back to a time before the divisions began. They sought to be simply Christians, not a specific brand of Christian. Capstone embraces this perspective, with a focus upon the word of God, an emphasis upon spiritual and ethical formation, and a commitment to service and mission under the banner of Jesus Christ as Lord. No specific temporal movement is lord. Capstone seeks to be godly only, biblical only, and relevant to the students we serve.
Capstone seeks to strengthen its relationships with all Christian fellowships who share the faith described in the Nicene Creed and expounded upon in this document, that we may build one another up and work collectively for the growth of God’s kingdom in our region. It is our desire to be an institution that intentionally serves our community as a source of restoration, reconciliation, and reformation. We embrace our kingdom obligation to be a source of hope in the Fargo-Moorhead region.
Whatever else we teach them, however highly educated our students may be according to conventional standards, the highest calling is to have the mind of Christ, the God who emptied himself and took the form of a servant. Fargo-Moorhead is growing more and more diverse, and as we strive to build a school that is representative of our community, Capstone will be an ideal environment for students to learn how to express their faith cross-culturally and to build friendships that bridge socio-economic, ethnic, and religious boundaries– the very skills and attitudes that they will need in order to thrive in a globally connected world. Capstone believes that God is powerfully present and at work in Fargo-Moorhead. We wish to be a part of his work, and are committed to serving our community to the glory of God. We invite anyone who shares our faith to join with us in this exciting ministry.
Please read the Capstone Employee Covenant below. Can you affirm the lifestyle expectations contained therein and commit to teaching and leading in congruence with those beliefs and commitments? If you have any reservations about any aspect of the covenant, please share them in your application.
Capstone Employee Covenant
This Employee Covenant, a companion document to the Capstone Faith Perspective, reaffirms the reality that Capstone is a place of struggle. As directors, employees, and parents, we constantly experience the tension between being broken sinners saved by the grace of God, while also being called upon to model Christian living for the good of our students. This tension is compounded by the need to demonstrate to our students the profound love and forgiveness provided by God, while simultaneously protecting them from influences that will undermine their relationships with God during their most vulnerable years.
We have no desire to establish a legalistic, Pharisaical system by which we judge ourselves or others. However, any Christian community must take seriously God’s word and the sins about which we are warned in scripture. For this reason, while we are sensitive to the fact that forgiveness is at the core of the Christian faith, this tension compels us to discipline and in some cases to dismiss those whose words or conduct pose a threat to the formation of the students entrusted to us. Therefore, the Capstone Board of Directors, Headmaster, administration, faculty, staff, and all other individuals serving in positions of authority or influence within our school community must accept and abide by these standards as a condition for their employment or position. This includes non-employee coaches, parents serving as chaperones, and other volunteers. All must agree to abide by this covenant for the duration of their service.
The Capstone faculty and staff recognize and respect that there is diversity within the body of Christ on some issues and behaviors. We do not assert that every principle within the Employee Covenant is necessarily the rule of conduct for all believers in all places at all times, even though some principles based on scripture are universal truths for all disciples. However, this Employee Covenant fosters common cause and direction for Capstone in our collective ministry to children, young adults, and their families, guiding us all toward deeper discipleship.
The purposes of this Employee Covenant are as follows:
to cultivate a school community that encourages spiritual, moral, and intellectual growth.
to foster the modeling of lives before our students that are grounded in Christian principles and devotion to Jesus Christ, rather than a passive acceptance of prevailing practices.
to pledge our commitment to teach and mentor Christian virtues through our words and deeds.
Affirming Biblical Standards
We believe that the biblical foundation of Christian community is found in Jesus’ two great commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-40). We desire to build our community on the principle of Christ’s Lordship over all actions and thoughts, and to adhere to all biblical standards for godly Christian character and behavior. However, given the ministry of Capstone to children, young adults, and their families, we specifically commit to the following:
honoring and revering God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by refraining from the use of their names in any irreverent manner;
viewing the Bible as the revealed and authoritative word of God;
being a people of love and humility, who treat others with dignity and respect;
being a faithful, active member of a congregation of Christian believers that recognizes the Bible as the God-inspired guide for life;
understanding and respecting the interdenominational spirit of unity at Capstone;
abstaining from sexual immorality, including the use of pornography, pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexual behavior, and all other sexual relationships outside the bounds of a monogamous marriage between a man and woman;
embracing ethnic diversity as part of God’s design for humanity and offering humility, love, respect and compassion toward all individuals and people groups while seeking righteousness, mercy, and justice for all people;
being a people of integrity whose word can be fully trusted and whose language is not vulgar or obscene;
valuing the sanctity of life from conception to death;
maintaining humility, modesty, generosity, and wisdom in our community with respect to money and material possessions;
maintaining appropriate relationships with children and adults and avoiding all behaviors and situations that could give the appearance of impropriety;
protecting ourselves and our students from sins that scripture condemns that are often overlooked, including pride, dishonesty, injustice, prejudice, immodesty, slander, gossip, obscene language, blasphemy, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, legalism, impurity, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, jealousy, selfishness, gluttony, and sexual immorality.
Exercising Responsible Freedom
Beyond explicit biblical issues, the Capstone community seeks to foster the practice of responsible Christian freedom. Responsible Christian freedom requires thoughtful, biblically- guided choices in matters of behavior, entertainment, and interpersonal relationships.
In addition to the principles listed above, of particular concern in a school environment where we serve children, young adults, and their families are those issues related to alcohol, illegal drugs, and tobacco. The use of tobacco has been shown to be harmful to the health of those using it as well as those who are exposed to it. The use of illegal drugs, the abuse of prescription drugs, and the providing of alcohol to minors are by definition illegal and therefore prohibited within the Capstone community.
However, the situation regarding the consumption of alcohol and use of tobacco by adults is more complex. The Bible requires moderation in the use of alcohol, not abstinence. Yet the fact that alcohol is addictive to many, coupled with the biblical warnings against its dangers, suggests the need for caution. Thus the question of alcohol consumption represents a prime opportunity for Christians to exercise their freedom responsibly, carefully, and in Christ-like love.
The Capstone faculty and staff encourage responsible freedom in matters of entertainment, including the places where members of the Capstone community may seek it. Capstone expects that its members will exercise Godly wisdom in their entertainment choices. To foster a school atmosphere that is most conducive to becoming the Christian community of living, learning, and serving that Capstone seeks to be, we commit to upholding the following institutional standards:
Capstone’s campus and all events sponsored (hosted, funded, or marketed by employees in fulfillment of their official duties for the school) will be alcohol-free and tobacco-free. This means that the possession or consumption of alcohol or the use of tobacco in any form will be prohibited in, on, or around all campus properties, owned or leased. The same prohibition applies to all Capstone vehicles, whether on or off campus, and to all Capstone-sponsored (hosted, funded, or marketed by employees in fulfillment of their official duties for the school) events or programs, wherever they are held.
In personal activities, adult members of the Capstone community will live within an ethic of high responsibility and unquestionable moderation in any private use of alcohol. Abstinence when with students who are non- family members is the mutually shared and expected norm unless the parents of those students are also present. No one who has consumed alcohol in the hours prior to a school event should attend that event. Likewise, sharing or posting any images that depict serving or consuming alcohol will be avoided, especially when Capstone students are able or likely to view these images.
Public statements, including those made within the scope of an individual’s role with Capstone as well as those posted online, should be not be in conflict with the principles contained within Capstone’s Community Covenant and Statement of Faith.