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Education as Formation

The primary mission of Servite High School is the forming of faith-filled leaders. The formation process is the intentional, systematic direction of the complete student experience toward the end of developing the whole person, body and soul.
The intent of the program is to monitor every component of a student’s experience, both inside and outside of the classroom ─ and ensure that each component, in its’ own unique way, is directed toward the development of the whole student.

What is the Servite Formation Program?

The Servite Formation Program is the intentional, systematic direction of the complete student experience toward the end of developing the whole person, body and soul, and facilitating each student’s address of the question, “Who are you?”

Who is responsible for the formation of each student?

It is important to note that within the context of the Formation Program, “teaching” is not limited to the classroom experience. All members of the faculty and staff play an active role as a teacher, or guide, in the formation of every student with whom they work. The importance of each member’s active participation cannot be over-stated. As the Sacred Congregating for Catholic Education reminds us in The Catholic School on the Verge of the Third Millennium:
“Teaching has an extraordinary moral depth and is one of man's most excellent and creative activities, for the teacher does not write on inanimate material, but on the very spirits of human beings. The personal relations between the teacher and the students, therefore, assume an enormous importance and are not limited simply to giving and taking. Moreover, we must remember that teachers and educators fulfill a specific Christian vocation and share an equally specific participation in the mission of the Church, to the extent that ‘it depends chiefly on them whether the Catholic school achieves its purpose.’”
Thus every component of the student experience must be seen as playing a unique and vital role in the formation of each student, for the whole student is not limited to any one component but is rather formed and affected by every activity and relationship that comprises their unique student experience.

What are the Formation Themes?

While each component of the student experience should contribute to the development of the whole student in a unique way, a set of unifying ideas that guide that development regardless of context is necessary in order to create “an organic set of elements.” Furthermore, a student’s experience will be far more valuable if they are given a single lens through which they are able to view any situation, endeavor or challenge that life presents.
With that in mind, the following Formation Themes are intended to guide the formation of the Servite student in any context, both inside and outside of the classroom:
  • Primacy of faith - Life’s greatest and most important truths cannot be discovered by reason alone. We must accept that mystery exists and that life is a series of acts of faith, large and small. The most elemental act of faith is the belief that we possess a fundamental uniqueness that makes us who we are – unlike anyone else, past, present or future.
  • Mastery of self - The gifts that make us who we are reveal the unique vocation we have been given by God. By mastering ourselves and developing our gifts, we will make the world a better place in a way that no one else ever can. This is the fundamental responsibility that gives meaning and purpose to our lives.
  • Necessity of the other - An honest assessment of who we are reveals that we have limits and need others. Properly developing ourselves requires that we properly develop all the relationships that make us who we are.
  • Centrality of Christ - There is one “other” we can never do without. God made us who we are and Christ brought us direct contact with God. Therefore, everything we do should be under Christ’s direction and modeled after Him. We should note especially that Christ’s fundamental teaching is love as defined by mercy. This should be the measure of all our relationships.
It may be helpful to note that the Formation Themes are not hierarchical or even chronological. In an organic, experiential way, an individual moves through them as they are ordered above, but this
movement is rarely conscious and daily life requires application of each theme in unique ways and in an infinite variety of circumstances.

How does formation relate to other areas of the student’s life?

By definition, every component of the student experience is an essential part of the Formation Program. The Formation Process is not a separate program that the academic departments, clubs and teams work with, rather it is the unifying vision that all departments, offices and programs share, as together they strive to contribute to the formation of each student.

Who is responsible for applying the formation Themes?

All Servite faculty and staff are responsible for applying the Formation Themes through the medium within which they interact with students.
  • Faculty members via the classroom experience.
  • Counselors via their guidance and direction.
  • Coaches via their respective sports.
  • Co-curricular directors and moderators via student programs and activities.
  • Campus ministers via spiritual guidance and development.
  • Staff members via their modeling and respective interaction with students.
Combined with the inherent formative value of their respective medium (classroom learning, athletic competition, etc.), it is through their application – but most especially modeling – of the Formation Themes within their unique contexts that all members of the faculty and staff are most fully participants in the Formation Program.

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