We do not believe that true leadership is something that must wait for adulthood. We have intentionally woven leadership opportunities into several parts of our school day and year, because we know the best way to learn leadership is to put it into practice.
The pinnacle of our leadership program is one of Mingo Valley Christian’s best-loved traditions, the Citadel. This group is made of up of seniors (and occasionally juniors) who undergo a rigorous interview and application process to participate. Students of high character and strong leadership potential are selected to lead our secondary (7th-12th grades) through our “house system”. Before school starts, each Citadel leader is assigned a house made up of 7th-12th graders (male Citadel leaders lead all-male houses, and female Citadel leaders lead all-female houses). These houses meet every morning for prayer, student-led Bible study, and fun games, building a strong sense of community within each house.
In addition, Citadel members meet together for a full class period every day, where they receive leadership coaching, work on their house devotionals, and plan numerous large events throughout the year, including homecoming and service projects. In this class, they engage in deep discussion over compelling issues such as racial equity, Christian vs. secular worldview, withstanding peer pressure in college and beyond, and having a courageous faith.
Citadel Leaders plan the speakers and logistics for two large off-campus events each year. Ethics and Etiquette Day (in the fall) is a day of encouraging our students to apply skills of self-governing when they’re in society, recognizing that our respectful actions and words honor the people we’re with and bring glory to God. In the spring, Worldview Day is a day set aside to look outside ourselves, examine various worldviews, and see how they compare to God’s Word.
In smaller, but still very meaningful ways, our younger students have leadership opportunities as well. All our student organizations have officers, and they are not officers “in name only”—they have real responsibilities to fulfill. In elementary, our sixth graders are given the task of organizing Spirit Week. The sixth graders meet weekly with kindergarten “reading buddies” to encourage reading skills. Interested high school students (whose academic schedules allow) are given the opportunity to serve as teachers’ aides in the younger elementary classrooms.
Students practiced in learning become leaders; students only taught about leadership are, at best, better listeners. It is our desire that our Mingo Valley Christian students leave their years with us well practiced in the art of leading, and well positioned to become world changers!