Augustine Christian Academy began as a dream around a kitchen table in 1995. Life-long educators, their spouses, and some other interested parties had a vision for a Christian school in Tulsa, Okla., that taught in the classical model and would come alongside Christian parents as they sought to train their children to think and reason from a distinctly Christian worldview.
These founders were friends and colleagues with many years of teaching experience. One had been educated classically as a child; another had researched extensively about classical education. All involved with setting the course for the scope and sequence of the school had a gift for helping students achieve their best in and out of the classroom. Together they believed that God had great things in store for Christian education in Tulsa.
In 1997, St. Augustine Academy (as ACA was known then) opened with fewer than 20 students. Everyone did double and triple duty—teaching, cleaning, working in the office, and more. Augustine’s unique family atmosphere, an integral part of the fabric of the school, was present from the beginning. Students (many of them literal brothers and sisters) got to know their teachers personally since the classes were so small, and regularly helped set-up and tear down classrooms. Everyone pitched in on everything from emptying trash and mopping floors to creating one-of-a-kind decorations for banquets and helping raise school funds. As a result, students and staff alike developed a deep sense of belonging to one another and a commitment to the vision of a school that was unlike any place else. That hasn’t changed.
In 2000, God provided property that we could call our own, and we’ve been growing ever since. Sometimes we amaze even ourselves at how creatively we can adapt our building to our needs, transforming common space from chapel to soundstage to lunchroom to rehearsal hall without blinking an eye. Perhaps we’re just living proof that, “necessity is the mother of invention,” but we tend to believe that it’s more about the truth that, “little is much when God is in it.” We have seen God bless the founders’ dream beyond our expectations.
From humble beginnings, we have grown to an annual enrollment of more than 200 students in grades K4-12. Our most recent graduating class had 27 students (a 2700% increase from our first graduating class of 1 student), and our alumni have become scholars, artists, business owners, musicians, missionaries, doctors, teachers, and more. Students still treat each other as brothers and sisters, with older students mentoring younger ones, and everybody pitching in where they are needed.
The vision for ACA remains the same. We’ll never be a mega-school, and we embrace that. We’re dedicated to creating an environment that fosters individual creativity, academic inquiry, Christian service, and spiritual growth. Ask any ACA student, faculty, staff, or alumni, and they’ll tell you, “We’re family.” Above all, though, we strive to do everything “for the glory of the Lord.” We can’t wait to see what happens next!