seek truth, knowledge and excellence;
live by faith, compassion and integrity.
- St. Paul's School Mission
A Philosophy rooted in the episcopal tradition
Our School’s philosophical beliefs are rooted in our historic relationship with Old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and its Anglican traditions. These roots help us define the institutional and educational practices that support our goal of helping each member of our community achieve individual excellence.
We believe every member of the community is essential to our School. We are all learners who strive to deepen our knowledge and to share what we have learned with others. We extend ourselves to encourage and support each other in the pursuit of the goals set forth in the School’s mission.
We believe the goals of education are to sharpen the mind, ennoble the spirit, and challenge the body. We inspire and educate so that students can achieve their best in academic, artistic, athletic, and extracurricular endeavors. We teach students to question, consider, test, evaluate, and then question again, as we lead them to confront the moral and intellectual challenges of the modern world and embrace lives of learning.
We believe it is our community's responsibility to stress strength of character in all areas of school life. We expect all members of the community to respect others, be responsible, treasure integrity, and to live with honor.
We believe in the importance of spiritual growth. We provide opportunities for the community to come together for worship and for individuals to pursue their personal faith journeys.
We believe in inclusiveness. We support diversity as an integral aspect of educational excellence that enriches the experiences of all. We respect diversity in race, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic circumstances, sexual orientation, and gender.
We believe in serving others. We strive to create a better and more peaceful world through lives of service and compassion.
St. Paul's History
“How can I explain to you…that elusive, intangible thing we call the St. Paul’s spirit? Words are inadequate. They sometimes render flat and lifeless a thing that is vital and precious…The value of spirit cannot be assessed. Without it, a school lacks true life.”
George S. Hamilton, Headmaster
The founding philosophy of the school called for a “Christian education,” once described as that found in British cathedral schools.St. Paul’s School was founded by the Reverend William Edward Wyatt on February 9, 1849, in a Sunday school room of Old St. Paul’s Church in downtown Baltimore. It was given a charter by the State of Maryland in 1853 as the Boys’ School of St. Paul’s Parish. Under its general provisions, the charter granted authority for “the maintenance and education of poor boys.” Church Rector Dr. Milo Mahan also sought students “of higher grades and better capabilities,” thus laying the foundation for the modern preparatory school. By 1868, the trustees of the school had purchased a building on Saratoga Street and counted “9 boarders and a few day scholars.”
The boys of St. Paul’s School pursued a demanding curriculum from the beginning. In the nineteenth century, this included the study of Greek, Latin, and math. In addition, since the school’s inception, the practice of church music was given high priority. The present Men and Boys’ Choir of Old St. Paul’s Church the choir established by the school in 1873.
During its history, St. Paul’s has occupied six sites. The most notable among these locations have been Franklin Street, Mt. Washington, and Brooklandville, where the school currently stands. St. Paul’s relocated to this 64-acre campus in 1952. The focal point of the grounds is Brooklandwood, a mansion built in 1793 by Charles Carroll, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
In modern times, the school’s goals have been manifested in emphasis on the mind, spirit, and body, as modeled in part by the Greek ideal.
Over the past 150 years, the enrollment of the school has grown from 13 students to almost 570; its plant, from a town building to a large campus; its faculty, from two instructors to a current full-time faculty of 58.
Much of the success of St. Paul’s is due to its connection with Old St. Paul’s Church, which founded the school. Success can also be traced to superior leadership from headmasters, capable and dedicated trustees, and outstanding faculty and students.
Based on remarks by Louis Dorsey Clark
Senior Master, Archivist