The Religion Department offers students an opportunity to gain insight into the world's religions with a particular focus on the Christian tradition as expressed through the Episcopal Church, the heritage of ‘Iolani School.


The study of religion involves the formation of both mind and heart. We approach religious education as an academic pursuit as well as an opportunity for self-examination, self-understanding, and spiritual and ethical formation. Required upper level courses provide a solid academic foundation in comparative religions, the study of the Bible and other sacred texts, the prophetic tradition, and religious approaches to issues of ethics and social justice. These courses also encourage students to develop moral and ethical decision-making skills that align with their personal and familial values.

Each course is independent and there are no pre-requisites. Students are not required to have any prior knowledge of the Bible, Christianity, or other faith traditions to enroll in any of these courses.

‘Iolani remains rooted in its Christian faith and the heritage of the Episcopal Church. At the same time, ‘Iolani recognizes, respects, and welcomes the diversity of beliefs and traditions that reflect our modern society and enhance our community of learning.

Weekly Chapel attendance is an important part of the ‘Iolani experience for all students. Though not a formal part of the Religion Department curriculum, Chapel is an extension of the classroom and an opportunity for students to gather together for worship, meditation, prayer, and reflection. Chapel also provides a forum for students to hear from guest speakers, address community issues and topics, and enrich their faith and life together.


The children and their teachers in grades K-6 participate in weekly services in St. Alban's Chapel. With guidance from the Chaplains, they learn to show reverence for God and appreciation for each other. Weekly classes in Christian faith, values and character development are also taught by the religious education teacher. The children study the lessons appropriate to their grade level and readiness. It is hoped that students will have a clearer understanding of their feelings and beliefs and achieve the following broad curriculum goals:

  1. Realize that all people are special to God.
  2. Develop an appreciation for all life as a gift.
  3. Learn to recognize and identify God's gift of love in their lives.
  4. Obtain knowledge of Biblical characters and saints.
  5. Acquire basic knowlege of the Bible as literature.
  6. Expand their knowledge of church history.
  7. Develop an understanding of world religions.
  8. Gain an understanding of and appreciation and respect for the Christian tradition.
  9. Be introduced to the sacraments and their practical application in daily living.
  10. Learn how to extend their faith education beyond the classroom environment and apply it to their daily lives.