The Religion Department helps gain insight into world religious traditions, with particular insight into the Christian tradition as expressed through the Episcopal Church, which founded ‘Iolani School.
The program guides students to develop better moral decision-making and self-understanding. Students have the opportunity to compare and evaluate the influence of different world religious traditions. A required upper-level course provides a solid academic foundation in the study of the Bible.
‘Iolani School requires students to attend weekly Chapel services, but it is up to the individual student to respond to the Christian message. The Chaplains provide instruction for those students who wish to be confirmed in the Episcopal Church. They also serve as pastoral counselors to students, faculty and staff and, as requested, provide sacramental and pastoral services.
The K-12 Religion program teaches students to realize that all people are special to God, to develop an appreciation for all life as a gift, and to recognize God’s gift of love in their lives. Students acquire a knowledge and understanding of world religions, Biblical figures, saints, church history, and the Bible. The teachers help students to understand and respect the Christian tradition, and introduce them to the sacraments and their practical application in daily living.
Weekly Chapel services teach students to show reverence for God and appreciation for each other. The K-6 Religious Education teacher conducts weekly classes in Christian faith, values and character development. Students develop a clearer understanding of their feelings and beliefs. They learn to extend their faith education beyond the classroom environment and apply it to their daily lives.
Students are required to take three Religion courses: Religion 8, one six-week segment of Life Skills 9 and a semester course offered by the department. Teachers in the Religion Department invite discussion of local and global issues in light of religious traditions and personal faith. Students deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith as well as their own faith and cultural traditions. Religion courses reinforce basic research and writing skills. Project-based learning occurs in all courses. In studying theology, students honor our Creator and recognize and respect the diversity of thought and belief in our school community.
Extracurricular activities give students the opportunity to practice their faith and serve the community. Students volunteer as acolytes in services at St. Alban’s Chapel, and they participate in organizations like the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Students in Touch, and ‘Iolani Christian Fellowship.