At Riverside Presbyterian Day School the spiritual formation of each student is key to the success of our mission to “educate the mind, nurture the spirit and foster the development of the whole child.
Founded in 1948 by Riverside Presbyterian Church, RPDS provides both a challenging academic curriculum and a biblically based spiritual foundation. From its earliest days the RPDS education experience has included a weekly student-led chapel service, Bible classes for each student and many opportunities to put their faith into action by serving.
Currently, we have two chapel services at RPDS. On Thursday mornings the student body, along with parents and friends, gathers in the sanctuary. Our sixth graders take the lead by praying, reading scripture, processing the flags and greeting attendees. Devotional leaders are from a wide range of denominations, helping to insure that children from all faiths and backgrounds feel welcomed. Our second chapel, Rise N’ Shine, is designed for our ELC students. The kindergarteners assist by helping with the presentation of the Bible story and leading the movement and singing.
Our weekly Bible classes tell the story of God’s connection to his people from creation to Revelation. Students learn how God’s people have struggled throughout history, relying on His grace and mercy. They discuss their own struggles as they strive to live the Riverside Way. In sixth grade, the students begin to look at Biblical ethics as they work toward making their faith their own.
In Matthew, Christ tells his followers that when we serve the least among us we are truly serving him. RPDS students serve the underprivileged in Jacksonville with an annual fall food drive for the Downtown Ecumenical Services Council. Hundreds of pounds of food are delivered by our sixth graders. At Christmas we provide gifts for refugee families through Lutheran Social Services. In an outpouring of generosity and love our students give these families a Christmas they will never forget.
When a student graduates from Riverside Presbyterian Day School the faculty and staff will know our mission statement has been fully realized when they demonstrate eight graduate traits. Because spiritual formation is at the core of our philosophy the first trait is to “demonstrate faith in God and an appreciation of His love through living positive, respectful lives as servant leaders, drawing upon His strength to be confident decision makers, to lead balanced lives and to be responsible stewards of the broader natural world.”