What is Quakerism?
The Religious Society of Friends began in mid-seventeenth century England as a Christian group focused on the “Inner Light” of each individual, empowering direct personal spiritual experience without creeds, doctrine, or clergy.
While there are no set beliefs in Quakerism, you will often see a common group of goals, called testimonies: simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship (SPICES). These testimonies are threads in the larger organic life of Quaker query and practice: to ask important questions in order to discern what actions are motivated by those questions. This requires reflection, mindfulness, and a balancing of the inner self and outer world.
What is Quaker Education?
The first Quaker school in America was founded in 1682, and today there are about 80 across the country as well as many in the rest of the world, from Australia to Costa Rica. While each school is different, they are guided by common principles. According to the Friends Council on Education:
“Quaker education does not seek to inculcate a particular set of beliefs or doctrines; it seeks to nurture a particular sort of personhood - a person who knows deep down that sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing are not all there are to life; a person who, in an age of rampant materialism, has first-hand experience of the reality and importance of the Spirit in life; a person rooted as much in the unseen as in the seen, as much in the spiritual as in the physical; a person who has a capacity for reverence, and who is as well equipped to experience the Spirit as to do work in the world.”