Purpose and Policies of The Principia

Purpose

THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE PRINCIPIA IS TO SERVE THE CAUSE OF CHRISTIAN SCIENCE.

Policies

  1. The Principia shall seek to serve the Cause of Christian Science through appropriate channels open to it as an educational institution.

It shall be made clear that The Principia is a private philanthropy and not an official activity of the Christian Science Church.

  1. In its dealings with individuals or organizations, in the formulation of policies and regulations, in the establishment of methods, and in all that it does, The Principia shall strive to conform its ideals and its practices to the teachings of Christian Science.
  2. The Principia shall recognize that man as the child of God reflects the intelligence and strength of his Maker, and that all men have equal opportunity and equal ability in the sight of God.

The Principia refuses to accept as final any belief of limitation which grants greater capacity to one individual than to another. “Man is spiritual and perfect; and because he is spiritual and perfect, he must be so understood in Christian Science. Man is idea, the image, of Love; he is not physique. He is the compound idea of God, including all right ideas; the generic term for all that reflects God’s image and likeness; the conscious identity of being as found in Science, in which man is the reflection of God, or Mind, and therefore is eternal; that which has no separate mind from God; that which has not a single quality underived from Deity; that which possesses no life, intelligence, nor creative power of his own, but reflects spiritually all that belongs to his Maker.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy, p. 475:11–22)

  1. All members of the faculty and staff shall be active Christian Scientists. As a rule, members of the student body shall be accepted only from homes in which at least one of the parents or the guardian can give evidence of being a sincere Christian Scientist and of being ready to depend upon Christian Science for help in time of need. However, if an applicant is an earnest student of Christian Science and is sufficiently mature, conditions may warrant an exception to this general rule. Members of the faculty, staff, and student body will be expected to rely on Christian Science for healing.
  1. The Principia clearly recognizes that Christian Science shall not be taught except in the Sunday School classes provided for in the Manual of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, by Mary Baker Eddy.

In obedience to the Church Manual, Christian Science shall not be taught in the classrooms or elsewhere. Each member of the faculty and staff shall strive to demonstrate “the beauty of the music he teaches in order to show the learner the way by practice as well as precept” (Science and Health, p. 26:19–21). It shall be the purpose of The Principia so to conduct its activities as to turn the members of its student body, faculty, and staff to Christian Science at all times, so that all may gain practical experience in utilizing the teachings of Christian Science in daily living.

  1. The Principia shall dedicate its service to the task of training its students to think — and to think clearly, vigorously, fearlessly, tolerantly, unselfishly.

The ability to gather and weigh evidence and to form conclusions that are free from personal influence or selfish considerations is essential to the formulation of sound judgment and to the exercise of constructive citizenship in a democracy. The Principia shall encourage its faculty, staff, and student body to learn by practice and experience to test their thinking by reference to divine law as given in the Bible and as interpreted in the writings of Mary Baker Eddy.

  1. In all of its activities, The Principia shall place emphasis upon Principle rather than upon person.

It shall be made clear that responsibility rests in the office, not in the officer. A vigorous effort shall be made to eliminate guidance and influence through either personality or hero worship. Wherever there is evidence of such personal influence, it shall be the responsibility of the institution and its workers to eliminate the cause as far as possible.

  1. The Principia shall seek divine inspiration in the conduct of its work and shall therefore willingly depart from common practices whenever the fact becomes clear that there is a better way of doing things.

The Principia must not be guided alone by that which is accepted as good practice in other schools or colleges, but must seek independently and courageously to organize its work as the result of Christianly scientific demonstration, accepting from common practice only those methods and customs which best contribute to the fundamental purpose of the institution.

  1. In all departments of its work, both curricular and extracurricular, The Principia shall place emphasis upon devotion to the democratic way of life and upon dedication of the individual to its service. Emphasis shall be laid upon the priceless privileges of the democratic way of life expressed in

freedom of thought,
freedom of speech,
freedom of religious worship,
freedom of press.

  1. Teaching at Principia shall emphasize the point of view that education carries with it the obligation to use technical skills and intellectual attainments for the betterment of humanity.
  1. The Principia shall seek continuously to improve its educational facilities and business practices in order to keep abreast of educational progress and in key with changing world conditions.

In its educational methods and business practices, The Principia shall make constant efforts to lift its standards to the highest point that the wisdom and experience of the administration, faculty, and staff, and the financial resources of the institution will permit.

  1. The Principia takes the position that education in its fullest sense cannot be confined to academic subjects but includes the building of character.

In the words of Mary Kimball Morgan, the Founder of The Principia, “Developing the power to think accurately, wisely, and with intelligent discrimination; cultivating the ability to dissect thought and to discard that which is not constructive in daily living; strengthening the capacity to form high ideals and the courage necessary for standing by those ideals until they are outlined in Christian character — that is the work The Principia regards as true education.”

  1. The Principia shall place emphasis upon that which is direct, simple, natural, and honest in all of its activities.

The institution shall help each individual to express himself — his own best or demonstrated self — rather than to be guided by vanity, the desire for popularity, blind acceptance of fads, or susceptibility to personal influence. Every effort shall be made to eliminate superficiality. Unnecessary formality shall be avoided. However, correct and dignified procedures which are unrelated to pride or personal position, but are consistent with the purpose of The Principia’s work, shall be observed at appropriate times.

  1. The Principia shall be a coeducational institution in the fullest meaning of the term.

Men and women of the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, and staff, as well as the members of the student body, shall be eligible for responsibility regardless of sex, and shall enjoy equally all the opportunities which The Principia is able to provide. “Union of the masculine and feminine qualities constitutes completeness” (Science and Health, p. 57:4–5).

  1. The Principia shall always be conducted as one institution, regardless of the number or location of the units into which it may be divided for administrative or other reasons.

This policy presupposes and requires the thorough integration of all major departments. No department of the institution stands alone. Each can operate effectively only as it correlates its procedures with those of other departments, especially units most closely related to it.

Departmental policies affecting (a) the unfoldment of The Principia educational program, and (b) the organization of personnel work and guidance, from the first year in the elementary school to the end of the senior year in college, shall be part of a comprehensive plan for the institution as a whole. No department shall be free to act independently of the methods used by other departments. “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Romans 12:4–5).

  1. The government of The Principia shall be as democratic as possible within the organization established by the Board of Trustees of The Principia Corporation and described in the following statement:

The Bylaws of The Principia Corporation provide that the Board of Trustees shall appoint the chief executive officer of The Principia annually, and may appoint such other officers as in the Board’s judgment are desirable. All other members of the faculty and staff not specifically appointed by the Board of Trustees shall be appointed by the chief executive officer.

The fundamental policies of the institution, established by the Board of Trustees, shall be interpreted for The Principia by the chief executive officer and reinterpreted in terms of departmental requirements by the head of each department. Each department head shall be directly responsible to his or her superior officer for the conduct of the work under his or her supervision.

Leadership at The Principia shall be expressed in obedience to Principle rather than by the exercise of authority or influence on the basis of human will or opinion. Members of the administration, faculty, and staff shall assume their individual responsibilities in this manner.

Departmental action shall be taken in the most democratic manner possible. A successful department will be one in which there is the widest participation by departmental members in the conduct of that department.

  1. In order to facilitate the steady growth of The Principia and effective work in all its departments, every post shall be filled with the most effective individual available.

Since all members of the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, and staff are loyal Christian Scientists, and since The Principia is established for the prime purpose of service to our Cause, it shall be assumed that an individual will be continued in office as long as the responsibilities of his office are discharged in ways that contribute to the growth of the institution. The Principia shall proceed upon the basis that the success of the work it is doing is more important to all concerned than security in tenure for members of its personnel. This policy shall be administered with wisdom and sympathetic understanding, but it shall be the duty of each department head to continue in service as members of his department only those persons who are prepared to secure better results than any others readily available for the particular posts.

The Principia expects the members of its faculty and staff to be willing to cooperate in spirit and in letter with the administration. Such cooperation is not to be confused with subservience, and it is not essential that any member shall be in full agreement with all points of view expressed by the administration. Yet it is important that The Principia shall have in its service those who are in harmony with the fundamental policies and established administrative practices of the institution. Such members will undertake their work with that proprietary interest which is so essential to the success of the institution, and to which Mrs. Mary Kimball Morgan has referred on so many occasions.

  1. The Principia shall extend its opportunities only to those students who are prepared to take sufficient advantage of the experience to make it clear that The Principia is their rightful place.

With appropriate differences, students must measure up to the same demands that are made on members of the faculty and staff. They shall continue as members of the student body only as they earn the right to do so through successful accomplishment to a degree which indicates their desire and readiness to be Principians.

  1. The student shall be placed upon his own responsibility insofar as this is practicable in terms of his obligations as a member of this community.

It shall be understood that during the student’s experience at The Principia, from pre-school through the last day in the senior year in college, he shall be subject to constructive criticism and guidance in directions which will improve his effective participation in the activities of this institution. This shall be particularly true in matters relating to his growth as a Christian Scientist in a community dedicated to service to the Cause of Christian Science. The deans dealing with student personnel shall seek every possible opportunity to provide training in unselfishness, in consideration for others, in true democracy, in good sportsmanship, in correct social customs, in appropriate dress, manner, speech, and conduct, and in any other items which will enable the student to be a good citizen and an effective Christian Scientist. Training in such directions represents a most important part of The Principia’s contribution to the education of the student.

  1. The Principia shall conduct its activities on the basis that all obligations of whatever nature incurred by or due to The Principia shall be met promptly and fully.

The practices of the business department shall not be controlled by sentiment and shall be based upon the inspiration of the Golden Rule. This policy shall not only govern the business dealings of the institution and its members in contractual or financial matters, but shall be reflected also in the demand that all obligations resting upon members of the administration, faculty, staff, and student body as members of this educational community shall be met squarely and promptly.

  1. Any organized activity associated with The Principia and carried on in the interests of The Principia shall exist only as it is authorized by The Principia Corporation.
  1. All activities taking place on the campus or within the school or college community, whether they occur as part of the organized work or as extracurricular phases of school or college life, shall be permitted to exist only to the extent that they are consistent with the purpose and policies of The Principia.

Since smoking, the use of intoxicating liquor, and loose social conduct are inconsistent with the teachings of Christian Science, they must be eliminated from the experience of members of the Principia community.

  1. At The Principia, Sunday shall be a day of quiet, and the recreations and activities permitted on the school and college campus shall be of a type that does not conflict with the spirit of the Sabbath as a day set aside for rest and spiritual refreshment.