Since its founding in 1929, Fenwick, a Dominican Catholic college preparatory high school, has stood for the full and harmonious development of its students according to their capacity. Fenwick's philosophy of education is based on four concepts: the importance of the human person, the Catholic tradition, the Dominican heritage and the liberal arts curriculum.
The human person, a composite of body and spirit, is accorded unique dignity as the result of being the summit of creation and being formed in the image of God. Human knowledge originates in sensory experience and human choices are influenced by the emotions. The capacity, however, for intellectual knowledge and free choice transcends these limits.
The Catholic tradition stresses the triumph of grace over sin through the power of the Holy Spirit. Along with a doctrinal tradition founded in scripture, Catholics value continual theological development through dialogue with human history. Community and church are especially valued as they are organized for the service of the Gospel. The Catholic tradition esteems principles of sacramentality and mediation.
St. Dominic valued the intellectual life as essential to a mission of preaching and teaching Christianity, consequently, from its founding the Order of Preachers has been associated with centers of learning. This philosophy was further articulated by St. Thomas Aquinas who emphasized the relationship between contemplation and action, between study and service. As a community steeped in this heritage, Fenwick upholds:
- Belief in God is reasonable.
- Knowledge leads one from false values and misperceptions of reality to freedom and truth.
- Working in concert with others and participating in community leads one to grow in virtue.
- Acting on one’s beliefs while generously serving the common good is the epitome of personal fulfillment.
Fenwick prepares its students through an education in the liberal arts for a lifetime of aesthetic appreciation, assiduous study and critical thinking. The educational program stresses imagination, analysis, interpretation and logical, lucid expression while promoting in its students an appreciation of the wholeness and richness of life. This perspective encourages Fenwick Students to explore not only the fields of personal interest by the broad range of the liberal arts core curriculum including humanities, science, history, foreign language and mathematics. Students embark on this exploration not in solitude but in dialogue with others.