Providence students enter Upper School (Grades 9–12) with a clear goal: to be prepared for the college or university of their choice. In the process, they experience a rich curriculum that encourages active participation, responds to and respects their questions, helps them discover the truth, and guides them as they seek lives of purpose, significance, and strategic impact.
Located in Santa Barbara, our college preparatory liberal arts curriculum, rooted in the classics, prepares students to pursue a wide range of options post-high school – whether it be at university or elsewhere.
Joy in learning is abundant through it all, as teachers and students seek together to discover how the works of Shakespeare, the intricacies of the human genome, or the varying political philosophies of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau can help you and others experience God’s Kingdom. We call this the integration of faith in learning. This perspective provides a foundation from which we explore thinkers, scientists, artists, mathematicians, philosophers, and writers from a variety of cultures and time periods.
At Providence, engaging the mind and shaping the heart is in an end in itself, and our students’ greatest potential is our passion.
“My experience has been that Providence is a safe environment for expressing curiosity and asking questions without fear of ridicule. We are a community of learners who try new things and learn from our experiments, whether they result in success of failure.”
– Providence Upper School student
Providence’s college-counseling program works in tandem with our mission as a college preparatory school. Our dedicated college counselor walks alongside students and their families for four years, educating, guiding, and mentoring them through the college admission process. At the end of a student’s senior year, he or she will be well prepared and have many attractive options for college education.
Providence dual-credit programs allow students seeking an academic challenge to earn college credits while attending the Upper School for future savings in time, money, and enhanced flexibility when they get to college. We offer three avenues to pursue college credits.
Advanced Placement: English Literature and Composition, Spanish Language and Culture, Calculus AB, Statistics, Chemistry, Microeconomics, Studio Art: Drawing, Studio Art: 2D Design. To learn more, visit: collegeboard.com
Concurrent Enrollment: Providence students have the ability to earn dual credits through Colorado Christian University in the following courses: Christian Theism & Comparative World Views, Humanities III Honors, AP English Literature, AP Microeconomics, AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP Spanish. To learn more, visit: www.ccu.edu/dualcreditprogram/
Online College Courses: A variety of courses are approved as independent study options. To learn more, contact Mrs. Sophie Troya, registrar.
The Providence Upper School curriculum is designed and delivered by some of the top educators in the country. Classes are small (typically 12-20 students) and every student receives individual attention and direction. Academic support and counseling is available for those who need a little extra help to succeed, as well as for those who desire extra challenge. All teachers share a heartfelt passion to work with young people.
The academic program in the Upper School incorporates the liberal arts, focusing on traditions, great books, and aesthetics that have stood the test of time. With core coursework in the humanities—which includes history, literature, philosophy, political science, economics, and the development of our Judeo-Christian heritage—Providence students encounter ideas that are relevant, truthful, and beautiful. Coursework in rhetoric provides students with the communication and critical thinking skills so essential to college and vocational success. In addition, Providence offers a full range of mathematics study, the natural sciences, foreign language, visual art, and performing arts. Lively classroom discussions, led by the teacher, develop rhetorical skills while students grapple with new ideas.
Special academies within the school allow in-depth learning and skill development in engineering, theater and music, trade apprenticeship, critical humanities analysis, and visual arts.
TRIAD (Travel, Research, Investigate, Apprentice, Discover), is an in-depth exploration of student interests designed to promote active engagement with topics that encourage curiosity, collaboration, and problem-solving. TRIAD showcases the diverse abilities of talented faculty while offering a broader range of courses for students to explore, such as game theory, printmaking, mock trial, entrepreneurship, filmmaking, and triathlon training. Students may also earn course credit through internships, international travel, and independent study.
“Beyond the Classroom” extends learning opportunities through off-campus adventures. Each trip provides a unique context in which students encounter experiential-based learning and participate in significant conversations. A variety of activities are offered for all age groups. The potential for student growth in an environment beyond the classroom is so important that we view these experiences as a cornerstone of the Providence Journey.
New trips and experiences are planned every year, to suit the interests and goals of Providence students.
Hollister Ranch Surf Trip: Students enjoy two days of surfing various spots on the exclusive Hollister Ranch with an experienced guide and Ranch local. Overnight camping. (Intermediate to advanced surfers)
Mammoth Ski / Snowboard Trip: Students enjoy two full days skiing or snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort. Accommodations at a nearby hotel or condominium rental.
Kern River Whitewater Rafting Trip: Students enjoy a Class III-IV guided whitewater experience over three days. This trip includes tent camping and rock climbing.
Channel Island Kayaking– Students enjoy three days and two nights exploring Santa Cruz Island, with kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, and overnight camping.
Providence thoughtfully and consistently nurtures spiritual development through weekly chapels, class discussions, opportunities for service, and annual retreats.
An annual overnight retreat at the beginning of the year sets the theme and tone for the year. Students enjoy getting to know each other in a beautiful setting in God’s creation while enjoying fellowship, building community, and hearing from inspirational speakers. Games, hikes, pool time, good meals, and entertaining faculty skits round out this exciting experience.
During the school year, Middle and Upper School students meet, often together, for Wednesday chapels. In chapel, students lead and participate in live worship music and prayer, while hearing from speakers drawn from the faculty and local churches.
The Bible curriculum exposes students to the foundations of Christian faith and the Scriptures. Scripture and Christian philosophy are then integrated into all academic disciplines.
With a consistent, strong focus on life application, Bible courses begin in the first year with a study of the Old Testament, moving on to New Testament in the sophomore year. In junior year, the focus centers on discipleship with a deep dive into the Book of James. Our senior year apologetics course covers Christian theism and worldview. Students read Tim Keller’s book, The Reason for God. Their culminating activity is a senior thesis project; students take on a current issue of their own choosing, are paired with faculty mentor, thoroughly investigate the topic and how the Bible speaks to it, and prepare and present their results for both the school community and the broader community.
Glimpse a few past Senior Thesis Presentations here:
We uphold the importance of service both from a Christian perspective and from a personal perspective. In Matthew 10:45 Jesus reminds the disciples, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Not only are we called to serve, but, through service, we learn and experience things that cannot be taught in a traditional academic setting.
Service is so important that we are intentional to schedule time during the school year for our students to be involved with and learn about service. One opportunity for this occurs each fall with our Philia Day.
Philia, “brotherly love,” is described by Aristotle as “wanting for someone what one thinks good, for his sake and not for one’s own, and being inclined, so far as one can, to do such things for him.” This idea of doing something good purely out of concern for another, with no thought for personal gain, exactly describes the spirit with which we desire to serve Santa Barbara, on Philia Day and every day.
Our students participate in a competitive CIF athletics program and outdoor education opportunities, providing students with the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors that will enable them to pursue lifelong physical fitness and wellness.
Twenty physical culture credits are required for graduation, which may be earned through participation in CIF athletics, taking authorized independent PE classes (club sports, dance, swimming, water polo, etc.), participating in school-sponsored Beyond the Classroom or Fitness Pursuits activities, or completing the elective functional anatomy course, covering kinesiology and sports medicine topics.
We believe art helps us understand the beauty of creation and of the Creator. That begins with fostering a sense of awe and wonder. We understand art to be a fundamental part of our human rationality, not just a vehicle for self-expression. Our curriculum provides students proper training in creative ways to communicate ideas and experiences and to develop a healthy lifelong aesthetic. We offer drawing, painting, photography, digital design, theater classes, and vocal and instrumental worship music opportunities. The school calendar includes many public presentation and performance opportunities.
Students are given more responsibilities and privileges as they mature. Upper School students may participate as prefects, serve in student government, organize and run clubs, and captain athletic teams. We are committed to creating a community that fosters unity and friendship. Working with faculty mentors, students plan many fun and welcoming activities throughout the year, including spirit days and school dances, service projects, and providing leadership on on preschool and Lower School campus.
Parent involvement as a classroom volunteer is welcome and encouraged, but not required. Parents are invited to join the Canon Perdido campus Parent Association, which meets monthly to share information and plan activities to enhance the life of the school community.
Monday–Friday: 8:10 am–2:45 pm
Sports practices and games and performing arts rehearsals are after school hours
Calendar: Late August through early June, with scheduled breaks at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring, Easter, and other holidays
We would love to meet your family and share with you our unique Christian high school program in Santa Barbara.
For a personalized tour, please call our school office at (805) 962-4400 or email admission coordinator Emilee Hurlbert.
We look forward to partnering with your family.