Benedictine Boarding Schools

Updated July 20, 2017

Benedictine boarding schools are founded on the Catholic principles of Saint Benedict and operated by Benedictine monks. You would find a distinct community atmosphere in these schools with students often participating in prayers and Sunday service. Benedictine boarding schools exist in both the US and Europe. Glenstal Abbey, Ampleforth College, St. Bernard Prep, and Portsmouth Abbey are all well-established schools which guarantee a unique and quality educational experience. They are all university preparatory schools. Students obtain either a high school diploma (in the US) or A-levels and highers (in England and Ireland). All are coeducational, accepting boys and girls, with the exception of Glenstal Abbey which is a school for boys. They are also open to students from diverse backgrounds and different faiths.

Glenstal Abbey School

Glenstal Abbey School is a Benedictine boarding school for boys in Ireland based on 500 acres of land. The school is run by the monks of Glenstal Abbey. Many of the monks are housemasters, tutors, teachers and coaches. There are 220 students with class sizes averaging 18 students. The school offers a broad academic program with subjects such as maths, English, chemistry, Latin and even the traditional language of Ireland, Gailge. Students obtain a highers qualification required for entry into university. Students also benefit from a range of sports and musical activities including choral and classical music, traditional and contemporary music. (See Reference 1.)

Ampleforth College

Ampleforth College is a Benedictine boarding school for boys and girls ages 13-18 in North Yorkshire, England. The school seeks to help students "grow up mature and honourable, inspired by high ideals and capable of leadership." The academic curriculum is broad and is inspired by Christian ideals. It includes a mandatory course on Christian theology. Students obtain A-level qualifications required for entry into university. Nine students from Ampleforth College were accepted to Oxford and Cambridge Universities in 2010. There is also a wide range of activities available to students. These include sports, music, drama and societies. Students can also choose to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh outdoor program and the Cadet Force. Fees at the school are £27,375 per year. (See Reference 2.)

St. Bernard Prep

St. Bernard Prep is a Benedictine boarding school for boys and girls grades 7-12 located in Cullman, Ala., USA. The monks of St. Bernard Abbey operate the school and it is open to students of all faiths. St. Bernard Prep seeks to help students "achieve spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health." The academic program is inspired by Catholic ideals and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The school campus is located on 800 acres of land with a range of sporting and educational facilities. Students engage in sports such as football, baseball, basketball, swimming and softball. Fees are around £13,000 per year. (See Reference 3.)

Portsmouth Abbey

Founded in 1926, Portsmouth Abbey is a Benedictine boarding school for boys and girls grades 9-12 based in Portsmouth, R.I., USA. The school is operated by a Benedictine congregation of monks. It has 360 students and is based on a 500-acre campus. The school boasts facilities such as an 18-hole golf course, a fitness centre, tennis courts, gymnasiums and equestrian facilities. Alongside an academic program with 76 courses, students benefit from a range of extra-curricular and arts activities. The school prepares students for their SAT tests and also provides them with the opportunity to obtain a high school diploma. The quality of the school's facilities is reflected in its fees which are £29,152 per year. (See Reference 4.)

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Based in Scotland, Niall Robertson has been writing articles on international affairs since 2006. His articles have appeared in his university newspaper, "The Smoke." Niall has a Master of Science degree in international relations from the University of Westminster and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in peace and conflict studies at the University of St. Andrews.