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Quaker Identity

Walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone. Religious Society of Friends founder George Fox (1624-1691)

a Middle Schooler's T-shirt with a quotation from Quaker George Fox:

Learn more about how you can be part of the 2018 Quaker Journey to England for the CFS community and for members of the Chapel Hill and Durham Friends Meetings.

Although most students, parents, and teachers at CFS are not Quaker (they follow varied religious traditions or none at all), our identity as a Friends School is central to who we are.

Like other Friends Schools, CFS is a member of the Friends Council on Education (FCE), whose position statement notes that for more than 300 years, Friends Schools have been recognized for fine academics as well as a whole-child approach to moral and intellectual development. Students are encouraged by word and example to respect others and include them in a cooperative search for knowledge. FCE affirms that the core purpose of Friends Schools is to create deliberate learning communities based on Quaker values of peace, justice, stewardship, and integrity.

There are some 85 Quaker schools in the U.S., and many in other countries, including Australia and Costa Rica. We're all different, each charged to find our truth. Yet FCE has identified two core beliefs common to all:

  • each human being has a divine spark through which greater spiritual wisdom can be experientially accessed
  • truth-seeking is a process of continuing revelation from multiple perspectives within a gathered community.

Please use the link to Quaker education to learn more about FCE and Quaker education.

Ultimately each school must decide on its own how it can best incorporate Friends practices. At CFS, we use our philosophy to help frame advices and queries through which we can examine school life. In our statement of mission and philosophy, we affirm six tenets:

  • Truth continually revealed
  • Seeking peace within ourselves and others
  • Accepting and respecting each individual's uniqueness
  • Spirituality of life
  • Value of simplicity
  • Power of silence

At a Parent-Staff Association meeting in 2008, members of the School Life Committee offered a presentation that focused on four ways that the CFS philosophy informs our educational practices:

  • Collaboration
  • Inquiry
  • Reflection
  • Service

A summary of this presentation is available at What Does It Mean to Be a Quaker School Today?

For more information about Quakerism, please see Quaker Links.

CFS families are most welcome to attend one of the local Friends Meetings: Durham Friends Meeting (404 Alexander Avenue, Durham 27705), or Chapel Hill Friends Meeting (531 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill, 27514).

We are always happy to answer questions about Friends and Friends organizations. Several staff members are Quakers, including Staff Clerk Charlie Layman and Director of Admission Kathleen Davidson, who would welcome questions at any time.

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Carolina Friends School          
4809 Friends School Road
Durham, NC 27705
919.383.6602 tel / 919.383.6009 fax / info@cfsnc.org

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