History

For 35 years, The City School has served the children of Philadelphia. We are committed to making an excellent education accessible for children in the city—in the name of Jesus. Our mission is drawn from three schools whose legacies we bear, Spruce Hill Christian School, City Center Academy, and Philadelphia Mennonite High School.

Spruce Hill Christian School was founded in 1978 by families committed to the city but who struggled to find excellent educational options for their children. Under the leadership of James Petty (Executive Director, Children's Jubilee Fund) and Paul Miller (author of The Praying Life), these families decided to open a school where the love of Jesus would be taught and modeled in the context of an academically rigorous program. Believing that all truth is God’s truth, Spruce Hill committed to teaching every subject from a Christian worldview and demonstrating how each area of learning impacts a life of faith.

City Center Academy was founded in 1983 by eminent pastor and Bible scholar Dr. James Montgomery Boice and his wife, Linda. Their vision for the future of education in the city was drawn from their own Ivy League backgrounds. Desiring to make a college-preparatory education accessible for children in the city, CCA offered a challenging core curriculum that made use of the city as a classroom. Taking advantage of Philadelphia's world-class museums and cultural institutions, CCA taught students to love and serve their city. 

Philadelphia Mennonite High School was founded in 1998 by a group of leaders and pastors in the Mennonite community. Lead by Bishop Luke Stoltzfus and his wife Miriam, they committed to opening a school where a strong academic program would be bolstered by tennets of the Mennonite faith: community, justice, peace, and service. Dr. Barbara Moses was sought out as their founding principal and continues to lead and serve the PMHS community. 

In December of 2006, the boards of Spruce Hill and CCA agreed to unite in their mission to educate the children of Philadelphia. They merged to become one school with one mission: to train minds, disciple hearts and bring light to the city—one child at a time. In 2013, after a season of prayerful consideration, we decided to unite our campuses under a single name, The City School. In 2014, PMHS merged with The City School to join in our shared mission of serving students in the city through excellent and accessible education.This same year, we announced our five core commitments: to Jesus, to shalom, to the city, to excellence and accessibility.

As we continue to make a college-preparatory, Jesus-glorifying education accessible to children in the city, we honor our storied history.