Christ Presbyterian Academy

House System & Advisories

A house is a community unified by purpose, joined in competition to celebrate common values and shared vision.

Houses exist within the CPA upper school community to build camaraderie and community within a smaller portion of the population. These smaller communities work together throughout the year in competitions and activities to foster and create genuine relationships between house members of all grades. 

Like coats of arms used to distinguish and symbolize clans in the past, each house has its own coat of arms with a set of symbols unique to them and expressive of their character and persona within the larger community. These coats of arms include the clan motto, dominant symbol, and prevailing armor. Using the age-old system of heraldry, these house symbols represent meaning outside themselves. 

Also, beginning in freshman year, students are placed into a "homeroom" advisory group, led by an upper school faculty member. This advisory group remains together all four years of upper school, undergoing together the growth and transformation each year has to offer. 

Barclay's battle axe represents the execution of military duty 

"either action or death" 

MacKinnon's dagger symbolizes justice and military honor

"fortune favors the bold"

Sutherland's spear represents dexterity and nimbleness of wit to penetrate and understand matters of highest consequence 

"without fear" 

Wallace's sword indicates the bearer to a just and generous pursuit of honor and virtue

"for liberty"


United in Creed and Quest

While we no longer live in medieval times, we too face battles as Christian believers and followers of Christ in a war torn world. Like the knights of old, we fight and sift through ranks of heresy, combat defeating messages of self-doubt and inadequacy, and struggle with forces we cannot see. The armor on our shields symbolizes this struggle and also represents our outlook in the face of it as we continue to take all things captive to the throne of the Lord. In a way, all of our houses are unified through the armor in our hallways that reminds us to be on guard and ready for battle. 

The armor then serves a dual purpose- reminding us of the heritage that is our own by the blood of Christ, but also representing the group of believers unified in community and striving for transcendence. 

Clash of the Tartans
Annual tradition where all four houses compete in a day of games and challenges for the highly sought-after Anderson Cup

Advantages of Upper School Advisory

A Strong Peer Network

Grouping students into advisories creates a strong network of peers to share in the common experience of the upper school. Allowing students a daily small-group setting for work, play, rest, and discussion builds community within the broader upper school context. Advisory groups create families; a place to celebrate accomplishments and encourage one another in daily walks of young adult life. 

Four-Year Support System

Keeping the same advisory group together all four years of upper school creates a sense of lasting belonging and consistent support in the rapidly-paced years leading up to college. In a very real sense, students grow up together from freshman year to senior year, experience wins, losses, and individual pursuits alongside one another. 

Increased Faculty Mentorship

Because advisories meet on a daily basis, time and opportunity for faculty input is increased. Each faculty advisor plays an active role in group morale, learning objectives, and mentorship. 

A Setting for Deeper Discussion

Oftentimes advisory groups provide a setting for school-wide discussions reinforcing Chapel and Bible curriculum. Because of the trusted, small-group setting, faculty advisors often use advisory time to open group discussion on issues of spiritual life, health, and wisdom.