Quaker Leadership Program
Westtown School is an ideal place to deepen the spiritual lives of young Quakers. With a student body of between 80-100 active Quaker youth in our Upper School, and a number of Quaker faculty and staff, we have the opportunity to create a vibrant, thoughtful, compassionate community of young Quakers who will someday share their gifts and leadership in the larger Religious Society of Friends.
The Quaker Leadership Program is designed to deepen the religious experience of Quaker students – and other interested students – and to train them in Quaker leadership. Once a week, the students involved in the Quaker Leadership Program – and there are between 25 and 40 of them! – meet for spiritual reflection, for discussion of Quaker history and Quaker literature, for introductions to Quaker business practices, and for just plain fellowship and fun. At other times during the year we attend and host conferences, workshops and retreats. The Westtown program has been modeled after the highly-successful Quaker Leadership Scholars Program at Guilford College (North Carolina).
A Sampling of Past and Planned Quaker Leadership Program Activities:
- Attending the annual Quaker Leadership Conference, a gathering of 200 other young Quakers
- Reading and discussing Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice, George Fox’s reflective writings, meditations on the Peace Testimony, and other pertinent texts
- Engaging in worship sharing, spiritual reflection, query writing
- Participating in workshops on Clearness Committees, Quaker clerking skills, training for non-violent social change (led by Training for Change, Fellowship of Reconciliation)
- Meeting for Worship as a group outside of the school-wide Meeting
- Attending Meeting at other local Meetings
- Planning school wide events anchored in the Quaker testimonies, such as hosting a speaker advocating the abolition of the death penalty and offering conscientious objector training
- Learning about various forms of Quakerism today
- Developing and participating in major service projects (currently we are working on a few possible projects: establishing an ongoing workcamp addressing housing needs, reforestation or environmental restoration in a developing country; participating in BorderLinks, a program held on the Mexican/US border to look at issues of economic justice, NAFTA and CAFTA in context of border communities)