From the very start, Chapel Hill Academy was dedicated to raising up generations of future leaders who would know and love the Lord. God’s faithfulness and provision towards these ends is evident throughout Chapel Hill Academy’s narrative.
Although our facilities and programs have changed over time, our Parent Corporation and Board of Directors have not wavered in their commitment to honor God and assist families by providing a Christ-centered education which inspires and enables students to pursue spiritual maturity and academic excellence. The students at CHA have been blessed to be under the direct influence of teachers and staff who are filled with the Holy Spirit, have a heart for Christian school ministry and have a genuine love and concern for reaching each student for the Lord. Making a difference for eternity has been Chapel Hill Academy’s greatest legacy.
In 1969, in response to the public school movement of taking prayer out of the schools, as well as the introduction of human sexuality taught without Biblical values, concerned Christian parents found themselves being moved by God to start a Christian school in the Minnetonka area. Prayer, planning and perseverance led to the Minnesota Corporate Charter of Chapel Hill Academy, Inc., dated March 13, 1970.
Chapel Hill Academy hired its first headmaster, Mr. Ed Pilch, and the school opened in September 1970. God confirmed His leading with close to 90 students enrolling the first day of school in Kindergarten through 9th grade. Starting with the third year of operation, a grade of senior high was added each year, graduating the first class from the 12th grade in June 1975.
A Bible-integrated curriculum, produced by Accelerated Christian Education (ACE), was adopted school-wide in 1972. This self-paced system utilized instructional materials that were individually prescribed according to the functioning performance of each child.
Space for this Christian school was first leased from Trinity Episcopal Church in Excelsior and then King of Glory Lutheran Church of Eden Prairie. Through a matching fund gift in 1975 and the issuance of corporate notes in 1976 and 1977, an educational wing and gymnasium were made possible at the King of Glory Lutheran Church site.
The need for additional space to house our growing student population caused the Board of Directors to seriously consider moving our school to a new location. In the spring of 1982, the Corporation approved a recommendation by the Board to move the school to a new location in Deephaven. A lease was arranged with the Minnetonka School District to utilize the former Deephaven Intermediate School. During that same time, the Board gave approval to the process of changing our classroom organizational structure to a traditional pattern of one teacher at each grade level.
After seven years in Deephaven, the Minnetonka School District was also growing and needed their building back. A search for facilities led us back to our former site at the King of Glory Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie.
Though our enrollment dropped with the move back to Eden Prairie in 1989, the Board was committed to providing a Kindergarten through 8th grade Christian school in the western Minneapolis suburbs of Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Chaska, Minnetonka, Edina, Shakopee, Carver and Victoria. Our dedicated parents and teachers overlooked crowded classrooms, a carpeted gymnasium and many other challenges for the privilege of a Christ-centered education for their children.
The Lord blessed us with steady growth, and we were soon looking for additional space for our expanding student population. Additionally, the Board of Directors moved to double the number of classrooms per grade level, Kindergarten through 8th grade. This two-track structure was phased in, one grade level each year, beginning with the 1996-1997 school year. During this time, New Testament Church in Eden Prairie (now called City Hill), supported our Christian school efforts and helped to ease our crowded building by allowing our middle school grades to use their facility. Temporary or modular classrooms were also purchased to accommodate our expanding student population.
In the providence of God, a school site became available just two miles from our Eden Prairie location. In the fall of 1997, we leased space for our 7th and 8th grades at the former St. Hubert’s Catholic Church and School in Chanhassen, while our Board of Directors completed the details for the purchase of the entire facility. It was with great joy and rejoicing that our entire Christian school family moved to our first Corporation-owned facility under one roof in Chanhassen in the fall of 1998!
The next few years saw several additions and remodeling projects to this facility, thanks to the generous donations of many families and friends of Chapel Hill Academy. The Richard L. Case education wing was completed in 2001 and named for one of our Godly administrators who had served our school family for 22 years. Our beautiful gymnasium was added in 2003 and has allowed us to strengthen our Physical Education and Athletics programs.
In 2010 the entire CHA family of current and former administrators and staff, current families and students plus alumni families and students gathered in a joyful celebration of God’s faithfulness for nearly 5 decades in a ministry whose influence reaches across time and continents and makes a difference for Eternity.
As interest in Christian schools has grown, our reach has expanded to include the Minneapolis suburbs of Chanhassen, Chaska, Carver, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, Edina, Shakopee, Victoria and Waconia. We invite you to visit our school and experience for yourself what makes Chapel Hill Academy a "family of families."