Character Formation

young boy in hampden area preschool

Character matters more than anything.

More than good grades, more than being smart.

More than connections or credentials.

Incidentally, students of character will be students who do well academically. Traits like responsibility, integrity, and a growth mindset will help students excel at school.

In the last decade or so, leading educators, psychologists have come back to character as the leading indicator of future success. It is a better predictor of success than affluence. Being “charactered” is what allows students from less-affluent families to have the same opportunities as students from more privileged families.

Character enables success. For us at Hampden Christian, success is loving God and having the skills and will to serve our neighbors.

21st Century Skills Matter

We live in a VUCA world. That stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Changing, and Ambiguous.

It’s a scary time to be raising children. We have no assurance that the mainstay jobs of today will be available in a decade. A child came home crying because her dream of becoming a trucker had been shattered. She had learned of the probability of self-driving trucks in the future.

To do well in the future, students need to be highly adaptable and resilient. They need to be adept at collaborating and communicating. They need to be skilled at analyzing information and thinking critically. These are the 21st century skills they will need in order to thrive in the uncertain world we now inhabit.

student learning new skills in a k-3rd grade program

Hampden Christian grows students of Character and 21st Century Skills

Hampden Christian School is committed to growing students of character who possess the skills they need to flourish in the 21st century. Our small, safe, supportive environment, our rigorous academics, our project-based learning, our regular service-learning projects, and most of all our charactered teachers give us an edge in developing this kind of person.

Our Inspiration

Read some of the books and articles that have shaped our thinking on character and 21st-century skills.


Carol Dweck

How Children Succeed

Paul Tough

Most Likely to Succeed

Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith

God, Grades, and Graduation

Ilana Horwitz