Episcopal Identity

Episcopal schools are known for academic excellence as well as for their inclusive approach to education.

Our commitment to respect all faiths means that each girl is valued as a child of God and is encouraged to grow and live into the richness of her personal spiritual heritage.

One of the visible markers of our Episcopal identity is Chapel. Girls in Early Childhood and Lower School attend Chapel once a week and participate in our ongoing character education program fondly known as the “Bridge to Caring.

Girls in Middle and Upper Schools attend Chapel every day. In the midst of busy schedules, Chapel gives students, faculty, and guests an opportunity to pause and come together to sing, pray, and reflect. In addition to listening to lessons from religious and civic leaders, alumnae, and faculty, each senior prepares a talk for her peers. Read more about our inclusive community here.

St. Mary's seeks to express the Christian faith in the Episcopal tradition, providing an environment in which Christians and non-Christians can affirm together God, who transcends all creeds and religions.  Being strong and comfortable in one's faith, while being knowledgeable and respectful of the faith of others, may be more important today than ever.

St. Mary's helps students to delve more deeply into the Christian faith in a way that simultaneously deepens one's knowledge and love of Jesus, while expanding one's appreciation of the ways in which God finds expression in the faith traditions of non-Christians.  In such an environment, Christians and non-Christians are encouraged to find God at work in each other and to find truth in places they might otherwise not have looked.

The Middle and Upper School community gathers daily for worship according to the Book of Common Prayer, while the younger students attend weekly chapel services that are age appropriate.  St. Mary's seeks to be an Episcopal School where love and respect for others are demonstrated through respectful behavior and service learning.  In such a community, acts of kindness and community service are expected.

Such depth of personal commitment and expansiveness of spirit cannot be learned from books alone. Instead, these are things one learns from living, working and worshiping in a community of faith and service.  At its best, this is the kind of community St. Mary's seeks to be.

-Revised and approved by the Board of Trustees, 2005

8 Character Traits Celebrated in the Bridge to Caring


1. Respect
2. Responsibility
3. Thankfulness
4. Kindness
5. Self-control
6. Honesty
7. Courage
8. Cooperation 

Three girls at school event at a school for girls in Memphis, TN

St. Mary's School Prayer

Almighty God, Fountain of wisdom, be with us, we pray thee, in our work today. Endue all the teachers with a sense of their responsibility, and with grace and strength for its fulfillment. Keep the students in health of mind and soul and body; make them diligent in study, guard their inexperience, and save them through all temptations. Bless the patrons and alumnae of this school, and enable us all, more and more each day, to advance in that knowledge which is eternal life. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

-The Right Reverend Thomas F. Gailor (1856-1935)

I love being able to express myself and really be my own individual person, while in a community that I know has and will continue to accept me for these past twelve years and beyond.