To nurture and inspire a new generation of joyful leaders, by fostering Christian virtues and educating in the Classical Catholic Tradition.
“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.”
— Saint Pope John Paul II
The Three Pillars
Inspired by Saint Pope John Paul II, our academy motto is Fides et Ratio, Faith and Reason. We seek to cultivate both of these gifts from God within our students, with the goal of producing “smart saints” who can spread their faith among their fellow man, and defend it intelligently in the public square – all with the strength and courage exhibited by our namesake, St. Michael the Archangel. Our classical curriculum combines a broad, liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on the development of Christian virtues and an appreciation of beauty. Through our Three Pillars Model, we form our students in:
We teach the classics of Western thought from physics to philosophy, and the interrelationship of the great ideas; teaching students not merely what to think but how to think.
We help students grow in the four cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice, which we believe are the foundation of leadership.
Our students come to understand and embrace the truth of why they exist: to know, to love, and to serve God in this world and be happy with Him forever in the next.
The SMA Vision
Founded in 2013 by an intrepid committee of faithful parents who wanted a Catholic high school for their children, St. Michael Academy (SMA) is both a “college prep” and a “Heaven prep” school, focused on developing the whole child – mind, body, and soul – always remembering that the ultimate goal is not merely success in this world, but salvation in the next.
The abiding vision of SMA is to create a rising generation of students filled with a sense of awe and wonder about all of God’s creation, encouraging them to look beyond the temporal and mundane towards the eternal and transcendent. With such a vision, SMA prepares students to triumph over the materialism and despair that pervade our culture and to accept the Lord’s offer to have life and have it abundantly. With its “Authentically Catholic, Rigorously Classical” approach, SMA is the logical landing spot for any family in the region that seeks a safe, nurturing, and devout learning environment for their child.
The Classical Catholic Education Model
In fulfilling this noble vision, SMA adopted what has today come to be known as the Classical model of education. Through the great works of Western Civilization, the Classical model imparts essential knowledge in an ordered way.
- In the humanities, students progress chronologically from antiquity to the modern age.
- In math and science, learning begins with observation and basic skills, advancing toward greater complexity and abstraction.
- In the fine arts, students are encouraged to refine their creative natures and develop the tools and techniques with which to express their ideas, feelings, and loves.
Most importantly, however, our faith is the central reality from which all academic disciplines derive their meaning, an insight that makes our approach unique and powerful at a time when modern education and many educators question the very existence of transcendent truth. Faith and prayer permeate all that we do during the school day and beyond.
About St. Michael Academy
SMA is a private, independent Classical Catholic high school (7th through 12th grades) in Petoskey, Michigan, that operates under the blessing of the Diocese of Gaylord. It is the only Catholic high school in the Little Traverse Bay region and the only high school in Northern Michigan with a classical curriculum.