"The Great Commission is not a program; it's part of PCA's culture. It is who we are. From the little ones in Pre-K all the way through Upper School, we are serving out of obedience to God's Word."
Dr. Larry Taylor
Head of School
What is Minimester?
PCA's World Impact Team designed Minimester to support a wide range of travel, enrichment, and service opportunities for our students to extend the classroom to other cultures, learn leadership through serving and to "go and make disciples of all nations," (Matthew 28:19). Minimester usually takes place a week before students' Spring Break in March and kicks off with a special World Impact Day All-School Worship.
Why do Minimester?
Why would a school dedicate an entire week of its curriculum calendar to allow Middle and Upper School students to go on trips across the state, nation and world? "The Great Commission initiative called Minimester is a difference factor for Prestonwood Christian Academy," said Mike Beeson, Minister of Missions at Prestonwood Baptist Church and a Minimester trip leader. "Sure, the tens of thousands of Luke 10 seeds planted collectively in the people ministered to on the five continents are important. As are the hundreds of new salvations in countries around the world. But the real game-changer is the life-impacting changes that occur in the lives of the 900-plus students and adult leaders that participate annually in Minimester opportunities. The hallways and classrooms of PCA are dramatically different because of these life-impacting changes. I believe this is what makes Minimester 'the difference factor' at PCA. Without it, PCA is just another above-average private Christian school. But with Minimester's life-changing ability, PCA becomes one of the premier private Christian schools in the nation."
Students in 9th through 12th grade have the opportunity to serve on a global level through international outreach options provided through PCA. These students are given the chance to experience cultures around the world while sharing the love of Christ with people, who may have never heard of the Gospel. In 2018, students served in:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- Northern England
- South Asia
Upper School students also have the opportunity to travel to various cities across the United States in a domestic outreach program. This program gives students the opportunity to experience different cities in their own nation while serving the people of these cities. In 2018, students visited:
- New York City
- Los Angeles
Students have the opportunity participate in Minimester through local outreach programs around Dallas. These missions give students insight into life around their city and ways they can help their neighbors right down the street. In 2018, students participated by volunteering with OurCalling, a local mission organization that works with the homeless, helping create a healthy and sustainable lifestyle while sharing the love of God.
Eighth Graders typically have two options for Minimester, including local missions, which focuses on serving our community with a different service project each day of the week, or the opportunity of a study trip to Washington, D.C. which includes visits to all of the war memorials, presidential monuments, the Holocaust Museum, service work and much more.
Seventh Graders have the opportunity to choose local mission trips or go on a week-long spiritual growth camp:
- In 2018, Seventh Grade girls spent the week at Frontier Christian Camp in Grapeland, TX, growing in their personal spiritual development in regard to their relationship with God, understanding of biblical identity and womanhood, relationship with others and purpose/giftedness.
- Seventh Grade boys went to "Man Camp" at New Life Ranch in Colcord, OK. Activities included wilderness guided tours, outdoor competitions, service and work projects, daily devotions and journaling.
"The main thing I saw is the urgency for the Gospel. We would go out into the villages each day and meet with people who had never heard the name of Jesus. With only 10 students on the trip we grew extremely close and got to serve together which was so much fun." -Ashley Wilson (Nepal)
"While in Atlanta, we served at the Dream Center, an outreach center for the people in Atlanta. We served the homeless, made cards sharing God's love, and packed food boxes. The Atlanta trip showed me that sharing God's love can really change lives and serving Him can make a huge impact." -Avery Boothby (Atlanta)
"The trip was so much fun to go on. We had a really small group so we really got to know each other. I realized I don't need to go far to have a great Minimester trip and meet all kinds of people." -Leighton Strawbridge (Dallas)