New Covenant Christian School

New Covenant Christian School (NCCS) is a classical Christian school in Maryland. It is composed of the Grammar School (K-6) and the Upper School (grades 7-12).



The Grammar School is located at 128 Saint Mary’s Church Road in Abingdon, Maryland. (This is also the address of New Covenant Presbyterian Church, although the school has its own wing of the building.) NCCS is a ministry of New Covenant Presbyterian Church[1]. The Upper School is located approximately five minutes from the Grammar School at 1515 Emmorton Road, Bel Air, Maryland. (This is also the address of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (LCGS). LCGS’s only affiliation with NCCS is as host.)

School Identity

The mascot of the school is the New Covenant Knight. The school colors are maroon and navy blue. A motto among the teachers and staff is “Sharpening minds, shepherding hearts, shaping lives.” The mission statement of New Covenant Christian School is this: "We exist to glorify God by assisting parents in training their children to be Biblically-minded servant-leaders through a Reformed, Christ-centered, classical education." [2]

Student Body

There are 111 students in the Grammar School and 80 in the Upper School. The class sizes are regulated, so they will reach no more than 18 students in kindergarten through third grades, 20 in fourth through sixth grades, and no more than 22 students in upper school classes. Although the school is a ministry of New Covenant Presbyterian Church, there are students from 47 different churches.

All students at NCCS are required to wear daily school uniforms. Once a week though, on chapel days, students wear more formal uniforms.

Grammar School Boys wear white or maroon school polos, and navy pants or shorts for their daily uniforms. On chapel days they wear button-down, white shirts, navy pants and school ties.

Grammar School Girls wear white or maroon school polos, and navy skirts, skorts, or jumpers for their daily uniforms. On chapel days, they wear plaid jumpers and white blouses.

Upper School Boys wear maroon school polos and khaki pants or shorts for their daily uniforms. On chapel days, they wear button-down white shirts with school plaid ties and khaki pants.

Upper School Girls wear maroon school polos and khaki skirts for their daily uniforms. On chapel days, they wear white blouses and plaid skirts.

House System
A House System has been recently instated in the Upper School (as of September, 2011). The house system is modeled after one of older European schools. The Upper School is broken into four houses, all named after influential historical figures: Athanasius House, Augustine House, Calvin House, and Luther House. Each house is led by an 11th or 12th grade student who serves as the House Captain. It is the Captain’s job to manage house operations along with the House Delegate, who is elected by the members of the house. The Captains and Delegates make up the Student Leadership Council (SLC), which works with faculty and administration to plan, organize, and manage many Upper School activities, such as social events, service projects, and competitions.


The school was founded in 1999. At the start, only kindergarten and first grade were offered. Each year since then, NCCS has added one grade level. The school celebrated its first graduating class last year, 2010.

Classical Education: The school follows the Classical Model of Education which is based on the structures of ancient and medieval education systems. Under the classical model students progress through the trivium: grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages.

In kindergarten through second grade at New Covenant, teachers focus primarily on phonic/scholastic, introduction to mathematics, and proper behavior lessons.

By third grade and through sixth, the students progress through the grammar phase. This phase of the trivium is built around the fact that in these years, children’s brains are developing in such a way that they are able to easily memorize information. So, in the third through sixth grades at NCCS, lessons include subjects such as multiplication, land formations, countries and capitals, names and dates of important people and events in History, and English and Latin vocabulary.

Grades seven through nine make up the logic phase (or dialectic phase). This phase is built around the fact that in these years, children naturally begin to question the world around them. The lessons in the logic years focus on reasoning skills: identifying relationships between facts and ideas, discerning fact from fallacy, etc. Essentially, the learning of facts continues from the grammar years and analytical skills are added to those facts.

The rhetoric phase is completed in grades ten through twelve. This phase is all about application. Students make practical use of the knowledge and skills they acquired in the grammar and logic phases. They are taught to creatively, eloquently, and effectively express themselves in writing and speech. There is also significant focus given to debate in the rhetoric phase.


Upper School

In the second half of the 2010 school year, Mark Cox joined NCCS as the Headmaster. He took over for Jason Van Bemmel who was the Headmaster for nearly eight years but left to pastor a PCA church in Cheraw, South Carolina. Mr. Cox has headmaster experience in three other Christian and classical schools. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and Biblical Studies from Atlanta Christian College, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary, and is currently a Doctoral candidate, finishing his dissertation to complete his Ph.D in Theology from the University of Glasgow in Scotland[3].

Grammar School

Jean Armstrong, who was the principal when the doors opened in 1999 is still the principal of the Grammar School. She spent several years teaching fourth and fifth grade at NCCS but eventually returned to the primary position of principal. Mrs. Armstrong graduated from UMBC with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Psychology. She also has a Master's Equivalency with a background in Applied Behavioral Science and Administration and Supervision. Mrs. Armstrong went on to spend 11 years teaching in Baltimore City Schools. During her time teaching in the city she earned her Advanced Professional Certificate from the Maryland State Department of Education[4].


NCCS athletic teams compete against other local public and private schools.

The school's sports teams incldue:

  • Girls Varsity and Junior Varsity Volleyball
  • Girls Varsity and Junior Varsity Soccer
  • Girls Varsity Basketball
  • Boys Varsity and Junior Varsity Soccer
  • Boys Varsity and Junior Varsity Basketball[5]

The NCCS sports teams also include students of New Covenant Christian Academy, the home school organization affiliated with New Covenant Presbyterian Church.


  1. ^ New Covenant Presbyterian Church website, Ministries, New Cov. Christian School
  2. ^ New Covenant Christian School website, About, What We Believe
  3. ^ New Covenant Christian School website, About, Our Staff, Administration
  4. ^ New Covenant Christian School website, About, Our Staff, Administration
  5. ^ New Covenant Christian School website, Athletics


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