A Tuition-Free School in an Unused Episcopal Parish

Check out this example of an Episcopal community creatively re-purposing an empty parish in Philadelphia.

A few things caught my attention:

  • the school is operated as a separate nonprofit organization, separating liability from the diocese and parish–this is great for balancing financial risk when launching a new endeavor
  • many of the teachers/administrators live on site–how great for extending ministry and really cultivating an authentic community, rather than just an educational institution

Obviously something like this fits perfectly with the Catholic vision of mission, education, and more. One of the major problems might be that since many closed/unused urban Catholic parish buildings are in that position because of financial troubles, the question becomes who to raise money from? (And the obvious question, if that money was around, why did the parish go under financially?) However, in this example, funding comes from diverse ecumenical sources–an open possibility for a Catholic nonprofit organization starting a school like this.


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