St. John’s Northwestern

Military Academy



Spiritual & Character Development

Oswald Chambers wrote, “If your religion does not make you a better man, it is a rotten religion.” It is our assertion that belief shapes behavior. Consequently, the formation of our beliefs has a critical impact on both our values and how we live our lives.

As one of the Academy’s four pillars, the spiritual and character development program, built on the historical Judeo-Christian foundation of its founder Rev. Sidney Smythe, is designed to help cadets wrestle with what they believe and why they believe it.* Through classroom courses, weekly worship services, one-on-one pastoral care and optional spiritual life groups, cadets are given opportunity to explore issues of faith while simultaneously being immersed in a leadership culture that sculpts and refines their character.

Character is not genetic, it is learned behavior, and good character is essential to good leadership. Therefore, St. John’s Northwestern is committed to providing a culture, community and atmosphere where good character is valued, recognized and rewarded. To this end, character issues are explored and discussed at Wednesday chapel, taught through the JROTC department, monitored by the cadet-led Honor Court, and assessed by the resident faculty as they review cadets for promotion through the ranks.

It is our firm hope that, taken together, the spiritual and character development program will make cadets better men.


*Respecting the diversity of faith backgrounds among cadets, opportunity is also given for cadets to do this through their own faith tradition at the local Mosque or Synagogue.