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The first edition of the Friends Seminary Faith & Practice was approved by the School Committee in April 2012 after a three-year drafting process by the Faculty and Staff Faith & Practice Committee in collaboration with the School Committee, students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff. The Faith & Practice Committee began a process of updating this document in the spring of 2022, and it was approved by the Friends Seminary Board of Trustees in November 2023.

Most of the queries in this document were generated in student homerooms and advisories, and in meetings of faculty and staff either during the initial drafting in 2009-2012 or during the updating process in 2022-2023. We hope the included queries will help the readers to engage in their own meaningful reflections.

Friends Seminary educates students from kindergarten through twelfth grade, adhering to the values of the Religious Society of Friends. We strive to build a diverse school where students exercise their curiosity and imagination as they develop as scholars, artists and athletes. In a community that cultivates the practices of keen observation, unhurried reflection, critical thinking, and coherent expression, we listen for the single voice as we seek unity. The disciplines of silence, study, and service provide the matrix for growth: silence opens us to change; study helps us to know the world; service challenges us to put our values into practice. At Friends Seminary, education is rooted in the Quaker belief in the Inner Light – that of God in every person. Guided by the testimonies of integrity, peace, equality, and simplicity, we prepare students to engage in the world that is and to help bring about a world that ought to be.

Adopted December 2015



Scott Herrington of The Friends School of Baltimore, who shared the process the school used in writing their Faith and Practice.


Eleanor Lash and Virginia Singer of Sidwell Friends School for granting permission for us to post their Queries booklet online.


  • Earlham College Community Principles and Practices.

  • Faith and Practice. The Friends School of Baltimore

  • Faith and Practice. Germantown Friends School

  • Queries. Sidwell Friends School

  • Testimonies. Sidwell Friends School


The American Friends Service Committee’s “Introduction to Quaker Testimonies”; New York Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, approved 1998, 2004; Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Faith & Practice, approved 1997, 2002; Quaker Faith & Practice: The Book of Christian Discipline of the Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, approved 1994; London Yearly Meeting Christian Faith and Practice in the Experience of the Society of Friends, approved 1959; “Quotes for Quakerism 101 Session on Quaker History,” Patapsco Friends Meeting.



  • George Gorman, 1982: “Quaker Spirituality,” in Quakerism: A Way of Life, pp. 87–88. As cited in PYM Faith & Practice (1997, 2002), Extracts from the Writings of Friends #60.

  • Caroline Emelia Stephen, 1891: Quaker Strongholds, Third Edition, p. 55. Digitized in Ebook and Texts Archive, Emmanuel College, Victoria University. 



  • Parker J. Palmer, 2000: Let Your Life Speak, p. 16.

  • Thomas Jefferson, 1916: Letter to Mrs. Samuel H. Smith, August 6, 1816. At



  • Paul A. Lacey, 1988: Growing into Goodness, p. 32.

  • Jane Addams, 1912: Twenty Years at Hull House, p. 116. Digital Library Project, University of Pennsylvania.

  • Desmond Tutu, 1994: Speech introducing Nelson Mandela at his inauguration, May 10, 1994.



  • Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, 1989: Nobel Lecture, December 11, 1989.

  • Lucretia Mott, 1860: “National Anti-Slavery Standard,” November 3, 1860. As cited in Patapsco Meeting “Quotes for Quakerism 101.”

  • Yearly Meeting of Aotearoa/New Zealand, 1987: Statement on peace issued by New Zealand Quakers at their Yearly Meeting, January 1987.



  • Elizabeth Anne Seton, ca. 1815: From a speech given in the Diocese of Baltimore. Attribution unconfirmed. Also attributed to Mahatma Gandhi and, less often, to Mother Theresa.

  • Hans Hoffmann, 1932: From “Excerpts from the Teaching of Hans Hoffmann” in Search for the Real and Other Essays, p. 62. (Adapted from the 1932 essay “On the Aims of Art.”)

  • Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Faith & Practice, 1955. As cited in Christian faith and practice in the experience of the Society of Friends, Extract # 434, London Yearly Meeting (1960). Also cited by Winthrop Center (Maine) Friends and Wilmington College of Ohio on their websites.



  • Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Faith & Practice, 1997, 2002: “Application of Friends’ Testimonies” > “Living in the World” > “Stewardship” (pdf p. 81).

  • Wangari Maathai, 2004: Nobel Lecture, December 10, 2004. 



  • Isaac Penington, 1667: Letter to Friends in Amersham, March 4, 1667. At

  • Janet Scott, 1960: “What Canst Thou Say”; Swarthmore Lecture, London, Quaker Home Service, pp. 41–42. Cited in PYM Faith & Practice (1997, 2002), Extracts from the Writings of Friends #242.


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