Upper School

at Portsmouth Christian Academy

Impacting the World for Good

At PCA, students are encouraged to prepare for life beyond college. In grades 9-12, students prepare for the rigors of college and the workforce by taking an increasingly challenging workload. We spark curiosity and teach critical thinking in new ways. While many of our students do pursue post-secondary education, our students are ultimately prepared to thrive in whatever calling to which God leads them to. Whether it be in a classroom, with a toolbox, in the batter’s box, or elsewhere, every PCA alum has the ability to impact the world for good and to be confident he or she is living out their God-given potential.

Download Our Upper School Viewbook!

Learn more about how we prepare our Upper School students to impact the world for good in college and beyond! From course offerings to where our alumni have gone, you can get a closer look at what awaits your child at Portsmouth Christian Academy.

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Customizable Diploma Options

Our Upper School program features rigorous, college-prep classwork that pushes students to maximize their God-given potential across a variety of areas. Our various diploma options allow students to further customize their academic course load in Fine Arts, STEM, or general academics.

Leadership Development Opportunities

Our world is in need of strong, Christ-centered leaders in every sector of the globe. To help our students become those Christ-centered leaders of tomorrow, our Leadership Development Program gives students the opportunity to plan and execute school-wide initiatives in Academics, Unity, Athletics, Student Life, Spiritual Life, and Fine Arts.

Community Formed by Christian Character

At the core of our school is our commitment to bringing students up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Teaching students to be compassionate, humble, show integrity, and be joyous in everything they do helps our school build and maintain a compassionate community where students, families, and faculty can build life-long relationships with one another.

Playoff-Caliber Athletics

Despite our small-school feel, our athletic teams routinely impress on the fields, on the courts, and on the track. Whether you’re just looking for a way to form friendships with classmates, or you’re pursuing a collegiate athletic career, our athletic program has something for everyone looking to work hard and win.

Regionally-Recognized Fine Arts

From Jazz Band and All-State Vocal Performance to Black Box Theatre and the school’s Spring Musical, students interested in creative expression can choose from a variety of musical, theatrical, and artistic classes and extracurricular offerings.

Community Service Opportunities

Woven into the fabric of PCA is our school’s commitment to creating a compassionate community. Each Upper School student completes 50 hours of community service and is given the opportunity to travel for missions trips each year.

Energetic Student Life

In addition to athletic and fine arts programs, our Upper School also offers a wide variety of interest based clubs. School sponsored events such as coffee houses, annual bonfires, homecoming and dances allow students the opportunity to show school spirit while providing a safe environment to make lifelong friends.

“One thing I’ll miss is the special, close-knit community that we all have here. I’m going to miss all the loving and dedicated teachers and the family I’ve built here. My best advice to any PCA student is to lean on your peers and know that you have a huge support system that will help you no matter what.”

Madison Kniphfer ’22 | Liberty University, Social Work

Download Our College Prep Guide

Interested in finding out how PCA prepares students for their post-grad destination? Download our College Prep Guide that walks you through SAT prep, when to take college tours, and gives you a step-by-step timeline for preparing for college.

Download Our College Preparation Guide

Preparing to Answer God’s Call

Our Upper School program enables students to go out into the world to impact it for Godly good, helping students thrive socially and academically, and lead others with a servant’s heart. Many of our students go on to attend a 4-year college or university, but not all our students are college-bound. Many choose to enter the trades, mission field, or the United States Military.


Students begin planning for their post-grad landing spots as soon as they enter our Upper School. Meetings with our College Planning and Academic Guidance team help students chart out their schedule and begin laying the foundation for their 4-year education at PCA.


Starting sophomore year, PCA students are encouraged to take advantage of meeting with the more than 50 college admissions officers who visit campus. Students are able to meet with college representatives during lunch.


Every junior at PCA has a one-on-one meeting with a college-prep counselor to be sure high school course selections meet any specific college admissions requirements and to consider the variables in the college selection process. Group meetings cover all aspects of college search, test taking, test-optional schools, scholarships, application types, timelines, and more.


Seniors meet with PCA college-prep counselors for support throughout all aspects of the application process, including help with collecting and preparing the supporting documents needed. Counselors also actively announce local scholarship opportunities as well as help individual seniors identify sources of scholarships and financial aid.

Pursuing excellence in a Christian environment.

We believe a school doesn’t need to sacrifice Biblical-alignment or academic excellence, but can effectively provide both simultaneously. We do this through several things:

Emphasize writing and critical thinking.

There is a strong emphasis on writing across the curriculum as a primary form of thought organization. We also emphasize 21st century skills such as computational excellence and critical thinking.

Build school-wide community through shared experiences.

Whether it’s digital photography, music, tennis, or a specific ministry calling, we encourage students to be in a habit of trying new things, developing new friendships, and being intentional about how they choose to spend their time.

College-level academics

PCA’s curriculum offers more than 20 honors and AP courses, as well as dual enrollment opportunities through several universities. Students at PCA can choose a themed diploma to allow them to position themselves well for the college admissions process.

A Safe Place to Learn and Grow

Environment matters, and we know students and families alike desire a safe learning environment for their K-12 education. Set on 50 acres of beautiful, riverfront land, our students and families enjoy a safe, welcoming, and cared-for environment to learn, grow and play. Patrolled by our on-site security team, our school is a place you can be confident in sending your son or daughter.

See for Yourself!

Schedule an on-campus tour and see first-hand why families choose Portsmouth Christian Academy.

Schedule a Tour