Upper School

at Portsmouth Christian Academy

Impacting the World for Good

At PCA, students are encouraged to prepare for life beyond college. 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.

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, 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.

“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

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.

Wherever they land, our graduates are ready to Go, Demonstrate, Think, and Engage the culture around them. Here is a high-level view of how we guide students down the path that best meets their career and life goals.


All ninth-graders at Portsmouth Christian Academy participate in Freshman Seminar, a series that includes personality inventories as well as interest and strength tests. Results are discussed in light of the relationship to God-given gifts and God’s calling to various vocations.


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 coordinator, 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.

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