What is Friends Education?

The forms of education championed by Quakers over the past 350 years have always aimed at embracing and bettering the world. Quakers played a leading role in the women’s suffrage and pacifist movements in the United States, the latter leading to receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947.

In the 17th century, George Fox, the founder of the Religious Society of Friends, encouraged early Quakers to “live adventurously; let your life speak.” This call to live deliberately, to focus on service, civic engagement and justice, found expression in our school’s founder, Moses Brown. His life spoke through his actions as a community leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist, and through his leadership at the forefront of both the abolitionist movement and the birth of the textile industry in America.

The same Friends values embraced by our founder, Moses Brown, continue to inspire the work of educators at Moses Brown School. The Friends view of integrity, as an example, is very important as it relates to seeking a full truth and fostering a genuine spirit of inquiry. In this educational setting, children are encouraged to ask many questions, to search multiple sources, to respect the opinions of others, and to discover their own truths. It is a model that builds confidence and character, while helping children develop their unique inner promise. The result is a graduate with the talents, skills and ethical mindset needed to live and lead in the 21st century.


A Quaker School: Our Life in a Friends School

An important part of Moses Brown's history, and its daily life as a school, is its roots as a Quaker school and its membership in the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends. Quaker practice nurtures all students, from nursery through grade 12, everyday.
Religious Society of Friends

The Religious Society of Friends is a Christian-based religion which has no dogmas or sacraments, and believes that everyone is a minister because everyone has an Inner Light, or access to the Truth. Most Friends agree that the religion’s testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and service/stewardship guide their lives.

Moses Brown is a Friends school under the care of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends for more than 200 years, Moses Brown continues to value Friends practice, which is at the heart of our school’s mission. The climate at Moses Brown is one of openness to all religious groups and respect for each person’s beliefs – whether religious or non-religious.

A student film about what it's like to be a part of a Friends school

Students learn to respect and practice truth and to know the various ways it can be found — through scientific investigation, through creative expression, through conversation, through worship, through service within the school community and beyond. They are encouraged by word and example to respect the talents and perspectives of others, and include them in a cooperative search for knowledge. - Friends Council on Education
Galen Rebecca McNemar Hamann, MB's Director of Friends Education and Service Learning