The Heart Of The Matter: Academics Is Not All That Is Taught At Palmetto Christian Academy

The success of Palmetto Christian Academy over the past 28 years has been built on a solid foundation designed to last a lifetime. The vitally important relationship among students, parents, teachers and administrators has served as the linchpin of the school’s Bible-centered philosophy and a testament to its record of academic excellence.

“Relationships have the potential to either make or break the child’s ability to succeed,” says Lower School Principal Dr. Rick Martin. “We begin with the idea that we need to establish a relation-rich environment that works in partnership with the home, school and church community. When the community works together, great things happen.”

PCA, a ministry of East Cooper Baptist Church, opened its doors in 1992 with three teachers and 25 students in grades kindergarten through fourth grade. Today, the 140,000-square-foot campus on Egypt Road includes 50 classrooms, a gymnasium, a cafeteria, a sanctuary and a worship center that is used for chapels, assemblies and performing arts. The Student Life Center, currently under construction, will include a new gym, a weight room, locker rooms, science laboratories and classrooms for technology, math and Bible classes.

Now providing a Christian education for students pre-school through the 12th grade, PCA’s enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year is at 734 and growing.

“Over the past several years, we have seen record enrollment numbers, with steady growth in all grade levels each year,” says Headmaster J.D. Zubia.

Palmetto Christian Academy isn’t simply a school for students seeking a diploma so they can get into a good college and eventually land a high-paying job. While its graduates do continue their education at some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities, the school’s educational philosophy isn’t all about academics. Instead, PCA combines a rigorous academic curriculum with an emphasis on the heart.

“Because the heart is where a child wrestles with life, teachers cannot assume the brain will grasp the lesson if the child’s heart is being distracted,” Dr. Martin points out. “When a child’s heart is conflicted, they tend to act in response to their messiness rather than learning new strategies to help them be successful. PCA addresses this messiness through conversation, correction and coaching.”

Nurturing this vital relationship between mind and heart would be difficult – if not impossible – without the partnership between PCA and the parents who choose a Christian education for their children.

“This partnership reflects a commitment from each party to work together to support the academic, spiritual and emotional goals established by the school,” Dr. Martin says. “Since parents are tasked by God to ultimately train their children, PCA takes the position that parents are extremely important in the educational process and must be involved in their child’s education to achieve the most success.”

“The research clearly points to the impact that relationships have upon student behavior and overall learning,” Dr. Martin added. “And we believe we do relationships well at PCA.”

To learn more about why Palmetto Christian Academy is among the most highly-thought-of schools in the Lowcountry, visit or call 843-881-9967.