Haywood Christian Academy (HCA) is a private Christian school in Waynesville, North Carolina offering Kindergarten through 12th grade. Haywood Christian Academy pre-kindergarten provides a unique learning experience for 3 and 4-year olds through the Early Learning Center.
HCA was established in 2007, when parents and community leaders desired to establish a Christ-centered, community-minded school that was independent of any specific church affiliation and driven to provide an excellent educational program.
At that time, four organizations in our community found themselves pursuing a God-given vision. Woodland Baptist Church was looking for a buyer so they could pursue their vision of a new facility. New Covenant Church was looking for a way to open their doors more to the community. A new church, Providence Presbyterian, was looking for a place to worship and fellowship every week. HCA was looking for a campus to pursue its vision of being a leading independent, inter-denominational, innovative Christian school in Western North Carolina.
HCA began and remained a two-campus school for the first 11 years of existence. The main campus was housed at the former Woodland Baptist Church, of which HCA became the owner in September 2017. HCA’s pre-kindergarten and elementary school was housed in New Covenant Church’s educational wing. In pursuit of community mindedness, HCA leased the main campus to Providence Presbyterian Church for their weekly services and special events. HCA students have enjoyed traveling to area facilities for physical education and monthly visits to the local library. HCA was able to secure field space for its athletic program at Central Haywood High School and gymnasium usage at Central and First Baptist Church in Maggie Valley. HCA has found itself in the midst of just what it set out to be - a part of community!
Since its inception, HCA has pursued a vision of a united campus that offered room for expansion and athletic facilities. Over the years, the vision became more vivid through concept drawings, seasons of prayer and fasting, and a passionate and relentless staff and Board of Directors who believed through faith that God would birth the vision to life in His timing.
In May of 2018, HCA found itself at the close of a time of due diligence with New Covenant Church for a tract of land for the school to build upon when God turned the attention of school leadership in a new and very unexpected direction. Similar to the school’s beginning, four ministries found themselves at interesting crossroads. Calvary Road Baptist Church (CRBC) had outgrown their facility and had just purchased Eagle Nest Entertainment, Providence Presbyterian Church (PPC) was looking for greater ownership and visibility for their church body, New Covenant Church (NCC) was looking to God for direction and possible campus expansion, and HCA was actively pursuing their vision of a one-campus school. Upon hearing about Calvary Road’s purchase of a new facility, HCA’s leadership visited the church campus on February 22nd to explore the possibilities and the rest became history! The school issued CRBC a letter of intent to purchase on March 1st and purchased the property on May 21st. HCA immediately began necessary renovations including transforming the existing fellowship hall into six new elementary classrooms and renovating the youth house to become HCA’s new Early Learning Center. HCA was proud to be able to open the doors of its new campus on August 23, 2018.
As HCA’s athletic program expanded to offer middle school, junior varsity, and varsity teams in basketball and volleyball, the need for an athletic facility grew deeper in the hearts of school administrators and board of directors. The vision for the future facility would encompass a comprehensive physical education program, serve as a multi-purpose facility for the school, as well as provide a community outreach opportunity in Haywood County. Due to the growing need and God’s timing, the school broke ground in September 2020, during a pandemic and a time where most people were conserving and putting a hold on large projects. HCA has been a recipient of miraculous moves of God before, so we expected no less as we embarked on this journey of a new athletic facility during a shaky time in history. Once again, God proved Himself to be more than capable of bringing this vision into fruition while keeping the project under budget during record breaking inflation. The school received the final certificate of occupancy on June 3, 2021 and hosted its first event, HCA’s annual Alumni vs. Varsity Boys’ Basketball Game on June 5, 2021. This new gymnasium serves as a testimony of how God can work in amazing and unexpected ways when His people exercise faith and “step out of the boat”.
During our most recent accreditation visit, the team noted, “God’s thumbprint is all over this school”. We are both honored and humbled to be serving the Lord through Christian education. By God’s grace and provision, the school has also flourished academically. Since 2007, HCA has graduated 100 students in fifteen commencements. Colleges attended include Pepperdine University, Western Carolina University, NC State University, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Le Tourneau University, Montreat College, Lee University, Asbury University, UNC-Charlotte, UNC- Wilmington, Converse University, Liberty University, Charleston Southern University, Covenant College, East Tennessee State University, East Carolina University, Piedmont International University, Haywood Community College, Southwestern Community College, Pensacola Christian College, Bob Jones University, Purdue University, University of Tennessee and UNC-Asheville.
Recognizing the need for an academic support program for our students, as well as students in our community, HCA founded The Bridge Learning Center in 2015. This unique program offers highly effective language therapy using the Orton-Gillingham approach. This program has since expanded to offer academic tutoring and support in most subject areas.
The desire to pursue excellence in all things has been a commitment of the school since its inception in 2007; therefore, the school began its pursuit of national accreditation early on. The school received its initial accreditation for the K-12 program on July 1, 2013. In 2018, the school successfully completed its first five-year review cycle.
In this continual pursuit for excellence, HCAplus was introduced in 2020 as an extension of the existing academic program of Haywood Christian Academy. HCAplus is designed to enhance the learning of 9th through 12th grade students by expanding elective classes as an affiliate of Liberty University Online Academy and partnering with Haywood Community College for dual enrollment opportunities. This program enables HCA to further enhance 21st century learning techniques as well as extend best practices for college preparedness to our students, including qualifying homeschool students within our community.
Today, HCA employs 28 employees, including 22 faculty members, 85% of which hold a Bachelor's degree and 18% holding Masters or other Cognia certifications. We have approximately 155 students enrolled in the 2022-2023 school year, representing 8 neighboring towns in Western North Carolina. The families at HCA represent a diverse Christian population of 42 churches and 9 denominations.
Over the past 15 years, our mission of providing an excellent education on the foundation of biblical truth has not waivered. Having opened the doors on our new campus just 4 short years ago and having completed our new gym in 2021, we anticipate more success for the school as we strive to provide this unique offering in our area. We have been blessed to see many students come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior over the past 15 years. As we teach a Biblical worldview, we pray that our students gain understanding through Christ, "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge."