Discipleship groups have been proven to be a successful way in which our teachers cultivate authentic relationships with our students that allow for transparent conversations about applying God’s Word to struggles teens face today. Every student in 6th – 12th grades meets twice weekly in a group of six to 10 students, led by teachers or older, senior students for the purpose of examining God’s Word and applying it to their lives. 


The First Five is the newest addition in our effort to ensure every student is known, nurtured and loved at ECS.

The First Five - the first five minutes of every day - is being spent in discipleship and prayer at both campuses. Students, teachers and parents are attesting to its value since we started First Five in August.

Ages 2 through fifth grades at the Lower School are learning from The New City Catechism, which teaches children foundational truths about God and His Word. Meanwhile, middle and upper school students at the Shelby Farms campus meet with their discipleship groups to pray for one another before they start their day.

The extra five minutes of the day may not seem like much, but meeting every day throughout the school year amounts to an extra 14 hours of intentional discipleship!

The First Five is an extra layer in our multilayered discipleship approach to be steadfast in our objective to be mission-centered, discipleship-focused and relationally driven.


“Discipleship groups allowed me to learn to stand for my faith and be bold so I could help the other guys around me when I opened up. A lot of the guys I knew most of my life I also got to know better through their vulnerability when they shared on different topics.”

– Jonathan, senior

“Through Mr. Brady’s initiation of discipleship groups, I have built Christ-centered relationships with a teacher and my peers that extend beyond the classroom. My group has seven girls with Mrs. Arnwine as the leader. The amount of people is ideal because it creates a close group within the ECS community that I can share my struggles and successes. Mrs. Arnwine encourages us to be spiritually vulnerable without judgment and to keep each other accountable to our goals. My discipleship group has furthered and strengthened my Christian worldview as I prepare to leave ECS, while also aiding in the sustainability of relationships with high school friends as we enter college.”

-          Gracie, Class of 2020


“Whenever someone asks me what’s new at ECS, the first thing I mention is the discipleship groups. I feel this concept is one of our strongest assets. The groups are a safe place for students and faculty to discuss current biblical topics and encourage each other in our faith walks. We are able to hold one another accountable and see how God is working in our lives. I am so blessed to watch my precious group of girls live out the gospel over the next two years.”

-          Lori Beckham, Upper School Math Teacher



“My discipleship group gave me a sense of community that helped me throughout the year to further the relationships I had with my leader, the girls in my group, and the Lord.”      

-          Margaret Porter