From the Pulpit of Saint James School
Appointed Headmaster of Saint James School in June of 1992 when he was only 33 years old, the Revd. Dr. D. Stuart Dunnan has presided over a remarkable revival of this historic Episcopal boarding school in Western Maryland. A teacher and chaplain at both the school and university levels before he came to Saint James, he is one of the few Episcopal priests still serving as the head of a secondary school in the United States. He is also one of a decreasing number of independent school heads to serve the same school for more than five years, in his case, ten and counting.
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Father Dunnan holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in history from Harvard University and a master's and a doctoral degree in theology from Oxford University in England. As an educator and preacher, he is particularly interested in the moral and spiritual formation of teenagers, and thus eager to “encourage their goodness” and to “challenge their selfishness” within the context of their actual lives.
At a time when many Episcopal schools have developed away from their church identities, some boarding schools have become day schools, and most secondary schools have grown larger, Father Dunnan has strengthened the church identity of Saint James, restored its boarding program, and preserved its smaller size, while also increasing its diversity and improving the quality of its academic and extracurricular programs. In doing this, he has developed a strong apology for Episcopal schools, for boarding schools, and for smaller, more focused secondary school communities. In all three ways, his argument is distinct, and he provides a uniquely encouraging perspective for secondary school educators and for parents of teenagers in America today.
Volume 1: Collected Thoughts of a Priest Headmaster. D. Stuart Dunnan 2002, 184 pp., paperbound
Volume 2: 2002–2009: Further Thoughts of a Priest Headmaster. D. Stuart Dunnan. 2009, xii + 210 pp., soft cover
Acclaim for Volume One:
Father Stuart Dunnan is a Priest-Headmaster in the great tradition of Dr.Thomas Arnold of Rugby and Dr. Peabody of Groton, with the crowning grace of being an Anglo-Catholic in substance and style. He communicates with clarity, straight-forwardness and love (which may sometimes need to be tough). Long may he, and what he represents, prosper and flourish for the good of the children and the adults they become.
—The Reverend Andrew C. Mead, OBE, DD
Rector, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York, New York
Stuart Dunnan writes with uncommon clarity and with uncommon charity. Here is a voice of Anglican moderation just when we need it most.
—The Reverend F. Washington Jarvis
Headmaster Emeritus, The Roxbury Latin School, Boston, Massachusetts
At a time when many church schools have lost sight of the deep grounding that can be given by religious faith in the education of young people from any background, Stuart Dunnan has continued to mine the Christian tradition for insight and inspiration. The results have been transformative not only for St. James School, but for anyone who comes in contact with his immensely humane and godly wisdom.
—The Very Reverend Joseph Britton
President and Dean, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University, New Haven,
Stuart Dunnan has a big and lifelong heart for young people. He actually listens to them! This makes his sermons and essays redolent of wisdom and also of tenderness. Plus, miracle of miracles in our skittish day, he is committed publicly to the deep wisdom of the Christian Faith. Wisdom, tenderness and Hope: what more can we ask?
—The Reverend Dr. Paul Zahl
Rector, All Saints’ Church, Chevy Chase, Maryland