In 2015, ESA welcomed Dr. Andrew Armond as chaplain and religion teacher. Dr. Armond and his wife Patty have three children, Thomas, age 6 and a first grader at ESA Lower School, Marie, 3, and Charlotte, 11 months. They moved to Acadiana from Oklahoma
, where Dr. Armond was Assistant Professor of English at Oklahoma Baptist University
. A Louisiana
native, Dr. Armond grew up in Ruston
and earned a BA from Louisiana Tech. He holds an MA and a PhD in religion and literature from Baylor University
. Dr. Armond welcomed the opportunity to return to Louisiana
to be closer to his parents and his extended family, and to come to ESA, a place he knew about and had visited for high school quiz bowl competitions.
Dr. Armond grew up Baptist and became an Episcopalian 11 years ago. From his Baptist background, he appreciates the emphasis on learning and the strong sense of ethics. As an Episcopalian, Dr. Armond treasures the emphasis on the mind and on being engaged as a person in an academic and a spiritual way. Appreciation of his own spiritual journey is evident in his view of chapel and spirituality at ESA.
“I want students to be spiritually challenged, to examine their own religious tradition and to explore what their place is in it. To ask, what does it mean to be a religious person? Chapel should be a sacred space where the community comes together and feels safe to share and be vulnerable, where we can take ourselves seriously. We can have silliness, but chapel is also where we relate based on something deeper, and that’s the community that we have here."
In addition to his role as chaplain, Dr. Armond teaches a religion class for eighth graders and an upper school world religions elective. He envisions a robust, academically rigorous program of religious study for ESA.
“I want students to know that religion is an academically challenging subject that involves history, literature, psychology, sociology. It’s about the human experience and studying people. Students will encounter the beauty and the terror of what religion has done. We will examine the encounters of individuals with their faith and see them wrestle with its meaning in their lives."Chaplain Dr. Andrew Armond received his license to preach in the Episcopal church and delivered his first sermon during the Cade campus Eucharist service on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.