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boarding schools for troubled teens

Columbus Girls Academy

Columbus Girls Academy is a nonprofit Christian boarding school for teenage girls struggling with life-controlling issues or attitudes. This program is the “gold standard” for therapeutic Christian boarding schools for troubled girls.  The campus and program are full-featured and first-class.  They offer a disciplined, structured therapeutic environment that emphasizes character development, spiritual growth, and personal responsibility. The year-round boarding school for troubled girls is designed to develop the whole girl in four main areas: spiritual, social, academic, and physical.

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Students who are enrolled in the Columbus Girls Academy program typically exhibit issues and behaviors such as:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Rebellion/Anger/Defiance
  • Depression
  • Deceitfulness/Cheating/Theft
  • Manipulation
  • Promiscuity
  • Self-harm

Many times, before choosing a Christian therapeutic boarding school, parents have sought help from psychiatry and the use of medication. Columbus Girls Academy works to gradually wean girls off those harmful psychotropic drugs with the help of a physician. Some students who come to the program have been previously diagnosed with behavioral or psychological disorders such as:

  • ADHD
  • ADD
  • Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
  • Depression

Columbus Girls Academy is lower in cost than most therapeutic boarding schools but is a highly effective and well-developed program on a beautiful campus. Columbus Girls Academy surrounds its students all day long with an environment to help facilitate life change through the witness and guidance of staff and counselors. The program entails counseling, both individually and in group meetings. Students in Columbus Girls Academy boarding school are challenged daily in their relationships and respect for others as they interact with school and counseling staff and their peers. It is an environment that balances discipline with personal responsibility to create a positive peer culture.

“CGA’s goal is to help students make positive decisions, not based on mandatory compliance, but rather the result of a genuine change of heart. Community service, special projects, outings, and mission trips also help our boarding school students change their focus from self to serving others.”

troubled teen schoolsColumbus Girls Academy is a registered non-public school with the State of Alabama Department of Education. Columbus Girls Academy accommodates your child, and teachers can customize lessons to meet each student’s learning needs. CGA is a non-public Christian boarding school registered with the State of Alabama Department of Education. AOA is accredited through AdvancED, the parent organization of The North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA), and is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). These organizations bring together educators worldwide who support the quality academic standards required by colleges and universities.

Therapy involves an interpretation or identification of why the inappropriate behaviors are occurring and then contextualizing these reasons as a function of what erroneous assumptions are in place regarding meeting basic needs.  Through discipleship curriculum and ongoing pastoral counseling relative to the curriculum content, the students can discover their incorrect assumptions and replace them with a relationship with God.

Each student is specially assigned to the caseload of an on-site counselor/mentor. Along with individual and group counseling, this counselor is responsible for ensuring a smooth delivery of all of CGA’s services to the student and family. The counselor is the point of contact for the family, available to answer questions and give updates on the student’s progress. Group counseling occurs regularly, guided by the pastoral counselors on staff at CGA.  This time is utilized to allow students an opportunity to grapple with and resolve commonly faced issues.  Students learn to constructively express their thoughts, ideas, and questions in an environment where each member is accepted and respected.  Group counseling is not utilized to scrutinize individual members or to glorify past poor decisions.

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Activities and Campus

The 200-acre all-girl boarding school campus is a special place where students and families experience peace and tranquility as they work through changing their motivations in life and restoring relationships. The property includes a 35-acre lake for fishing, canoeing, paddle boats, hiking trails, tennis and basketball courts, a softball field, a swimming pool, and a volleyball court. Participation in all activities is required and completed as a group, supervised by staff members. 

Students are challenged daily in relationships as they interact with staff and their peers. The environment balances discipline with personal responsibility to create a positive peer culture. Columbus Girls Academy’s goal is to nurture students that make positive decisions that are not based on mandatory compliance but rather where positive choices are made as a result of genuine concern for themselves and others.

Physical Education – As a regular part of the daily schedule, students can participate in calisthenics and practice drills and sports (i.e. tennis, basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, aerobics, swimming).  CGA school credit is earned for each student’s participation in Physical Education.

The Arts – Choir and Drama Teams rehearse and perform at local churches, events, and on-campus ceremonies.  Under the direction of skilled CGA staff, students can continue to grow and excel in their God-given talents.

Special Outings – At CGA, we want our students to understand that, contrary to popular belief among teens today, one can live a life that honors God and have fun at the same time.  To demonstrate this, CGA staff go above and beyond to “create wow experiences” for our students; fun is allowed!  CGA students attend several youth conferences, Christian concerts, and events throughout the year.

Recreation – As a reward for cooperation, students are provided with scheduled times of recreation throughout the week.  At CGA, there are many facilities and opportunities for recreation right on our campus.  The students enjoy the beautiful 35-acre lake with paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, and fishing poles.  During the summer months, students enjoy the sport swimming pool with welcomed refreshments and fun.  On rainy days our students may enjoy recreational time indoors in our student lounge or specious lodge. 

CGA Staff and Emerging Student Leaders also get creative in planning special events for our students on campus, such as field days, obstacle courses, team-building activities, and talent shows. Personal Devotion – Every evening before “lights out” at 10 pm, students take 30 minutes of “quiet time” for reading scripture, reflection, and prayer.