Academic Departments

English Department

The English Department seeks to increase students' skills in critical thinking, effective oral and written communication, and reading proficiency. The school also provides an Honors/AP track for English. Extensive summer reading assignments prepare Honors/AP students for an intense year of learning, in addition to adding to their knowledge base for the Advanced Placement tests.

New students interested in joining the Honors track should be aware that placement is largely based upon test score results from the two English portions of the ISEE. Following their freshman year, sophomore students may advance to the Honors level by earning at least a A- in their English 9 course and submit an application with a teacher recommendation and a writing sample.

Department Chair: Kerry Roche, Ext. 1907,


Language Department

Maranatha's Language Department offers courses in American Sign Language (I-III), Spanish Language (I-IV), AP Spanish, and French (I-IV). We teach a strong foundation in grammar, vocabulary, listening comprehension and writing and speaking. As culture and language go hand in hand, our language teachers also add units of cultural study to the curriculum; teaching about clothing, sports, religion, food, history, and society of countries that speak the languages the students are studying.

Students are encouraged to engage the language as much as possible with extracurricular activities such as the Discover the World Language Club. Each year, students have the option of participating in a weekend at a deaf school, a missions week in Mexico, field trips to places such as French restaurants, and, occasionally cultural trips to foreign countries such as Spain or France.

Department Chair: Cleonie Harrison, Ext. 1919,

Mathematics Department

The Mathematics Department at Maranatha is designed for students with a wide range of math skills. Course offerings range from Algebra 1 through Advanced Placement Calculus BC and Advanced Placement Statistics. Entering students are given a placement exam to position students at their highest level. There are also opportunities to possibly accelerate a student's math curriculum. Our Advanced Placement Calculus AB/BC classes have been particularly successful with a pass rate double the national average. Many of our AP Calculus students have gone on to complete advanced degrees in math, science, or engineering. MHS math students have also participated in the annual American Math Contest as well as in internships at Cal Tech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

The Mathematics Department faculty extends many opportunities to assist students with their homework and test preparation by making themselves available at lunch, after school, and during enrichment periods.

Department Chair: Sandy Pelletier, Ext. 1928,


Performing Arts Department

The Performing Arts Department at Maranatha includes Theater I, II, III, Musical Theater, Concert Choir, Mixed Ensemble, Orchestra, AP Music Theory, and Dance I, II, III. In these classes, students learn about artistic and creative expression, interpretation, production and directing, aesthetic review, historical and cultural context of theater and music, and connections to performing arts in careers and literature.

Currently, students perform a minimum of two major productions each year (winter and spring). These productions are performed on the stage of the adjacent Ambassador Auditorium. In addition, music and dance students prepare for special performances both on and off campus. Our students are also often called upon to perform at other internal or external functions, such as the Los Angeles Association of Fundraising Professionals Philanthropy Day, Hollywood Charity Horse Show, Pasadena Mayor's State of the City Address, Pasadena Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, MHS chapels, MHS Grandparents' Day, and more.

Department Chair: John Wells, Ext. 1921,


Physical Education Department

The Physical Education Department focuses on the health and physical fitness of our students. In accordance with the California Educational code, all students are required to complete two year-long classes (or four semesters) of P.E. Students who participate in school sponsored sports are able to count each season played as one semester of P.E. credit. Maranatha students have the choice of taking a traditional P.E. class (which includes aerobic exercise, field games, basketball, volleyball, and swimming), Weight Training, Swim for Conditioning, or Dance.

The physical education curricula of Maranatha aims to promote a lifelong physically active lifestyle that can enhance a student’s longevity and quality of life. Research is clear that regular physical activity in adolescence helps build healthy bones and muscles, control weight, and reduce anxiety and stress. In addition to the health benefits, there is growing evidence that regular physical activity enhances learning and school achievement. 

Department Chair: Ed Newkirk, Ext. 1926,


Science Department

The science program provides a rigorous curriculum that recognizes the complexities of science and modern research and the creative conflicts that coexist between disciplined research and the integrity of that very process. As a school, we are committed to preparing students for understanding the process of scientific inquiry predicated upon a unique Biblical worldview, and engaging scholarly research with critical thinking. Furthermore, we envision a program that seeks to expose students to the interdependence of the various scientific disciplines and their systematic study, investigating the biological, physical and chemical foundations of science, as it relates to life. While the students begin their inquiry with an understanding of God's created order, the student must develop essential analytical skills to demonstrate a proficiency that reflects both the depth and breadth of the disciplines, with a view toward critical thinking.

Maranatha's Science Department has a comprehensive program including Biology, Physical Science, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy/Physiology, and Kinesiology. We provide Advanced Placement options in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Our Science Department is very "hands on", engaging the students in a number of experiments in our advanced science laboratories as well as off campus field trips. 

Department Chair: Allen Jang, Ext. 1929,


Social Science Department

The Maranatha Social Science Department offers a broad based perspective on Modern World and U.S. History, Government, Economics, Macroeconomics, Psychology, and Sociology, with AP options in 5 subject areas. In each area of study, the subjects are taught to make the material relevant to the student's life as well as to include a historical and Christian perspective on the subject.

The multidisciplinary character of the department is unique and offers students an opportunity to find specific areas of interest from Psychology to Ancient Egypt to the cultural and educational impact of the Crusades. This department uses, as much as possible, the Socratic teaching method to engage students and encourage critical thinking. 

Department Chair: Michelle Buckowski, Ext. 1700,


Theology Department

James Brailey, former principal of Maranatha and world-renowned Christian educator stated emphatically that “All Truth is God's Truth”.  As students study science, math, English, history, and the arts, they are encouraged to ultimately look at the truths they discover in the world through a Biblical worldview. The Theology Department trains students to study God's Word and orthodox Christian doctrines. Students learn best when they have categories for learning. Therefore, the students also take part in hands-on service projects, voluntary missions trips, and specialized elective classes that integrate scholarship and experience. They are encouraged to debate Biblical issues, and learn from people that represent a variety of backgrounds.

Students are required to be concurrently enrolled in a Theology class every semester they attend Maranatha. They begin with Jesus and the Gospels, continue with Old Testament Theology, and end their foundational study of the Bible with New Testament Theology. During their junior and/or senior year, students have a variety of elective classes that focus on specific areas of theology and scholarship. Among these electives are Theology and the Arts: examining the role of Christians in the arts, Missiology: missions, Pastoral Theology: Preparing students for a life of ministry, Biblical Revelation, Scientific Revolution: addressing the critical issues that students face in the scientific community, World Religions: studying philosophy and apologetics, cults and religions, and Church History: surveys major historical and contemporary theological doctrines, intregral events, and essential characters that have shaped the life, thought, and theology of the Church.

Department Chair: James Layton, Ext. 1937,


Visual Arts Department

The Arts are very important at Maranatha and we offer a growing and progressive four-year art program. This program is designed to give the student a thorough exposure to both the production and history of art, and to enhance his or her unique, God-given creativity. Our art classrooms, photo studio/lab, and Mac Lab, as well as our beautiful campus setting, all aid in this endeavor. Topics explored through the program are: drawing methods, perspective, color theory, portrait drawing, oil and acrylic painting, some modern art techniques, basis printing, photography, graphic design, and much more.

Courses offered in this department include: Art Introduction, Painting and Drawing, Honors Painting and Drawing, Advanced Placement Studio Art (with over 90% pass rate on the AP test), Honors Portfolio, Photography I and II, Advanced Placement Photo, Graphic Design I and II, and Yearbook.

Department Chair: Diane Barnhart, Ext. 1905,


Technology at Maranatha

Maranatha continues to expand its use and instruction of technology to mirror industry and business practices. The entire campus is networked with high speed internet access with wireless availability. Innovative technology is the future of Academics at Maranatha. To Remain competitive and become a leader among high schools in southern California, Maranatha continues to apply advances in technology that will allow students and teachers the opportunity to expand and improve their teaching and learning environments, while implementing advanced and superior curriculum into the traditional classroom setting. Technology teams assist with researching creating, and implementing innovative programs to equip all teachers and students with the best possible learning and teaching tools technology has to offer. Teachers in each discipline and grade level are involved, and benefit from cutting edge strategies that encourage differentiated instruction to meet the needs of all types of learners.

In the classroom, teachers guide students through eBook lessons that are complete with interactive diagrams, lab experiments, cross-discipline learning, and tutorials. Other materials and course work like quizzes, tests, and homework are all contained within the eLearning curriculum that is empowered by our 1:1 program that supplies each teacher and student with their own Apple iPad.

Each classroom also has a networked computer station with the capability to project interactive lessons to the community of learners. Many of our classrooms also include SMART Board technology to enhance the learning environment. The goal of the Maranatha Technology Department is to achieve seamless integration of technology into content curriculum and to prepare students for an ever-changing world landscape.

Department Chair: Tim Parent, (626) 817-4084,



Maranatha High School 169 South Saint John Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91105 | 626.817.4000 | Contact Us

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