A Quaker-Methodist Connection

“Home” is a word that stirs the heart. Every person deserves a good home. Schools deserve a good home, too.

In September 2023, the Phoenix Friends School will open in an ideal home at the best possible location, Central United Methodist Church (CUMC) at 1875 N Central Avenue in Phoenix.

Our new home anchors the City’s expanding arts and museum district, next door to the Phoenix Art Museum, across the street from Arizona Opera, and a few blocks south of the Heard Museum. Central Church is the regular performing space for the Phoenix Chamber Music Society and is often booked for top performing organizations, including the Phoenix Symphony. Central Church is actively engaged with our urban community assisting migrants and local families in need.

We will live by the school’s tagline, The City Is Our Classroom. The new middle school will be an active learning center, whether onsite at Central Church or working offsite with the Desert Botanical Garden, the Heard Museum, or Arizona Humane Society.

Our relationship with Central Church continues a long tradition of Quaker-Methodist interactions, starting with John Wesley’s acknowledgment of the shared values between the Society of Friends (nicknamed Quakers) and early Methodists (also a nickname). Both are Reform-minded movements grounded in beliefs about the individual that were radical for their times. The two share basic convictions:

  • Direct and personal relationship with God
  • Each human’s potential for transformation
  • War is evil
  • Slavery is evil
  • Tolerance for dissent
  • Activists for Social Justice

How close are Quaker and Methodists? There was once a self-styled Quaker-Methodist denomination in England during the early 1800s, a short footnote in the story of the two movements, well worth remembering today.

The Phoenix Friends School is an independent school, Quaker-led while open to other influences and partnerships consistent with our basic values and principles. We welcome all to our new home at Central Church starting fall 2023.

Willard E. White, PhD

Founder, Phoenix Friends School

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