History of Norfolk Christian Schools

With only five Christian schools existing in Virginia, Norfolk Christian Grammar School was founded in 1952 as a non-denominational Christian day school by Pastor John Dunlap. Pastor Dunlap’s vision was to establish a school for Christian parents that would offer their children an excellent education and complement the biblical values of their families and churches.

II Corinthians 5:20 provided the biblical instruction that became Norfolk Christian’s foundation:

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Norfolk Christian students were named “Ambassadors” and the school’s colors were chosen. These colors signify the royalty of God (purple), His kingship (gold), and the washing clean of sin we each have available through Jesus Christ (white).


Under the strong guidance of Dr. Gene Garrick, the school’s first headmaster, Norfolk Christian prospered as an outstanding Christ-centered program. As a result, a high school was added in 1959 and Norfolk Christian saw its first class of students graduate in 1962. Always on the forefront of advancing Christian education, Drs. Dunlap and Garrick pursued excellence in the schools’ curriculum and programs, and encouraged other schools around the country to do the same.  Their strong commitment to global missions became a hallmark of the Ambassador experience and formed the basis of the school’s steadfast commitment to spread the Gospel.

Today, Dr. Dunlap’s humble vision for a Christian school has grown into a landmark institution with an international reputation for exceptional students who have hearts for sharing Christ with the world.

Read more about the school’s founding in our 65th anniversary article.

Norfolk Christian Schools - Upper School

255 Thole Street
Norfolk, VA 23505

Norfolk Christian Schools - Lower School Norfolk Campus

7000 Granby Street
Norfolk, VA 23505

Norfolk Christian Schools - Lower School Beach Campus

1265 Laskin Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23451


Administrative Offices


Administrative Fax

norfolk chritsian students and teachers
norfolk Christian students and teachers

We know what you’re wondering – just who is Norfolk Christian? You’ll find some answers to that as you flip through our website.

You’ll see that we were one of the first Christian schools in Virginia – the sixth, to be exact.

And that we’re the only faith-based K12 school in Hampton Roads to be accredited by the highly-respected Virginia Association of Independent Schools. Our founders were pioneers for Christian school accreditation long before it was expected. We like to think they helped start the trend.

We will humbly mention our state-of-the-art facilities and the program offerings you’ll find here that aren’t at any other Christian school in the area.

Then we’ll talk about the elite academic preparation your child will receive that rivals any specialty academy but boasts the spiritual and philosophical safety of a Christian worldview.

We’ll highlight how our stellar graduates attend some of the most prestigious schools in the country and go on to serve the world in hundreds of callings, from neurosurgeons and college presidents to professional athletes and missionaries, and just about everything in between.

But at the end of the day, we know that’s not exactly what you came here to find out. What’s really on your mind is this:

How will we treat your child?

That happens to be our favorite thing to talk about.

Because underneath the accolades and opportunities is what really makes Norfolk Christian who we are: relationships. We believe making kids feel safe and highly-valued is the first step to learning. That’s why our teachers are not just great educators; they’re cheerleaders, counselors, prayer warriors, and role models. After all, isn’t that why we’re here? We don’t come to work everyday to pass on information. We come to equip Ambassadors. That means using the platform of education to model the kind of relationships Christ wants us to have with each other to a new generation, preparing them to go out and serve, lead and love the world on His behalf.

This is what becoming an Ambassador is all about. (II Corinthians 5:20)

So if you’re looking for a school that inspires kids to accomplish the very best they’re capable of, where each child is celebrated, teachers are passionately invested in their students’ futures and every activity points kids to a relationship with Christ,

then we have some great news  –

you’ve found your people.