Our Values


We seek to create a unique communion of joy among students, their families, and our faculty and staff, in the context of a pre-eminent pre-K2 through 12th grade Catholic college preparatory school. We want to prepare our students for a lifetime of happiness by inculcating in them three foundational virtues. 

First, we want them to have a deep and abiding faith in God’s blessings and love for them.

Second, we want them to exercise prudence – the ability to make good decisions for the rest of their lives – by obtaining a rigorous academic foundation, accompanied by the use of their own powers of reason.

Finally, we want them to embody magnanimity – a greatness of character and of soul - such that they may go through life with a spirit of courage, a spirit of joy, a spirit of kindness, and a spirit of generosity.


We strive to be the preeminent pre-K2 through 12th grade Catholic college preparatory school in the country, graduating young men and women who personify the Portrait of the HSP Graduate.

Portrait of the HSP Graduate 

At Holy Spirit Prep, we are committed to graduating men and women who:

  • Recognize their infinite value and dignity as persons made in God’s own image;
  • Embrace and live the teachings of the Catholic faith;
  • Form their consciences according to the objective truth of the Gospel;
  • Pray daily, attend Mass faithfully, and contemplate the beauty of Creation;
  • Treasure the blessings of their own families;
  • Approach relationships with love and with hope in the goodness of others;
  • Share the love of Christ with those who do not yet know Him;
  • Seek to be happy and generous husbands and wives, and fathers and mothers, when called to married life;
  • Seek to be happy and generous in their vocations when called to the priesthood or religious life;
  • Possess an integrated knowledge of traditional academic disciplines in the arts and sciences;
  • Think deeply, logically, imaginatively, and prayerfully to make decisions according to right reason;
  • Communicate clearly through both the written and spoken word;
  • Participate confidently in diverse athletic, artistic, and intellectual pursuits;
  • Maintain healthy habits of work, leisure, exercise, and rest;
  • Embrace their civic duty to improve their communities through personal engagement;
  • Possess magnanimous character with generous hearts;
  • Appreciate profoundly the Holy Spirit Prep communion, and consider themselves as sustaining members of it;
  • Serve as leaders in their college, parish, and social communities;
  • Utilize technology and media responsibly to foster authentic relationships;
  • Protect the dignity of the unborn, the aged, the poor, and the suffering;
  • Respect cultures and beliefs not their own in Christian charity;
  • Thirst to acquire new knowledge continually;
  • Experience the true freedom that is the fruit of virtuous living;
  • Look forward with joyful hope to spending eternity with God in heaven.

Portrait of the HSP Teacher

At Holy Spirit Prep, we are committed to providing students and their families with teachers who: 

  • Embrace and live the teachings of the Catholic faith;
  • Pray daily, attend Mass faithfully, and contemplate the beauty of Creation;
  • Emulate the person of Jesus Christ, our model of an ideal Catholic school teacher;
  • Model the virtues we seek to develop in all of our students;
  • Instruct our students according to the best practices of Catholic education;
  • Demonstrate genuine love for our students, their parents, and colleagues in every interaction;
  • Build relationships founded on mutual trust, respect, and goodwill;
  • See every interaction with our students as a valuable moment for teaching;
  • Cherish our students for their unique personalities and talents;
  • Craft inspiring lessons that encourage learning as an inherently good, life-long endeavor;
  • Present the Truth as objective, knowable, and a gift from God;
  • Challenge and support our students to make the most of their God-given potential;
  • Welcome partnership with parents, who are the primary educators of their children;
  • Achieve courteous, proactive communication with our students, their parents, and colleagues;
  • Utilize available technology purposefully to enhance our students’ interest and learning;
  • Exhibit intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm across all disciplines of study;
  • Strive always to develop professionally and to improve their mastery as teachers;
  • Embrace opportunities to coach sports, sponsor clubs, and lead service apostolates;
  • Encourage students through their presence at athletics and arts events;
  • Maintain an interest in being of service to their students long after graduation day;
  • Pray that God’s will be done in the life of every student they have taught;
  • Aspire to be saints themselves who in turn inspire students to a life of communion with God and their loved ones.

The History of Holy Spirit Prep

Holy Spirit Preparatory School was founded in 1996 in response to a growing need for Catholic schools in the Atlanta archdiocese. The school opened its doors at 4820 Long Island Drive with 75 students in grades K-5, and by the end of the first school year, had a total enrollment of 94 students.

Archbishop Donnellan, for whom the school was originally named, was an advocate for education.

The school, originally called The Donnellan School after the late Archbishop Thomas Donnellan, was a success from the beginning with its families. It held just six or seven classrooms, and the gymnasium and cafeteria were yet to be built, but the school was immediately a community. The school’s president and rector, Monsignor Dillon, and his assistants held Mass every day in the halls, centering the school in its faith.

The school continued to add a grade level each year, and by 2000, when the school was a K-8 school, it counted a total enrollment of 430 students. It was in 2002 that the school entered a new phase of development, breaking ground on a long-envisioned high school campus at 4449 Northside Drive, adjacent to Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Two buildings went up in nine months, and the campus was named the Archbishop John F. Donoghue campus in honor of the then-Archbishop of Atlanta. The new ninth- and first tenth-grade class opened the new campus in August 2003. Now on two campuses, the Donnellan campus and the Donoghue campus, the school community voted to change the school’s name to Holy Spirit Preparatory School. In 2006, the school celebrated its first high school graduating class.

Archbishop Donoghue served as the school's rector during his retirement.

The addition of a high school at a new campus saw an expansion in the school’s programs and offerings. Holy Spirit Prep’s athletics offerings grew and the school joined the Georgia Independent School Association’s (GISA) athletic leagues. In the first years of the Upper School, the athletic department started individual sports – track, golf, and tennis – and soon started high school football, soccer, and baseball teams. The school began playing 1A athletics, but with increasing enrollment, quickly moved to AA, then AAA teams.

In 2007, Holy Spirit Prep launched an exceptional learning program, designed to meet the diverse learning needs of students in our community so that families would be able to keep their children in the same school setting. What began as a program that offered a 1:1 tutoring approach to a handful of students now offers multiple tiers of learning support, encompassing in-class and after-school support to students in grades 1-12.

Through its growth, Holy Spirit Prep has strived to remain faithful to its original vision of a close-knit community dedicated to Catholic discipleship and a holistic, classically-inspired education. The school has expanded, and it has certainly spread out, but it retains its founding vision to be a community of faith. Holy Spirit Prep’s traditions remain centered in expressions of faith, allowing each child to flourish in an atmosphere of encouragement while providing opportunities for academic, spiritual, and emotional growth.


A series exploring some of the intangible components of HSP's school culture that shape our students as much as our academic lessons, including:

  • Catholic identity
  • Peer pressure
  • A small school
  • Teachers

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As an honoree of the Catholic Education Honor Roll, HSP subscribes to the Principles of Catholic Identity in Education.

Our School Prayer

We pray in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Thank you Lord for this day.
Thank you for the blessings you give us.
Thank you for making each one of us in your image.
Thank you for the special blessing of our families.

Help us to remember that you love us.
Help us to remember that you have a special place in your heart for us.
Help us to remember that our school is a communion of souls destined for joy.
Help us to remember that this communion is unique and precious.
Fill us with a faith that will accompany us.

Fill us with a faith that will encourage us.
Fill us with a faith that will inspire us.
Fill us with a faith that will console us.

Grant us magnanimity, a greatness of soul, so that all the other virtues we might
seek to acquire will blossom.
Grant us wisdom; and prudence, so that we may make good decisions for the rest
of our lives.
Grant us the development of heart, mind, body and soul such that we might
excel in your plan for our lives.
And grant that we may all seek communion with you and with one another.

We ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.