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Biblically Integrated Education

Our Mission

City Tree Christian school is a diverse family-like community who grows fully engaged citizens, partners with parents, nurtures Christ-centered learning and champions academic excellence. CTCS serves as an outreach ministry of First Presbyterian Church San Diego, dedicated to academic excellence integrated with the teachings of Jesus Christ found in the Bible. 

Our Philosophy

The school curriculum introduces children to a God-centered orientation of life, to help them develop a Christian and Biblical worldview. Children will excel academically, be good citizens, and know God when we provide educational experiences, needed care and protection in a loving Christian environment. Children will be taught a Christian way of living, working and playing together, interpreted through the teachings of Jesus Christ. They will learn that their world is given by God because of His perfect love for them. Each child develops differently and comes to school with a unique set of experiences; our teachers thoughtfully consider these individual needs as they work with students.


  • The Bible provides the perfect foundation to teach the whole child: mind, body, and spirit.

  • Students should be given opportunities to become eloquent and competent communicators of spoken and written language.

  • Children should be taught peaceful means to resolve conflicts and interpersonal problems.

  • Teachers should empower students to become independent thinkers and learners.

  • Classrooms should be structured in a way that invites students to make choices to manage their own learning.

  • Parents are partners in education and should be actively involved in school life.

  • Service to others is a fundamental part of life.

  • Technological literacy is essential for success in today's world.

  • Learning is a lifelong process.

Image by Adrien Olichon

Our Accreditation

City Tree Christian School  first received accreditation through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in 1998.  In 2001, 2007, 2013, and 2019  City Tree was granted the highest level of accreditation- 6 year clear terms. The accreditation process has been valuable for our school.  Our action plans have provided direction and a clear focus that help make City Tree a wonderful place for students to learn.

Our History

City Tree has been a member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) since 1997.

When the school was founded, Ruth Ely and Marion Persons served as Co-Directors of City Tree. Ruth continued in this position, as head of school, until her retirement in 1998.  

First Presbyterian Church Sunday School 

The three story Christian Education building at First Presbyterian Church in downtown San Diego was being used regularly for Sunday School classrooms, the church nursery, and youth meetings, yet it often sat empty throughout the week. Members of First Presbyterian Church felt called by God to use this facility for a school. 


Preschool Opens

City Tree Christian School began in 1976 as a preschool. Elementary grades were soon added.


Expanding with New Grade Levels

City Tree served preschool-6th grade until 2006. In 2007 grade 7 was added and the first 8th grade class graduated in 2008.


Infant - 8th Grade

Beginning as a preschool, City Tree has grown to serve infants through 8th grade. We hope to continue to grow to be able to serve more students and families in San Diego.

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