The Upper School Vestry , a tradition going back over 100 years at Porter-Gaud, involves 20 sophomores, juniors, and seniors selected through an application and interview process with the chaplains. Vestry members meet weekly in gender-specific discipleship groups for Scripture study, fellowship, and prayer. They also advise the chaplains on program planning for chapel and other events. The 9th grade Chaplains' Advisory Council is selected through a similar process and has 16 students. The guys and girls meet separately for a lunch Bible study and sharing time weekly which is led by a chaplain and Vestry members. For Jewish students, there are analogous leadership groups for Middle and Upper School Jewish Life.
Every Monday there is a voluntary Upper School Bible study during lunch at the chapel led by Rev. McGreevy and Father Karl which attracts 80-100 students. After a quick pizza lunch, students spend some time in singing and worship and then engage in a discussion-oriented study on various passages from the Bible led either by a chaplain or Vestry member. Recent topics have included thankfulness, attitude, what the Bible says re drinking and drugs, relational principles from the New Testament, ambition/defining success, handling stress, etc. As students leave, they draw the name of another student to pray for during the coming week. Every Friday, there is a voluntary Middle School Bible study during lunch at the chapel led by the chaplains and the Upper School Vestry. The format is much the same as Upper School Bible study, with the addition of a community-building game most weeks. 40-50 Middle Schoolers participate in this group.
Voluntary small group Bible studies led by the chaplains meet at various times during the week for students who want to go deeper in their faith. Many of the students involved cite these groups as among the most important things in their Porter-Gaud experience. The 11th/12th grade guys group meets at 7 am Monday, the 9th grade guys group meets at lunch on Tuesdays, the 10th grade guys group meets at lunch on Thursdays, the 9th grade girls group meets at lunch on Fridays, and the 10-12th grade girls group meets at 7 am Fridays. Also, the chaplains do directed reading and discussion with interested students on an individual basis. New this spring are small group Bib le studies for 7th and 8th grade students.