There are five primary elements on the PCA crest: the cross, the column, the lyre, the lattice, and the leaf. All of these are based on symbols employed in medieval heraldry and, like the crests of the middle ages, serve to communicate who we are at PCA.
CROSS IMAGE: Unshakeable Faith
This cross is more precisely known as a crosslet fitchee, a combination of the cross and sword that symbolizes unshakeable faith. It is the largest image on the PCA crest, overlaying the others and defining their arrangement because our unshakeable faith in Christ, our Savior, Friend, and King, is foremost at PCA, guiding all that we do.
COLUMN IMAGE: Wisdom with Fortitude
Columns represent strength and endurance. A serpent coils about our column, indicating our desire for wisdom, rooted in the fear of the LORD, to undergird whatever strength we possess. Fortitude is defined as “strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.” At PCA, we joyfully acknowledge that we can do all things through Christ, the power and the wisdom of God, who strengthens us. (Phil. 4:13, 1 Cor. 1:24)
LYRE IMAGE: Contemplation and Tempered Judgement
Medieval heralds saw the lyre as a symbol of contemplation and tempered judgement, qualities PCA seeks to instill in students, especially during the logic phase of instruction. Classically, the lyre is associated Apollo, patron of the muses who inspire all art and literature. We are mindful, though, that in Christian symbolism, the lyre represents the attractive power of the LORD, who woos us as fervently and sweetly as any poet or minstrel ever did his lady.
LATTICE IMAGE: Persuasion
The fret or latticework denotes persuasion, an art studied by students in the rhetoric stage. At PCA, rhetoric courses equip students with the tools employed by classical rhetoricians and open their eyes to the rhetoric of the world around us. Moreover, we seek to cultivate in them the desire and ability persuade others of Godʼs love and truth. Like Paul, we know what it is to fear the LORD, and, as ambassadors of Christ, we try to persuade those around us (2 Cor. 5:11 & 20).
ACACIA BRANCH IMAGE: Eternal and Affectionate Remembrance
PCA is a family. As such, we remember those who have gone before us: students, families, and faculty. Likewise, former students and staff do not cease to be a part of our PCA family simply because their names no longer appear on a roster. Rather, we thank God for each other, mentioning each other in prayer, remembering the work that God has enabled us to accomplish together and celebrating what He continues to do in our lives, in our school, and in His kingdom (1 Thess. 1: 2-3).