What would an independent Christian high school on the Westside of Los Angeles look like?”

Our History

List of 5 items.


    In the summer of 2002, a group of educators, parents, business leaders, and pastors gathered together to ask the question, “What would an independent Protestant Christian high school on the Westside of Los Angeles look like?” Under the leadership of Pastor Kent Crawford, that question led to the formation of Pacifica’s Founding Committee. 
    After two years of work, conversation, and contemplation, the committee found itself with a unified mission, vision, purpose, and business plan. The next step was to share this vision and plan with others. The Pacifica blueprint was presented to respected business leaders, parents, educators, students, pastors, and a host of individuals from all walks of life. The response was overwhelmingly positive and the Pacifica circle began to grow.
    The Board of Trustees was formed in the summer of 2004 and hired the Head of School Jim Knight. Committees were put in charge of curriculum, student life, athletics, arts, fundraising, admissions, and locating a property.

    By March of 2005, the founding faculty were hired, our current location was secured, and the admissions process was in full swing. The following summer, Pacifica received membership into the CIF, Southern California’s governing body for high school athletics, and was preparing to tackle accreditation, UC approval, student/parent orientation, the first day of school, and what seemed like a million other details that go along with the opening of a brand new school.
    On September 7, 2005, at 1730 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, the dream of having an independent Christian high school open for students of all religious and socioeconomic backgrounds was achieved!  

    On the first day, 42 students along with 11 staff and 6 board members begin a historic journey. Pacifica has seen tremendous growth since that day increasing to 85 students in the second year and today is fully enrolled at 260 students with a waiting list. We are still on the way to our goal of educating 400 high school students. Our community has grown from the founding group of 12 to an assemblage of over 2,500 parents, students, alumni, and faculty.

    In 2008 and 2009, Pacifica’s first two classes graduated and these students were accepted to Duke, Notre Dame, University of Chicago, Northwestern, Cal Tech, UCLA, USC, Middleburry, UC Berkeley, Boston College, William and Mary, NYU, Wheaton, Westmont, Gordon, Pepperdine, LMU, Point Loma, Azusa Pacific, Seattle Pacific, and a host of other colleges around the country. College placement continues to be strong with students receiving invitations from the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Rice, Michigan, MIT, Vassar, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western, Drexel, Villanova, Bentley, Rochester, Scripps, SMU, Colgate, Brandies, Oberlin, and many more.

    As Pacifica approached its 10th Anniversary in 2015, the next phase of expansion began by creating and incorporating several signature programs. Pacifica partnered with Project Lead the Way in the fall of 2015 to launch a full STEM program, adding engineering and computer science courses to its elective class offerings. The fall of 2015 also saw the launch of the Minchin Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, including classes in Economics and Entrepreneurship, as well as InSights, a speaker’s series, and several options for internships and mentorships. The Visual and Performing Arts also saw an expansion with additional classes in film classes, studio arts, and music throughout the last few years.

    From 2015 - 2020 Pacifica embarked on the Every Square Inch Campaign that included the renovation of the humanities wing, new bio/chem, and engineering labs, the art studio, hallway upgrades, the updating of the Pacifica Event Center, a new weight room, student store, landscaping and the reimagining of Pacifica's common spaces.

    Today the school is full with an enrollment of 260 students.  New initiatives are underway in philosophy, alumni development, faculty housing, endowment growth, the Ivy Initiative in college placement, and more.

Our Founding Leaders

List of 2 items.

  • Kent Crawford, Board Chairman 2002 – 2015

    It was Kent’s visionary leadership and bedrock ideas that provided the spark and the foundation of Pacifica Christian High School. He called the first meeting, led the discussions, worked with donors, parents, administrators, teachers and community members. Kent communicated the school’s mission, safeguarded its principles and inspired a community with his faithful consistent leadership; He helped build a school for the next generation and beyond.
  • Peter Olmstead, Founding Board Member 2002-2015

    Peter, a successful and experienced business leader was present from the beginning. His wisdom, generosity, heart for the Westside and love of God was a singular force in Pacifica’s  rise. He related to students, guided board meetings, connected with community members and cared for administrators. He along with his lovely wife Cynthia opened their home for countless fundraisers, dinners, business meetings, school retreats and more. Peter’s legacy lives on as Pacifica’s mission is lived out in the hearts and minds of countless teenagers across Los Angeles.  

Pacifica Christian High School

A college-preparatory, Christian, liberal arts high school in the heart of Santa Monica.