St. Bernard Preparatory School

1600 St. Bernard Drive, S.E.
Cullman, AL 35055
Tel: 256-255-5890
Enjoying Lake St. Bernard on the more than 800 acres of St. Bernard Abbey . . . a perfect place to relax, study, or just hang out with friends!
Enjoying Lake St. Bernard on the more than 800 acres of St. Bernard Abbey . . . a perfect place to relax, study, or just hang out with friends!
Grabbing a few minutes to laugh with classmates between classes!
St. Bernard Prep School is nestled on the serene and secure grounds of St. Bernard Abbey, a monastery founded by Catholic Benedictine Monks in 1891, and grounded in the Benedictine tradition that began over 1,500 years ago, a hallmark of which is the love of learning.
Academic achievement is high on the list of St. Bernard Prep priorities, with students consistently ranking above national and state averages in ACT and National Merit Exams.
Band, private instrument, choral and individual vocal instruction are available to all students, grades 7-12.  St. Bernard students have been selected for various State Honor Bands and competitions on a yearly basis.
The arts, both visual and performing, are highly encouraged to all students.  St. Bernard students have had the honor of placing as Finalists in the Congressional Art contests!
St. Bernard students form life-long friendships, whether they are boarding or day students, whether they begin their career in the 7th grade or wait until their Junior year.  The kids tell us, 'Everyone becomes FAMILY' once you come to SBP!
Posing by the Statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in front of the Administration Building is a yearly ritual for Seniors.  St. Bernard students average $2.5 million in scholarship offerings each year (per 25 students) to many prestigious colleges and universities!  It is common to have Gold Medal National Latin Exam Scholars & National Merit Scholars!
About 20 percent of the student body of St. Bernard are international students, so Bernardians have the chance not only to form unique life-long friendships, but also experience the world community.  As one student put it, 'I never thought my best friend would be Korean!'
Athletically, St. Bernard students, male and female, may choose to participate in a  variety of sports: Cross Country, Track & Field, Swimming, Soccer, Softball, Basketball, Volleyball, Tennis, Baseball and others.  Cheerleading is also available, and students are encouraged to participate in more than just one sport/activity.
  • St. Bernard Preparatory School strives to create an environment that encourages student growth in self-discipline, respect for self and others, and mature social interaction.
  • The college preparatory curriculum is based on the liberal arts: languages and literature, history, mathematics, science, theology and the arts.
  • This program emphasizes the ability to think, to read with understanding, to express oneself with precision and grace, and to solve problems creatively.
  • Courses not only provide the transmission and reception of facts, they encourage the development of mental and physical discipline, of breadth and depth of view, of responsible thought and action, and of critical thinking.
  • The school motto, Corpus, Mens, Spiritus (Body, Mind, Spirit) indicates the mission of St. Bernard Preparatory: "St. Bernard Preparatory School is committed to fully engaging students in learning for the whole person: body, mind and spirit.
  • St. Bernard pursues this mission through the search for truth and the striving for goodness in the classroom, through participation in religious, social and athletic events, and by involvement in mentoring and community service activities.
  • The school's "House System" organizes the student body into "houses" of less than 20 students, supervised by teachers and staff members.
  • This results in integration of the student body, student leadership skills, and personal connection with faculty and staff.
  • Founded and administered by the Benedictine Monks of St. Bernard Abbey, the school stands on 1,500 years of monastic history and experience of the love for learning.

Top 20 Placements

Listed among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 320 schools) for:

Definition of Terms 
2017 School Data
St. BernardBoarding School Avg.
School FocusCollege PrepCollege Preparatory
Grades Offered7-126-12
School TypeCo-edCo-ed
Religious AffiliationCatholicNon-denominational
Year Founded18911910
Campus Size900 acres110 acres

Student Body

Enrollment215 students300 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Score1800* National Avg. »View
Average ACT score27*National Avg. » View
Offers Post-Grad YearNoNo

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesNoNo
Classroom Dress CodeFormal
Average Class Size15 students12
*National School Avg. » 20
Teacher : Student Ratio1:81:7
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered1017
ESL Courses OfferedYesYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program OfferedYesYes


Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
(* Includes all fees, uniforms excepted.)
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
(* Includes all fees, uniforms excepted.)
Tuition international students$39,500$47,500
Yearly Tuition
(5 Day Boarding)
% Students on Financial Aid
Merit Scholarships OfferedYesNo


Application DeadlineNone / RollingJan. 15
Accepts Standardized ApplicationYesNo
SSAT RequiredNoYes
Acceptance Rate
Director of AdmissionsBrendan Flannery

School Notes

    St. Bernard Preparatory School admits students who seek to prepare for college and university studies and who are academically capable of excelling through standard college prep instructional and testing methods.  The school endeavors to challenge each student to academic excellence through a rigorous and reasonable college preparatory program, including AP courses and dual-enrollment in college courses.  
  • St. Bernard averages over $3 million in scholarships per 25 graduates.  Over $5 million in 2014, 24 graduates.
  • St. Bernard graduates are accepted to numerous prestigious colleges and universities.
  • ACT and SAT scores consistently rank well above the national average.
  • Cultural diversity is promoted through our international student population.
  • Foreign travel opportunities are available to students.
  • Highly-educated and experienced faculty of Monks and Lay personnel.
  • Extensive athletics program as well as a full spectrum of visual and performing arts.
  • Safe, secure environment on the picturesque 900 acres of St. Bernard Abbey.
  • Located in North Alabama in the quaint community of Cullman (originally founded by German immigrants in 1877), an hour drive north of Birmingham, an hour south of Huntsville, two hours from Nashville, TN, from three hours from Atlanta, GA.
  • Residential life that promotes growth, maturity and the self-knowledge that comes through a healthy measure of independence and self-reliance. 
  • The school's "House System" organizes the student body into "houses" of less than 20 students, supervised by teachers and staff members. This results in integration of the student body, student leadership skills, and personal connection with faculty and staff.
  • School accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, The Association of Boarding Schools, Secondary Schools Admissions Test Board
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