How to Start a Christian School

by Brian Gabriel

Starting a Christian school requires an extensive research process that elicits input from a lot of different people who have experience in education and business. It will take considerable effort to do all of the planning, hiring and advertising necessary to get a school started. The purpose of a Christian school is to give students Christian guidelines for living and to provide an atmosphere conducive to their spiritual growth in addition to their academic progress.

Form a committee of interested parents, church leaders and educators who share your vision for a Christian school. Recruit people from within your church and colleagues within the education, business and technology fields. It is important to recruit committee members who have good professional experience, but their personal beliefs on Christian theology are very important as well because these are the people who will be helping to make decisions on curriculum and even the mission of the school.

Write out a mission statement that includes your goals for the school in terms of both academic and spiritual growth. Consult with the committee to brainstorm ideas and then draft a mission statement that reflects the interests of everybody involved in the project.

Research successes within the Christian school industry and reach out to interview others who have already started schools. BJU Press, a publisher of educational resources for Christians, suggests that the research phase should be done at least one year prior to the anticipated opening of the school. They recommend visiting several Christian schools to talk to administrators and educators face-to-face and collecting copies of their student handbooks, office procedure manuals and board procedure manuals for reference.

Decide whether the school will be run by a board, a church or an individual. Make the decision based on visits to other schools, interviews and extensive reading of reference materials.

Choose the grade levels of the school. You will need to raise a lot more money to start a K-12 school than you need to start a more specialized school, such as one devoted specifically to young elementary school learners.

Raise money for the school. Some of your initial funding might come from committee members who have already supported the venture with their time and expertise. Conduct fundraisers at local churches by making presentations about your vision for the school.

Develop curriculum for the grades and courses you have chosen. Start with general course descriptions and then decide on appropriate textbooks and other resources. You may want to adopt the same curriculum as other Christian schools you visited during your research phase.

Find a location for the school. Decide whether you need a whole building to house the first year of classes or if a partial building with just a couple of rooms will be enough. Your needs will depend on the size of your student body and the number of grades at the school.

Hire teachers and other staff members. Recruit teachers from education programs within Christian colleges that share your organization's most valued theological beliefs. Advertise within churches and Christian employment organizations for teachers and other staff, including administrators, secretaries and janitors.

Advertise the new school to the parents of potential students. Some of the best advertising venues include local churches and any Christian-specific media in your area, such as radio, television, newspapers or social media run by Christian organizations.

About the Author

Brian Gabriel has been a writer and blogger since 2009, contributing to various online publications. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in history from Whitworth University.

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