Christian School Options

In this article, Edward reviews strengths and concerns with several models of Christian schooling. What other considerations would you add?

1) Church Schools

This is when a single church or a collection of churches with a like Christian faith come together to create a school to teach the children of church members. These schools are non-profit and are supported through the church.


The doctrines and values are governed by the church, and so are reliable if the church is firmly established in the word. These schools should have students with solid upbringings if the church is solid and parents are raising their children well.


These schools might be financially costly for a church to maintain if operating on their own.

A school established by a collection of churches might see disagreements in some aspects of operating the school or funding of the school.

2) Mission Schools

This is when a school is established with the backing of a church or Christian organization for the purpose of spreading the gospel. These schools have a foundational group of students that come from solid Christian homes and also a proportion of non-Christian students. The hope of these schools is that the solid Christian curriculum, Christian teacher mentors, and Christian students will make a positive impact on non-Christian students and influence them to become followers of Christ. This school would collect school fees from students, but might also be subsidized through a church or Christian organization. Mission schools are non-profit and often become financially self-sustaining over time.


This model often provides a very effective way to spread the gospel to non-Christians and is especially effective in foreign countries.

The non-Christians are helping to pay for the costs of the school.


The non-Christian students may potentially influence children in a negative way.

The percentage of Christian to non-Christian schools might limit the effectiveness of this type of school. For example if only 10% of students were Christian and 90% atheist, then peer pressure might mitigate the positive influence of solid Christian curriculum and Christian teacher mentors.

Non-Christian parents might steer the school away from its mission if the school leader becomes too enticed with profit instead of mission.

3) Homeschool

This is often a good option for parents because parents can very carefully control the curriculum and instruction, can focus on character development, and develop family relationships further. Homeschooling requires that one parent stay at home and teach, which requires a significant commitment.


Children are usually able to get a personalized curriculum, which is geared towards their academic level and interests.

Students do not need to rush and can slow down on days when the content needs extra attention and also speed up on days when the content is easy for them.

Character development is given significant attention in addition to academic development.

Students who are homeschooled are typically more advanced academically and better established in the skills of self-management.

Families can take field trips as often as they want, which allows for excellent learning experiences.

Siblings develop stronger bonds in homeschool.

There are no outside negative influences.

Helps parents to develop patience and perseverance.


Finding personalized curriculum, prepping lessons, and teaching takes time and commitment.

4) Private For-Profit Christian Schools:

These schools are owned by an individual or group and their primary goal is profit with a secondary goal of promoting Christianity. These schools make use of a Christian curriculum and hire Christian teachers to teach students. These schools usually open in areas where there are no church schools or mission schools in the hopes of better marketability. Since these schools are for-profit their fees are significant; however many parents are happy to pay such fees if the quality of instruction is good. For-profit schools that are well establish often have nice facilities and equipment.


These schools might promote an authentic Christian faith and have strong academics, which attract non-Christians and thus spread the gospel.

The non-Christians are helping to pay for the costs of the school.

The facilities, materials and equipment would typically be of higher quality than Church Schools and homeschools.


Profit is always the first priority: These schools are marketed to both Christians and non-Christians and might focus on academics and include sports programs in order to maximize non-Christian enrollment; a solid foundation in the Bible, character development, and godliness might be given less attention.

Facilities, materials, and equipment might not be provided or of good quality if the owner thinks this will not negatively impact enrollment.

In order to maximize profits some for-profit schools pay teachers a low salary and thus get lower quality teachers.


*Please note: These are generalizations. Each school is different in its mission and effectiveness, but hopefully this overview helps to explain the general differences.

For more resources visit Edward’s site.


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