Christian School

A Christian school is a school run on Christian principles or by a Christian organization.

The nature of Christian schools varies enormously from country to country, according to the religious, educational, and political cultures. In some countries, there is an established church whose teachings form an integral part of the state-operated educational system; in others, the state subsidizes religious schools of various denominations.

In the United States, religion is generally not taught by state-funded educational systems, though schools must allow students wanting to study religion to do so as an extracurricular activity, as they would with any other such activity.

Over 4 million students, about 1 child in 12, attend religious schools, most of them Christian.

There is great variety in the educational and religious philosophies of these schools, as might be expected from the large number of religious denominations in the United States. Concerns have been raised that some Christian primary and secondary schools provide little or poor science education due to Christian fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible and belief in creationism.

Roman Catholic
The largest system of Christian education in the United States is operated by the Roman Catholic Church, with 8,500 schools, often called parochial schools enrolling 2.7 million students. Most are administered by individual dioceses and parishes.

The Episcopal Church in the United State of America maintains approximately 1200 schools, of which about 100 have a high school program and which educate about 2% of all students in private schools or 0.22% of the school population in the United States. Although there are relatively few Episcopal schools, many, such as the Groton School in Massachusetts and St Paul's in New Hampshire, and have played a significant role in the development of the American prep school. Episcopal schools are far more likely to be independent, with little outside control, than their Roman Catholic counterparts. Many Episcopal high schools have an annual tuition well in excess of $15,000, slightly higher the average for non-sectarian private schools and far higher than the average for non-Roman Catholic religious schools ($9,537 per annum) and over twice the average for Roman Catholic high schools ($6,046 per annum).

Conservative Protestant
The Ouachita Christian School operates on this campus off U.S. Highway 165 in Monroe, Louisiana.

Many conservative Protestants reserve the term "Christian school" for schools affiliated with conservative Protestant denominations, excluding Catholic schools in particular.

These conservative Protestant Christian schools are privately run, often in conjunction with a church or a denomination. Parents who want their children taught according to the principles of their church, can choose to send their children to such schools, but unless the school is subsidized by their church, or is part of a school choice or education voucher program funded by the government, they must pay tuition. Some American Christian schools are large and well-funded, while others are small and rely on volunteers from the community.

Some Christian schools, especially those sponsored by fundamentalist groups, do not accept government funding and subsidies because they can put their school (and potentially their church) operations under more government scrutiny and legislation, which can lead to the government dictating their school's operation. An example of this would be a requirement to adhere to a state Civil Rights law, in exchange for the subsidy, this would conflict with a Christian school that has mandatory race, ethnic, or religion requirements for admission, or does not allow its students to opt out of attending religious services. Even though a school may accept no government money, it still must adhere to their state education curriculum, student academic performance standards, and state-mandated standardized testing scores (if any). It is also subject to standard inspection by government regulators in the aspect of its in-classroom teaching quality, teacher qualifications. Depending on government regulation, this can go as far as government inspectors sitting in on a class of students with teacher giving the lesson. Overall, not accepting government money, does prevent government management of a Christian school, but does not remove governmental oversight.

The largest Protestant Christian school system in the world is the Seventh-day Adventist educational system. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a total of 6,966 educational institutions operating in over 100 countries around the world with over 1.3 million students worldwide. The North American Division Office of Education (Adventist Education) oversees 1049 schools with 65,000 students in the United States, Canada, and Bermuda.

Another large association of Protestant Christian schools is the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). ACSI serves 5,300 member schools in approximately 100 countries with an enrollment of nearly 1.2 million students.

Another, smaller, association of Protestant Christian schools is Christian Schools International, with approximately 500 schools and 100,000 students.

One movement among Christian schools in the US is the return to the traditional subjects and form of education known as classical education. This growing movement is known as the Classical Christian School movement, represented by the Association of Classical & Christian Schools, with over 230 schools and colleges, and about 34,000 students.

The Eastern Orthodox Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also operate Christian schools throughout the United States.