Menu Close

How to Start a Non-Chartered Christian School in Ohio

ace pace
From an ACE Pace

Here is what you need to do to start a Christian school in Ohio.

  • Start a church
  • Start a Christian school as a ministry, an extension of the church

That’s it.

I kid you not, that’s it.

No rules, no regulations. No curriculum requirements. No teacher requirements. No notification requirements.

Ohio homeschooling regulations — and they are horrendously weak — are far more extensive than regulations for non-chartered religious schools.

Does this mean all non-chartered Ohio Christian schools are educationally deficient? Of course not, BUT many are.

Many Ohio non-chartered Christian schools are owned and operated by Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) churches. The schools are viewed as an oasis away from the world, a safe haven from the evil influences of humanists, secularists, atheists, socialists, Catholics, Democrats, and Southern Baptists.

By the way, about the first step: start a church? Starting a church is as easy as saying “we are a church” and you are the pastor. According to state and federal law, a church is tax-exempt simply because the church says it’s a church. Many people wrongly assume churches must file for 501(c)(3) status to be tax-exempt. 501(c)3) status is NOT required for tax exemption. It does confer a few extra benefits, such being allowed to send mail as a non-profit, but it is not needed for a church to be tax-exempt.

Now you know all you need to know to start a non-chartered Christian school in Ohio. Remember this the next time you drive by a First Fundamentalist Baptist Church in your community and their indoctrination centers for future generations for Fundamentalist children. Think of the children who are being taught by unqualified, uneducated teachers who believe the Bible is their primary textbook.Should Ohio churches be permitted to have schools? Yes, but surely we can all agree that having no regulations is NOT a good idea; that lack of regulation can and does cause harm to children.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.


  1. Avatar

    That cartoon is just disgusting. Is the teacher saying the child will die young if she doesn’t obey her parents? And why are her parents so “wise” (what does that mean to a child anyway) if they end up being wrong? And then this cartoon child just angelically tells the teacher how wonderful she is. I would have serious concerns if I observed an actual child behaving this way….

  2. Avatar
    John Arthur

    There should to be regulations that all primary and secondary school teachers have a university degree ( teaching for primary teachers, and a university degree for secondary teachers with a major in their specialist discipline (e.g. mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, history, geography etc). and a graduate qualification in education.

    If these unqualified religious nutters use the bible as a scientific textbook, these students will be “crippled” intellectually, if they ever get to do a university degree. In Australia, teachers have to teach according to the curriculum, even in Christian schools and the curriculum is set by the State Governments and the Australian curriculum (years 11 and 12) is fixed, not by any religious authorities. Any parents choosing self schooling still have to abide by the set curriculum, otherwise such students will fail.

  3. Avatar

    unfortunate curriculum. tried it w/my kid and he liked it for a while as it was easy and fast to complete and freed up his day. then he got tired of page after page of repetition. got tired of reading god did it instead of any real explanation. we ditched it and are glad we did. we also laughed at the cartoons and all the stories about giving all your time and money to the preacher or missionaries. it is scary what is being put into young minds. the rapture terror was a special part of my 1970s pentecostal upbringing. took me years to break free. also still working on not immediately judging others based on pentecostal standards. no wonder america cannot seem to progress in a reasonable way.

    • Avatar

      I have issues with private religious schools. I understand that there are some good reasons why some of the school curriculum should be left up to localities, BUT I still feel there should be a way that some basic national guidelines should be followed.

      I attended an unaccredited fundamentalist Christian school that probably viewed itself as an “elite”school. All the faculty were college educated, but I don’t know if all the teachers had teaching degrees. There was an admission exam to get in, but honestly, if someone didn’t do well in it they were just held back a year. There were no lower level classes, and the “high-level” courses weren’t really. We weren’t on the advanced track for math, for example. Of course, our science was based on young earth creationism, our history was European centric and very whitewashed, and an entire period per day was taken up with Bible or chapel. My education wasnt bad, but there were holes and biases in science, history, social science. Thank goodness for secular university and a library card.

      NY and NJ have issues with Orthodox Jewish schools, so it’s not just the evangelicals who are deficient. And let’s not forget the Amish who only go to school through 8th grade….

      • Avatar
        amy b

        “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt.

        I agree completely, we should definitely have some basic national guidelines that ALL schools must be required to follow, including the Amish and Orthodox Jews.

  4. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    I am not frightened by people being allowed some leeway in matters of learning with their own kids and I am not personally happy with my own experience using curriculum as a standard for learning. It is clear that having a wide embrace in interest is attractive but I discovered with my own kids that they tended to deeply obssess with certain matters for a time and them move on for no particular reason I could discern. My daughter despised all-things-math until she became interested in flying. In a very short time, she mastered what was necessary to free her flight learning. My son dove into Minecraft and several other computer directions, so much so that I was worried sometimes and tried to coach him in balancing things (ha ha…). Then, for no reason particular, he moved on and became immersed in music, learning keyboard and violin. He joined the local community orchestra as a teen, became an actor and is now studying history and philosophy at the local university.
    My wife was a school teacher and slowly migrated away from classroom learning to allowing personal interest and direction in education. There is much harm done by religio-nutters who hide their children at home and feed them Bible lies, like the nonsense in the cartoon beginning this entry and there is harm done by schools full of flag-worship and bullshit stories about how wonderful USA is in the world.
    Let the child choose their own learning method. Listen to their interests today, today, today and provide mentors and opportunities to explore. Earn less money and get rich by spending time learning with your child, learning what they want to learn.
    Read the experience of teacher Norm Lee and be guffawed by reading award-winning teacher John Holt’s work.
    Schools are a result of the need to get people into the workplace and that is still partially the case, although here in B.C. Canada, there are more and more opportunities in independent learning being adopted by school boards because more and more kids are leaving to do it anyway.
    No one way in learning is best. Each child is a truly unique, hungry to learn, to live. They do not need to be taught that basic hunger and excitement of life. They need to be free to follow their passions and to be supported and allowed to be.
    But then, how many parents are able to do such a thing? What about single moms and divorced people with kids… We might do best to offer myriad choices, as seems to be happening more and more here in Canada and even moreso in some other countries.
    As for religious home-scrueling, it will continue to be a gulag of abuse for Jesus until a time comes when the punitive ways of life are revealed as harm. Till then, Steven Anderson will whack his kids into submission, terrify and crush them with his angry preacher hatred and maim them perhaps for the whole of their lives. God is not dead. He is an active, tax-free delusion.

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away! If You Are a First Time Commenter, Please Read the Comment Policy Located at the Top of the Page.

Bruce Gerencser