"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And the fear of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10 NKJV)
From the arrival of the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock and on into the first century of our nation's history there was a common conviction that the spiritual training and education of our children was essential in every respect: it would invite God's blessing upon the United States, it would insure that children would master the elements of a good academic education, and it would promote a spirit of gratitude to God for our prosperity, preservation and protection. Furthermore it would facilitate order, discipline and respect for authority. So, for the first one hundred years of our country's existence Bibles were familiar textbooks in our nation's classrooms. The God of the Bible was spoken of with respect and reverence. Children were taught to value a relationship with Jesus Christ and they were taught the fear of the Lord.
What a contrast we see today in our public schools. Spiritual training and instruction have been removed and one could easily argue that with its removal has come the disappearance of those blessings that flow from a learning atmosphere where the fear of the Lord is instilled and the God of the Bible is reverenced. Many parents of public school children wish it were not so that their children have no exposure to spiritual principles during the school day. They would like some mention of the belief that there are certain absolute standards of behavior given by a loving creator Who desires our acceptance and trust.
How could a child in a public school ever hear and be taught such things during the public school day? Answer: Through a Released Time Education program! These programs have been called the 'best kept secret' in the public school arena: a non-taxpayer supported voluntary program where public school children can be enrolled to learn and study the Bible in an atmosphere where God is reverenced and respected. There are Released Time programs teaching the Bible to public school children all over the United States.This website is dedicated to helping both those who are just learning about the concept of Released Time Education as well as those who are currently involved in a program that utilizes the Released Time Laws. This website includes everything from the history of Released Time, the legality of Released Time, regional and state legislation pertaining to Released Time programs and helpful ideas for current programs. Pray with us that these programs continue to spring up in school districts across the nation. With God's help and blessing a new generation of public school children can know the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of the Holy One. For the Children in our public schools, John Atkinson
President, The Fellowship of Christian Released Time Ministries