Released Time Bible Education
The Released Time program originated in 1914 under the leadership of Dr. William Wirt, superintendent of Gary, Indiana schools. In 1952 the US Supreme Court upheld Released Time as being constitutional in all 50 states. Nationally, over 250,000 students attend Released Time classes in 32 states. National Bible Education Released Time link.
In 1954, The Greater Saint Paul Area Evangelicals, currently know as Crossroads Ministries, began Released Time classes in Saint Paul. By Minnesota Statute 120A.22(12) schools are required to release children for religious education if the parents request so.
Our mission is to:
- To reinforce Biblical values of honesty, caring, and respect
- To strengthen young believers in our schools
- To reach unchurched children with the Good News of Jesus Christ
In a typical year, approximately 50% of the children enrolled in Released Time do not attend church on a regular basis. Weekly lessons are designed to take children on a chronological overview of the Old and New Testaments emphasizing Jesus Christ as Savior. Most programs include a time of singing, prayer and Bible memory as well.
There are 30 volunteers working with the children as teachers, coordinators, helpers and bus/van drivers. These volunteers come from a variety of churches in the greater Saint Paul area.
Not many years ago the problems that teachers faced in the classroom were students' chewing gum, running in the halls and talking in class. Today the classroom has many troubled children who meet their legitimate needs in illegitimate and destructive ways.
The benefits of students attending Released Time are:
It gives students a value system through which to evaluate the challenges they face.
It demonstrates to students that there are moral absolutes that will bring fulfillment in life.
It allows students to develop new and positive peer groups.
Our desire is to complement the work of the school by nurturing the spiritual component of a student's life, thus ministering to the whole person. Released Time supports the academic goals of the school by helping students read texts from the Bible, and doing weekly worksheets.