Answers in Genesis, a Young Earth creationism apologetics organization that owns and operates the Ark Encounter tourist attraction and Creation Museum, is taking over control of a local K-9 Christian school in northern Kentucky.
The organization, led by prominent apologist Ken Ham, announced Monday that it will now operate the nondenominational Twelve Stones Christian Academy located in the town of Erlanger, about 15 minutes from the organization’s headquarters.
The school was founded in 2017 in partnership with Answers in Genesis and Renewanation, a nonprofit devoted to supporting efforts to provide children with a biblical worldview education.
The school integrates a “biblical worldview” in its curriculum for subjects such as history and science.
The school complements the goal of Answers in Genesis to equip people with “solid apologetics answers from the Bible in a questioning world,” the organization said.
“As a former teacher in Australia, I’m thrilled to help grow Twelve Stones, now that it’s under the umbrella of Answers in Genesis,” Ham said in a statement. “Only a handful of Christian schools operate in Northern Kentucky, and TSCA was launched to provide another Christian education opportunity.”
The school’s name refers to the biblical account where Joshua led the Israelites to the Promised Land by crossing the Jordan River on dry ground. In that account, God told Joshua to build a monument of 12 stones as a reminder of the miraculous provision.
“The account of the twelve stones is often used by Christians today as a reminder to train the next generation about the faithfulness of God and the relevance of his Word in the culture,” Ham stated.
TSCA currently holds its classes at Erlanger Baptist Church and has almost 50 students enrolled for the 2019-2020 school year. When it first opened, the school was housed at Florence Baptist Church Mt. Zion in Florence.
On its website, the school labels itself as an “outreach” of Answers in Genesis.
“We are in an age where Christianity is under attack and secularism (e.g., big bang, millions of years, evolution, atheism, moral relativism) is dominant in our culture,” the school’s website reads.
“Sadly, many young people are leaving the church because they are influenced by secular humanism in schools, media, museums, peers, and even some church leaders! Statistics reveal that about two out of every three kids in church homes are walking away from the faith as young as middle school and high school age and very few returning. By and large, a child has developed their worldview by the age of 13.”
When TSCA was launched, it accommodated kindergarten through seventh-grade students. Answers in Genesis plans to add grades each year until it becomes a K-12 school.
The school is not yet accredited but the process of obtaining accreditation is underway and expected to be completed by the time school opens for 12th-grade students.
“This is a ‘discipleship school,’ one that strives for high academic standards, presents a biblical worldview in all subject areas, and uses textbooks from Christian publishers,” Ham said. “The students also have the unique opportunity to receive teaching from the science and education experts at AiG. Several of our AiG staff hold doctorate degrees in science and education from prominent universities.”
Each student will receive annual passes for them and their family to visit the Ark Encounter, an attraction that serves as a representation of Noah’s Ark, as well as the Creation Museum, which Answers in Genesis opened in 2007. Both facilities are within a 30-minute drive of the school.
Students will also get access to the Creation Museum’s science lab, planetarium and telescopes.
TSCA was founded after a “group of parents at Answers in Genesis identified an urgent need for a solid, biblical worldview Christian school” in the area, according to Renewanation.
Renewanation was asked to guide the process of organizing and establishing the school. Meanwhile, the school’s steering group was headed by Ham.
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, the school board, which also includes Answers in Genesis employees, approached Answers in Genesis about it becoming the full operator of the school.
The newspaper reports that no major changes are anticipated at the school as a result of the operator change. Additionally, teachers and administrators will keep their positions.