You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Q. Big Picture

Is teaching the Bible during the school day really legal?

A: Yes! The concept of released time religious instruction has been upheld multiple times at the U.S. Supreme Court. Released time guidelines both guard against government establishment of any one religion and allow expression of the right to the “free exercise of religion,” also protected by the First Amendment.

Is LifeWise Academy a political movement?

A: No, LifeWise is not affiliated with or supportive of any particular political party or figure. LifeWise is for all families regardless of political persuasion.

Why should students, even those without a Christian background, learn about the Bible?

A: LifeWise Academy recognizes that the Bible was foundational to the forming of our society. We believe all students, regardless of religious background, can benefit from a greater understanding of such an influential book.

What’s the history of LifeWise?

A: LifeWise Academy was founded in 2018 as a division of Stand For Truth, an event-based nonprofit ministry with a mission to reach public school students. The creation of LifeWise was inspired by a released time program in Van Wert, OH, which boasts a 95% participation rate among public elementary school students. Stand For Truth and the Van Wert released time program teamed up to create LifeWise Academy, launching the first two LifeWise programs in the fall of 2019. LifeWise Academy now serves more than 150 school districts nationwide.

How does LifeWise compare with before and after-school programs?

A: LifeWise is complementary to existing before and after-school programs. The primary distinctive feature of LifeWise is that it operates during the school day, thereby engaging the students who are most unlikely to attend before and after-school programs due to transportation, extracurricular and other issues.

How is LifeWise different from other released time programs?

A: LifeWise offers a structured, “plug-n-play” model which provides communities all the tools to launch and maintain an effective program while limiting administrative duties. The proven model also lends credibility to school administrators, parents, donors and volunteers. Learn about how LifeWise relates to and works with existing released time programs HERE.

Q. Curriculum, Schedule and Classroom

Does LifeWise interfere with classes during the school day?

A: No, while classes are held during the school day, they do not interfere with children’s mandatory courses or extracurricular activities. The class schedule is set by school personnel in consultation with LifeWise representatives. Usually, LifeWise classes are scheduled as part of the “specials” rotation or during times when other elective courses are offered.

What curriculum is taught?

A: The LifeWise curriculum is designed to take students through the entire Bible, beginning in Genesis and ending in Revelation, over the course of five years. Each lesson reviews a Bible passage as well as a “Living LifeWise” character trait. The lessons’ order and activities are flexible and can be modified as the teacher finds necessary. Download a sample of the curriculum here.

How often are LifeWise classes?

A: The length of time and number of days per week students attend LifeWise varies from program to program. Each LifeWise program works with the school it serves to find the best rotation schedule for their situation.

How large are the class sizes?

A: Each LifeWise class differs in size depending on a number of scheduling and enrollment factors. However, the LifeWise adult-to-student ratio policy ensures safe and effective learning in every classroom. 

Does LifeWise have protocols for behavioral issues?

A: LifeWise classrooms prioritize the safety and success of each student. Behavior that compromises either student safety or success is addressed through our redemptive behavior policy. Two adult volunteers aid the teacher in each classroom to assist with any behavioral issues. 

Q. What does LifeWise believe?

LifeWise Academy maintains a high view of the authority of Scripture and we align ourselves with historic, orthodox Christian beliefs as expressed in the Nicene Creed. We believe the storyline of Scripture that climaxes in the central gospel message, that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead. We believe this gospel is true and essential and announces the way by which sinners are reconciled to God.

See our full Statement of Faith

Q. Personnel

Who leads a local program?

A: A local Steering Committee first coordinates program details with school officials and then identifies a local Program Director and Board to lead the program long-term using resources and coaching from the LifeWise Support Center.

Who teaches the classes?

A: Local LifeWise leaders recruit and hire qualified teachers using the resources and coaching from the LifeWise Support Center.

What are the volunteer needs?

A: Volunteers are needed to walk the students to and from the school and assist in the classroom and help as needed.

Q. Church and Community

How do churches with differing beliefs and practices partner together to provide LifeWise to local students?

A: The LifeWise Statement of Faith, Philosophy of Ministry and Team Member Conduct are designed to focus on the core tenets of the Christian faith, particularly the gospel. A special effort is made to avoid teaching an official position on secondary issues.

Has there been local opposition to LifeWise?

A: The very rare and minimal opposition we’ve seen has been based on misconceptions, misunderstanding and false information regarding the legality of released time and LifeWise. The most effective strategy in dealing with local opposition is to direct people to and encourage them to explore the site and watch the video.

Should my church partner with and support a LifeWise Program in my community even if we differ from LifeWise slightly in our doctrine?

A. Yes, we welcome and encourage the support of churches from a variety of denominations. LifeWise does not delve into the finer points of doctrine with students. The curriculum focuses on the most basic and central concepts of Scripture, particularly the gospel. Additionally, the “what we believe” and “what we teach” sections of the LifeWise Statement of Faith are intentionally separated so that those who may have slightly different beliefs can still feel comfortable volunteering, knowing that we hold the same orthodox Christian beliefs.

Another released time program is already operating in my community, can I start a LifeWise?

A: Please connect with the leaders of the released time program in your area. If the program is Bible-based, gospel-centered and has plans to effectively reach all school buildings and grades in your district, you should cheer them on and get involved with their efforts!  If the local program doesn’t meet those criteria, you can follow our standard 10-step launch process to pursue starting a LifeWise to complement existing local efforts. Learn more about how LifeWise relates to and works with existing released time programs HERE.

Q. Operations

How can a parent elect to enroll their child in LifeWise?

A: Parents complete a LifeWise permission slip that is registered with the school office before their child may attend.

What happens if a parent wants to remove their child from LifeWise?

A: LifeWise is completely voluntary, and parents have the right to withdraw their child at any time for any reason.

How do students get to the off-site location?

A: Students either walk under the supervision of volunteer chaperones or be driven by bus or van to the off-site location.

How do you start a local LifeWise?

A: Communities collaborate with LifeWise staff on a 10-step launch process. Learn more about the process here.

What are the options for LifeWise classroom facilities?

A: A variety of solutions have been used for LifeWise facilities. Four primary types of released time facilities:

  1. Existing Space – Rental or donated use of a church or other business

  2. Renovation – Purchase existing property, like a home, and remodel as necessary

  3. New Build – Construction using a LifeWise model design or unique local design

  4. Modular – Using a LifeWise semi-permanent modular building or unique local design


If a local facility is built or renovated, who owns it?

A: Local real estate is always owned locally. If necessary, the LifeWise Support Center can help a local program with the process of creating a local nonprofit for the purposes of owning real estate.

Who assumes liability for students during LifeWise?

A: LifeWise assumes liability for students the moment they exit the school. LifeWise carries liability insurance and enforces extensive safety and security protocols.

Does each LifeWise Academy need its own insurance policy?

A: No, each local program is covered under the LifeWise, Inc. insurance policy paid for by the LifeWise Support Center.

NOTE: The cost of the following coverage for all local programs is paid by the LifeWise Support Center: Directors and Officers, Religious Freedom, Sexual Acts, Employment Practices, Property, Media Fallout, Medical Coverage, Income and Extra Expense and Donations. Building and Personal Property coverage, if applicable, is managed by the LifeWise Support Center, but the cost is passed along to the local program.

Are background checks performed on all volunteers and teachers?

A: Yes, all local leaders, teachers and volunteers are required to complete a background screening to ensure the safety of the students and the program. Child safety video training is also provided.

Does each local LifeWise need to file for 501c3 tax exempt status?

A: No, each local program has 501c3 tax exempt status under the LifeWise umbrella.

Does each local program need its own name?

A: No, each program uses the name “LifeWise Academy” with a school district or geographical surname, whichever is most appropriate (e.g., “LifeWise River View”).

Q. Finances

How much does it cost to operate a local program?

A: The cost varies from location to location. Some of the most significant costs include:

  1. Director/Teacher(s) – Local programs are encouraged, though not required, to hire a part-time paid Director and paid Teachers.

  2. Facility/Transportation – These costs can vary greatly depending on whether a facility is donated, rented, purchased or built, and whether transportation to the off-site location is required.

  3. Membership Fee – Curriculum, technological systems, liability insurance, background screenings, training, coaching, donation systems and receipting, etc. based on the number of students enrolled.

  4. Miscellaneous – Classroom supplies; printing and postage for promotional materials, permission slips, thank-you notes, initial launch and training fees ($3,000), endowment contributions, etc.

NOTE: Our numbers indicate a program can operate within the cost range of $200-$400 per student per year depending mainly on local decisions regarding paid staff, facility and transportation.

How is LifeWise funded?

A: Each LifeWise program is funded by private donations through local fundraising efforts. There is no cost to schools or participating families.

How are the donations raised to support the program?

A: The LifeWise Support Center provides proven strategies, training and materials to local LifeWise leaders to effectively raise the necessary funds.

How do local programs receive donations?

A: Local programs can receive donations via check or online through their dedicated donation page at

If a community raises funds to launch a local program and then decides not to proceed, what happens with the donations?

A: The donations will remain earmarked for the local area for one year from the date the launch is officially put on hold. If no additional donations for the local area are made after the one-year mark, funds raised will be redirected to the national launch fund. Additional donations will extend the one-year hold from the date of deposit.

Q. Where can I learn more?

  1. Check out our videos page.
  2. Read the During School Hours Book.
Still have questions? Want to go even deeper?

During School Hours is the perfect book for you!

Read all about the WHY and HOW LifeWise Academy is reinstalling religious education into the public school day.

LifeWise Academy | PO Box 1179 Hilliard, OH 43026 | Copyright 2024