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about bible in the schools 

Bible History elective classes in the public schools are an opportunity for students to have a viewpoint neutral, foundational study – at no cost to taxpayers – of one of the cornerstone texts of world history, which helps students become culturally literate and better equipped to thrive and contribute to a global world.

  • In Our 97th year - Bible History elective courses have been a gift from the community to public school youth since 1922. Charitable donations to Bible in the schools cover the complete costs of running a Bible History elective course program for middle and high school students in 25 Hamilton County Schools.

  • No Tax DollarsBible History classes are funded in entirety by the generosity of the community through voluntary charitable contributions. Annually, Hamilton County Schools are reimbursed for the complete costs of the program. 

  • Court ApprovedIn 1980, a federal court affirmed that teaching the Bible in public school is constitutionally permissible. The curriculum is court approved and meets legal requirements.

  • 22 Teachers - 22 highly credentialed teachers are selected and hired by school principals. Instructional leadership and administrative oversight of all teachers is conducted by the Hamilton County Department of Education's Bible History Program Coordinator, Dr. Matt Johnson (johnson_matthew@hcde.org).  These 23 individuals bring strong pedagogy to Hamilton County Schools and collectively hold  56  degrees. All are funded by charitable donations to Bible in the Schools.



bible history teachers in hamilton county PUBLIC schools

All Hamilton County Bible History teachers are required to be certified by the State of Tennessee. They are college/university trained educators who also hold a minimum of 12 official college-level Bible content credit hours. All courses are required to be direct studies of books of the Bible.


  • 25 Schools - Bible History is offered to middle and high school students.

NUMBER OF schools offering bible history electives

81% of all Hamilton County public middle and high school students have access to Bible History electives.


  • Over 4,000 Students - 2017-2018 Hamilton County enrollment data reported that 4,068 students took a Bible History class last school year. Past studies suggest that approximately one-half of the young people who elect a Bible History class have had little or no previous exposure to the Bible.

NUMBER OF students taking bible history ELECTIVES

Graph based on Hamilton County public schools' Bible History enrollment data.


  • Measurable Outcomes - County-wide 2017-2018 pre/post test results reflect measurable growth in Bible knowledge.

Pre & Post Test Averages Reflect 95% Increase in Bible Content Knowledge County-Wide

Graph based on cumulative assessment averages for 4,068 students who took a Bible History elective during the 2017-2018 academic school year.


  • Observable Change - Teachers report observable changes in student attitude, behavior, and outlook as a result of taking a Bible History course. 

  • Courses Offered - Courses are academically rigorous, for-credit, and are voluntary electives. Courses offered:
    1. Genesis - 6th Grade
    2. Exodus - 7th Grade
    3. Life of Jesus - 8th Grade (Based on book of Luke)
    4. Old Testament Survey - 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th Grade
    5. New Testament Survey - 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th Grade

  • Bible as Textbook - The textbook used is the Bible.