Program Summary

Role of the Site Coordinator

Download Description

Acres Homes Research

Download Research

Other Inner City Ministries

Download Contacts

Separation of Church and State

“Public schools and religious institutions have different missions, but they share many of the same civic and moral values … and each is committed to the well-being of children. By working together in ways that are permissible under the First Amendment … schools and religious communities can do much to enhance the mission of public educations.” First Amendment Center, Vanderbilt University

Q: Are churches allowed to serve schools?

A: Yes! In fact, School Districts across Greater Houston intentionally engage faith leaders.

  • Alief
  • Cy-Fair
  • Bend
  • Houston
  • Humble
  • Lamar Consolidated
  • Spring
  • Spring Branch

What a Church Can Do on Campus:

  • Be present!
    A church has as much right to participate on school grounds as any other civic or business entity. As such, it must, by law, confine its work and ministry to non-religious activities during school hours
  • There are NO laws or statutes prohibiting a church to engage with a school
  • With permission, school grounds may be used after school-hours for various optional activities
    There is a balance (or tension) between what is legal and what is permitted. In most cases, the principal has the authority over the school grounds as to participation and activities

What a Church Cannot Do on Campus:

  • Proselytize
  • Initiate conversations on religion
  • Compel or invite children to church directly
  • Tie educational goals and/or activities to participation in church activities

The Gray Areas:

  • Current statutes regulate activity during school hours
    Within reason, and by permission of the principal/school board, other activities can be held, such as Good News Clubs, Young Life, etc. These are to be of a voluntary and optional nature for students.
  • Regulations are for students
    Conversations and activities for teachers and principals are not regulated (except by 1 Peter 3:15!). Be respectful and use discernment.
  • Church programs
    Again, follow the guidelines for permission to publicize and invite students to attend these events. Each school is different.
  • Conversations about faith
    Legally, we cannot initiate conversations about faith. So if a child initiates the conversation, one can legally continue it. But a word of caution is in order: if such a conversation is overheard by the “wrong” person, the initial conversation starter and motive will likely be missed, and the wrong assumptions can be made, with unpleasant consequences.
  1. Postpone the conversation to a more suitable time – possibly including the parents.
  2. Advise principal of the conversation.
  3. Pray for the opportunity to continue the conversation.