By Mark Maynard/Kentucky Today
ERLANGER, Ky. (BP) – Answers in Genesis, a creationism apologetics organization that runs the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum, is taking over operations of a local K-9 Christian school in northern Kentucky.
Twelve Stones Christian Academy (TSCA), which is located in Erlanger about 15 minutes from Answers in Genesis headquarters, will be fully under Answers in Genesis umbrella. They have been in partnership with AiG since being founded in 2017.
The school is also partnered with Renewanation, a nonprofit that supports giving children a biblical worldview education. It integrates the Bible in subjects like history and science.
"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," apologist Ken Ham, who leads AiG, said in a statement. "Only a handful of Christian schools operate in Northern Kentucky, and TSCA was launched to provide another Christian education opportunity."
Twelve Stones currently holds classes at Erlanger Baptist Church and has nearly 50 students enrolled for the 2019-2020 school year. When it first opened, the school was at Florence Baptist Church Mt. Zion in Florence.
On its website, the school labels itself as an "outreach" of Answers in Genesis. Renewanation was asked to guide the process of organizing and establishing the school. Meanwhile, the school's steering group was headed by Ham.
When TSCA started, it had kindergarten through seventh-grade students. Answers in Genesis plans to add grades each year until it becomes a K-12 school. It is not yet accredited but is in the process of obtaining certification. They expect to have it by the time the school opens for 12th-grade students in three years.
"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. 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.
The school's name comes from an account in the Bible where Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land by crossing the Jordan River on dry ground. God commanded Joshua to erect a monument of 12 stones as a reminder to the people of the miracle of the crossing and God's provision.
"The account of the 12 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 said.
Twelve Stones Christian Academy is still accepting applications for the next school year. Classes resume Aug. 14.
Mark Maynard is managing editor of Kentucky Today, the news website of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.