What Do Parents Want in a Christian School?

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It's the marketing question every school leader has to ask: How do you attract students by sending the right message about your school to the right audience? To answer that question ACSI commissioned faith-based research firm Barna Group to conduct a comprehensive study this past school year, and the major findings (and implications) will be discussed at your fall district meeting. 

Barna Group's nationwide study included:

  • A nationally representative sample of 400 prospective parents regarding their goals for education, the importance of specific school features, and perceptions of school types.
  • A national sample of 221 homeschool parents who were "open to" private Christian schooling, what they like and dislike about homeschooling, and what alternative forms of school they have considered.
  • 971 current parents from ACSI member schools regarding their goals for education, the importance of specific school features, and perceptions of school types.  
  • A national sample of 456 senior pastors and church leaders regarding their perceptions on the importance of Christian education and their past or future recommendation of Christian schools.

"The findings have significant implications for your school," says Dr. JuLee Mecham, ACSI's director of research, who worked with Barna to draft the questions and interpret the data. "School choice has become such an important factor for parents in this country, and Christian schooling is one of a myriad of choices. Within that climate, we wanted to find out whether Christian schooling is important."

ACSI invested significant time-nearly a year-and resources in this research, knowing that the results would be a great tool for member schools. "We commissioned Barna to conduct this comprehensive study because they are a leader in faith-based research, and they have been doing this kind of research for a long time," says Mecham. 

The 30-year-old research firm has recently released studies on topics ranging from Bible reading in America to voters' perceptions of our country. The group researches faith and culture, leadership and vocation, and generational issues.

At your fall district meeting you'll see some of the survey results and have opportunities to discuss the findings with your colleagues. Find out about the district meeting nearest you by visiting  your regional home page, and plan now to attend!