Schools Should Not Be State Certified!

1.�� Biblically,
the state (whether federal or local) has no jurisdiction[1]
over education
. Thus to seek state certification of Christian schools (or
home schools) is to forsake the Biblical controls over the legitimate role
of the
state — and that without divine authorization, and to expand
the state’s jurisdiction — a most dangerous practice in light of the tyranny
often practiced by the state throughout human history.

2.�� When
Christian schools that are under the authority of a church become state
certified, they are declaring that Caesar is lord over the Church, since
it is always the greater authority who certifies the lesser![2]

3.�� Biblically,
the ministry of “teacher” is normally a function of priesthood or
spiritual leadership, whether a father in his family, or a pastor-teacher in
the church (or a priest or Levite in the Old Testament church). The state is
to have no priestly role

4.�� State
certification of Christian schools (whether church schools, para-church
schools, or home schools) causes state intrusion into the Church and
, thereby violating the Biblical separation of Church and state and the
separation of family and state. For the state to dictate what must be taught
(e.g., sex education, etc.), who is qualified and permitted to teach (e.g.,
only state-certified teachers), what is an acceptable library, etc. is patently

5.�� [Note:
A Christian school acts under the authority of, and in place of, the parents. “Schools
exist to meet the needs that parents have to educate their children. Parents,
not civil rulers, are responsible for the education of their children.

Therefore, parents should not have to get permission from the state to educate
their children. The state has no more right to curb the freedom of the parents
than it has to curb the freedom of the church in this matter. There should be separation
of family and state
, just as there is separation of church and state. This
means also the separation of school and state, for the school is the
agent of the family.”[3]
Thus there is no reason why the state should license any schools.]

6.�� State
accreditation always involves state control
.[4] Not only is
this government intrusion, but governmental bureaucracy always produces
excessive regulations and red tape — wasting the school’s time and money.

7.�� To
gain state certification, the Christian school must bow to excessive (and
increasing and ever-changing) regulations of the State Board of Education
which is one of the agencies that most hates and most seeks to destroy
Christian education. For the Christian school (which supposedly seeks to
counter the anti-Christian worldview propagated by statist education) to seek
permission to exist, and even to seek approval from the very agency that
pursues her destruction, is both irrational and suicidal!

8.�� State
certification wrongly assumes that teacher certification guarantees
qualified and quality teachers
. After examining the empirical evidence,
Michigan’s State Supreme Court concluded that there is no correlation between
teacher certification and quality teaching! More to the point for Christians,
one cannot become a state-certified teacher without becoming indoctrinated in
humanism. (It is highly questionable whether 19-22 year-olds have the necessary
theological, Biblical, apologetical, and exegetical skills and knowledge to
properly recognize and refute the humanistic doctrines taught in each of their
various college courses. Whether these courses were taken at a secular
university or a “Christian” university often makes little difference.
This lack of theological background has become all the more a problem since, as
has recently been well-documented, evangelical churches have, by and large,
forsaken the teaching of doctrine.)

9.�� State
certification precludes many fine Christians who are experts in their fields
(e.g., computers, auto mechanics, etc.) from teaching. Some of these
professionals would even be willing to donate their time to teach mini-courses.
Those who own their own business would probably even be willing to apprentice interested
and motivated high school kids.

10. State
certification wastes Christians’ money by making Christian education
(especially for high school) much more expensive than would otherwise be
the case. This is bad stewardship of God-given resources. It also precludes
many families from being able to afford Christian education — so they send
their children to statist schools to become indoctrinated in the religion of

11. State
certification usually precludes corporal punishment for disobedient children.

12. State
certification is unnecessary for the graduates of a Christian school to be
admitted into college.

� 1996 Robert E.

Lord of the Nations, LLC����



The word “jurisdiction” “comes from the Latin words, jus,
law, and dico, say. The one who has jurisdiction is the one who declares
the law, whose word is the binding, authoritative word for that area or sphere
of life and thought. Jurisdiction is an essentially religious fact: it tells us
who is the god over a particular sphere or area; it reveals to us who declares
the law for that domain. In other words, it shows us who is lord” (Rousas
John Rushdoony, “Jurisdiction: By Christ Or By Caesar?” Chalcedon
Position Paper # 7 [September 1979]; reprinted in The Roots of
[Vallecito, CA: Ross House, 1991], p. 29; reprinted in Mark
R. Rushdoony, ed., An Informed Faith: The Position Papers of R.J. Rushdoony,
3 vols. [Vallecito, CA: Chalcedon/Ross House, 2017], 2:623).

Constitutional attorney and president of the Rutherford Institute, John
Whitehead, correctly states, “The three terms�license, accreditation and
certification�most commonly associated with state regulation of Christian
schools�are jurisdictional terms. The word accreditation comes from the
Latin word credo which means �I believe.� Certification comes
from a Latin word meaning �certain.� And license is the Latin word licere
which means �to be permitted.� All three terms have religious overtones. They
imply a verification, a declaring that a certain thing is true. Further, they
imply the permission to exist, issued by the religious lord of those who seek
approval. For Christians to seek these things from the state would seem to
imply that the state is lord, not Christ.�There is no example in the New
Testament of Christians submitting to licensure of the church or any ministry
of the church” (John W. Whitehead, The New Tyranny [n.p., 1982], p.
47). (Whitehead credits this material to R.J. Rushdoony, “Accreditation
and Certification,” Chalcedon Position Paper # 5 [July 1979]; Rushdoony�s
article is reprinted in The Roots of Reconstruction, pp. 19�24, and in
Mark R. Rushdoony, ed., An Informed Faith: The Position Papers of R.J.
, 2:337�341.)

In point of fact, the early church was persecuted precisely
because it refused to become licensed by the Roman government. School
administrator and former politician Robert L. Thoburn concurs, “When a
school is accredited, the school is putting its faith in a higher institution
which grants the school legitimacy. When the school is accredited by the
state, the school is putting its faith in the state and being accepted by the
(The Child Trap [Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1986], p. 96;
available at

Robert L. Thoburn, The Child Trap, pp. 95f.

It would be instructive for the board of any state-certified Christian school
to list all of the ways the school�s curriculum, educational philosophy, hiring
of teachers and administrators, etc. have been influenced by the school�s state
certification. How many board decisions have similarly been influenced?


Published On: September 26th, 2022 / Categories: Education / Tags: /