As the culture becomes darker and darker, Released Time Bible Education becomes more and more important.  We are now reaching out to a generation of children who have no compass for right and wrong and are Biblically illiterate…a generation that is unchurched yet hungers for answers.  Now more than ever our public schools are ripe for harvest as a mission field and Released Time fills that need.

Finn Laursen, Executive Director of large teachers’ association

Released Time Bible Education



Based on a 2002 study of Released Time (RT) conducted by The National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the following conclusions were reached.

  • RT reinforces positive character behavior in students.
  • RT improves academic performance!!
  • RT fosters the involvement of communities and parents in the schools.

This Released Time education website was created by School Ministries, Inc., for educators, parents and students interested in learning more about Released Time. These issues include the history of Released Time, the legality of Released Time, and how different states have introduced laws related to Released Time. This site is designed to be a source of general information on the concept and practice of Released Time which is one of several school related religious efforts endorsed by 35 national organizations in Religion in the Public Schools: A Joint Statement of Current Law. The organizations whose names are on the Drafting Committee and the endorsing organizations of this publication span the ideological, religious and political spectrum. Nonetheless, they share a commitment both to the freedom of religious practice and to the separation of church and state such freedom requires. To access this publication, click here.

Scriptures have been and can be legally taught on a devotional basis at a time set aside during the school day when public school students, with parental permission, leave the school premises to attend religious education classes led by religious or community groups. These classes, known as Released Time programs, are held off school premises, usually in a nearby religious facility.

Since its inception in 1914, millions of students from kindergarten through high school have participated. Currently it is estimated over 250,000 students participate. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Released Time as protected by the Constitution of the United States.

School Ministries, which maintains this site, works to advance Christian Bible education across the country. It helps to create new programs and strengthen existing ones. For more information on School Ministries, please visit



What is the legality of Released Time Bible Education?
State by State Information


State by State Information

What state laws and/or guidelines apply for Released Time Bible Education. Listed by state.


Selected Documents

Indexed relevant to Released Time Bible Education


Released Time History

How long has Released Time Bible Education been around and how did it get started?


Who is School Ministries and how can it help you?