Hamilton County Schools gets $2.3 million for Bible education from Chattanooga nonprofit

Staff Photo by Olivia Ross / Brown Middle School Bible teacher Brittany Hall speaks at the Bible in the Schools annual luncheon March 27 at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

The Chattanooga nonprofit Bible in the Schools has announced the delivery of nearly $2.3 million to Hamilton County Schools to fund a countywide elective Bible education program.

Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Justin Robertson received the check during a July 27 ceremony at the Hamilton County Schools central office.

The elective Bible program offers students an opportunity to engage with the Bible in an academic setting, the nonprofit said in a news release. The program emphasizes critical thinking skills and encourages students to explore the historical, literary and cultural aspects of the Bible, fostering a deeper understanding of its influence on society, the news release said.

(READ MORE: Hamilton County committee with members of different faiths to review Bible in the Schools curriculum)

The $2.3 million gift will support the continued expansion of the Bible program, ensuring future generations have the opportunity to engage with biblical teachings in an academic and intellectually stimulating environment, the news release said.

Established in 1922, Bible in the Schools describes itself as a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting biblical literacy among students in Hamilton County. The Bible classes follow guidelines established by a 1980 federal court ruling, which affirmed that the teaching of for-credit elective Bible classes in Hamilton County's public middle and high schools is constitutionally permissible, the news release said.

(READ MORE: Hamilton County Schools determines instructor didn't intend to teach 'how to torture a Jew')

The Hamilton County-based program leads the nation with the largest concentration of public school students in any one school district studying the Bible, the news release said. Bible in the Schools fully funds Bible education in 32 public schools. More than 5,700 students completed a Bible course in the 2022-23 academic year in grades six-12.

— Compiled by Andrew Schwartz