The Ripley Church of Christ located at 112 Jackson Avenue in Ripley is offering a new ministry, Ripley Christian Academy, beginning in the fall of 2019.

RCA is a newly formed, tuition based, private Christian school where families are provided with a superior Christian education for their children while focusing on the Word of God.

Pastor Keenan Goosman, who will also be the principal of the school, is excited to be able to provide a “Bible-based” education opportunity for families in Jackson County.

“It’s really been a God thing,” Goosman said. “It’s been incredible to see God working on this before I even thought about it. A couple years ago we asked the church to pray for a school, a pipe dream really, and through some really cool circumstances, it came up again recently and God has put the puzzle pieces together.”

The Church of Christ currently has a successful preschool program and parents have expressed their wishes on wanting to continue their child’s education at the church with a Christian education program for school age children.

“We believe in Christian education and it took a leap of faith to get the school started,” Goosman said. “Everything seems to be falling into place for us to take our program to this next level.”

Goosman wants students who are attending for the right reasons. He wants children who “want to be here” and not just because they are tired of dealing with the public schools.

“We want families who are looking for a Christian education who want to partner with their students to encourage and help them grow,” Goosman said.

Since RCA is a private school, it is funded through donations and the ministry of the Church of Christ. The tuition collected will solely go toward the teacher’s salaries and instructional costs.

Classes will be broken down into first and second grades, third and fourth, fifth and sixth, and seventh and eighth grades. Goosman is looking to accept around 50 students for the first year. He wants to be able to give them the one-on-one time and attention they deserve to further their learning.

The school will use the Rod and Staff curriculum. It is a curriculum that is Bible woven with

Bible-based textbooks designed to make the child God-conscious. This curriculum not only teaches the Bible but uses illustrations of how Bible principles can be applied in everyday life.

The school day will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 2:45 p.m. with the calendar year starting in August and ending in May.

Goosman said they looked into providing lunch for the students; however, in order to keep tuition costs low for the families in the area, it did not make sense.

“I think some of the reasons why private schools are so expensive is because they have to absorb that food cost, Goosman said. “If you ask me personally if I’d rather pay $10,000 or less than $3,000 and send my children with their own lunch, I would save $7,000 and send a bag lunch.”

Goosman emphasized they will be teaching the regular classes and cursive writing but will also teach the arts. The students will have gym, art, and music classes. As they get in the upper grades they will be taught how to balance a checkbook, what a bank account is, and how a business works.

“We want to provide the students with an education that includes the practical things they will need to succeed in life,” Goosman said. “We want to teach gym, but provide them with the knowledge of why exercise is important for our bodies.”

Goosman is exited to begin this journey. He looks forward to not only growing the ministry, but also seeing the children grow.

“It’s a massive undertaking. I have put my heart and soul into getting this in front of the church to pray about and we have had so many encouraging things happen along the way,” Goosman said. “It has been a real faith booster, God has said Keenan I hear you and I see you, but let me take this. I’m riding the wave and it is just awesome.”

RCA is currently enrolling students in first through eighth grade for the 2019-2020 school year.

For more information on the school or to see about enrolling a student, contact Goosman at 304-786-1234, visit their Facebook page under Ripley Christian Academy, or their web page at ripleychristian.com.