A new private Christian academy has opened its doors in Columbia.
The Family Worship Center Academy on Bonne Femme Church Road began classes Monday with the goal of combining an individualized curriculum with a Christian education.
“All education is based on building blocks,” said the Rev. Tom Leuther, pastor and founder of the Family Worship Center Academy. He said the academy’s faculty will ensure each child’s base is strong before moving on and gaps in learning will be reduced.
In 1997, Leuther — along with his wife, Vicki — arrived in Columbia with the mission of establishing a church. Seven years later, the Family Worship Center houses a Christian school funded solely on donations.
“It was part of our vision to set up a Christian school,” Leuther said.
Based on the Accelerated Christian Education Curriculum, the system of learning is highly individualized.
“The educational system followed by the academy is more like a home-school education in a social environment,” Leuther said.
Classes of 15 or fewer children will study math, science, social studies, literature, the Bible and music. The school week lasts from Monday through Thursday, with Friday kept free for additional tutoring and field trips.
“I believe in the vision of the school, where an individualized curriculum is incorporated along with Christian education. They balance each other out,” said Jessica DeMent, a teacher at the academy.
The ACE curriculum aims to integrate biblical principles within the core subjects. For example, music teacher Jeff Huffman intends to work on a curriculum that blends music with worship.
“The curriculum is Christian-based; the school is Christian-based,” Leuther said. “We aren’t going to deviate from that.”
Enrollment at Family Worship Center Academy will continue through the end of August.