For those wondering how to become a high school Bible teacher in a traditional Christian school here’s what I know about that topic.
While requirements may vary depending on the school, in general you don’t need a degree in Bible, but you will probably need an undergraduate degree with a few undergraduate Bible courses under your belt. I say that because many Christian schools are accredited—or in the accreditation process—with the Association of Christian School International. ACSI-affiliated schools often require their teachers to be certified with ACSI. The requirements for ACSI Bible specialist certification include:
- an undergraduate degree
- a minimum of 24-semester hours in biblical studies
- agreement with ACSI’s statement of faith.
With a master’s degree, 40 semester hours in biblical studies, and five years teaching experience you can apply for a lifetime certification. (For more detail see the ACSI list of requirements here.) If, however, you don’t have ACSI certification, don’t despair. Many ASCI schools will hire teachers without ACSI certification as long as the teachers pursue that certification while they’re teaching.
Finding Job Openings
After getting the degree and courses under your belt, you need to find the job openings. Unfortunately, compared to other teaching positions, the number of high school Bible teacher positions posted each year is relatively low. After all, how many high school Bible teachers does a school need? Small schools—and many Christian schools are small—only need one. In addition, many Christian schools are especially careful about who they hire to teach their Bible courses.
But every year there are openings for high school Bible teachers. The earlier you start looking in the school year the better your chances of landing a job. Probably the best way to learn about a job opening is by word of mouth so remember to network. Also make sure to check the online job postings. (Since online job lists are not always up-to-date, contact the school directly to confirm the opening.)
ACSI, ACCS, MissionTeach, NICS
The ACSI site includes an extensive list of job openings. Though much smaller, Christian School International is another association of Christian schools that maintains a jobs database. If you would like to teach in a classical Christian school check the website of the Association of Classical & Christian Schools. (Search for locations using the links on the left side of the page.) As far as I know, most classical Christian schools do not have sole Bible teacher positions so you will probably need to be able to teach something related to the humanities as well.
If you’re interested in teaching high school Bible overseas, register with Mission:Teach then go to their Opportunities section. Also visit the jobs posted on the Network of International Christian Schools site. Many overseas schools require partial or full support-raising, but there are paid positions as well. If you’re looking for fully paid positions overseas, pay special attention to openings in Korea or Hong Kong.
If you have experience in the field, I recommend applying to teacher agencies. (Yes, you will need to apply and be accepted.) I don’t have statistics to prove this, but from my experience applicants who use agencies have a higher chance of being interviewed and getting a job. Of course, for Bible teacher positions, you will need to apply to teacher agencies that focus on independent and private schools such as Southern Teachers Agency. (If anyone knows of other relevant teacher agencies for Bible teachers, please add them to the comments section below.)
Landing the Job
The last step to becoming a high school Bible teacher is landing the job. I only know a little about this one but here goes: send in everything requested promptly; make personal contact with the school—perhaps a phone call or even a visit; if you know someone at the school let him or her know that you’re applying; finally be prepared and positive in the interview.
All the best in becoming a high school Bible teacher!
[This post is part of my Guide for High School Bible Teachers.]