The History of NAUMS, Inc.

In 1992, a group of Christian parents felt caught between two of their deepest passions…

On one hand, they yearned to meet the spiritual needs of their sons and daughters. On the other, they aspired to provide for their children’s academic development. The older their children grew, the more dismayed these parents became because the requirements of one passion inherently worked against the practical outworking of the other.

To train their children spiritually, the parents needed consistent and meaningful time with them. To provide for their children academically, they needed a good school. The children’s attendance in school, however, drastically reduced their family time together, while it dramatically increased the students’ exposure to negative competing influences. These influences stood in direct conflict with the very values the parents were so passionate to impart.

The parents knew that there must be a way to bring the twin passions together as partners instead of adversaries—a way that would blend into one balanced system the best attributes of home with the best attributes of the traditional Christian classroom.

The result of their prayers and efforts is what we know today as the University-Model® (UM), a new paradigm in Christian K-12 education and discipleship. The first school, Grace Preparatory Academy (GPA) in Arlington, Texas, opened in 1993. Almost immediately, parents saw positive results in student academic achievement and character development. Both were the direct result of the model’s systematic and mandatory partnership with parents.

Word of mouth about the model’s logic and effectiveness spread rapidly. By 2002, eleven more schools had opened under the tutelage of Grace Preparatory Academy. Remarkably, these were in various parts of the country—Georgia, California, Ohio, and elsewhere. That same year, the GPA board organized the National Association of University-Model® Schools (NAUMS, Inc.) to provide continuing support for those existing schools and to promote the development of new University-Model® schools. In 2005, NAUMS, Inc. was formally and separately established to serve as the permanent centerpiece of the University-Model® Christian discipleship movement. By 2013, NAUMS, Inc. had grown to seventy-one schools in nineteen states, including one in mainland China. By 2016, the number of schools expanded beyond eighty. In 2017, the NAUMS, Inc. school association University-Model® Schools International (UMSI) was established, dedicated to the mission to “build dynamic University-Model® school communities worldwide.”

Today, the ongoing growth of the University-Model® movement is best summarized with two phrases that capture the essence of innumerable testimonies and experiences shared all over the United States. This remarkable growth has occurred because of word of mouth and the call of God.