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How Can you Make your Released Time Program Bulletproof?

What would you say you need to make your program bulletproof?

We encourage you to get a great bodyguard, first — us! Pick up the phone (567.232.0840) or send us an email ( so we can help you every step of the way. 

At this year’s E3 conference, many of you who serve as program administrators or board members heard some practical bulletproofing strategies from five RTBE experts, including School Ministries (SMI) executive director, Ken Breivik; our own executive director, Jenni Miller and School Ministries Ohio volunteer — experienced education attorney Sue Yount, as well as School Ministries Ohio board treasurer, Sara Pahl, and legal counsel, Jessica Moon (read more about Sara and Jessica here). Each person had invaluable insight and experience, as well as recommended templates, to offer your program as you get started or as you observe and follow applicable legal standards and best practices.  

Templates? YES! We said templates.

We exist to help Christians in the process of starting and maintaining growing, thriving and healthy RTBE programs, done well and done right.

School Ministries Ohio friends are highly encouraged to join our national association — School Ministries. There are several benefits, and helping keep your program legal and thriving is key. SMI has several templates and tools, some on its public website, and many more in its private Members’ Zone, to help you achieve this, in addition to the Ohio-specific consulting and counsel we at School Ministries Ohio are here to offer you. 

One of the best tools to help you achieve this is the School Ministries First Steps Pack, available here. If you picked this up at the conference, we’d love to hear from you about your commencement process and how we can come alongside you! The First Steps Pack walks through basic RTBE topics, introduces ways to plan your program, provides legal reassurance, and generally covers the nuts and bolts of RTBE. Consider this as your go-to for your board, volunteers and for walking through the details with potential donors.  

Got insurance? Need a more comprehensive policy tailored to your program’s needs? We’ve got you covered!

At E3, Ken Breivik discussed how important it is to operate legally and well. “Honoring God is not just our work with the students, but how we conduct that work,” he says. “Part of that is making sure your program operates legally. In the panel discussion, we talked a lot about how you can have confidence that your program is operating correctly; we talked about protections like insurance and the major different types, all but one of which members can get through School Ministries. It was exciting for me to be in Ohio.” If you’d like more information, please contact School Ministries directly at, or 803-772-5224. 

Destination: starting a nonprofit. Here’s how we can help you get there.

As a partner and consultant to new and existing programs, we are working on providing more resources to you that are unique to Ohio. For example, we can provide you templates for starting a nonprofit, specifically a 501(c)(3), compiled by our board members, Sara Pahl and Jessica Moon. “Starting a nonprofit is not necessarily an easy task and many people find it overwhelming,” Sara says. “We put together this template as a quick reference for people wanting to start a nonprofit for their released time program. Starting a nonprofit does not need to be difficult and we would like to show that it can be a smooth and relatively simple process.” 

Jessica offers, “Programs may use the templates to design and tailor their programs to fit the needs of their own entity without the need to re-create the foundation of any entity/organization. The templates allow each group the freedom to focus on the more intermediate levels of entity set up rather than spending wasted hours searching for basic filing requirements and or forms.” Interested in reviewing these templates? Please contact Jenni Miller at, or 567.232.0840.

We say don’t reinvent the wheel. We are here for you, to help you go from calling to a compliant, thriving program, sharing God’s love with public school students in your area. We will come to you, free of charge, to help you navigate these early stages of organizing and launching, and we’re happy to share helpful templates. Contact us today. 


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