Saturday, May 15, 2021

Help Wanted: A Summer Vacation Project for Christian Teachers Who Want to Change the World - by Gary North

If you could become a stay-at-home foreign missionary, would you do it?

If you had an opportunity to teach millions of students in their homes around the world, would you do it?

What if you could create a video-based course, once, and let it do the teaching permanently? Your lessons will be online permanently. I call this “once and for all.”

I am recruiting Christian teachers to participate in a program that has the potential for changing the lives of literally millions of Christian students in Third World countries.

Your course could be viewed in ten years or in a hundred years. That would be a spectacular legacy for you to leave behind: “the gift that keeps on giving.”

Your efforts would help to empower a generation of Christian leaders, and maybe more than one generation. You could help shape the future.

The opportunity exists. The Internet makes this possible.

There is a brief window of opportunity. This window may close at any time. Someone else may climb through this window. The first K–12 Christian curriculum that gets an international market because it is available free of charge will be hard to displace.

If you are a Christian school teacher, either active or retired, consider volunteering. (If you have not taught in a school, but you know someone who has, please forward this page.)


We are living during the era of the most successful evangelism in the history of the church. It is not getting a great deal of publicity, but it is taking place around the world. At the center of this is sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2015, according to the Pew Research Center, only three African countries were included in the top 10 in numbers of Christians in the population: Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia. Together, these nations accounted then for just over 216 million Christians.

By 2060, the Pew Center reported recently, there will be 727 million Christians in Africa, with six nations in the top 10, numerically. They are likely to be (in order of magnitude) Nigeria, Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. (

Most of these people live in poverty. They do not have good schools for their children. There are almost no Christian schools in sub-Saharan Africa, and most of these are not academically oriented schools.

The smartphone is becoming a universal consumer good in sub-Saharan Africa. Google, Facebook, and Amazon are all planning to launch high-altitude transponders that will make available free Internet access to these people. Within a decade, almost every family in Sub-Saharan Africa will be able to access the Internet.

Consider the success of Salman Khan and his Khan Academy. It has an estimated 18 million students watching videos on a free, YouTube-based website. There are 1.5 million students taking courses. It offers apps for younger children. Khan began his program in 2006.

Nobody in the Christian world has imitated Khan. Any large denomination could have created a comprehensive, K–12 program like his. All that the denomination had to do was to go to one of its own K–12 schools, encourage its teachers to create online videos or screencasts of their lectures, and within a year, the denomination could have had a comprehensive alternative to the Khan Academy. Not one of them did it. This was not because of a lack of money. It was because of a lack of vision.

I know that it can be done because I have already done it with the Ron Paul Curriculum. I started it in mid-2013. It has 56 full-year video-based courses on the site. It charges about $500 a year per student, and the course creators get paid a royalty for each student who signs up for a course.


I am proposing a completely free curriculum. To create it, here is what we need. Every teacher designs each of the daily lessons to be half video and half reading. The videos are simple screencasts. A screencast is a narrated outline. Or it may be a narrated graph, formula, or whatever is on the screen. You can see them in action on the Ron Paul Curriculum, which offers the first five lessons of each course for free. You can see how screencasts work here:

For grades 1–3, short lessons work well: about 15 minutes. But they can be longer: under 20 minutes.

If you can teach arithmetic or phonics, you should volunteer.

For grades 4 and up, for a 50-minute class, there should be a 25-minute screencast video. There should also be an online reading assignment that a student can read in 25 minutes. If a student reads at 125 words a minute, that is about 3,000 words or 8–9 pages in a book. Since most people read about 250 words a minute, this is a minimal assignment.

I want teachers who can teach phonics and math with public domain materials. I need the same for science, social studies, and literature.

At some point, probably within three years, the program will be completed. Then it can be converted into a free online curriculum available anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. The same lessons will be used by students all over the world.

I think it will be possible within a decade for every teacher in this program to be instructing at least a million students. This is going to be a perpetual educational program. It may go beyond a million students. The potential market is literally in the hundreds of millions.

There will be no other program comparable to it unless it is imitated by some denomination or some Christian school with a vision. I have waited since 2006 to see any denomination match the Khan Academy, but none has.

Each 25-minute lesson should begin with about a five-minute review of the previous lesson. That is because students forget. Of 180 required lessons per one-year course, only 144 video lessons are required. The other 36 lessons involve neither a reading assignment nor a video. Each student writes an essay for the week. By the end of the 12th grade, each student will have written about 800 essays if he has completed all of the assignments. These students will know how to write.

If you can create two lessons a day, six days a week, you can create a course over the summer.

Then there is next summer.

If you are retired – a permanent vacation – one lesson a day will take you 24 weeks. Two lessons a day will take 12 weeks.


The key to this project is donated time: a foreign missions project. It is a missionary project for stay-at-home missionaries.

I am especially interested in elementary school teachers.

If you have had experience teaching math, science, social studies, history, or literature, grades 1–7, there is a slot for you.

For details on the courses, go here:

There, you will also find out what you need to do to get involved.