While parents hold the primary responsibility in discipling their children, the church is called to encourage and to assist. The Covenant Plan ties together these three institutions – parent, church, and school – creating a sturdy three-legged stool that supports the spiritual nurture of our children.

The Congregation’s Vision

Our church’s vision is to be God’s source of Shining Light and Living Water, by drawing people to know Jesus, to become like Jesus and to serve as Jesus. Understanding who He is and how He lived helps us consider how the truths of the Bible can impact our lives. The Christian school can play a vital role in helping our children realize those truths, which, in turn, helps them have a far-reaching, long-term impact in His world.

“The CRC as a covenantal community is committed to Christian schools as the social agent that can make Christian education effective in the totality of life.”

- CRC Denominational position statement on Christian Education

What is the Covenant Plan?

The Covenant Plan is a ministry established to help any active Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church family who is so led to send their child to an approved Christian day school. As a congregation, we are convinced of the value of Christian education in passing on our faith from generation to generation and to influencing our culture for Christ.

Therefore, all members have covenanted together to give sacrificially so that all of our children have the opportunity to receive a Christian education. Parents of students and all Elmhurst CRC members contribute to the Covenant Plan through their giving to the Elmhurst Ministries Fund (EMF). All are asked to give as God has blessed them.

Supporting the Covenant Plan is a lifelong commitment. For many families, expenses increase quickly when children reach school age. Oftentimes, significant income growth occurs later in life, when expenses decline. If all members contribute as God has blessed them, then parents who are so led will have access to a Christian day school education for their children.

What it is not…

The Covenant Plan is not a discounted tuition rate nor is it an accounting mechanism to avoid income taxes. Members with or without children in school are called to contribute to the EMF as generously as they can. Our common goal is to assist those who desire, but cannot fully afford, Christian education for their children.

Using the Plan

Elmhurst CRC members contribute to the Covenant Plan through the EMF, which supports all church ministries, including Christian education, youth programs, outreach, denominational ministry shares, staff compensation, and building costs. God calls us to be generous givers. When we became members of Elmhurst CRC, we agreed to give joyfully toward these ministries and programs as God has blessed us.

We encourage all members to prayerfully consider what God has called them to give to the ministries of the church, including the education of our covenant children. Some will be able to contribute no more than the cost of education for their own children. Some will not even be able to give that. However, if other parents, whose children have graduated, contribute at a rate equivalent to having their children in school, that generous giving would be a blessing to parents who currently cannot support the full cost of Christian education.

Some Questions...

Could our church’s participation in this Covenant Plan affect my lifestyle?

It might. For this plan to be sustainable, all ECRC members must be good stewards of God’s resources. Participants should be aware that this Covenant Plan was not instituted to enable them to sustain a more comfortable lifestyle or to make poor stewardship decisions. It was instituted to help those who truly do not have the means to fully afford a Christian education for their children. As Christians and members of ECRC, we should analyze our stewardship closely and remember we belong to a church that has a long history of sacrificial giving on behalf of our children and their education.

Is Elmhurst CRC committed to supporting Christian Education?

Yes. Our denomination and church have a long history of supporting Christian education. We will continue to evaluate the best way to support our families who are led to send their children to Christian day schools.

Is there any way for a member to lose this privilege?

Yes. The Covenant Plan is for active members of Elmhurst CRC. Our first concern is for the spiritual health of our members, not where our children go to school. The Holy Spirit helps us on the road to sanctification, but we have responsibilities in that process as well. We must submit to the Lordship of Jesus in all things.

Our elders have defined active members as those who are engaged in the process of becoming more like Jesus through prayer, Bible study, fellowship, serving, worship, outreach, and giving. It is the elders who determine whether we are meeting our church’s criteria. If it is determined that a member is inactive, that person will lose membership privileges, including the right to vote, the opportunity to serve in a leadership position, and the ability to participate in the Covenant Plan until his or her active status has been restored.

Why send our child(ren) to a Christian school?

We send our children to a Christian school because they are God’s children. As Christians, we are called to be God’s source of shining light and living water. The Christian school partners with parents and churches as we teach and prepare our children to be that shining light and living water. We do not send our children to a Christian school because many people in our church do. We do not send our children to a Christian school to shelter them from the world. Rather, we want to prepare them to go out into God’s world and take up their places of service to God and to our neighbors.

Must we send our child(ren) to a Christian school?

No ... where we send our children to school is a parental decision. Though we share the same goals, some parents choose to engage in their community by supporting their local schools or they feel God’s call to be a light in the public school system. These are deeply personal decisions that we want to honor as a church. The Covenant Plan is available for those who desire the help of a Christian school to keep our covenant promises to God made at the baptism of our children.

How do I participate?

Check the Covenant Education Plan Description sheet for participation steps and additional FAQs.

When the process has been completed and families have been reviewed for active membership, they will be notified and their names will be added to a list sent from Elmhurst CRC to the school stating that the church will be responsible for a portion of their children’s tuition. Families who are unable to meet their percentage obligation should apply for financial assistance through the approved Christian school and allow their financial information to be forwarded to Elmhurst CRC for consideration of additional assistance if needed.

Currently, Timothy Christian, Elim, and Chicago Southwest Christian are approved schools under this covenant plan.


  • Review the Program Overview Materials
  • Enroll/Re-enroll in Timothy Christian’s SmartTuition/Blackbaud Tuition Management
  • Download and complete the Financial Excel Worksheet, then email the file along with your income verification (if applicable) to [email protected]
  • Fill out the CEP Affirmation Statement online
  • Apply as soon as possible for additional assistance at Timothy Christian, if needed