Is Released Time Legal?

What About Separation of Church and State?


Released Time Bible Education is not a violation of the judicial doctrine of separation of Church and State. In fact, Released Time honors that principle of separation by adhering to the guidelines established in the key  U.S. Supreme Court decision Zorach v. Clauson (1952), which has been tested thoroughly but upheld ever since. Settled Released Time principles both guard against government establishment of any one religion while allowing expression of our right to the “free exercise of religion” also protected by the 1st Amendment.


Recently, a school district’s policy of conferring academic credit for elective Released Time classes was upheld as a constitutional accommodation of parents’ desires for their children to have access to religious education during the school day. In November of 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari, allowing the Federal Court of Appeals’ 4th Circuit decision favorable to Released Time credit to stand. For more information and analysis, click here.

Executive Director Jenni Miller’s interview with Bob Burney Live! on WRFD-Salem Radio Network ( on January 11, 2018.

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