Timothy Christian School (Illinois)

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Timothy Christian School
MottoGo Beyond
Religious affiliation(s)Nondenominational Christian School
Campus typeSuburban
Color(s)Red and White
Athletics conferenceMetro Suburban Conference
WebsiteTimothy Christian Schools

Timothy Christian Schools is a nondenominational, P-12th grade campus in Elmhurst, IL where Christ is at the center of everything that we do. Timothy is a college preparatory school rooted in Biblical values and truth. Recognized as a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, Timothy Christian High School has over 20 Advanced Placement, Honors, and Dual Enrollment classes allowing students to earn college credit before graduating high school. From internships to opportunity-based clubs that give our students real-world experiences, Timothy combines challenging programs with traditional Biblical values.[3]


The school is recognized by the state of Illinois and the DuPage County Education Service Region. Timothy Christian Schools is fully accredited by the North Central Association through Cognia and is recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education.[4] Timothy Christian Schools is also a member of the Council on Educational Standards and Accountability. In September 2019, Timothy Christian High School was awarded a National Blue Ribbon from the US Department of Education. [5] In 2021, three Timothy Students were named National Merit Finalists.[4]


Timothy Christian Schools has undergone $50MM in renovations, including a $16MM middle school and Athletic Arena[6] Project highlights include state-of-the-art classrooms, science lab, lobby/cafeteria, and new athletic arena for the high school. [7] The elementary school recently underwent a renovation along with furniture and technology upgrades in the high school. The high school is undergoing a renovation that includes new open spaces, a secured entrance, and a coffee shop.[8]


Timothy Christian Schools is a member of the Illinois High School Association as well as the Metro Suburban Conference. There are ten sports available for boys: baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, swimming, track and field, and volleyball. There are twelve sports available for girls: badminton, basketball, cross country, competitive cheerleading, competitive dance, golf, softball, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field and volleyball.[9]


Mock trial[edit]

Timothy Christian High School has a Mock Trial team. The team has 7 Mock Trial State Championships and national appearances. [10] For the 2020-2021 school year, Mock Trial competed virtually. Even still, Timothy placed third in the state.[11] Part theater, part law, each student on Mock Trial is either a lawyer or a witness. They are each given affidavits, which they must memorize. Mock Trial has no divisions or classes, unlike sports. So Timothy Christian’s team is often pitted against much larger schools. Mock Trial cases are created by the Illinois State Bar Association, and teams must prepare both the prosecution and defense, since they are required to compete on both sides at tournaments. The case is tried in front of an actual judge and scored by practicing attorneys.[3]


Chicago campus[edit]

The school began as a vision of several members of Douglas Park Christian Reformed Church. In April 1907, a Society for Christian Instruction was formed to explore the possibility of founding a school in the neighborhood known as the "Groninger Hoek."[12] After a year of growth, the society chose the name "Timothy" for their proposed school to honor the New Testament evangelist who had been raised in a Christian home and given spiritual instruction by the apostle Paul.[13] By August 1911, the society had raised enough funds to open the school. They did so above several retail establishments on Roosevelt Road on Chicago's west side.[13]

After a year in this building, the society purchased a lot on the corner of 13th street and Tripp Avenue, a few blocks away from the original premises. This lot was purchased for $1,500.[14] The school would remain in this building for only fifteen years, but in 1916, they received full accreditation from the Chicago Board of Education. The school continued to add rooms to the basement in order to accommodate more students. Initially, the school only served elementary students. By 1918, students were able to continue their education at Chicago Christian High School in the Englewood neighborhood.[12]

Much of the instruction of the students was undertaken in Dutch to help students maintain a link to their Dutch heritage. Very early, though, the school opened its doors to students of diverse nationalities and religious doctrines. By 1926, the school board made a resolution to maintain its minutes in English instead of Dutch. This also came at the same time that the school was paying off the last of its debt before the stock market crash of 1929 and before moving to a new location.[15]

Timothy Christian's second home in Cicero, Illinois

By 1927, the Dutch population had shifted from the west side of the city to the inner western suburbs of Chicago. As the families moved, so did their churches, and parents became less willing to send their children back to schools such as Timothy that remained in the old neighborhood.[16] Early in 1927, Timothy was able to sell its Tripp Avenue school building to a Jewish congregation, but were forced to vacate within six months. Work began on a new building almost immediately.[17] It was decided to build the new school in Cicero, Illinois because it was a central location to many of the families that had relocated west of the city of Chicago. The new school building opened in September 1927 with 156 pupils in four completed rooms on 14th Street.[16]

Disbanding Ebenezer School[edit]

The time in Cicero was marked by two crises for the school. The first was the integration of more than 100 students from Ebenezer Christian School in Chicago. As the Dutch Christian Reformed communities had fled the city for the suburbs, Ebenezer became impossible to keep open. This had been the first Dutch reformed school to open on Chicago's west side in 1893. It closed in 1946, and the huge influx of students to Timothy caused a great deal of tension. Students were forced to endure large class sizes and little time alone with the teachers.[18] There was also the problem of social integration of a suburban student body with one hailing from the tough streets of Chicago.[16]

Timothy-Lawndale controversy[edit]

The integration of the students from Ebenezer Christian School was far easier to deal with than the racial integration of the school. In 1965, a group of African American parents attending Lawndale and Garfield Christian Reformed Churches asked the Timothy board permission to enroll their children at the school.[19] Cicero was, at the time, a town with around 70,000 residents of European descent and had earned the reputation as the “Selma of the North.”[16] One black family had attempted to move into the city in 1951 and they had been chased out by a white mob.[16] The Timothy school board decided to delay the enrollment of these students. The board insisted that it was not acting on racist motives, but only that it was worried for the safety of its students. The school only admitted three African American students in 1967 after Timothy Christian High School had moved to the western suburb of Elmhurst.[16]

As Cicero residents continued to harass the school and church members continued to advise against integration, Timothy decided to wait until it could complete the move to a campus in a more racially tolerant suburb. This move to Elmhurst was finally made in 1972. In the meantime, the parents of Lawndale and Garfield Christian Reformed Churches had established their own school, West Side.[16]

Education during the Covid-19 pandemic[edit]

Timothy Christian School offered full-time in person learning starting in the 2020-2021 school year after switching to remote learning for part of the 2019-2020 school year. Remote learning was also available to families that desired it.[20] [21] [22] In 2021 the Illinois State Board of Education stopped officially recognizing the school because the school did not agree to require masks as per Illinois orders.[23] Recognition was returned after the school began requiring face masks to be worn.[24]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Timothy Christian Schools–Alphabetical Staff Directory". Timothy Christian Schools. n.d. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  2. ^ "Timothy Christian Schools–Timothy at a Glance". Timothy Christian Schools. n.d. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
  3. ^ a b Swierenga, Robert (2020). His Faithfulness Continues. Holland, Michigan: Van Raalte Press. p. 749. ISBN 978-1-7320854-2-8.
  4. ^ a b "Accreditation & Certification". Cognia. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  5. ^ "NBRS Timothy Christian High School of Elmhurst, IL". National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  6. ^ Oberhelman, Dave (2017-09-13). "Timothy Christian's dream come true". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  7. ^ Megan, Graydon. "Timothy Christian dedicates $16 million middle school and fieldhouse in Elmhurst". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  8. ^ Swierenga, Robert (2020). His Faithfulness Continues. Holland, Michigan: Van Raalte Press. pp. 563–576. ISBN 978-1-7320854-2-8.
  9. ^ "IHSA Elmhurst (Timothy Christian)". www.ihsa.org. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  10. ^ Swierenga, Robert (2020). His Faithfulness Continues. Holland, Michigan: Van Raalte Press. p. 740. ISBN 978-1-7320854-2-8.
  11. ^ "Mock Trial Past Winners | Illinois State Bar Association". www.isba.org. Retrieved 2021-04-05.
  12. ^ a b Swierenga, Robert P. (2002). Dutch Chicago: A History of the Hollanders in the Windy City. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans (The Historical Series of the Reformed Church in America). pp. 383–395. ISBN 0-8028-1311-9.
  13. ^ a b History of the Timothy Christian School Society. Cicero, Illinois: Timothy Christian Schools. 1936. p. 7.
  14. ^ "Chicago Jottings by the Way", The Banner: 10, 22 May 1913.
  15. ^ Timothy Christian School 50th Anniversary, 1911-1961. Cicero, Illinois: Timothy Christian Schools. 1961. pp. 1–4.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Swierenga, Robert P. (2002). Dutch Chicago: A History of the Hollanders in the Windy City. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans (The Historical Series of the Reformed Church in America). pp. 422–442. ISBN 0-8028-1311-9.
  17. ^ Timothy Christian School 50th Anniversary, 1911-1961. Cicero, Illinois: Timothy Christian Schools. 1961. pp. 5–8.
  18. ^ Stulp, Martin (September 1999), "Reminiscences, 1949 Timothy Class 50th Reunion, Frankfort, Illinois", The Timothy Reflector: 26.
  19. ^ Meehan, Christopher (1996). Flourishing in the Land: A Hundred-Year History of Christian Reformed Missions in North America. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. p. 135137.
  20. ^ "Timothy Christian School Superintendent discusses reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic". WGN-TV. 2020-10-15. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  21. ^ "'Real spirit of cooperation': Elmhurst private school nears 100 days of in-person learning". WGN-TV. 2021-01-13. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  22. ^ Fieldman, Chuck. "Timothy Christian Schools continue in-person learning while many schools go remote because of spike in coronavirus cases". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  23. ^ Cullotta, Karen Ann (2021-08-12). "Suburban private school that lost state recognition over its response to Pritzker's mask mandate says it never planned to defy the law". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
  24. ^ Pyke, Marni (2021-08-13). "Timothy Christian Schools gets state recognition back after complying with mask mandate". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2021-10-18.
  25. ^ "Timothy Christian grad Nick Huisman follows his uncle's path to Lewis baseball". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 4, 2022.
  26. ^ "Wayne Huizenga, dead at 80, built fortune in trash, owned Blockbuster, Dolphins". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved March 4, 2022.
  27. ^ "Peter H. Huizenga, Waste Management executive and philanthropist, dies at 79". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 4, 2022.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°51′56.7″N 87°56′31.1″W / 41.865750°N 87.941972°W / 41.865750; -87.941972