Black Forest Academy (BFA) provides a quality, international Christian education that equips its students to influence their world through biblical thought, character, and action.
BFA was founded in 1956 by TeachBeyond, formerly Janz Team Ministries. It is an international Christian school providing an English language education for grades 5-12. Grades 1-4 are part of a bilingual school, Christliche Schule Kandern. BFA serves the children of international Christian workers and international business families who want a North American curriculum that incorporates a Christian worldview. BFA has an enrollment of approximately 310 students, with about 50% of the 9th-12th grade students in the residential boarding program.
The Black Forest region encompasses the southwest corner of Germany, with BFA located in the picturesque village of Kandern. The nearest cities to BFA include Basel in Switzerland, Mulhouse in France, and Lörrach and Freiburg in Germany. If you’d like more information on living in Kandern, read Moving to Kandern.
- Evangelism through Partnership
- International Perspective
The school is operated by a board of trustees. The administrators, faculty, residence and support staff are international Christian workers assigned to BFA by these participating organizations and other mission sending agencies.
We are accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), the Council of International Schools (CIS), and the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association (MSA).
TeachBeyond Partner Schools
Christliche Schule Kandern
A bilingual Christian elementary school in Kandern, Germany.
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Leman International Academy
A bilingual international Christian school in Geneva, Switzerland.
- The Janz Brothers Gospel Association arrives in Europe.
- Vera Kroeker was brought from North America to teach the Janz children. The first school year began with six students surnamed Janz in the living room of an apartment in Basel, Switzerland, in the building where the Janz families lived and had their office.
- Principal Dick Driedger introduced the Saskatchewan curriculum for high school students.
- Janz Team moved from Basel to Lörrach, Germany. Other buildings used were the Junghans House and a warehouse. The school of about 35 students remained in Basel.
- The Janz Team School moved to Lörrach.
- Gospel Missionary Union joined as a participating mission. GMU brought staff to open the first residence, a co-ed dorm in St. Louis, France.
- Janz Team opened a boys dorm in Hägelberg, Germany, with a short stay in a house in Rührberg before that. GMU dorm moved from St. Louis, France, to Gupf, Germany, and allowed non-GMU girls to board there. Richard Loeppky became Principal.
- Janz Team purchased Haus Bad Riedlingen (HBR), located a few minutes’ drive outside of Kandern. Grades 7-12 moved into a rented school building in Sitzenkirch. Grades 1-6 remained in Lörrach. By this time the school had about 55 students in grades 1-12. Bill Neudorf became Principal.
- Grades 1-6 moved to the second floor of HBR, which had become the boys dorm during the non-camping season. A contest among students resulted in the name of the school changing from Janz Team School to Black Forest Academy, and it was registered with Saskatchewan Education by this name.
- Raymond Ratzlaff was appointed Superintendent.
- AWM, C&MA, BCU, and TEAM joined the BFA board as participating missions.
- Storchenblick and Hiltonheim dorms were rented in Holzen. The four dorms together housed about 60 of the 100 students in the school.
- Henry Toews was appointed “Administrative Director” to replace Ray Ratzlaff, “Superintendent.”
- Grades 10-12 moved to the rented Medima building in Kandern, and grades 1-9 met in Sitzenkirch, making way for rapid expansion in the boys dorm, HBR.
- BFA purchased the Medima property in Kandern and began slowly to develop the clothing factory into a school. Liel dorm was rented and renovated.
- Sonnenhof dorm was rented.
- A record attendance of 140 students was recorded at BFA. Then, the falling dollar forced many families back to their sending countries, and attendance dropped dramatically for several years.
- Black Forest Academy received accreditation status with the Association of Christian Schools International, the European Council of International Schools, and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
- Blauen dorm was purchased. Grade 9 moved from Sitzenkirch to the Kandern site and grades 6-8 became a “middle school” guided by Henry Utter.
- George Durance replaced Henry Toews as Director.
- January saw the groundbreaking ceremony for Project Nehemiah (gym, auditorium, & cafeteria); most of the project was completed by 1998.
- Dave Jones replaced George Durance as Director. Maugenhard dorm was rented. Grades 7 and 8 moved from Sitzenkirch to the Kandern site and became a “junior high.”
- Haus Palmgarten dorm was rented. BFA ceased to register students with Saskatchewan Education.
Wittlingen dorm was rented.
- Tim Shuman replaced Dave Jones as Director. BFA gained re-accreditation status for another ten years.
- The Project Nehemiah kitchen was completed. The last Saskatchewan departmental exams were administered at BFA.
- Campus Crusade for Christ became a participating mission.
Project Renewal was initiated with the goal of renovating and improving our older classroom building (Altbau, renamed “Janz Building”).
- Mark Wiebe of Janz Team serves as interim Director in absence of Tim Shuman.
- BFA celebrated 50 years of Quality International Christian Education.
- BFA hosted ICEC (International Christian Educator Conference), sponsored by ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International). Nearly 400 delegates attended.
- BFA attains re-accreditation from Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI), Council of International Schools (CIS), Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (CIW-MSA). BFA becomes a member school with the German International Schools (AGIS).
- BFA opens Christliche Schule Kandern in partnership with Freie Evangelische Schule Lorrach starting with First Grade in August 2009.
- Tim Shuman resigns and Phil Peters becomes the BFA Interim Director in June 2010
- Scott Jones is installed as BFA Director in January 2011.