In the fall of 1961, the ministry of Mansfield Christian School (MCS) began in the lower level of Marion Avenue Grace Brethren Church. The school started with thirty-five students and three faculty members. For a little over two years, the school operated at this location. In 1963, the school was given forty acres of property on Logan Road. The first building was constructed and the school moved into the new facilities. In subsequent years, the school experienced four building expansions that included additional classrooms, a gymnasium, athletic fields, and a radio station, WVMC. By 1972, the first graduating class with nineteen students received their diplomas.
Today, unaffiliated with a church or denomination, MCS boasts over 2,000 alumni and is considered a steadfast leader in Christian education in the Midwest. The school currently employs approximately 75 faculty and staff members. Teachers’ years of experience span fairly even by career stage from entry year to over 30 years. In addition to standard departments such as maintenance and food service, the support staff includes personnel in the SCRIP program, employees of WVMC, and those working in the Jon Peterson Scholarship program.
MCS currently enrolls 484 students in grades PreK-12. The enrollment number includes 99 students in the Independent Studies Home School Program. Males (52%) slightly outnumber females (48%) and 87 percent of the students are white. The largest minority group is African-American and multiracial at a combined 10 percent. MCS continues to enroll a significant number of students in the voucher program as 31% are secondary students (7-12) from the Mansfield City Schools. Elementary students (K-2) in the voucher expansion program based upon low-income stands at approximately 14% of the K-6 enrollment.
MCS attracts students from 19 local public school districts in northcentral Ohio. While the largest numbers of students reside in the Mansfield City school district (41%), a noteworthy amount (23%) live in the Lexington district (both districts are adjacent to MCS). Thus, the remaining students are spread among 17 varying districts and the largest percentages (7%) are found in the bigger communities of Madison, Ontario, and Clear Fork (Bellville). Males (52%) slightly outnumber females (48%).
Mansfield is a middle class community located in Richland County. Built upon the manufacturing industry, recent Census Bureau data (2009-2013) show that a large percent of Mansfield’s working residents remain employed in manufacturing (21%). This field runs slightly behind those working in educational services, health care and social assistance (22%). The median income in Mansfield for 2009-2013 was just $41,835, compared to the U.S. median income of $53,046, however, the cost of living is considerably cheaper here than in much of the rest of the country. Mansfield compares favorably to the nation when it comes to residents with a high school diploma at 86%, but when it comes to those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, Mansfield drops off steeply – just 15%, well below the country’s 29 percent.
MCS has a long and solid reputation in the community for quality education. The school is well-established and trusted by the residents to benefit the communities in and around Mansfield.