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About Open Door Christian Schools

See what we teach and why it makes us different:

Premier co-educational, college preparatory school

Open Door Christian Schools (ODCS), founded in 1976, is a premier co-educational, college preparatory school serving Christian families in Northern Ohio. With an enrollment of over 550 students in preschool, elementary, middle, and high school, ODCS is the largest Christian school between Cleveland and Toledo, drawing students from over 100 different churches of various denominations.

Only local preschool-grade 12 school with ACSI accreditation

  • Open Door Christian Schools is the only preschool-grade 12 school system within 60 miles of Elyria to receive accreditation by the Association of Christian Schools International.
  • Our Christian School is accredited through the North Central Association which is under the authority of AdvancED, the region's premier accrediting agency.
  • ODCS is one of only four schools in the state to be dually accredited by ACSI and AdvancED.

Its mission is to equip disciples through exemplary education. This mission is carried out in a Christian environment that is focused on educating the whole student: spiritually, academically, artistically, athletically, and in service.



Open Door Christian Schools (ODCS) was founded in 1976 as a ministry of Church of the Open Door (COD) in Elyria, Ohio. The church pastor, Rev. Don Engram, and business manager, Al Ahlgrim, felt God leading Church of the Open Door to start a Christian school. They approached the church board and then the congregation and presented a plan to start a school to teach children a good, solid education based on the Word of God. After approval from the board and congregation, ODCS was formed in the fall of 1976. 

A school board was elected in the spring of 1976. They went to work immediately to establish a constitution, bylaws, and articles of school incorporation, and to complete the necessary paperwork for the school to be chartered by the state of Ohio. The board decided to start with first through sixth grade, with one teacher for every two grades, adding a grade every year. Teachers and office staff were hired by faith believing that God would provide the students needed when school started. At the beginning of the summer, the enrollment stood at 7 students. By the end of the summer, God had increased the number to 77!

In the 1981-82 school year, the school became a full-fledged high school with the addition of grade 12, with the class of 1982 graduating 13 students in the first commencement ceremony.

Through the over 40 years of serving the Lord in this ministry, ODCS has become a school that now serves the greater Cleveland area. Our families represent over one hundred different churches. We continue to build on the foundation that was laid back in 1976 by partnering with our parents to provide an education that is exemplary and distinctively Christian.