Nicaragua Christian Academy began as the result of three evangelical missionary families who made a commitment to pray together for God’s leadership in seeking educational alternatives for their children while serving in Nicaragua. The school began in the fall of 1991 with two teachers and seven MK's (missionary kids) of the Palmer, Ross and Drummond families. A young couple, Ken and Teresa Nicely, were asked to come from the United States for two years and teach the children. In the following year, three more missionary families joined the "homeschool co-op", bringing the enrollment to 15 students. At the end of the second year, several Nicaraguan families requested entrance for their kids in the "school", and the 12 parents voted unanimously to allow them to apply. After two more years of renting bigger houses, the school board decided to buy property and build a real school. Loans were secured, and the first three classrooms were built in 1995. With the property and construction loans and an operating deficit of roughly $40,000 in the first year at the new site, the debt reached nearly $200,000. At that point, the board hired a business manager and made a commitment to balancing the budget and paying off the debt using the entrance fees paid by new enrollees. The school continued to grow as God supplied the resources, and the final payment on the debt was made in July 2003.
In 2001, NCA went through the long and challenging accreditation process and became the first accredited school through the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) in Central America. The school's motto is "Academic Excellence with a Christian Foundation."
In the following years, the school board sensed an increase in the demand for Christian education of academic excellence in Nicaragua, but many of the classes were full at their class caps of 18 or 20 students per class. In addition, many new applicants were not able to meet the English-language requirements or afford the cost of tuition. A new school was proposed as a mirror image of the original campus, with the same goal of educating young people with a Christian worldview and a heart of service to God and humankind, but in the Spanish language and at a much lower cost. In February 2005, NCA opened its second school, NCA Nejapa, and began with 55 students in grades 1-7. The school grew quickly to include preschool and high school, with the first high school graduation in December 2008.
In February 2013, NCA opened its third school, NCA Matagalpa, in the northern city of Matagalpa. Classes began with 40 students and 9 teachers. In order to differentiate the campuses, the English-language campus became known as NCA International.
Today, NCA International has reached a size of over 320 students and 33 teachers; NCA Nejapa has over 430 students and 34 teachers; and NCA Matagalpa has over 140 students and 13 teachers. All three schools are evangelical, interdenominational, non-profit preschool, elementary, and secondary educational institutions governed by a common school board made up of parent representatives named by the General Assembly of NCA.
Detailed History of Each Campus
For a more detailed history of each individual school campus, please use the following links:
Founded 1991 - History of NCA International
Founded 2005 - History of NCA Nejapa
Founded 2013 - History of NCA Matagalpa