School Ministries is the closest missionary field you are ever going to have. A missionary is not only one who crosses an ocean.  A missionary is one who sees the cross, and we have a mission field right outside our doors in our public schools.

James F. O’Bryon, Consultant on national defense and security and Chair SMI Board


Updated July 2009  
SUMMARY for Arizona
General Information While Arizona does not have a law specifically providing for Released Time programs, Arizona does have a law that permits school districts to allow Released Time programs.

Even with the Supreme Court decision of 1952 (Zorach v. Clauson), we must remember that approval for a Released Time program is a privilege, not a right. School principals and school boards may accommodate a Released time program, but they are not required to do so. Experience teaches us that a carefully crafted approach, coupled with a positive relationship with school officials will usually open the doors for a Released Time program.


Department of Education Website Arizona Department of Education



DETAILS for Arizona
Statutes Arizona compulsory attendance laws require that children, ages 8-15 (inclusive) must attend public school, home school, charter school, or a regularly organized private or parochial school for 180 days. ARIZONA REV. STAT. ANN §15-802 (2013)

A child may also be excused from school if he has presented reasons for nonattendance which are satisfactory to a board consisting of his teacher, probation officer and president of the local School Board ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. §15-802 (2013)

The governing board of each school district shall adopt a policy governing the excuse of pupils for religious purposes. The policy may permit a pupil to be excused from school attendance for religious purposes, including participation in religious exercises or religious instruction. If the policy permits a pupil to be excused for religious purposes, the policy shall stipulate the conditions under which the excuse will be granted. These conditions shall include at least the following:

1. The person who has custody of the pupil has given written consent.

2. Any religious instruction or exercise takes place at a suitable place away from school property designated by the church or religious denomination or group.

ARIZ. REV. STAT. ANN. §15-806 (2013)

Arizona Revised Statues - Title 15:


Attorney General Op. Atty. Gen. No. R76-292, p. 111, 1976-77

A child may be permitted to be absent from public school for religious purposes as long as consent has been obtained on an annual basis from all teachers, school presidents and probation officers. The total number of days of excused religious absences, however, must be reasonable in order that the exemption for excused absences not be abused.