Fall Kickoff August 2021

Armis Dei was born in the fall of 2021. We began with 3 teachers, several volunteers, and 38 students in grades 4k-5th. However, the seed of this school was planted more than a decade prior to 2021 with the Vander Galien family. Jeremy and Mandi Vander Galien are both educators. Once they began their family, they decided on homeschooling their children. One of the joys/anxieties of homeschooling is figuring out educational philosophy, methods, and curriculum. Through the influence of Susan Wise Bauer, Dorothy Sayers, and Douglas Wilson, they decided on using the classical approach to homeschooling. Mandi did most of the actual teaching and so became the most learned in the Classical model. Jeremy entered the pastorate in 2007 and immediately began to see a need to provide an alternative to public schools and homeschooling. This was the beginning of many years of study, contacting other schools, and planning in the hopes of one day starting a school.

Their family moved to Rhinelander in 2015 and they continued to consider beginning a school. In 2017, another family from their church, Joe and Kristin Guyette, asked Jeremy and Mandi about starting a school. Their children were reaching school age. Kristin was a public elementary school teacher and didn’t want to continue in the public schools. They were eager to help start an alternative option. At about the same time another family, the Bajema’s, had moved from Texas to Rhinelander and were interested in starting up the school. The Bajema’s children, now grown, had been educated at a Classical, Christian School. Melodie Bajema worked as a school secretary for their Classical, Christian School for a number of years.

God providentially brought these 3 families together at one local church, Pine Grove Community Church. Another gem of God’s providential leading and care, was that as these families were getting more serious about beginning a school, their church, Pine Grove, purchased, renovated, and moved into a new building. The new building had previously belonged to another church who had hosted a school. It contained twelve classrooms and additional spaces conducive to hosting a school! Under God’s blessing, the church’s new facility was perfect for a school. Though Armis Dei isn’t officially connected to Pine Grove, the church has graciously given us the necessary space and room to grow.

This set the team to work in earnest. We met for the first time in March of 2019, laying foundational principles of what would become Armis Dei with the goal of launching in the fall of 2020. However, due to COVID and other family changes amongst the members, they decided to delay the start of the school a full year. During this year, all the necessary groundwork was completed and another family, the Codere family, was added to the start-up team. Sean and Bekka Codere were homeschooling in the Classical model and were excited about a school using the cooperative model.

The initial plan for Armis Dei was to open with grades K-2 with a goal of 20 students. Because of strong interest, the school ended up offering grades 4K-5 with 38 students. The students come from several local churches in various Northwoods communities. The school enjoys support amongst the local churches and has been well-received by the community. The first day of classes began on August 23, 2021.


Armis Dei Classical Christian Academy exists to partner with parents to mature students in love of all of God’s truth so that they might live with courage in the world for His glory.

Our Mission For Our Students

Armis Dei Classical Christian Academy aims to equip students to lead and not merely respond to culture. To accomplish this, we provide a rigorous classical education that is unashamedly biblical. Our prayer is that this is used by God to produce students that are pure, have faith to stand firm on biblical truth as they evaluate all of life in light of Scripture, able to graciously, courageously, and persuasively converse on a range of issues from a historically informed Christian worldview, and do so with genuine joy in the Lord. We desire that they leave our school with an eagerness to continue to learn because we have equipped them with the necessary tools to do so.

Our Mission For Our Parents

Armis Dei Classical Christian Academy aims to be an asset to our parents. Since God has given parents the primary authority and responsibility for the education of their children, Armis Dei aims to partner with parents in the raising of their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. We want our parents to have a sense of responsibility for our school as they grow with the school, excited to see what the Lord will do through us all.

Our Mission For Our Faculty

Armis Dei Classical Christian Academy aims to employ faculty who are growing examples of these same qualities. We desire them to be mature Christians, committed to building their own households in Christ, and an active part of their local church. We aim to pay our staff well and provide enrichment opportunities so that they may make a career at Armis Dei. We desire our teachers to be diligent, loving both their students and their subjects. They will aim to be the kind of teachers that bring life to their classrooms as they challenge their students to see the glory of God in all things. Our teachers should work to grow in their understanding of classical education and how it works both in their subject and throughout the entire curriculum. We desire a genuine camaraderie among our staff in that they support each other while doing what is needed to help each other excel.

Our Mission For Our Community

Armis Dei Classical Christian Academy desires to build up the coming generations to bless the Rhinelander area for generations to come. Our school seeks to be the kind of institution that local individuals, organizations, and businesses enjoy interacting with. We will work hard to be a help to and in great fellowship with churches in the Rhinelander area. Finally, we look forward to the day when our beloved community is greatly impacted as graduates from Armis Dei engage in every aspect of life in the Northwoods in such a way that life is better here by God’s grace and for His glory.

Our Statement of Faith

We believe that God reveals Himself through the creation, preservation, and government of the universe. We believe that God makes Himself more clearly and fully known through the Scriptures, which are the only inerrant and infallible Word of God, our ultimate and final authoritative rule for faith and practice. These Scriptures are made up of 66 books from Genesis to Revelation, the authority of which depend not upon the testimony of any man or church and are all to be received as the Word of God.

We believe that there is but one living and true God, eternally existent in three Persons of one power, substance, and eternity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is perfectly wise, the overflowing fountain of all good. He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. In all things, He is limited by nothing other than His own nature and character. We believe the God we serve is holy, righteous, good, loving, and full of mercy. He is the Creator, Sustainer, and Governor of all that has been made.

We believe in the true deity and full humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ, such that two distinct natures, divine and human, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. We believe in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father and in His personal return in power and glory.

We believe that Adam was made from the dust of the ground and formed after God’s image and likeness, which was good, righteous, and holy. Because of Adam’s sin, all mankind is in a state of rebellion against God. For the salvation of such lost and sinful men, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary.

We believe that salvation is by grace through faith alone, and that faith without works is dead. We believe that God freely justifies His own, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous, for the sake of Jesus Christ alone.

We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life, as the Spirit of Christ within us enables us to do freely and cheerfully what the will of God revealed in Scripture requires to be done. We believe that good works are only those which arise from true faith, conform to God’s Word, and are done for His glory.

We believe God has appointed a day when He will judge the world in righteousness through Jesus Christ. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; those who are saved to the resurrection of life, and those who are lost to the resurrection of damnation.

We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. All who are united to Christ as Head of the Church are united to one another in love and have communion in each other’s gifts and graces.

We believe that God defined marriage as the lifelong covenant between one man and one woman and that all forms of sexual activity outside of marriage are sin.

We believe that God immutably creates each person to reflect His image as male or female.

The statement of faith as written above is used with permission from the Association of Classical Christian Schools.