History

NICS — the Heritage of the Past, the Hopes of the Future

Addressing a need

NICS was birthed out of the need for a school for missionary kids in Korea. After much prayer, the President and founder of NICS, Joe Hale, responded to the need and, with the help and support of a few other missionaries, founded the first NICS school in 1983. Little did he know that God would use these humble beginnings to start a movement that would one day touch the world.

People responded

The school's first year brought a gratifying response. 30 students were pre-enrolled, but God brought 83. Within a few short years the school grew to be one of the largest international schools in Korea, with more than 60 countries represented in the student body.

God did His thing

Many students in those first years received Jesus Christ as their Savior. "Open" enrollment enabled children from all faiths (or no faith) to be exposed to the Good News of Jesus Christ. During the first few years primarily Americans enrolled, but by the fourth year of the initial school children from many different nations started to arrive. These children were not only from varied cultures, but also represented a variety of religious backgrounds as well, including Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism, Buddhism, Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism and Animism. The school's excellent academic and moral reputation, enhanced by a reasonable pricing structure, encouraged parents to enroll their children in record numbers and the result was tremendous spiritual impact on the students and their families. God was putting something together that was bigger than anyone had expected! NICS was never an original human intent to put together a global plan to reach the world, but God's heart for the world pushed NICS forward, as He opened the eyes of His people to what He was doing through His schools.

A worldwide strategy appeared

While the early leadership was doing its best just to learn how to operate a school overseas, God was laying out before them a plan whereby the world could literally be touched from those first classrooms just as it continues to be touched by the current classrooms all around the network. An understanding of what God already knew was born

  • He was bringing the world to NICS
  • The families of the students in NICS classrooms were people of influence in their respective countries
  • They were more open to hearing the Good News when they were outside of their own culture
  • They were willing to pay tuition and fees that would enable NICS to pay its staff and also cover most ongoing expenses
  • NICS could make a tremendous contribution to the greater Body of Christ by helping provide Kingdom workers' children with the kind of education they needed
  • The "expatriate" community existed in large numbers in most major cities of the world; therefore the strategy could also work almost anywhere

As NICS’ leaders prayed and responded to what God was doing it became evident that by networking and partnering they could accomplish much more than any individual school or ministry could ever do alone. With that in mind, the Network of International Christian Schools (NICS) was incorporated in January 1992 and began planning to expand beyond Korea. The first project outside Korea was planned for Bangkok, Thailand.

Growth

God has blessed NICS far beyond what anyone could have imagined!

In 1993, NICS began to launch new schools throughout Asia. In addition, some existing schools joined the network. Schools were then added in Indonesia, Singapore, East Asia, and Japan. Presently NICS has fifteen schools in Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Brazil, Peru, Kosova, Japan, East Asia, Kenya, Turkey, Bolivia, Malaysia, and the USA (headquarters for our online school).

OASIS International Schools

It soon became clear that the educational needs in some countries demanded a different approach. OASIS International Schools was formed as a way of meeting those needs in countries where there is sensitivity to openly Christian operations. As a faith-based agency, Oasis has found that it can effectively serve others even if the school does not function as a Christian institution.

Progress

NICS/Oasis has come a long way in a short time!

  • Home office established near Memphis, TN; presently staffed by over 20 people
  • Home office primarily supported by overseas operations
  • More than 900 staff in the field; NICS/Oasis places an average of 200+ new staff per year
  • Mostly (80%) salaried positions
  • Fundraising primarily needed for the following: new project start-ups and stabilization costs, supplemental income for some staff (newer projects and larger families), and special needs (e.g. technology)

Moving Forward

Our office regularly receives requests from existing schools seeking to join the network and interested groups soliciting our assistance in starting a new school. We prayerfully consider these opportunities and move forward into new partnerships as God directs. We welcome you to pray with us!

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