Belmont Classical Academy sign

A sign for Belmont Classical Academy sits outside the sanctuary of the American Fork Community Presbyterian Church. 

A chorus of church bells rang out to mark 3 p.m.

“There is our bell,” said Jared Carman, turning his head to look out the window of a future classroom.

Come fall, classes at Belmont Classical Academy will begin and end based on the chimes of the bells in the American Fork Community Presbyterian Church.

The new, private, nondenominational Christian school will be utilizing the church’s sanctuary and corresponding building when classes begin Aug. 20.

School will be held Monday through Thursday for the sixth through 10th grades. Tuition begins at about $7,200. Uniforms will be required.

The school was co-founded by Denise and Jared Carman, whose own children have attended a similar school.

“We wanted to offer a nondenominational Christian offering here in Utah County, because that isn’t really available right now,” Denise Carman said.

School will begin with prayer and Bible study, and each week will include an all-school devotional. The school will use both the church’s education building, along with its 1879 sanctuary building.

Hosting educational services in the historic sanctuary, Jared Carman said, is part of the culture they wanted for the school.

“It really is a different feeling when students can come to a place and feel a sense of history and feel a sense of connectedness,” he said.

He emphasizes that while the school is not a church — the Carmans believe parents should be the primary teachers of religion — it is inside of one.

While Utah County has private schools aligned with specific religions, the Carmans wanted Belmont Classical Academy to be nondenominational Christian.

“It’s nice to be able to give your children a little bit broader perspective and realize we are all children of God, we are all created in God’s image,” Jared Carman said.

He refers to the school’s culture as “high standards with a lot of love.”

Classes will be made up of 16 students. The Carmans plan to add an 11th grade to the school’s second year, and then a 12th before expanding to the elementary years. They hope the school will eventually house two classes for each grade in kindergarten through 12th grade.

They are starting with sixth through 10th grade because their two youngest children fall within those grades.

Belmont Classical Academy is currently enrolling students for its first year.