By Dr. Robert Dreyfus
My church established a Christian school in 1999.  The founding board met weekly for a year to determine policies, financial matters, mission, and many other issues.  The school (K – 6) was a major undertaking for our small church of approximately 110 families.  Many sacrificed their time, energy and money to see it become a reality.  As a member of the founding board I can't think of a worse end than for the school to become a Christian school in name only and producing students with a secular worldview. 
Unfortunately there are Christian schools that may offer parents a safe environment, and a superior academic program, but the children who leave the school still reflecting the secular world from whence they came.  A recent survey by the Nehemiah Institute shows that many Christian School students test as secular humanists, the same worldview as that of government school students.  It's simple to insure that this is not the end result of your efforts and furthermore it costs very little. 
The program is known as PEERS Testing.  Its purpose is to aid Christians in developing a distinctly biblical worldview.  The PEERS test consists of a series of statements carefully structured to identify a person's worldview in five categories: Politics, Economics, Education, Religion, and Social Issues (PEERS). Each statement is framed to either agree or disagree with a biblical principle.  

The Nehemiah Institute's expertise is in providing a statistically valid testing instrument for measuring an individual's view of life in areas of great importance to both personal and social life. The test was designed with input from several Christian scholars. Testing norms have been developed from results of over 15,000 participants during a 13-year period from 1987 through 2000. The primary focus of our work is with high school and college age students.
“Biblical worldview” is a term that has become common among various Christian ministries and Christian schools in the past few years. There are a few ministries doing quality work in this area and are paving the way for a broader engagement of the Dominion Mandate (Matthew 28:19,20) by the church at large. But the overall trend is not good.

Our ministry has been providing a unique Biblical worldview assessment service to Christian schools (primarily secondary and undergraduate level) since 1986. The assessment, known as PEERS Testing, measures worldview understanding in Politics, Economics, Education, Religion and Social Issues (PEERS). Almost every year results of the test are lower than the year before. That trend is continuing this year. From our vantage point, Christian youth are having their 'worldview' developed substantially more from Secular Humanism than from Biblical theism. Since 1988, only 5.9% of Christian youth scored in the Biblical theism category while 51.7% scored in Secular Humanism or Socialism categories. The church is rapidly loosing a generation of youth to anti-Christian thinking (and behavior). For the most part, I believe, this is happening under the noses of the shepherds without their realizing it.
If you are aware of this troubling situation, and if you want to be used of the Lord to restore the church and turn America around, I suggest doing the following:
Pray. Pray for God's mercy and grace upon our land. Tell the Lord of your burden and of your willingness to be used of Him in bringing about change.
Take the PEERS Test (order from our web site). Find out where you may have adopted non-Biblical views that will hinder you from “running the race.”
Read. Those who don't read can't lead, said Napoleon. Read at least one 'Biblical worldview' book per quarter in addition to daily scripture reading. Our worldview study course, Developing a Biblical Worldview (which you should also complete) contains a list of 75 excellent Biblical worldview books.
Lead a study on Biblical worldview understanding. Visit with your pastor about doing this in church. If not there, then in your home.
From there, trust God to lead you in building an everlasting Kingdom.

After testing is complete (if using test booklets), all answer sheets are returned to Nehemiah Institute for fast, professional scoring. If using the online version of PEERS testing, results are submitted electronically. The test booklet is retained by the individual for examining answers in light of PEERS results. Upon submitting tests, each person will receive an individual PEERS Scorecard. Allow 4-5 weeks for booklet method of testing and 4-6 days for online testing. Summary reports are issued to group coordinator if testing 6 or more in one group.

The value of PEERS testing is its ability to compare a student's worldview with that of their teachers or parents. The PEERS Test's item-by-item analysis makes it easy and time-efficient to zero in on the most problematic worldview areas. Based upon this data, parents and school administrators can take corrective action by enhancing the current curriculum or by placing more emphasis on particular issues.

All tests, scoring and reports are included in the initial price of the PEERS testing program.

The PEERS test can be bought in booklet form, $13.50 per test, and the test results are mailed to us, or PEERS tests can be bought in online format for $9.95 per test with results submitted electronically. An entire class can take the test at once as long as there is internet access available to every student. For details on how the online test version works.  For more information dial 1-800-948-3101 or email

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the PEERS test?
The PEERS test provides an objective means for measuring the understanding of how biblical principles apply to all areas of life. With this information, administrators and parents are able to structure coures of study to ensure that biblical teaching is presented as working solutions to the issues of the day and not confined to the areas of "personal religion."

Does Nehemiah Institute offer any follow-up programs?
Nehemiah Institute offers a 22-week study course (at one hour per week entitled Developing a Biblical Worldview) and a series of position papers. Papers have been written on the 30 most frequently missed items.

How frequently should the PEERS test be administered?
Although the answer to this will vary according to the goals and mission of your organization, Nehemiah Institute recommends testing sophomores and seniors each year. Allowing for each student to be tested twice provides a two-year comparison period over which the effectiveness of your worldview instruction programs and the growth of the student may be measured.

The test can be administered any time during the year, but Nehemiah Institute recommends testing in the fall. This allows for adequate time to conduct proper follow-up in response to your testing results.

Does PEERS testing replace achievement testing?

PEERS testing is to worldview understanding what achievement testing is to academic knowledge. Our research has found that many students are academically proficient, but principally deficient. Achievement testing is a cognitive assessment tool for measuring achievement in academic disciplines (including Bible study). PEERS testing measures comprehension and application of biblical principles to worldview concepts such as free-enterprise, the role of civil government, family structure, private property, welfare policy and the responsibility of education.

Do all students score in the same approximate range?

Results from seniors in high school have ranged from -59.43 to +100.00. The average was 33.34. Based on the following worldview scale, these results give strong evidence for the need of solid Biblical worldview training and testing in junior high and senior high grades.
Biblical Theism worldview- 70 - 100
Moderate Christian worldview-   30-69
Secular Humanist worldview-   0-29
Socialist worldview-    less than 0

What grade levels are appropriate for PEERS testing?
Version BA12: grades 7 - 9

Version AA12: grades 9 - 16

We strongly recommend having parents, faculty and others in leadership positions complete the testing program, using the same version. This provides a teacher⁄student comparison which greatly enhances the insights gained through PEERS testing.

How much time is required for PEERS testing?
For most students, the test can be completed in a normal class period setting (45 - 55 minutes).

Is there another assessment program for testing in the area of Biblical worldview?
To our knowledge, there is no other worldview testing program. PEERS Testing is unique to the Christian community.

Do you have a self-scoring version of the PEERS Test?
We offer a 20-item Mini PEERS test in booklet format that can be purchased for $4.25 per test. This is ideal for conference settings where immediate feedback is required.

Does PEERS Testing promote a particular Christian denomination?
PEERS testing does not include issues that have denomination-specific beliefs in areas such as baptism, communion, or eschatology.