our story

In 1998, our founders Russ Gregg and Jeff Bird had never met. That year, Jeff was in a Bible study when he felt a calling to start a school. Having worked as an insurance lawyer and never as an educator, he spent a year praying, to discern if it was from the Lord. That same year, Russ Gregg was working as an administrator for a Christian school in Edina. He lived in the Philips neighborhood with his family and dreamed of one day starting a Christian school for his inner city neighbors. However, he thought God would use someone else to complete such a task. In 1999, Russ and Jeff had a divine appointment, and shared their mutual call. They met for six weeks to discuss the vision for the school. That same Sunday, September 13, 1999, Russ was in church. At the conclusion of a sermon on Romans 4:13-15, the pastor challenged the congregation to “venture something for God that is a little bit crazy.” Russ felt it was God’s word for him, and that to not take this step of faith would be disobedient. The next day, Russ called Jeff and said, “I quit my job. Let’s start this school.”  The next fall, Hope Academy began with just 35 students in grades K-2. 

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The Timeline

God's Call

1999 – Mr. Bird & Mr. Gregg were called to start Hope Academy.

The Grand Opening

2000 – Hope Academy opened its doors to 35 students in grades K-2 in the education wing of Christ Church International. (3015 13th Ave S, Minneapolis).

We're Moving!

2006 – Now with 115 students in grades K-7, Hope Academy moves to 2300 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404.

Our Mission:

To provide a remarkable, God-centered education for the youth of the city.

First 8th Grade Class

2007 – A class of eleven 8th graders graduate from Hope Academy’s only 8th grade graduating class.

We've added a High School!

2008 – Hope Academy adds a 9th grade, beginning the process of growing Hope Academy High School.

First Graduating Class!

2012 – Hope Academy graduates its first ever senior class, with 100% being accepted into a 2 or 4 year college.

Immeasurably More

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according
to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Ephesians 3:20-21


Double the Kindergarten


Growing Hope Campaign Kickoff


Spreading Hope to Houston


Growing Hope Expansion Complete!