After the Brigham Young University Training School closed in 1968, H. Verlan and Shirley Andersen were determined to preserve the heritage and philosophy of teaching K–6 academics in light of restored gospel principles. Their children and many others had benefited from this unique type of education for years. In 1970, the Andersons founded American Heritage School after purchasing a small chapel from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints upon recommendation by Elder Ezra T. Benson.
From this humble beginning, American Heritage School grew to now inhabit a beautiful, modern campus next to the Mt. Timpanogos Utah Temple along the Wasatch Mountains in American Fork, Utah. In 2020, the school celebrated 50 years of what is now a worldwide community. AHS Online serves tens of thousands of children in over 100 countries.
As an independent K-12 school, American Heritage School shines a steady beacon of hope in education amid the vacillating world of secularism and humanism. In both physical and virtual classrooms, the school offers a unique, proven, and expanding program founded on faith, freedom, and family.
Our Mission and Vision
American Heritage School assists parents worldwide in developing the hearts, minds, and bodies of students to realize their divine potential by:
- Being useful in the hands of the Lord in building the Kingdom of God on earth;
- Increasing faith in and knowledge of the plan of salvation;
- Developing a love, understanding and appreciation for America and the Founding Fathers;
- Developing the academic knowledge and skills necessary to be able to make self-education a life-long pursuit;
- Learning to reason and discern between right and wrong, truth and error;
- Developing character and self-government of mind and body; and
- Conducting themselves in all aspects of life as Christians.
American Heritage School is an effective educational resource for parents worldwide in assisting children and families to maximize their divine potential.
With over 50 years of experience, American Heritage School—and now AHS Worldwide— can speak with authority that learning “by study and also by faith” doesn’t just sound nice—it actually produces superior academic outcomes. And when the faith-centered schools joins the faith-centered home, the two can work in unparalleled harmony toward developing the whole child.
This is not a novel idea or ideal for Latter-day Saints—“all things to [God] are spiritual.” If academic excellence is important—even essential—then becoming proficient in reading, writing, math, science, and all other subjects should also produce discerning, critical thinkers and articulate defenders of truth—with deep spiritual conversion and love of God and man.
American Heritage Schools accomplishes its mission through distinct, intentional learning methods. First, we put Jesus Christ and the truths of the restored gospel at the foundation of all learning. We strive to strengthen faith by teaching children to look for God’s hand in all subjects. For example, we teach English language and literature by reading texts that teach moral truths. We present history as “His” Story—Christ’s story—of preparing the earth and founding America for the restoration of the gospel and the Second Coming.
Our methodology teaches children to read and understand classics in all subjects, reason and discern truth, apply learning to their own lives, and write coherently and persuasively. Importantly, our curriculum also helps them see God’s hand in the founding of America and the formation of the U.S. Constitution. We want children and families throughout the world to understand that America was established and preserved by the hand of God for His purpose in restoring His Church on the earth.