Black Forest Academy

Black Forest Academy

Black Forest Academy (BFA) is a private, coeducational boarding school in southwestern Germany. It was founded in 1956 by Janz Team Ministries in Kandern, Baden-Wuerttemburg and provides an English language education with a Christian worldview for both elementary and secondary students. Admission is conditional upon agreement with the school's educational philosophy. Preference is given to children of Christian missionaries and international business families in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The enrollment is approximately 350 students. Many live with their families or commute across the border from Switzerland and France. The residential boarding program for grades seven to twelve includes roughly 200 students. Over 45 countries are represented in the student body and many hold dual citizenship having been born outside their parents' passport country.


BFA is accredited by the Council of International Schools, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association of Christian Schools International. The staff is made up of experienced and certified faculty members plus carefully screened residence staff. Twelve mission agencies are represented on the School Board. The school itself pays no salaries.

Instruction is in English and the North American university-entrance curriculum is overseen by a curriculum coordinator and committee. Entrance to European and Asian universities has been gained by some students taking AP exams. ESL is offered to students whose mother tongue is not English. German instruction is available from grade 1 to 12/AP, French from grade 7 to AP, and Spanish Level I and II in the high school.

In addition to core academic courses, BFA offers Apologetics, Computer Programming, Creative Writing, Economics, Environmental Science, Graphic Design, Industrial Arts, Journalism, and Statistics. There is a student council that plans social activities and separate classes that produce the school's yearbook and student newspaper.

As a general rule a student is required to study a language other than the one of their country of residence or passport. However, some exceptions have been made for a student who has been out of his/her second language or out of school in that language for a significant length of time and can no longer use the language effectively (particularly grammar and writing). This student will take a placement test and the Department Head will decide where that student is placed. Another case would be a student who speaks the language to a greater or lesser degree but has little or no experience reading and writing it.

The academy offers Bible classes, chapel services and church services on campus. A majority of students choose to be a part of a small group for support, growth and accountability. Annually, numerous staff and students travel during Spring Break to Eastern and Western Europe and Africa.

The school year runs from the last week of August to the first week of June, with a three-week break at Christmas and two weeks in the Spring. The school day runs from 8:50 A.M. to 3:50 P.M.


Interscholastic team sports include volleyball, basketball, soccer, track, and most recently, tennis. B.F.A. teams compete against U.S. Department of Defense Dependents' Schools. The Physical Education program includes instruction in tennis, softball, American football, basketball, badminton, volleyball, soccer, European handball, and many others. In addition to intramural sports in the middle school, students can participate on local German sports teams. The school's mascot is the Falcon.


There is no centralized campus. The Black Forest region encompasses the southwest corner of Germany, with B.F.A. located in the village of Kandern. The junior high/high school is located in Kandern with the elementary school and eight student residences located in various villages within a 10km radius.

The Kandern site includes three science labs, computer lab, library, graphic arts, print shop, full-sized gym, tennis court, cafeteria and 600-seat auditorium. The elementary school has a library, gym and outdoor play area.

Residence life

There are eight dormitories. Each dormitory is assigned house parents and resident assistants. Laundry, meals, maintenance and transportation are provided. These dorms include Blauen, Haus Bad Riedlingen, Haus Palmgarten, Maugenhard, Sonnenhof, Storchenblick, Wittlingen and Landhaus Liel.


Blauen is located in the village of Marzell, ten kilometers east of BFA. It was built in 1800 as a one-story farm house with an attached barn.

Haus Palmgarten

"Haus I" was built as a hotel. B.F.A. began using Haus Palmgarten for a student residence in 1998.

Haus Bad Reidlingen

H.B.R. was built circa 1750 as a mineral spring health spa. Prior to B.F.A.'s purchase in 1973, it was a home for senior citizens. The ground floor housed the B.F.A. elementary school until 1981.


Maugenhard was built in 1903. In 2002, it caught on fire and the third floor was destroyed by a fire sparked by an electric motor in the attic. The dorm was renovated after the fire. Currently, administration is implementing a plan to move the "Maugies" out of the expensive rented building to a new site owned by the school. The new location will be built over the course of the next couple of years, above the preexisting Palmgarten dorm.


Commonly referred to as Sonne. Sonnenhof is over 150 years old, and was formerly the Gasthaus zur Sonne. From 1966 to 1985 it was used as a home for rehabilitation. B.F.A. has rented Sonnenhof since 1985.


Storch was once used as the village school of Holzen. The main building dates back to 1850 with additions in 1921 and 1960. B.F.A. began renting in 1977. It was given the name Storchenblick, "view of the storks," because a stork refuge is located a short distance away.


Wittlingen, also known as Hirschen, was built in the 1700s as an inn in the village of Wittlingen. In the 1900s part of the building was used as a country store and gas station. B.F.A. has rented the building since 1999. Formerly, the Wittlingen dorm was "Haus II," next to Haus Palmgarten, "Haus I." The girls relocated to the current location.

Landhaus Liel

Liel was built circa 1764 and served as the Gasthaus Hirschen until B.F.A. rented it in 1983. It is currently a dorm for middle level students.

ee also

*Boarding school

External links

* [ Black Forest Academy]
* [ Janz Team Ministries]

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