Our History

In 1974, a single phone call changed Ed and Gloria Shipman’s lives forever. Two teenage girls fled a bad home situation and needed a place to stay. The Shipmans immediately opened their home to these young ladies and began looking for a long-term solution.

After months of searching, Ed and Gloria found many options for children with behavioral problems or mental and emotional issues. But they couldn’t believe how few resources existed for underprivileged children with high potential. Eventually, they did find a healthy solution for the girls. But their difficult experience gave them a sense of God’s direction for the rest of their lives.

One year later, Ed and Gloria launched Happy Hill Farm out of a mobile home in Granbury, Texas. Ed shared, “We wanted to provide a safe, secure place for underprivileged boys and girls … a place to discover their God-given potential and build a successful future!”

Ed and Gloria also firmly believed that a child’s success largely depends on a solid education. So in 1975, they founded a private school on the campus of Happy Hill Farm. It started in a small schoolhouse with 15 children and has grown into a sprawling campus with multiple homes, classroom facilities, farm buildings, and sports fields.


Today, North Central Texas Academy is a fully accredited, comprehensive, academic program serving more than 175 students in grades K–12 … and one of the finest boarding schools in the country.

On the farm/campus, boarding students (ages 6 to 18) live year-round in group homes, cared for by resident house parents.  Here, they experience genuine community and loving family relationships.  Plus, they have all the fun, responsibility, and healthy exercise provided by living on a 500-acre working farm with active FFA and 4-H programs.


Many of our boarding students come from underprivileged homes—committed to changing the course of their lives.  They’re intermingled with day students from area families that desire a more classical, private Christian education for their children.

In addition, we also train and educate select international students from distressed areas where they have little hope and opportunity.  These students, from different countries, bring a wide breadth of cultures and strengthen the academic programs.  This unique blend of young men and women creates a dynamic environment to prepare students for success.

From the time they awaken until they go to bed … from breakfast to calculus, from basketball to working in the Dining Center, from caring for an animal on the farm to mission trips … every child at Happy Hill Farm is held to a high standard of conduct and character. 

Our graduates go on to college and from there to thriving careers.  They become leaders in their communities and churches—men and women of integrity who will indelibly impact the world.

You make all of this possible.  More than 85 percent of NCTA students are here on scholarship.  Caring friends provide funds for clothing, food, teacher salaries, facilities, and other necessities. Every gift transforms a young life!



“Continue in the truths that you were taught and firmly believe. You know who your teachers were, and you remember that ever since you were a child, you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

—2 Timothy 3:14–15, GNT