2 cents --
Statistically the most dangerous thing you will do with these kids is pile them into a vehicle and drive them somewhere.
My wife and I are a part of a Christian Outdoor School, that has been taking kids into the backcountry for 25 years. We were just accredited by the AEE.
Here is the truth, and you all can debate it until spring, if anything happens to a kid during a backcountry trip and the instructor(s) are not properly trained, the parent organization isn't properly insured, and the kids and parents haven't been properly notified of the dangers, you will be sued, you will be found liable and you and the church will lose a great deal.
Tell the kids if they want to go into the backcountry they HAVE to take the avalanche course, not exceptions.
We have to train our staff, we have to train our students, and they all do it or they don't get to go. Give the kids the option, they will have fun in the class, and you will be getting them ready for more than just a day trip to the backcountry. You will be giving them tools to help others as well.
Take the time to do it right.