Encouraged in Heart—Strengthened in Unity—Equipped with Knowledge and Wisdom
My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
– Colossians 2:2–3
GCSLS 2017 Schedule
Below is the full schedule for the 2017 Global Christian School Leadership Summit. Use the breakout session buttons to go directly to that section.
Last updated January 24, 2017
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2017
International Participants Gathering | Room: Café Gauguin
Registration/Exhibits | Room: Registration Desk 2
Room: Executive Ballroom H/I | Plenary Session with Dan Egeler
Dr. Dan Egeler is the president of ACSI. His strength is passionately communicating how God is using Christian schooling around the world to accomplish God’s purpose. Dr. Egeler’s experiences equip him to address the challenge of how ACSI can train the next generation of Christian educators and leaders around the world to establish self-sustaining Christian schooling movements. He and his wife, Kathy, have four children.
Reception | Room: Grand Ballroom C
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Coffee Break/Exhibits | Room: Executive Ballroom H/I
Room: Executive Ballroom H/I | Plenary Session with Lee Strobel
Lee Strobel was the award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and is the best-selling author of The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for a Creator, and The Case for Grace. With a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale, Lee has won four Gold Medallions for publishing excellence and coauthored the Christian Book of the Year. He currently serves as Professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University. Visit Lee’s website at: www.leestrobel.com
Breakout Session A
Room: Salon 7 | Presenter: Paul Campey
Ever wanted to know the WHY, WHO, WHAT and HOW of governance and management of a healthy Christian School? Community Governance is a biblical approach to organizational governance and the role of the board based on relationships. Come and hear about a unique framework that has already impacted over 50 countries.
Room: Salon 1 | Presenter: Gavin Brettenny
Educators often practice correlation as integration without knowing the difference. Both practices have value because neither can be separated from worldview. However, true integration is a more mature expression of worldview, providing significant capacity to direct student application of classroom knowledge and skill. This session provides theological motivation for directly connecting classroom integration to behavior in the world. Directed student behavior in the world requires convincing scriptural motivation. This workshop melds biblical integration with an exciting classroom application of Mark 16:15 & 2 Corinthians 5:18–19.
Room: Salon 3 | Presenters: Randy Alward, Aaron Keyes, and Adam Smucker
Educator and Worship Leader Aaron Keyes along with Worship/Youth Leader Adam Smucker lead a dialog hosted by Randy Alward, President, CEO Maranatha! Music, to discuss ways to connect with students during chapel. Christian schools and universities have a mandate - a distinctive - by providing chapel for their students. How can we improve our chapel events? How can we help students lead and engage in worship in chapel? How can we better communicate with students during our chapel events? How can we make this time effective and impactful for the student body? Please come prepared to participate in this robust discussion lead by veteran worship leaders who also attended Christian schools.
Room: Signature 1 | Presenter: Greg Baylor, John Cooley, and Philip Scott
A panel of legal experts in religious liberty and Christian education will provide guidance on where schools need to focus their attention in the coming days. This will be a moderated discussion with ample give and take from the audience so bring your questions and concerns.
Room: Salon 8 | Presenter: Milt Uecker
The overall purpose of this session is to establish focus on the enduring biblical values at the heart of a Christian education as opposed to the material values that place happiness and achievement as the goal for early schooling. Early education transforms. The question is, “In what way does a given program transform?” Participants in this session will: 1) Articulate and better understand the expectations of parents of young children 2) Compare and contrast expectations with best practice in early education 3) Envision the elements of an early education program that address best practice, accreditation expectations, the needs of the whole child, and a biblical philosophy of education, and 4) Be able to better communicate the resulting vision within the school community and the public at large.
Room: Salon 4 | Presenter: Barrett Mosbacker
This presentation and discussion for administrators, teachers, and board members will focus on why and how to faithfully and effectively deal with the difficult issue of integrating science and faith in our schools. How do we deal faithfully and honestly with the findings of science and Genesis? How do we effectively and fairly discuss the issues of creation and evolution (cosmology) in our science and Bible classes? Can faith and science get along in our schools? What do we share with our students? What do we communicate with parents? How can science and Bible teachers work together on thematic units? What resources are available? How do we foster honest and respectful dialogue?
Room: Salon 2 | Presenter: Ralph Enlow
Most literature on leadership limits its focus to one or two facets of leadership. Effective leaders embody the entire Seven Primary Colors spectrum of godly leadership, including doxological leadership—leading people toward God and with God. One key to exercising leadership God’s way is observing how He consistently employs and never abuses His infinite power. This session invites consideration of a biblically and theoretically synthesized conceptual framework for leadership and allows participants to engage collaboratively the text of Scripture to learn why and how we should follow God’s example in our own use of leadership power.
Room: Salon 6 | Presenter: Mary Martin
What does principal leadership that impacts student learning look like in a Christian school environment? This workshop will present the results of a 2015-2016 study that examined the qualities of principals as instructional leaders in six high-performing Christian school systems. Eighteen principals and 280 teachers participated in this mixed-methods study. The results are relevant for school boards seeking to hire principals as instructional leaders, for colleges/universities in assessing their training of principal leaders, and for current administrators seeking to increase their instructional impact.
Room: Salon 5 | Presenter: Erin Wilcox
Online learning is changing the very nature of education because it opens up new ways of learning for students. Schools are choosing to incorporate various types of online and blended learning because of its flexibility to meet student needs and personalize learning. A panel of five school leaders will discuss the benefits and challenges of online learning. These panelists come from 100% online schools as well as those which have incorporated online classes into brick and mortar school programs. Each one will share their expertise and contribute to the discussion of current issues in online learning. The participants will be encouraged to ask questions and dialog with the panelists.
11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Breakout Session B
Room: Salon 8 | Presenter: Annie Gallagher
Research reveals that professional development for biblically integrated instruction in Christian schools typically involves short, single-event lecture style presentations. Reported low incidence of authentic biblically integrated instruction implies that professional development is not transferring to classroom practice. In this session, we will look at observable indicators for planning and teaching biblically integrated instruction and compare the results exhibited by coached and non-coached teachers to discern the benefits of coaching. By examining criteria for selecting coaches and necessary components for successful professional development, we will draft timelines for establishing coaching for biblically integrated instruction in your school.
Room: Salon 6 | Presenter: Larry Taylor
One key deliverable for every Christian school leader is to ensure that a biblical worldview is integrated throughout every part of their school. If the school’s end goal, or Portrait of a Graduate, is to produce disciples of Jesus Christ, then all ‘parts’ of the school have to be unified in incorporating biblical worldview principles. If the ‘parts’ fragment, there is a high probability that a child’s worldview will fragment. In this session, attendees will learn to view a school through the research based ‘whole-part-whole’ learning paradigm. Attendees will discuss a practical three to five year process of connecting the culture-driving ‘parts’ vertically and horizontally within the ‘whole’ school.
Room: Signature 1 | Presenter: Brian Mueller
Grand Canyon University has sought to address issues to make Christian higher education more affordable, while creating and fostering an environment that challenges the ‘status quo’ to bring about lasting generational change centered on love and respect that impacts and supports a diverse population for the sake of the Gospel. This comprehensive approach to education and transformation provides a unique Gospel-centered learning opportunity for students, faculty, entrepreneurs, and civic and state leaders to work side by side to enhance and radically change an entire community. The session will also touch upon the radical ideas that have provided unique benefits to Christian schools across the country as GCU strives to strengthen the K-12 Christian school narrative.
Room: Salon 4 | Presenter: Bruce Smith
Media professionals who write and report the news often seek out education leaders for their perspectives on issues that impact the state of education at the local, state and national level. This session focuses on the theory and technique to successfully manage conversations and media interviews on your terms, and how to use reporters’ questions to persuade public opinion.
Room: Salon 1 | Presenter: Joel Gaines
In this session, we will discuss a biblical foundation for diversity initiatives (i.e. the theology of diversity) and why student support for school-wide diversity initiatives is crucial for the success of those initiatives. Additionally, we will discuss some of the ways that we seek to have students involved in diversity initiatives in order to garner their support. Participants will be encouraged to share what does (and doesn’t) work in their respective schools and brainstorm new ways to get students involved in diversity initiatives.
Room: Salon 2 | Presenter: Paul Neal
Data ought to drive our decision making as school leaders. Very few resources exist to accomplish this and leaders don’t know where to readily find this information. We can stay on mission and lead well when we have the data to make decisions. In this session, participants will gain understanding in how to respond to customer expectations, how to measure awareness and perceptions as well as measure success in improving awareness and perceptions, and how to understand the marketplace and changes in the market using research allowing them to effectively communicate with specific market segments rather than one large unknowable market.
Room: Salon 7 | Presenter: Tim McAboy
New, and experienced, administrators have gifts and training that lead them to feel well-prepared for leadership. However, the realities of a life in leadership often leave them with questions and seeking training in areas in which no training exists. These areas include self-care (devotions, exercise, sleep), handling crucial conversations, leading the reluctant follower, leaving work at work, making teacher observations a priority, securing a mentor, and “scheduling your values” while ensuring time remains for the most important work God intends. In addition to sharing relevant research, literature, and Scripture on these topics, a panel of experienced Christian school leaders will share their stories of working their way through these same difficulties.
Room: Salon 5 | Presenter: Brian Simmons
Christian school board members are leaders and heads of schools are leaders. The key governance question in the context of Christian school education is “Who leads what?!” Ideally, board members and the head of school are members of a team working together to achieve a common goal. In this session biblical stewardship will be discussed as the foundational construct for successful governance and effective organizational leadership. Characteristics of effective boards including three specific board member roles will be discussed. Biblical themes and established theories from supporting literature will be explored through group interaction, case studies and reflection opportunities for deeper application.
Room: Salon 3 | Presenters: Ellen Black and Lynn Swaner
Engaging students in learning is vastly different in the 21st century, due to a conflux of technological change, increasing diversity of learners, shifts in cultural norms, rapid globalization, and unprecedented complexity in all areas of life and work. Christian educators at all levels must adapt to this reality and create dynamic learning environments and pedagogies that foster collaboration and problem-solving. This session will present research findings and engage participants in reflection and group discussion activities to help assess their current practice, as well as strategize ways to strengthen engaged learning in the larger school or university environment.
Lunch | Room: Executive Ballroom H/I
Breakout Session C
Room: Salon 2 | Presenter: Steve Dill
School improvement is a complex process that requires multi-year time frames. The Flourishing School Framework provides an overview and a rubric for the six most important strands of school improvement: Board Governance, Executive Leadership, School Viability, Student Learning, Spiritual Formation, and School Culture. In this session, we will give an overview of the Framework and engage in a discussion with participants on the process of moving a school “across the chart” into the flourishing column, which aligns with ACSI Exemplary School Accreditation. School improvement rightly understood is a continual journey, not a static destination.
Room: Salon 4 | Presenter: Gene Frost
For the Christian School to thrive in the century ahead it will not only have to do things better but will have to do them differently. Christian educational leaders will have to create a new paradigm for their schools. Ironically many of the “new” elements are based in principles modeled in scripture and demonstrated over the past 2000 years. Understanding and implementing these concepts and principles can help the participants’ schools thrive in the years ahead.
Room: Signature 1 | Presenters: Michael Allison, Stephen Case, and John Cooley
Anyone who reads or watches the news can see that American culture is changing rapidly. Leaders in Christian schools have expressed valid concerns that these changes place them at greater risk of negative publicity, governmental scrutiny, and litigation. This presentation will focus on several religious freedom issues, including how Title IX changes affect Christian schools, the increase in targeted governmental actions, and steps educators can take to protect their sincerely held beliefs. Participants can expect to leave this presentation equipped with an understanding of the religious freedom issues currently facing Christian schools, and workable suggestions for protecting their schools.
Room: SALON 23
Room: Salon 3 | Presenter: Chris Browne
How does your school measure what matters? As Christian educators we are mandated to equip students to become spiritually mature, but without an accurate assessment tool how do we measure what matters most? This workshop will introduce administrators to the largest ongoing global spiritual formation, worldview and integration assessment and give time for dialogue to examine what some of the data suggests as well as to learn about best practices from different schools that are using the data to make strategic changes. The Global Student Assessment equips leaders and teachers to identify opportunities to differentiate to the heart and increase understanding.
Room: Salon 6 | Presenter: Mary Martin
What evidence supporting your students’ digital work is worth the cost and effort? Research literature throughout the past decade has shown that technology can enhance literacy development, support learning, and motivate student learning. The best literacy curriculum, though, is not merely interaction between student and technology. The most effective instruction takes place when both the teachers and the technology adapt and respond to student learning. In this session the foundational principles for high-impact literacy instruction will be shared alongside how schools can effectively and wisely use digital tools to improve student learning.
Room: Salon 5 | Presenter: Terry Elam
The transition from high school to college for students and families can be complex, nuanced and very stressful. Learning from each other, sharing experiences and strategies is very helpful to all counselors – particularly those who are the only guidance/college counselor in their school. We will address both the “formal” and “informal” partnership between high school counselors and college/university admissions officers with emphasis on the “informal.” This involves building relationships of mutual respect, common objectives, and the openness to share and to call each other when urgencies arise. This will be an interactive session inviting participants to share their knowledge, wisdom, and learning experiences with the group.
Room: Salon 1 | Presenter: David Smith
How do faith and science interact in the Christian science or Bible classroom? Teaching FASTly (i.e. teaching in a way that honors both faith and science) is more than having periodic discussions of controversial science and religion questions. The connection between faith and science also includes fostering the virtues needed to do science well and to interact well while doing it, examining motivations for science learning, considering connections to and impact on the wider community, and more. This session will explain the FASTly approach to teaching faith and science, engage participants in interactive exercises to foster making fresh connections, and share practical examples of teaching strategies that bring alive the connection between faith and science.
Room: Salon 8 | Presenter: Lynn Swaner
A literature synthesis by Swaner (2016) revealed that professional development (PD) in Christian schools often falls short of national standards. Further, there is a lack of clarity around what constitutes best practice in PD for Christian educators and leaders, with the result that PD is often haphazard. This session will help school leaders to be more intentional in designing PD experiences that reflect best practices, by first briefly presenting the research findings, and then engaging participants in a series of guided reflection and group discussion activities to help them assess their current practices and strategize to improve upon them.
Room: Salon 7 | Presenter: Phil Graybeal
“When trust is lacking, we spend so much time and energy covering our bases, protecting our turf, and creating alliances that we can’t do anything effectively.” (Trustology by Fagerlin, 2013) This session will address the ingredients of a healthy trust relationship between the head of school and the board. Participant illustrations and discussion will bring to light behaviors and attitudes that hinder trust and the corresponding behaviors and attitudes that build a healthy trust relationship. Pre-reading of the recommended resource material will enhance the experience.
Breakout Session D
Room: Salon 2 | Presenter: Thomas Dykhouse
Can your school, in a sustainable way, simultaneously grow teacher compensation, professional development, program excellence, and enrollment? This session will describe a model developed by Eastern Christian School to answer the philosophical and practical elements of this question. The session will detail the methods used by this school to enhance its professional development program while simultaneously closing the gap in teacher compensation with local public school districts.
Room: Salon 6 | Presenter: Stephen Reel
Christian school leaders are required to lead and follow their school boards simultaneously in their leadership role. This is a skill that must be learned on the job, especially given the fact that most school leaders have not experienced this reality in their previous roles. In this session, we will seek to understand the critical aspect Leading Up by exploring related biblical themes and supporting literature through group interaction, case study problem-solving, and reflection opportunities for deeper application. Additionally, a panel of Christian school leaders with proven successful experience in Leading Up will contribute to the discussion and provide practical advice and counsel.
Room: Salon 5 | Presenter: Justin Silvey
The session will present a background of the school counselor profession and an introduction to the new era of school counseling. The session will provide an introduction to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) national model, including the three domains, social/emotional, academic, and career/college, of school counseling. After outlining the school counseling profession, specific examples will be explored of how the three domains may be applied to meet specific needs within Christian Schools around the world.
Room: Signature 1 | Presenter: Brian Burchik
Popular culture exalts youth and young “adulthood” as the pinnacle of life, creating a vacuum of long-term vision and realistic expectations for students today. Within this youth-oriented culture, how are we as Christian educators preparing students for a lifetime of faithfulness to Christ, far beyond graduation? In this session, we will examine the unique opportunities and obstacles of seven predictable stages of life. Together, we will use this framework to consider how we can best orient students’ lives, providing clarity to their present while also casting a hopeful but realistic vision for their future as followers of Christ.
Room: Salon 7 | Presenter: Beth Ackerman
Teachers are challenged every day to educate students with vastly different learning capabilities, preferences, and interests. How does a teacher cater to all these unique learning needs while achieving school administrative goals and helping students pass standardized tests? The answer is differentiated instruction: adapting teaching methods to each individual student. GUIDE to Differentiated Instruction will cover through lecture and discussion how the Great Commission can inform our understanding of differentiated instruction.
Room: Salon 8 | Presenter: Sally Ingles
A growing body of research focused upon the dispositions of effective teachers suggests that teacher candidates’ oral communication, human interaction, critical thinking, and leadership skills have a greater influence upon “on-the-job performance” than traditional academic criteria. Hiring decisions and teacher candidate selection decisions are high-impact practices. Board members, school administrators, and teacher educators will be empowered to make evidence-based selection decisions once they learn to assess dispositions of the educators and leaders they interview.
Room: Salon 3 | Presenter: Patrick Otto
A perfect storm of a declining student population, greater competition for students, and a long difficult economic environment have taken a toll on American K-12 Christian schools for more than a decade. Many Christian schools have failed in recent years and others are in trouble. Yet some seem to weather the storms and come out even better than before. Why? What makes the difference? This perfect storm has taken a toll on American K-12 Christian schools for more than a decade and it may now be headed toward your university.
Room: Salon 1 | Presenter: Matt Dominguez
Are you tired of approaches to integration that feel artificial and leave you, your teachers and your students feeling frustrated? If one of the distinctions of a Christian education is integration then why do so many Christian teachers and students struggle with the conventional approaches to Integration in our classrooms? Connecting Truth answers the questions that administrators, teachers and students are asking and presents a Christ-centered model that will free teachers and equip students toward authenticity and wholeness across disciplines and equip you to transform your classrooms into authentic Christ-centered place of learning and invite you to live an integrated life.
Room: Salon 4 | Presenter: Erik Hoekstra
Dordt College was founded in 1955 to provide, “an education that is Christian not merely in the sense that devotional exercises are appended to the ordinary work of the college, but in the larger and deeper sense that all the class work, all of the students’ intellectual, emotional, and imaginative activities shall be permeated with the spirit and teaching of Christianity.” While those founder’s words were clear, there are various challenges to living that out in the contemporary context. The college’s current president will offer a case study of Dordt’s journey—including both success factors and potential pitfalls—in hopes that Dordt’s story might be helpful to other schools and colleges in the future.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Coffee Break/Exhibits | Room: Executive Ballroom H/I
Room: Executive Ballroom H/I | Plenary Session with David Kinnaman
David Kinnaman is the author of the bestselling books Good Faith, You Lost Me and unChristian. He is president of Barna Group, a leading research and communications company that works with churches, nonprofits, and businesses ranging from film studios to financial services. Since 1995, David has directed interviews with nearly one million individuals and overseen hundreds of U.S. and global research studies. He and his wife live in California with their three children.
Breakout Session E
Room: Salon 4 | Presenters: Phil Hills and Philip Scott
Both Canada and the U.S. are in a time of shifting norms. This session will cover what has recently taken place in Canada over the last several years to coerce Christian schools to modify their operations in ways that have caused much concern over preserving Christian beliefs on sexual norms. Learn how Canadian Christian schools have navigated new limitations and restrictions and still found a way to remain faithful to the Gospel. As the U.S. and other nations heads down the same path of Canada attendees will hear a challenge on what some of these cultural pressures present and what schools need to consider when preparing for the storm ahead in their context.
Room: Salon 2 | Presenter: Dhugie Adams
We live in a world saturated with technology. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, children ages 8 to 18 spend approximately 7 hours and 38 minutes per day with modern technology. Technology itself isn’t bad, but like everything else, it can be used for evil and destruction. Students need parents and faith leaders to lovingly teach them how to use technology with wisdom. In this session, we will examine the leading technologies that are discipling the next generation. We will see how they have revolutionized the world and offer incredibly practical steps for how to use them with wisdom.
Room: Salon 1 | Presenters: Janet Lowrie Nason and Petroes Soeryo
Non-North American, global Christian schools and leaders have unique needs which impact sustainability. Many must biblically integrate a national curriculum. Bilingual and trilingual schools enjoy multicultural diversity within stakeholder groups which impacts curriculum, instruction and leadership models. Collaboration with church and political leaders is emphasized and is imperative in creating healthy, biblical community. The paradigm shift of expats working under and in biblical community with national leaders has begun and is a model to be replicated around the world. Preparing educational leaders for these “silent majority,” non-North American Christian schools remains the greatest challenge within the Christian school movement today.
Room: Salon 7 | Presenter: Amy Imbody
This session helps to equip teachers, administrators, curriculum developers, and professional development leaders to transform their school communities—classroom, boardroom, halls and office—in a biblical, Relational, Integral and Experiential approach to teaching and learning, a Redemptive Education: the quest to align with God’s design!
Room: Salon 6 | Presenter: Mitch Salerno
Navigating a course into the future is a perilous task. Known and unknown challenges lurk around corners, poised to impede our momentum and halt our progress. Christian school leaders face economic and social challenges as we seek to advance our schools. This moderated roundtable will provide an opportunity for leaders to discuss numerous challenges ranging from the future of tax exempt status to employing millennials to the legalization of pot. There is no shortage of topics. At the end of the discussion, leaders will have an understanding of the potential threats to sustainability and will be equipped to lead through challenges.
Room: Signature 1 | Presenter: Bill Brown
The current cultural moment is defined by a new set of moral and religious imperatives circling around sexual identity and practice. With culture rebooting itself every five years, how do we keep up so we can teach and mentor our students effectively? How do we equip them to understand and talk about LGBTQ issues in a Christ-centered manner? How do we serve students who find themselves experiencing same sex attraction? In this session, we will take an honest look at how we can maintain biblical teaching with practical Christ-centered initiatives. The focus will be on specific steps for the Christian school to develop an environment of positive cultural awareness and engagement.
Room: Salon 8 | Presenter: Milt Uecker
Decisions regarding programming for early education are often made by educators that lack training in early childhood and the nature and needs of the young child. This can lead to programs that are not centered on the uniquenesses of young children who think, speak and reason differently. This can result in superficial learning, student stress, and a sense of failure. This session will address false assumptions by teachers and leaders regarding young children. Accepting these assumptions as true can result in programs instructional strategies, curriculum, and environments that are inappropriate and often detrimental to the child’s education and well-being. Differences in philosophy between teachers and leadership also can lead to conflict and frustration.
Room: Salon 5 | Presenter: Dion Harrigan
The phrase Integration of Faith and Learning is used widely in many Christian colleges and universities as part of their mission statement. There, however, seems to be a profusion of rhetoric on the issue, and limited effective application. The reality of struggling Christian schools require administrators to maximize opportunities to shape the direction and increase the value of Christian higher education. Christian education needs more support in establishing and supporting faith integration. In this breakout session we will discuss why efforts at integration sometimes fail, propose three steps administrators can take toward effective integration, and provide strategies for ongoing support.
Room: Salon 3 | Presenter: Brooke Hempell
Just released! ACSI partnered with Barna Group to conduct a landscape study of K-12 education and the factors impacting school choice, particularly as they pertain to private Christian schools. This report is now available for educators who want to understand what parents value, their perceptions of different school types, and their motivations and barriers to choosing Christian education. Barna’s Senior Vice President of Research, Brooke Hempell, will share highlights of the research findings and field questions on how these insights apply in your own context.
Breakout Session F
11:30 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Room: Salon 2 | Presenter: Beth Green
A renewal of North America’s educational architecture requires models of educational formation orientated towards a distinctively Christian understanding of character and its attendant practices of teaching and learning. The wise use of empirical data and the creation of a professional research culture in education is necessary both to defend and develop such models. This session will model how engaging with research, in this case the findings of the Cardus Education Survey, can equip the next generation of thought leaders in Christian Education to advocate, defend and improve Christian Education for the common good.
Room: Salon 1 | Presenter: Kim Boyd
A March 2005 Washington Post article by Howard Kurtz titled, Study Finds College Faculties a Most Liberal Lot; reports that most faculty at non-Christian colleges disdain Christianity, with 72% indicating they are liberal, 84% favoring abortion, and 67% indicating homosexuality is acceptable. These faculties are typically the advisors and mentors of your children. Therefore, it is imperative that Christian university and Christian school leaders have a conversation around how to create better partnerships that result in creating a seamless transition from high school to college for young people. Through this presentation, we will unpack the barriers which prevent such partnerships with the intent of developing tangible solutions that can be immediately implemented upon return to our institutions.
Room: Salon 3 | Presenter: Mark Spencer
We are living in a post-Christian Western culture. Christian schools are at the cutting edge of the ‘culture wars’ where faith and values come into radical conflict with the society in which we live. As schools seeking to remain true to God’s word we need to be equipped to respond to the challenges of this world, particularly the growing impact of LGBTIQA+ issues. Drawing on Australian experiences and those of participants from other countries we will seek to explore these issues in an authentically biblical manner, seeking to reflect Christ’s love and care, within the constraints of the law and consistent with our ‘social licence’.
Room: Signature 1 | Presenter: Todd Williams
In the midst of an ever increasingly secularized culture, persistent economic challenges for Christian education constituents, and a saturated market the need is great for schools, universities, and ministries to think in new ways about how to work together toward one another and develop strategic and sustainable as well as practically beneficial partnerships that will advance the mission these entities share in common. This session will provide a short presentation followed by Q & A discussion as a means of developing amongst leaders a shared perspective that will enable them to think critically and creatively about the value and necessity of partnerships.
Room: Salon 4 | Presenter: Tom Cathey
This session we will discuss hiring principles in today’s changing culture. Can the Christian school still hire to its mission? What procedures should Christian schools have in place when it comes to hiring staff? We will discuss civil rights laws in regards to hiring, the application and interview process, contacts, and dismissal procedures.
Room: Salon 8 | Presenter: Kristi Martin
Anxiety is rising in our societies as the world becomes more complex. Many early educators are seeing an increase in extreme behaviors in young children while at the same time seeing a decrease in professionals willing to assess and treat children under the age of 6 years. The result is that many early educators are feeling helpless with regards to how to maintain classroom control with children with extreme behavioral expressions. This biblically-integrated session will challenge typical views of extreme behaviors in young children and open eyes to the effects of anxiety, a topic that is under researched in early education.
Room: Salon 7 | Presenter: Bryan Miller
An aligned and cohesive organization is essential to meet the demands of a rapidly changing school environment filled with rising expectations and growing school choice options. Every board and leadership team must be able to first address the question of what MUST change and what must NEVER change. The process for answering these questions requires input, ownership and effective communication. This session will not only delve into the gaps and tensions which will limit or stymie an organization but also show the power or an organization which can effectively bring together the parts of an organization to create a greater whole.
Room: Salon 6 | Presenter: Ruth Kuder
International students provide an unprecedented opportunity for Christian schools to extend their mission. They also present unique challenges. If you have, or are considering international students, this session will help you articulate a biblical rationale, as well as determine priorities in implementing or growing a program. Additionally, Individual feedback will be provided for attendees who submit a plan for implementation or improvement. Eastern Christian School has over 20 years of experience with international students, and in the past 5 years has doubled its international student population, increased its retention rate from an average of 70% to over 90%, and tripled international student tuition.
Room: Salon 5 | Presenter: Ryan Hewitt
In this session, we will explore one school’s journey of re-thinking their approach to developing Christ-centered, missional students. This case study will be a springboard to invite school leaders to analyze their vision, mission, values, and current practices in terms of “missions” and weigh those with the latest research, trends, and best practices in this field. Participants will explore the rewards and consequences of their current practices both for their schools and students as well as the individuals and communities they engage with, while leaving the session with a new approach for their school to consider.
Lunch | Room: Executive Ballroom H/I
Breakout Session G
Room: Salon 2 | Presenter: Nate Johnson
What goes on in the classroom (instruction and discipleship) is paramount to achieving your school’s mission. While we know this truth, we often abandon instructional leadership for the tyranny of the urgent. In this workshop, we will first dialogue about threats of inadequacies and inefficiencies in this area. We will then examine an instructional leadership calendar, observation tools, and how to leverage google drive (FREE) to create structures to improve communication and provide data that drive decision making. Prework will be made available to enhance the workshop experience (but not required). Please bring a laptop in order to navigate the objectives as we use Google forms and spreadsheets to disaggregate data.
Room: Signature 1 | Presenters: Tom Cathey and George Tryfiates
Christian school leaders have profound authority and capacity to speak into the public policy process, especially in times of seismic cultural and political change. This session will equip you to maximize your God-given – joyful – responsibility to be salt and light in an area of influence too often and too easily overlooked. It will give you the simple tools and understanding to help you work effectively with elected officials and other policy-influencers with confidence and professionalism. Educators simply want to educate: Learn the simple things you can do to help public policy expand that freedom.
Room: Salon 6 | Presenters: Lynn Roper and Erin Weber
Mentoring and discipleship are evident throughout Scripture and are important for Christian educators. We believe Christian school leaders should foster discipleship, not just spiritually, but also professionally. While most Christian school leaders desire discipleship and mentoring among their faculty, without an intentional, purposeful, and formal approach, this essential experience may not occur, especially for novice teachers. In this session, we will share our data about, experience with, and encouragement for mentoring in Christian education -- focusing on the benefits of, obstacles to, and strategies for implementing a mentoring program for novice teachers in Christian schools.
Room: Salon 5 | Presenter: Paul Campey
The often forgotten (but important) parts of healthy Christian schools is the appraisal of both the administrator of the school and also that of the board itself. Designed to be a practical session that looks at why these are important as well as how the appraisal process has been done well. This session is for administrators and board members alike!
Room: Salon 1 | Presenter: Alan Pue
Here’s reality. Education by its very nature is not affordable. In any case, keeping education affordable, whatever that may mean in any given situation, is probably as unrealistic as Don Quixote’s quest. Instead of focusing on price, leaders of faith based schools should be asking, “What does it cost to deliver an exceptional education that best represents and achieves our mission?” Cost, after all, is but one factor among many that drive the decision-making process for parents seeking a Christian education for their children. In this session we will explore those various decision shaping factors, the factors driving up the cost of education, and consider a more strategic approach to the pricing question.
Room: Salon 4 | Presenter: Todd Marrah
Biblical integration involves the whole child . . . thinking biblically, loving passionately, and serving generously. Embracing this school-altering idea causes the school leader to develop a mind that thinks God’s thoughts after Him, a heart that loves with a similar passion as Jesus’, and hands that serve others as more important than one’s self. What is relational spirituality? What implications does the truth that “all spiritual formation happens in relationships” have on biblical integration and worldview shaping in the 21st century? This roundtable will include a brief review of related material and a guided discussion format on the implications.
Room: Salon 8 | Presenter: Vernard Gant
The Christian school movement in the US is undergoing a positive yet radical change. Increasingly, Christian schools are expanding their services to varying and diverse student populations. These school face the challenge of how to effectively assimilate a child who underperforms academically into a rigorous academic program. Or, how to adapt to children from culturally different social, racial, ethnic, and/or linguistic backgrounds. And/or, how to accommodate children from economically low and/or moderate income families. This workshop offers a biblically based approach to developing the competencies to addressing social, racial, and cultural, economic and academic differences.
Room: Salon 7 | Presenter: Edward Noot
Senior educational leaders often work in insolation, finding it difficult to develop collegial relationships and engage in meaningful professional development. The Society of Christian Schools in British Columbia established a Senior Leadership Enrichment Seminar to meet this need. The seminar is a multi-year guided conversation that provides professional development in the context of an emerging collegial community. Guided conversation engages participants in key leadership issues while shared stories, experience and learning forge a collegial community. This session will identify key elements of this program with an emphasis on how a similar program might work in your region.
Room: Salon 3 | Presenter: Glen Schultz
Most Christian school websites have some reference to “excellence.” Because we serve a God who is excellent, it is vital that our schools pursue excellence. However, we must pursue excellence from a biblical perspective. During this session, we will explore the answers to questions such as, “How are most schools defining excellence?” “What determines whether academics or extracurriculars are excellent?” and, “how is biblical excellence different from the world’s concept of excellence?”
Room: Executive Ballroom H/I | Plenary Session with Bill Brown
Dr. William E. (Bill) Brown led two Christian universities as President - Bryan College (1993-2003) and Cedarville University (2003-2013). Currently, he is the Senior Fellow of Worldview and Culture at the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He also directs the Colson Fellows Program (formerly, the Centurions Program). He serves as the Senior Executive of WorldAPP, and is a partner in the firm, Partnership Advisors.
Dr. Brown is the author of Making Sense of Your Faith, Where Have All the Dreamers Gone? Observations from a Biblical Worldview, and Making Sense of Your World (with Gary Phillips and John Stonestreet). He also is the Executive Producer and speaker for the multiple award-winning DVD series, re:View worldview study. Dr. Brown and his wife, Lynne, have been married since 1976. They have two children—April and Alex, and three grandchildren.