2019 SUMMIT STRANDS
Christian schools in the 21st century face complex challenges and opportunities. GCSLS 2019 will focus on innovation—or developing adaptive solutions to these challenges and opportunities. The goal of innovation in Christian schools is a dynamic and excellent education for students, that is aligned with the way they are created—in God’s image, uniquely fashioned, and called to good works (Ephesians 2:10)—and that prepares them for God’s restorative work in their generation.
Christian education is in need of innovation in the areas of teaching, learning, and spiritual formation; the missional use of technology; engaging the culture for good; diversity and inclusion; and next generation leadership. Along with catalyzing innovation, these areas form the themes of the Summit. Each them is described below in terms of a central question, in order to invite Summit participants to explore ideas, share best practices, and generate solutions for the Christian school of today—and tomorrow.
- How can innovation catalyze the growth of human and resource potential, to allow Christian schools to grow and excel around the world?
21st Century Teaching, Learning, and Spiritual Formation
- How can Christian educators:
- Help students to understand their role in God’s story?
- Develop curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices that reflect biblical principles, promote deep student engagement, and encourage faith development?
- Equip students to think and act biblically, pursue beautiful work for real needs, and reflect Christ’s redeeming work for neighbor and creation?
Dan Beerens is an educational consultant, author, international speaker, and educational leader. Before starting Dan Beerens Consulting in May 2010, he served as Vice President of Learning Services and Director of Instructional Improvement at Christian Schools International. Prior to that, he was the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Holland Christian Schools. Dan has also worked as teacher and principal in urban and suburban public and Christian schools in Wisconsin and Illinois. He serves as a Senior Fellow at CACE (Center for the Advancement of Christian Education), as an adjunct professor at Dordt College, and represents Curriculum Trak sales and professional development. He blogs regularly for CACE and is the author of Evaluating Teachers for Professional Growth: Creating a Culture of Motivation and Learning (Corwin Press).
After teaching in British Columbia, Toronto, and at his alma mater Hamilton District Christian High School, Justin is now with the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools as the Director of Learning, where he partners with 70 member schools in a vision of learning for flourishing communities. At home, Justin and his wife Rachel (and their three beautiful children!) love trying to live intentionally in their neighborhood: sharing and restoring a multi-unit house, practicing hospitality, walking to church, feasting with friends. Justin attended Redeemer University College and Calvin College, and is currently an M.A. candidate at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, ON.
Dr. Roger Erdvig is the headmaster at Wilmington Christian School in northern Delaware. With a doctorate in education from Liberty University, Roger also serves as an adjunct professor in the Church Leadership and Theology Department at the University of Valley Forge and speaks and consults on the topics of leadership, worldview development, and effective pedagogy. Roger is a co-author of Bring It to Life: Christian Education and the Transformative Power of Service-Learning (forthcoming 2018).
Steven Levy has spent 27 years in the classroom and 20 consulting for Expeditionary Learning. He is now a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Advancement of Christian Education (CACE), offering independent consulting to Christian schools. He has been honored with numerous awards, including the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year and Disney National Elementary Teacher of the Year. He has written various articles for educational journals, and his book, Starting From Scratch, tells stories of his classroom adventures.
Technology and the Christian School Mission
- How can the implementation and use of technology be redemptive and restorative?
- How is technology a means for Christian schools to actuate their missions more effectively?
Engaging the Culture for Good
- How will Christian schools practice love and tell stories of hope to culture?
Adrienne Castellon, EdD, is Assistant Professor and Stream Director of Masters of Educational Leadership, at Trinity Western University, British Columbia, Canada. She is the primary investigator for the project Exploring Excellent Practice in K-12 Christian Education in Canada. Adrienne has worked as a secondary teacher, elementary principal and education consultant. In addition to teaching numerous graduate level courses for educators, she enjoys teaching undergraduates in the School of Education and stays current in the K-12 system through consulting and school-related projects. Her research interests include social justice issues particularly Indigenous, Women in Leadership and Special Education.
Christina Crook's book, The Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World, has made her leading voice on technology and human flourishing. Through her writing and speaking she reveals how key shifts in our thinking can enable us to draw closer to one another, taking up the good burdens of local work and responsibilities. She writes about the value of focus, making space to create, and the meaning we find in more limited connections. She challenges the Western values of power, control, and success, revealing how wonder, trust, and discipline are central to the experience of being human and the keys to our joy. Learn more about Christina at www.christinacrook.com.
Dr. Beth Green, FRSA, is the director of education at the faith-based think tank Cardus. Beth's expertise is in Christian school ethos; leadership and management; teaching and learning and social theory in education. At Cardus Education she is leading a program to enrich the public conversation with credible data on the impact of the religious school sector on graduate outcomes. Dr. Green is a former high school teacher and a graduate of Oxford, Cambridge and London universities.
Diversity and Inclusion
- How is diversity central to—and enhancing of—the mission of Christian schools?
- What are the best approaches and practices for meaningfully incorporating diversity in the Christian school?
Jenny Brady serves as the Director of Diversity at Prestonwood Christian Academy, a position created for the passion and personal experiences she brings to the diversity discussion. Jenny grew up on the mission field in Honduras and returned to the US for college graduating with a BA in Spanish from Stephen F. Austin State University. She is completing her Masters in Sociology in December 2018, while working at PCA as a teacher and administrator. Jenny has a passion for missions and mentoring – taking the gospel to the ends of the earth while training up the next generation of godly young men and women.
Joel R. Gaines serves as the assistant head of the Upper School at Delaware County Christian School, and will be transitioning in summer 2018 to the role of high school principal at The City School in Philadelphia. He graduated from Philadelphia Biblical University (Cairn University) with a BS in education and biblical studies, and earned his MEd in education from Cabrini University. Joel has served in multiple roles over the past 10 years in both Christian and public education, and in both urban and suburban settings.
Next Generation Leadership
- What will the next generation of Christian school leadership look like in Christian schools, and how will leaders structure the future Christian school to attract the next generation of families in a contemporary landscape?
Nathan Johnson has studied education throughout his academic career (at Furman, CIU, and Vanderbilt Universities). Based off of his studies, international living, and passion for bridging cultures and sharing the love of God, he founded the Charleston Bilingual Academy as a pilot school for Christian, intercultural, language immersion education. Nathan is also the co-founder of the Clapham Group, an educational think tank and consulting firm.
Dr. Daniel Pampuch was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Christian Schools Australia in January 2017. He was previously the Executive Officer of the Uniting Church Schools Commission, overseeing 18 institutions in Queensland. Daniel has 20 years of experience in Christian Education and most recently served as the Executive Principal of the Crest group of Christian schools and Early Learning Centres. Daniel has a PhD in Next Generation Leadership as well as Masters in both Business and Educational Leadership.