Senior Leadership

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DrLarryTaylorI am inspired by the faith, courage, and reverence for God by Christian educators around the world! It reminds me of the story recounted in
I Samuel 17 about David defeating Goliath. In verse 29, David’s response to the inaction of his elder brothers and the Israelites especially encourages me. He boldly and nobly answers the call to action by asking, "Is there not a cause?”

I can think of no greater cause than to partner with you as you advance Kingdom education. We fully believe that authentic devotion to the Christian faith and academic excellence are mutually reinforcing. There are not two or three forms of excellence, but rather an ethos that is cultivated throughout every facet of our schools. Faith is not separated from learning but rather integrated intentionally, resulting in a distinctive Christian worldview.

Scholarship and learning become an integral component to the maturation process known as discipleship. Thus, becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ, the ultimate objective of the Great Commission (Matt. 26:28-30), is the prize for which we strive; it is the highest form of excellence! It is certainly conceivable that we could produce students with the spiritual depth needed to enter our pluralistic society and not fall prey to empty philosophies. Rather, they would be equipped to saturate the marketplace to which God has called them with confidence, purpose, and an eternal perspective.

ACSI’s ongoing mission is to strengthen Christian schools and equip Christian educators worldwide as they prepare students academically and inspire them to become devoted followers of Jesus Christ. We want to serve you as you continue to cultivate and sustain a flourishing school. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you—thank you for your obedience to God’s call on your life—you are indeed making a difference.

Dr. Larry Taylor President, ACSI


President's Advisory Team


David Balik Vice President USA/Senior Director, Eastern Division

David Balik

 Vice President of USA

Gavin Brettenny

Gavin Brettenny

Associate Vice President of Global Strategic Development for Christian Education

Kevin Buelke

Chief Finance Officer

Juan Cabrera
Juan Cabrera

Chief Information Officer

Thomas Cathey

Thomas Cathey

Chief Of Staff

Executive Director, ACSI Education Foundation

Stephen Dill

Executive Director, ACSI Education Foundation

Cindee Dodds

Cindy Dodds

Vice President of Flourishing Initiatives


Senior Vice President of Global

Michael Epp

Senior Vice President of Global

John Klingstedt - COO

John Klingstedt

Chief Operating Officer


Larry Lincoln - Director of Communications

Larry Lincoln

Chief Communication & Engagement Officer

Jerry Nelson

Jerry Nelson

Special Advisor to the President


George Tryfiates

George Tryfiates

Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs

Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer

Lynn Swaner

Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer

Kurt Unrug

Kurt Unruh

Senior Vice President for Global Business Development

Susan Verheul - COO

Susan Verheul

Finance Director and Controller

News and Press Releases

ACSI Welcomes New Vice President for Development

Jun 6, 2022, 06:49 AM by Caitlyn Berman

Colorado Springs, CO – The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Waterman as its new Vice President for Development. Waterman will assume the duties formerly overseen by Dr. Steve Dill, who will be retiring July 31, 2022.

Waterman will provide leadership and oversight to all development and fundraising efforts on behalf of ACSI. He and the development team will advance the mission of the Association by securing financial support from private funding Kingdom-minded investors. Waterman will also oversee the team responsible to secure financial support from state-specific tax credit and other school choice programs. Last year, this team collected and distributed over $9 million of tuition assistance grants.

He assumes his new role today.

ACSI President Dr. Larry Taylor shared his strategic vision for Waterman’s role as a member of the Association’s Senior Staff.

“The development function of ACSI will be a critical component in allowing us to reach and shape the next generation for Christ,” he shared. “Ben Waterman is a skilled leader who brings tailored expertise in the non-profit development sector. His contribution will be key in strengthening the Association as we continue our mission across the globe.”

Ben Waterman 2Waterman has served in the Christian non-profit sector for more than 10 years in a variety of fundraising capacities. He most recently served as Managing Director of Development at By The Hand Club For Kids—a position in which he cultivated strategic relationships to advance the organization’s mission, raising $11 million annually and more than $40 million in capital projects.

Waterman’s strategic vision grew the fundraising operation of the organization, resulting in nearly double-digit financial growth each year for five years. 

Through these experiences, Waterman shared that he has “gained both knowledge and expertise from the various roles,” and that he looks forward to utilizing his knowledge for continued kingdom impact.

Prior to his time at By The Hand Club, Waterman managed a portfolio of major donors raising nearly $1 million annually as the Regional Director of Development at Taylor University in Indiana. He also provided oversight for marketing, communications and grant writing for 3 years as the Director of Development and Advancement Supervisor at Northern Seminary.

“I have always sought God’s guidance in my career,” he shared. “I have prayed diligently about this unique opportunity at ACSI and am certain that the work this association is doing is essential today. I believe my past experience has given me foundational skills in the areas of relational fundraising, team building, and team management.”

Taylor believes Waterman’s role will help open new doors for ACSI both domestically and internationally.

“The mission of ACSI has always been global, and I believe we are in a time where people are hungry for Gospel-centric education,” he said. “With a strong development function, ACSI will be fully equipped to further advance Christ-centered education.”

To learn more about ACSI, please visit the website or connect with the ACSI Care Team by calling (800) 367-0798 or by emailing

About ACSI: 

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, ACSI exists to strengthen Christian schools and equip Christian educators worldwide as they prepare students academically and inspire them to become devoted followers of Jesus Christ. ACSI advances excellence in Christian schools by enhancing the professional and personal development of Christian educators and providing vital support functions for Christian schools through multiple services including teacher and administrator certification, school accreditation, legal/legislative assistance, and curriculum publishing. ACSI supports more than 5,000 member schools throughout the United States and around the world, which collectively serve approximately 1.2 million students. Through additional training programs, materials, and expertise provided to other educational groups worldwide, ACSI’s overall influence and positive impact reaches more than 26,000 schools operating in 100 countries, together serving 5.5 million people.

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