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More Than 350 Christian School Leaders Convene in Chicago for New Cycle of ACSI’s Flourishing Schools Institute

Jun 20, 2022, 07:34 AM by Caitlyn Berman

Chicago, Illinois– The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) will host its new cycle of the Flourishing Schools Institute (FSi), drawing more than 350 Christian school leaders to Hilton Chicago Oak Brook Hills Resort from June 21-23, 2022. 

The FSi is part of ACSI’s Flourishing Initiative—a multifaceted approach to assessing and improving school culture so that all members can collectively thrive.

The FSi correlates with the research-validated Flourishing School Culture Instrument (FSCI) and the resulting Flourishing School Culture Model (FSCM). The FSCI provides a comprehensive analysis of a school's strengths and areas for growth, while the FSCM serves as a model comprised of five domains—Purpose, Relationships, Teaching & Learning, Expertise & Resources, and Well-Being, as stated on the ACSI website. The institute is organized around these five research-based domains that contribute to the development of a Christ-centered flourishing school.

ACSI President Dr. Larry Taylor believes equipping leaders with a biblically based philosophy of education is essential to the health and success of the entire school community.

“Our institutes have been a tremendous success,” he shared. “The FSi Chicago is the first institute of the second cycle, with new experts bringing fresh content in the five domains. Each institute is designed to be a hands-on, collaborative approach to pursuing flourishing schools.”

Speakers including Dr. Sean McDowell, Associate Professor in the Christian Apologetics program at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, Dr. Leah Zuidema, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Dordt University, Dr. K. Shelette Stewart, Founder and Principal of Stewart Consulting, LLC, Mia Mbroh, licensed professional counselor and facilitator of organizational wellness, and Dr. Scott Rodin, President of The Steward’s Journey and Kingdom Life Publishing, will provide best practice content in their respective domain to assist leaders in framing their action plans and initiatives.

According to Cindy Dodds, ACSI Vice President of Flourishing Initiatives, FSi sessions will be largely interactive, allowing leaders to collaborate in the development of an action plan that meets the unique, research-informed needs of their school.

“The FSi helps schools move from research to practice,” Dodds said. “Our vision is to see Christian school leadership teams engage in an enduring, transformative school growth process in tandem with other Christian school leaders, together pursuing flourishing school communities. We are beginning to see this vision realized, as school leadership teams return to the institute year over year to engage more deeply in their flourishing journey.”

David Welling, Head of School at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida, attended the FSi in Orlando and was so impressed, he plans to bring his entire administrative team to the Chicago institute.

“The FSi brings the framework we have been looking for to systematically align the most important domains in our school,” he shared. “We are so happy for this researched based approach. Our entire administrative team will join the institute this summer outside of Chicago.”

Taylor believes the institute will launch leaders on the journey toward Christ-centered flourishing school cultures.

“As a recent head of school, I can personally attest to the challenge of building and sustaining a Kingdom-focused, successful school culture,” Taylor said. “We’re glad to gather in person again, working side by side through this process. Each leader will leave the FSi with a unique roadmap to a truly flourishing school community.”

To learn more about FSi, visit the website or connect with the ACSI Care Team by calling (800) 367-0798 or by emailing careteam@acsi.org.

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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