New Book by Association of Christian Schools International and Cardus Reveals Roadmap to Financial Sustainability for Christian Schools August 1, 2022
Colorado Springs, Colo.– The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and Cardus have partnered to release a timely new book sharing research on how Christian schools are adapting to and embracing change as they advance the mission of Christian education. Chronicling the stories of 11 Christian schools and networks across the U.S., “Future Ready: Innovative Missions and Models in Christian Education” identifies innovative structures and strategies to support long-term mission attainment and overall school health.
The publication is a collaboration by authors Dr. Lynn E. Swaner, Dr. Jon Eckert, Erik Ellefsen and Dr. Matthew H. Lee.
According to Swaner, ACSI Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer and Cardus Senior Fellow, the release of this resource comes at an opportune time.
“It has perhaps never been more imperative that Christian schools embrace a fundamental mindset change around what it means to sustain their missions into the future,” she shared. “The stories of the 11 Christian schools and networks our team researched will inspire school leaders with new ideas and approaches to address the myriad of challenges and new opportunities facing their schools.”
Some of the innovative structures and strategies explored in the study include school mergers, online academies, microschools, Christian school districts, entrepreneurship and facilities leasing, and leveraging school choice programs.
David Hunt, Cardus Education Program Director, shared, "The most common questions I hear from Christian school leaders are around financial challenges, like how to make up for lost revenue from the drop in international student enrolment since 2020. But I also get questions about changing school models, hybrid schools, and finding ways to come alongside homeschool families,” he said. “In ‘Future Ready,’ you'll read about what 11 exemplary Christian schools have done – and are doing right now– to overcome challenges similar to yours. Every Christian school leader will benefit from Future Ready's fresh, creative insights."
‘Future Ready’ is already receiving recognition from thought leaders across the globe.
Dr. Ashley Berner, Director at Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, shared that “the scholars who crafted this book bring substantial research credibility and practical wisdom to their study of the future of Christian schools. They challenge leaders to broaden their outreach to historically underserved young people, build cultures of opportunity and innovation, and sustain the mission of Christian schooling while exploring new models. ‘Future Ready’ should be required reading for Christian school leaders and their boards.”
Dr. Jay Ferguson, ACSI Board Chair and Head of School at Grace Community School in Tyler, Texas, explained, “Christian schools are developing novel, creative business strategies that can serve as a guiding beacon to all. ‘Future Ready’ gathers top minds in Christian school research to unpack these innovations, drawing out themes and ideas that can assist all leaders in designing new models for their own schools’ future viability.”
Swaner anticipates the release will serve as a much-needed roadmap to sustainability for Christian schools.
“Encouraging our school leaders to think innovatively about how we accomplish our mission of discipling the next generation is very important,” she shared. “We want to equip leaders so that Christian education continues influencing our culture far into the future.”
The book will be available for purchase on ACSI’s Purposeful Design website in print or Ebook format in November 2022. A free excerpt of the book is available now at https://www.acsi.org/futureready.
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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Cardus is a Christian, non-partisan, not-for-profit public policy think tank focused on the following areas: education, family, work & economics, communities, end-of-life care, and religious freedom. Cardus conducts independent and original research, produces several periodicals, and regularly stages events with Senior Fellows and interested constituents across Canada and the U.S. Their work in education involves original research and policy studies on educational pluralism, excellence in education, and graduate outcomes.