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It’s Time for Your School Culture to Flourish How God Intends

Think for a moment, in 100 years, what legacy do you want to leave for the students that sit in your classrooms? ACSI wants to come alongside you and help your school community flourish how God intends—biblically.

We started with research...
The Research

Through a multi-year research endeavor, ACSI identified 35 constructs that support five primary domains, which create a school community consisting of healthy spiritual, emotional, and cultural characteristics. This research was validated by a rigorous independent review sponsored by Cardus and grew into the ACSI Flourishing Initiative.

Flourishing School Culture
Created the Flourishing School Culture model...

Backed by rigorous research and God’s Word, the Flourishing School Culture model provides the framework to measure school community strengths and weaknesses and create an action plan to see transformational results.

Explore the Model
Now we’re equipping you...
We’ve developed tools and training to help you measure and foster a flourishing school culture.
Flourishing School Culture Instrument

Leverage a multi-stakeholder assessment that will measure flourishing within your school community and deliver valid, reliable scores and benchmark comparisons showing areas of flourishing and improvement.

Flourishing School Institute

Experience how to apply the research and instrument data into tangible everyday leadership and school activities to radically transform your school culture.

Flourishing Faith

The FFI Research report (free download here) provides an overview of the research, including literature review, methodology, validation process, and initial findings. The FFI will be available for schools’ use beginning in early 2024.

...and are continually integrating the Flourishing School Culture Model into our programs and resources.
Professional Development

Utilize turn-key opportunities to grow in key areas of leadership with PD opportunities available in a variety of formats, time commitments and CEU capability. A faculty and staff resource, PD by Design, provides on-demand, research-aligned modules to equip and encourage your team in a way that works for you.

Additional Resources

Deepen your on-going learning and steps to flourishing with additional resources such as books, articles, devotional material and more.

...so your school can
flourish how
God intends.

Not sure where to start?
Learn how to holistically assess your school’s culture.

Meet the Leadership Team Behind the Flourishing Initiative
Dr. Larry Taylor, Ph.D.
Taylor, Ph.D.
President, ACSI
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Lynn Swaner, Ed.D.
Swaner, Ed.D.
Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer, ACSI
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Cindy Dodds, M.Ed.
Dodds, M.Ed.
Vice President of Flourishing Initiatives, ACSI
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Edward Bunn, Ed.D.
Bunn, Ed.D.
Director of Leadership Programs, ACSI
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Designed to Flourish
“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots to the stream.”
Dr. Larry Taylor, Ph.D.
Larry Taylor, Ph.D.
President, ACSI

Dr. Larry Taylor is the President of ACSI. He previously spent 20 years as the head of school at Prestonwood Christian Academy (PCA) in Plano, Texas. During this time, Dr. Taylor co-launched a national training institute for schools, the “Becoming a Kingdom School Institute,” and developed a training program for parents titled “Becoming a Kingdom Family.” Dr. Taylor authored the book Running with the Horses, which helps parents raise children to be servant-leaders for Christ and helps to build a family plan. He can be reached via email at president@acsi.org.

Lynn Swaner, Ed.D.
Lynn Swaner, Ed.D.
Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer, ACSI

Dr. Lynn Swaner has served for over 15 years as a Christian school administrator as well as a graduate professor of education. She has been with ACSI for three years. As the Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer, Dr. Swaner leads initiatives and engages in strategic planning to address compelling changes and opportunities facing Christian education. She is a published researcher, conference speaker, and author in the fields of both K-12 and higher education. Dr. Swaner received her Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City.

Cindy Dodds, M.Ed.
Cindy Dodds, M.Ed.
Vice President of Flourishing Initiatives, ACSI

Cindy Dodds is the Vice President of Flourishing Initiatives at ACSI. Before joining ACSI, as part of her 20 years in Christian school leadership, she served as Head of School for two Christian schools in Pennsylvania. Dodds is most recognized for her commitment to continuous school improvement and her passion for leadership development.

Edward Bunn, Ed.D.
Edward Bunn, Ed.D.
Director of Leadership Programs, ACSI

Dr. Edward Bunn has served in the field of Education for over twenty-six years. He holds a Masters in Christian School Administration and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. As a lifelong learner, Dr. Bunn believes strongly in leadership development and teacher quality. From his experience as an adjunct professor, schoolteacher, and head of school, Dr. Bunn continues to provide consultation and coaching to schools. Currently, Dr. Bunn serves as ACSI’s Director of Leadership Programs where he develops key initiatives supporting the personal and professional growth of school leadership teams.

Defining Well-Being

Well-being is an important domain for both student and educator flourishing. The FSCI identified three constructs related to well-being—one for teachers and leaders (Stress), and two for students (Healthy Living and Resilience). This domain and related constructs demonstrate that the well-being of educators and students is not a secondary concern—but an essential contributor to flourishing outcomes.

Well-Being FSCM Constructs

Stress – Constant feelings of stress and being overwhelmed accompany a lack of time to prepare for instruction (Teachers) or to focus on physical health (Leaders).

Healthy Living – Students are happy with their physical health, including sufficient exercise and a healthy diet.

Resilience – Students handle stress effectively and respond well to/bounce back from difficult situations.

Defining Purpose

A Christian perspective on education provides the telos, or purposeful aim, of Christian schooling. The FSCI identified a commitment on the part of all school constituencies to the central purposes of education as strongly connected with flourishing outcomes.

Purpose FSCM Constructs

Responsibility – Leaders, teachers, and support staff feel a sense of shared ownership for school mission, success, and improvement.

Holistic Teaching – Teaching involves helping students develop spiritually and emotionally (teaching the heart and soul, as well as the mind).

Integrated Worldview – Christian worldview changes how we educate; there is no such thing as a secular sphere.

God’s Story – Students believe they are a part of God’s bigger plan and can be used by him to “make a difference.”

Questioning – Students have doubts about their faith, lack time to pray or study the Bible, and feel that most Christians are too judgmental.

Partnership – Families feel they are a part of the school’s mission, and that their child’s spiritual development requires their partnering with and being involved at the school.

Spiritual Formation – Alumni report that their Christian faith is stronger thanks to attending a Christian school, and they believe people can change with God’s help.

Defining Expertise & Resources

While a sense of purpose is essential for Christian school leaders and teachers, their ability to fulfill that purpose is necessarily dependent upon their expertise as educators. FCSI research shows that flourishing is connected to excellence in educational and school management practices.

Expertise & Resources FSCM Constructs

Qualified Staff – New teacher hires are credentialed (licensed/certified) and have classroom experience.

Responsiveness to Special Needs – Teaching staff works together to serve students with special needs, aided by processes and resources for identifying and responding to those needs.

Resources – Materials and resources for teaching, including technology, are sufficient, and the school building is in good physical condition.

Resource Planning – A strategic financial plan and master facilities plan is in place, and financial planning is a strength of the board.

Resource Constraints – The school has financial resources to operate effectively; or, we could be more effective as a school if not for fiscal constraints, and we lack the resources we need to make changes in our school.

Opening Evening

Opening Evening Schedule

Day One

Day One Schedule

Day Two

Day Two Schedule

*Please note this is a sample schedule and the final schedule can change per specific location.