Flourishing Schools Institute Charlotte, North Carolina - June 20–22, 2023
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The Great Commission Project Advancing Christ-centered Education
ACSI's Foundational 3 Pillars:
Leading Christ-centered education toward excellence and flourishing
We want all schools to aspire to, achieve, and remain committed to a biblically-based philosophy of education, standards that are measurable, and flourishing-related criteria. ACSI strives to lead, support, and serve Christian schools, and educators, by placing them on a path of growth and flourishing using the research-based Flourishing Schools Initiative. This model should link leadership and faculty professional development accreditation, and every culture-driving component of a school. A common philosophy, and a flourishing-based metric, would unify our efforts of advancing Christian schools and educators.
Making Christ-centered education available and obtainable
ACSI is committed to making Kingdom education available to as many children and families as desire it, believing that such an education offers students an opportunity to grow in a loving relationship with their Creator, come to know His saving work through Jesus, and flourish in His Ephesians 2:10 calling for their lives. This commitment requires removing barriers to access for those who traditionally have not benefited from Christian school, as well as seeking out new ways to create access points to Kingdom education and the ability to thrive and be successful in that education—for all those who desire it.
Promoting and protecting Christ-centered education for today and tomorrow
As the largest evangelical Christian school association in the world, ACSI is by default viewed as the spokesperson for Christian schooling in the public square. In order to discharge this responsibility with excellence and seasoned speech (Colossians 4:6), and to equip our member schools to do the same, ACSI must invest in developing public-facing resources and forming strategic relationships with those working in the area of advocacy for Christian Education and for religious liberty.
SCHOOL LEADERSHIP | MARCH 21, 2023
Looking for the Helpers
The gray-haired professor stood before a group of unsuspecting students, pointed her finger at each student, and with a force of power, said: “If you do not stand up for young children, who will?”
At that moment God pierced my heart, called my name, and set me on my life’s journey (Isaiah 43:1). It has been a journey that has taken me from a public school teacher to a leader of children’s ministries, writer and editor of Christian curriculum, adjunct professor, consultant, parent, and grandparent. For more years than seems possible, I have been trying to show up, stand up, and speak up for children.
SCHOOL LEADERSHIP | March 14, 2023
Preventing “Mission Drift” is Not Enough
Since Peter Greer and Chris Horst wrote their inspirational book Mission Drift in 2014, Christian organizations have rightly focused on ways to remain true to their mission for the long term. Greer and Horst coined the term “Mission True” to denote organizations whose missions are truly their North Star. Inherent in the title of the book, and articulated throughout the chapters, is the assumption that organizations will default to drifting away from their mission—unless they intentionality guard that mission.
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Speakers Including Dr. Sean McDowell Inspire Christian School Leaders in Cultivating Flourishing School Communities
Kansas City, MO– The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) will host its popular Flourishing Schools Institute (FSi), drawing Christian school leaders from across the U.S. to The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center from Mar. 14-16, 2023. The institute features renowned speakers including Dr. Sean McDowell, Associate Professor in the Christian Apologetics Program at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, Dr. K. Shelette Stewart, Harvard graduate and Founder of Stewart Consulting, Mia Mbroh, licensed professional counselor, and more.
A 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 Kansas City will feature top experts bringing fresh content in the five domains. Each institute is designed to be a hands-on, collaborative approach to pursuing flourishing school communities.”
Speakers including McDowell, Stewart, Mbroh, Dr. Leah Zuidema, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Dordt University 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.”
Renee McLamb, Head of School at Northwood Temple Academy, has attended two of the ACSI Flourishing Schools Institutes.
“The Flourishing Schools Institute fans the passion for Christian education in not only my life, but in the lives of my admin team,” McLamb shared. “’Getting better at getting better’ has been our admin motto for the past few years, and the FSi has helped us do just that...get better at getting better! We came back from the Texas institute and immediately started evaluating practices in all areas of the school.”
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 email@example.com.
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. Serving more than 25,000 schools in 108 countries, ACSI helps more than 5.5 million students worldwide connect to Christian education.
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