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ACSI Partners with UnifiEd to Offer Christian Schools Resources on Cultural Intelligence

Mar 24, 2021, 07:14 AM by Caitlyn Berman
Colorado Springs, Colo. – The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and UnifiEd: A Center for Hope and Unity (UnifiEd) are partnering to provide Christian educators with biblically based resources on diversity, inclusion and racial reconciliation.

The alliance is aligned with ACSI’s Flourishing Initiative, which defines a flourishing Christian school as a community of students, educators and families that glorifies Christ and excels in knowing Him and making Him known.

ACSI President, Dr. Larry Taylor, believes that a truly thriving Christian community is one that intentionally fosters a culture of Christ-honoring unity.

“As Christians, we are called to disciple all of God’s children to reflect Christ in a culturally diverse world,” he said. “The partnership with UnifiEd will equip our educators so they can do this effectively.”

Leaders from both ministries share a passion for preparing educators to engage culture from an informed, Christ-centered perspective.

Dr. Walter Strickland II, UnifiEd Executive Director, defined the effective pursuit of unity as one that is theologically oriented, data-driven and aptly resourced.

“Cultural intelligence is a prerequisite to reconciliation and a necessity for every ambassador for Christ—despite the demographics of their school,” he said. “Scripture is the source that provides the motivation and methods for our approach to pursuing unity.”

UnifiEd offers a variety of services for Christian educators on the topics of diversity and cultural intelligence, including a professional journal, podcasts and webinars. As stated on the website, UnifiEd content is created by experts including Joel Gaines, who serves as Head of School at The City School in Philadelphia, and Tia Gaines, who serves as English Department Chair and Instructional Coach for Insight PA Cyber Charter School.

Tia Gaines, UnifiEd Director of Educational Strategy, believes these resources are relevant in the current cultural climate.

“Christian schools have more diverse classrooms today than perhaps ever before,” she said. “UnifiEd aims to help leaders integrate biblical principles of justice and unity into school culture and classroom pedagogy.”

In keeping with the goal of providing relevance, resources developed by UnifiEd are derived from real world experiences to inform the content creation process.

“Being a head of school and practitioner actually living out the very things that I write or connect about is a great advantage,” said UnifiEd Director of Leadership Development, Joel Gaines. “Navigating the highs and the lows has definitely informed and directly impacted the content we have at UnifiEd. It’s a joy to connect with other principals, but it’s even more impactful that it’s a part of my ethos—it's very much a part of who I am.”

Taylor is confident that Christians can demonstrate to a watching world what Kingdom-inspired action looks like. 

“Our desire for unity is not politically or socially driven, but rather is given to us by God,” he said. “Today’s challenge of racial division allows us to answer the biblical call to cultivate a school environment in which all of God’s children can flourish.”

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

About ACSI:

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., 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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About UnifiEd:

UnifiEd: A Center for Hope and Unity aims to equip Christian educators to think cross-culturally about their school’s mission. Their desire is to resource Christian schools to actualize the Ephesians 2:14 reality of the “dividing wall of hostility being torn down.” Through a variety of services, including webinars, podcasts and a professional journal, the ministry seeks to equip every student and Christian educator with the cultural intelligence to navigate a racially, politically and ideologically polarized world. Dr. Walter Strickland II is Executive Director of UnifiEd and is also a speaker at ACSI’s Flourishing Schools Institute.