International Snapshot

Creating leaders for the Kingdom

Fellow International Christian Educator,

This semester, our global team has traveled far and wide in service to many of your schools. I know that Tim Thompson has visited nine schools in eight countries assisting with accreditation issues. Tim, along with Kimberly Park, also provided several accreditation trainings in various locations. Did you know that 72% of our international schools are either accredited by ACSI or in process? Many of those schools have dual accreditation with one of the other recognized accredited agencies. My very first experience with ACSI accreditation occurred in 1989 when I was a fairly new teacher at Black Forest Academy. Even then I could see how the discipline of accreditation brought great value to the school and betterment to my own teaching. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but always worthwhile. It’s one of the best ways for your school to improve.

My own travel schedule took me to some interesting places this semester. I especially want to greet my new friends at Abundant Life International School in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. There, a group of ACSI and WASC visiting team members got to see another amazing example of God at work through Christian schooling around the world. In 2011, ALIS had 35 students; eight years later, they have just over 2000 Cambodian students with more growth to come! I loved the sign displayed in the school that says, “Vision: Strong, well educated, Christian leaders, the future of the Kingdom of Cambodia.” ALIS is raising up leaders for the nation! Do you have a similar vision for the students of your classroom? Do you see your students like Paul does? “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” perhaps , were created for good works, amazing worksYour students .)2:10 Ephesians(good works minded-future your students’ toudrawing . Your task is changers!-nationto be even indeed a high calling. Kingdom. Yours is ly for the eternal and ultimatenow

I also want to say a quick hello to friends I met at Hope International School and El Dream International school in Phnom Penh, as well as the teachers and leaders I met at the iSC Re-Framing conference in Yantai, China. Wow! Thank you one and all for your good works.

Merry Christmas!


Tim Shuman for the International School Team
Tim Thompson, Assoc Regional Director
Anne Jones, Exec Assistant to Tim S.
Kimberly Park, Exec Assistant to Tim T.


  1. Registrations are flowing in now for ICEC Africa. The International Christian Educator Conference (ICEC) will take place on the campus of Kigali International Community School 1-4 April 2020. Keynote speakers include Research Fellow, Dr. Natasha Moore, at Centre for Public Christianity, Sandra Paetkau, consultant and founder of The Total Tech-Over, and Phil Dow, Superintendent of Rosslyn Academy, Nairobi, Kenya, and author of Virtuous Minds. Each delegate from a member school will also get 12-month access to ConNEXUS Premium that begins upon registration!
  2. Registration is open and people are signing up for International School Leaders Conference (ISLC) to be held 26-28 April 2020 in Dubrovnik, Croatia, at the beautiful Kompas Hotel. Come and meet ACSI’s new President, Dr. Larry Taylor. Keynote speakers include Dr. Roger Parrott, President of Belhaven University, author of “The Longview, Lasting Strategies for Rising Leaders” and Sandra Paetkau, consultant and founder The Total Tech-Over. Yes, heads may bring other members of their leadership team and spouses. Act fast; we think this gathering will fill up fast. All leaders in attendance will get a copy of Dr. Parrott’s book.
  3. PreField Orientation, June 23-July 1, 2020. How a new employee approaches their start overseas can determine how well they transition, approach crises, how they handle the dips in emotions that will come in the first year, etc. If pre-field orientation is done well, we believe new hires are more likely to stay longer on the field. Take a look at the PFO 2020 webpage to learn more about how we can partner with you in this process. Reminder: Heads of schools (or their designate) can attend PFO for free. We expect this person to join the PFO staff as an advisor to a group of participants made up of their school delegates and perhaps a few others.


  • Are you looking for a change next year? Check this out. We created an app for our most recent International School Job Fairs. The app remains available to you and contains hundreds of teaching opportunities at other ACSI member international school. Visit this browser version of the app to scan the opportunities available to you NOW!
  • I cannot stress enough how vital The International Educator newspaper subscription can be for your school. I’ve been getting it for well over 20 years. It really is the go-to resource for International schools worldwide. Recently, an article was posted entitled, “Are Staff Children Different? Part 1.” While it’s important to point out the findings in the article are only the observations of the author, it might be good to think through what Mr. Bywater is saying about our kids and wait to read Part 2 when it comes out.
  • Heads, have you read the recent article, “When Governance Breaks” by our friends at Resolve? This might be a good topic for discussion with your board. Some of you might need to tread carefully on this topic.
  • Have you considered the possibility of recruiting Christian teachers from South Africa? Here’s a possibility: first read the latest news from ACSI Southern Africa, then notice on the very last page they write, “Send your vacancies to post on our website and Facebook.” You can see their vacancies page here—I see one of our international schools has already posted their openings there.
  • This interesting article from ICEF Monitor shows how the choice of languages at schools is changing. What’s happening at your school in the languages department?
  • Did you see this infographic from my last newsletter that shows what the average American 15.8-year-old teen is into? I found it interesting that the top restaurant for that age group was Chick-fil-A. Since then, did you also notice how Chick-fil-A was in American news recently? I know this is an American issue, but Dr. Russel Moore addresses the question, “Should You Be Angry at Chick-fil-A?” in this article. This might be good for a current events topic with your students.
  • Pray with us. Search for the International Schools Prayer Community on the ACSI Community platform and then click Join. If you get this newsletter you have access to all Community Groups.
  • The ACSI Blog. Have you read the latest ACSI Blog post?





We didn’t get much response from last month’s poll but what we did get was very much appreciated.

To the question: What is the most meaningful thing that ACSI does for you or for your school? you told us things like …

  • Accreditation, Accreditation Conferences, Accreditation services.
  • PRAYER, of course
  • The monthly newsletters filled with tips, accreditation advice, heading up conferences like ICEC and ISLC.
  • The prayer post card I received a few weeks ago from ACSI was very meaningful and an encouragement for that week.
  • The International School Leaders Conference

To the question of, What one thing can ACSI Global do to improve its service to you? you told us …

  • Provide us as many tools as you can for accreditation, like pre-made school surveys, etc.
  • Focus on broadening the understanding of what it means to be international and serve international schools
  • Help recruit teachers!! Partner with us more extensively in the recruiting aspect - the app for the recruiting fair was excellent! How can that information be distributed to others who didn't come to the fairs? (See the first bullet point in the resource section above.)

Finally, to the question of, Can you name one or two ways you’ve seen God at work this semester? you let us know …

  • God helped our school through transition
  • He brought people to fill unique needs (like a 6-week long-term sub) three weeks after school started.
  • God has drawn many in our community to a greater place of corporate prayer.
  • Healing of illnesses including a life-threating issue.
  • We have had multiple teachers leave during the first semester and the Lord has always provided a replacement in time. We currently have another unexpected opening and we're waiting to see what the Lord will do!
  • God provided both a new HS principal and a new MS principal in the same year. In a time of administrator shortages around the world, this is truly miraculous!

Thank you to each one that participated. We appreciate it and we are listening.


Click here to participate

  • What special Christmas tradition have you held on to from your home culture?
  • What special Christmas tradition have you incorporated from your new host culture?
  • What kind of weather and temperatures do you typically see at your location during the Christmas holiday? Give country name, typical weather (snow, rain, or sun and heat, etc.) and temperature in Celsius.

Have a great holiday! Be sure to Unstring the Bow. Psalm 23.