Leadership Networks - Early Education

Association of Christian Schools International / ACSI / Leadership Networks / Leadership Networks - Early Education

Connect and network with us!

Join alongside early education program administrators, owners, directors, curriculum specialists and leaders for the opportunity to share ideas, challenges, and engage in building Biblical community. There are two different free opportunities per month:


EE Leader Connect 

With Dr. Cindy Barnum, Kim Brucker, and Dr. Suzie Mohler

Connect with Early Education Leaders for a time of topical discussion and collaboration for solutions to the challenges you face as a leader. Gain a sense of community with other leaders and be inspired with ideas, encouragement, and especially prayer. Register to attend EE Leader Connect for an impactful one-hour gathering where leaders spur one another on in their calling to Kingdom Education. Take a look at the upcoming topics and make plans to join us for a roundtable format of discussion on the 2nd Thursday of each month at

10:00 AM PT | 11:00 AM MT | 12:00 PM CT | 1:00 PM ET


Select the Meeting below to register. Upon registration a confirmation email will include the Meeting link.

Register once for the new season and plan to attend any or all the meetings.

Register Today!

2024-2025 Meetings⬇️

September 12 - Stronger Together – Getting To Know the Ministry You Belong To

October 10 - Calm and in Control: Supporting Students Unique Needs

November 14 - Developing and Measuring Your Expected Student Outcomes

January 9 - Hiring, Firing, and Helping Staff Grow

February 13 - Building a Bridge between Curriculum Guides and Daily Instruction

March 13 - Classroom Learning Environments: Beyond Managing Behaviors

April 10 - The Key to a Successful Team: Strategies for Communication

May 8 - Roots in the Past and Eyes on the Future

EE Leadership Network

With Dr. Althea Penn

Network with Early Education Leaders who aspire to higher levels of competency through a lens of a biblical worldview. Register to attend monthly EE Leadership Network meetings where we will utilize the Peer Support Network model to facilitate forums, identify issues, provide resources, explore best practices, and examine relevant needs in Christian early education programs. CEUs are available as a member benefit. Take a look at the upcoming topics and plan to join us for fresh and relevant topics on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 11:00 AM PT | 12:00 PM MT | 1:00 PM CT | 2:00 PM ET.


Select the Meeting below to register. Upon registration a confirmation email will include the Meeting link.

Register once for the new season and plan to attend any or all the meetings.

Register Today!

2024-2025 Meetings⬇️

Professional Development, where do you begin? Which knowledge and practices   of leadership skills are necessary to achieve expected student outcomes and develop a high performing team of early educators? We will review core competencies recommended in the ACSI EE INSPIRE Protocol and those identified  by research and state licensing or QRIS resources. We will use the Educational Leadership Exercise to identify competencies (individual strengths and weaknesses) which are most important to develop and action steps. 

August 28 - Best Practices in Collective Leadership

Henry Blackaby defines leadership as “moving people onto God’s agenda.”  The body of Christ flourishes when each joint contributes to the collective wellbeing of the body. When leadership is not about a position, personality type, or person, the emphasis shifts. A catalyst is defined as something that speeds up a reaction without being used up. Students, schools, and our world need more catalytic leaders because those leaders are sustainable, powerful, collaborative, and their leadership is inspiring. Collective leaders are anchored in their identity in Christ, relationship with God, and act as catalysts who exhibit confident humility in pursuit of a shared goal.  

By the end of the meeting, participants will be equipped with the knowledge, tools, and strategies necessary to foster collective leadership within their schools, creating a culture of sustained improvement and engagement among stakeholders. The learning objectives aim to bridge the gap between individual and collective leadership, empowering participants to become catalysts for positive change in their educational communities. 

What are challenges of practice that you are facing that could use the collective expertise of your school? What would you like to work on with other schools and parachurch ministries? Who are your external partners that ensure student with special needs are being served and your school is financially sustainable? 

September 25 - Resolve to Be Ready: Emergency Preparedness for Christian Early Education Programs  

By the end of the PLC meeting, participants will be equipped with the knowledge and practical skills necessary to enhance the emergency preparedness of their schools. The learning objectives aim to empower school leaders to create safe learning environments by effectively implementing emergency plans, navigating regulations, and aligning their preparedness efforts with national health and safety standards and calendars.

October 23 - Supportive Leadership: Being Culturally Sensitive  

By the end of the PLC meeting, participants will have the knowledge and tools to integrate culturally responsive teaching practices, navigate challenges related to diversity and inclusion from a Biblical worldview, and promote a supportive leadership approach that embraces cultural sensitivity. The learning objectives aim to empower school leaders to create learning environments that celebrate cultural differences, foster inclusivity, and support the diverse needs of students and staff members. 

January 22 - Using Data to Improve Practices     

Participants will acquire practical skills in digital documentation, gain insights into the role of AI in curriculum design, and develop strategies for cultivating inclusive leadership in Christian early learning environments. The learning objectives aim to equip Christian educators and administrators with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the evolving landscape of early childhood education, incorporating innovative practices and fostering inclusive leadership approaches

February 26 - Promoting Spiritual Growth in Your Stakeholders

Participants will gain insights into the dimensions of spiritual formation, understand the roles of school leaders and educators in shaping spiritual growth, and acquire practical strategies for assessing and promoting spiritual health within Christian schools. The learning objectives aim to empower PLC participants with tools and knowledge to effectively foster spiritual growth in stakeholders, aligning with the foundational principles of Jesus' Great Commission.

March 26 - Empowering Practices    

Participants will acquire the skills and knowledge to implement collaborative leadership practices, address administrative challenges, and cultivate a trust-based leadership approach within their Christian early childhood education settings. The learning objectives aim to empower educators and administrators with practical strategies to enhance school culture, promote empowerment among staff, and navigate challenges with resilience and a Christian worldview. 

April 23 - Navigating Quality Improvement Rating Systems

Christian early education programs should set the standard for the industry due their commitment to honor the Lord. Quality Rated like accreditation is a systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early care and education programs. Participants will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to understand, navigate, and leverage Quality Rated initiatives for continuous quality improvement in early care and education programs. The learning objectives aim to empower educators and administrators with practical insights, tools, and strategies to enhance the quality of early education and school-age care programs, aligning with the commitment to set industry standards through a Christian lens. We will briefly review the INSPIRE Accreditation EE Addendum also. 
May 28 - Retaining Highly Qualified Early Educators 
Participants will have a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing Christian early educator turnover, insights into elements of early childhood professional well-being, and practical strategies for promoting workforce stability and quality improvement in Christian early childhood education settings. The learning objectives aim to empower educators and administrators with the knowledge and tools needed to create environments that retain high-quality early educators, ensuring continuity, and enhancing the overall well-being of both educators and young children. 

Dr__Cindy_BarnumDr. Cindy Barnum, Eastern Division

Favorite Leadership Quote - For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Paul (Eph 2:10)


Kim Brucker, Central DivisionKim Brucker, Central Division

Favorite Leadership Quote - "Good leaders must communicate vision clearly, creatively, and continually. However, the vision doesn't come alive until the leader models it." - John Maxwell


Suzie Mohler, Western DivisionDr. Suzie Mohler, Western Division

Favorite Leadership Quote - "Tell me what you are called to do and why it matters. If you commit to the what and are consumed by your why, you will figure out the how." - Craig Groeschel


Dr. Althea Penn, ACSI Director of Early Education

Dr. Althea PennDr. Penn has over 30 years of experience as a primary and secondary instructor, in organizational leadership as an educational consultant and professional development specialist. Dr. Penn has earned two Master’s degrees in Education Administration, a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership, certification as an Early Childhood Educator, and the National Administrator Credential. She has served as a teacher, children’s ministry director, and principal. Dr. Penn has authored several books, including “Christian Education Mandate,” “Firmly Rooted: Cultivating Faith Development in the Next Generation,” and “Equipping and Empowering Early Educators.”

Favorite Leadership Quote - "Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration motivated by passion, generated by vision, produced by conviction, ignited by a purpose." - Dr. Myles Munroe 


The objectives of the Network are:

  • To reduce isolation expressed by leaders in Christian early education, and
  • To form a Biblical community and cohort of mutually supportive members
  • To enhance their professional practice together. As such, the Network is designed to be accessible, easy, and fast to use

The Network model achieves this by:

  • Connecting leaders in early education to identify common professional challenges and explore potential solutions through discussion, webinars, and resource sharing
  • Facilitating forums for Directors and Educational Leaders to share and source expertise, advice, and information
    identifying topical issues that will be addressed via live and in-person conferences and webinars
  • Providing online resource library of information, research, and tools
  • To remain current and relevant to the changing needs of ACSI Members
  • Offering the service free to Members and ambassadors in Christian early education

Member Access to Leader discussions, session recordings and resources below:

Discussion Resources


Free Leader Meetings

Register one time and plan to attend one or all of the meetings in the 2024-2025 season

2024-2025 EE Leadership Network Meetings

2024-2025 EE Leader Connect Meetings


Florida Approval Program (FAP) Leader Connect with Tammy Hicks

3rd Thursday each month, 1:00 PM ET

Register to attend the FAP Leader Connect




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