When I think of a Christian education leader who combines the best of prophet, priest, and king leadership, my mind turns to Ron Polinder. Formed by the routine and discipline of farm life and educated in K-18 Christian schools, Ron is someone whose life and career passionately reconciles his deep faith with his vocational practice. Along with many others, I … Read More
During the eight years I taught EDUC 501 as an adjunct at Dordt University, my graduate classes increasingly became a mix of Christian and public school teachers. In order to put all of my students on a common ground of biblical understanding, I used Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony, a wonderful “creed” published by the Christian Reformed … Read More
When it comes to ministering to faculty, staff, students, and parents, we can’t give what we don’t have. We cannot expect to encourage others, stay patient, answer calmly, and use wisdom appropriately without consistently spending time in God’s Word, being connected at a Bible-believing church, and praying regularly over the school, faculty, and students.
Do we want diverse and inclusive schools? Absolutely. All of us who teach, lead, or chose faith-based schools for our children have good work to do in this space. Getting there is going to be a long process. It is challenging to do difficult work in a society obsessed with the immediate. Let us not grow weary.
Burdened by headlines of racial unrest, Christian schools across the country are seeking answers and want to know more about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) They desire to create a place for learning and growth in this arena for students, faculty, and parents. Others pressured by their communities to grapple with their school’s past want to learn how to work … Read More
Myia Sims shares what it is like to attend a white Christian school as a black student and what she learned through a diversity club called G.R.A.C.E Council: “Through this program I came to recognize Jesus’ cry for holistic justice and how as a follower of Christ I was called to advocate for the oppressed. These lessons gave me a renewed faith in the totality of the Scriptures.”
Diversity in demographics isn’t enough if all the students in the school don’t have the same opportunities. Do we possess the superficial markers of diversity without actually embracing and honoring that diversity? Have we built authentic community with all our students and families? Do all the people in the building have the same opportunities to share their voice, perspective, and experiences?
The old adage “if you build it, they will come” is often used to justify the creation of new and exciting diversity programs. However, in an environment where Christian families of color often have options when it comes to private education, the question to ask is not only “will they come?” but “will they stay?”.