Called, Connected, Committed: On the Road with the Church of England’s New Initiative for Leadership in Christian Education

By Deani Van Pelt  |  March 9th

Imagine spending a week visiting Christian schools across the UK countryside.

Imagine hearing lead Anglican theologians discuss fresh articulations of the scriptural foundations for leadership in education.

Imagine engaging with 35 Christian education leaders from Australia, America, Canada, and England for seven full consecutive days.

Imagine the ever-changing settings for lectures, conversations, discussions, debates, presentations, introductions, questions, hugs, and laughter:

Trains, cabs and buses,
classrooms and palaces,
cathedrals and abbeys,
cafes and pubs.
Along rivers and alleys,
in towers and churches,
through museums and galleries,
in libraries and crypts.
From convention halls and ship hulls,
To The Eye and The Underground,
From station platforms and sacred podiums
To The Shambles and the Thames,

our context for the Church of England international education leaders tour was diverse, nourishing, and invigorating.

In early February of this year, Justin Cook, Director of Learning at Edvance, and I joined five other participants from Canada—Ed Noot and Darren Spyksma of Society of Christian Schools of British Columbia, Gayle Monsma and Jeremy Horlings of Prairie Centre for Christian Education, and Dr. Beth Green of Cardus and Tyndale University—in a breathtaking immersion into life in several dozen of the Church of England’s almost 5,000 schools.

We return invigorated by the courage of the Church of England to recover and deepen faith and Christianity in the curriculum and leadership practices in their schools. Their accomplishments in just five short years are inspiring and inviting.

We return encouraged to become ever-increasingly invested in enhancing our own frameworks for learning and leadership in Christian schools in our various regions across the country. The Church of England’s new publications provide powerful models for us.

And, we return blessed by the beautiful relationships that have begun. We look forward to welcoming more of our school leaders into the dynamism of what began in this visit. In the meantime, take a look at The Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership.