Last November, we determined the focus of this year’s 10th-anniversary Symposium would be Healthy Schools. At that moment, only the Lord knew how important coming together around this topic would be. In The Woodlands, TX this October 4-6th, we will explore facets of school health our Standards of Accountability highlight- from the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and families, cultures of healthy conversations to healthy governance, cultures of generosity and much, much more.

We are committed to making every possible effort to host this event in person. However, we recognize that variables may change. In the event that we cannot gather together, alternatives are being planned for and refunds will be available up to 3 weeks prior to the event.

Keynote Speakers

Clarity and Charity: C.S. Lewis’ Means and Messages

Nearly sixty years after his death, the influence of  C. S. Lewis still looms large for those who would make any attempt toward deep learning, careful thinking, and vibrant faith. In this dialogue, Andrew Lazo and Diana Glyer will explore Lewis’s tireless commitment to making clear anything he writes about, whether medieval literature or modern relationships, exploring the overarching underlying theme of all Lewis’s work: love.  With this theme in mind, we will be inspired by the relationships between The Inklings, and how these friendships shaped Lewis’ means and messages, giving us a wealth of insight into our own collaborative relationships. 

Andrew Lazo & Diana Glyer

LazoLewis scholar and educator Andrew Lazo comes to share a kind of “unified field theory” of Lewis’s work. Lazo combines decades of classroom teaching and groundbreaking scholarship to mine powerful and eminently practical insights from one of the twentieth century’s most influential Christin thinkers.

GlyerDiana Pavlac Glyer is an award-winning writer who has spent more than 40 years combing through archives and studying old manuscripts. She is a leading expert on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien; her book The Company They Keep changed the way we talk about these writers. Her scholarship, her teaching, and her work as an artist all circle back to one common theme: creativity thrives in community. Her newest book is Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings.

The Quest for Purpose:  The Collegiate Search for Grand Goals and the Good Life

“So, what’s the point of it all?” “What gives life meaning?” “What is the purpose of life?” Drawing upon a national mixed-methods study, this talk examines how college students attempt to answer these questions. It also identifies the important social, educational, and cultural influences upon both their quest and the answers they find. Although some recent scholars claim contemporary universities have given up on helping students answer these important questions, we found college still remains a place where students refine and explore their meaning maps and purpose destinations further, although a significant minority struggle to find and identify a particular purpose or purposes. 

Perry Glanzer

GlanzerPerry L. Glanzer (Ph.D., University of Southern California) is professor of Educational Foundations at Baylor University and a Resident Scholar with Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion. He is the coauthor, author or editor of a dozen books including: The Outrageous Idea of Christian Teaching; The Quest for Purpose: The Collegiate Search for a Meaningful Life; Restoring the Soul of the University: Unifying Christian Higher Education in a Fragmented Age; Christian Higher Education: A Global Reconnaissance; The Idea of a Christian College: A Reexamination for Today’s University, Christianity and Moral Identity in Higher Education: Becoming Fully Human, Christianity and Scholarship in Higher Education, and The Quest for Russia’s Soul. In addition, he has authored or co-authored over eighty journal articles and book chapters on topics related to moral education, faith-based higher education, and the relationship between religion and education. His primary scholarly and teaching interests pertain to moral education and the relationship between Christianity and education.

Beyond Compassion and Understanding: Healing our Communities

Learning, connecting, caring – they cannot happen when kids (and teachers) are experiencing the effects of trauma. Communities are only a shadow of what they could be when we don’t address this reality head on. COVID19, the fight for racial justice and equity, ongoing disruption to the people and places that help kids feel safe – they have shined a bright light on something that has always been a part of our communities – hurt, pain, and disenfranchisement. Now, more than ever, we must go beyond offering compassion and understanding to become communities that actively and relentlessly bring shalom.

Beth Guckenberger

Beth and her husband, Todd, live with their family in Cincinnati, Ohio where they serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. After graduating from Indiana University, the Guckenbergers moved to Monterrey, Mexico where they lived for 15 years. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, they have raised eleven children.

Beth is the author of nine books including adult and children’s titles. She travels and speaks regularly at conferences, youth gatherings and church services about reckless faith. Her style is based in story-telling and she draws from her vast field experience as a missionary, Bible teacher and parent for illustrations of biblical concepts.

Our Identity: The Christian Alternative to Modern Culture

Our identity is at the core of our relationship with Jesus Christ, and it is a challenge to understand the counter-cultural nature of this relationship.  In our schools, we are tasked with growing the students in our care intellectually, physically, socially, and most of all, spiritually, which means we need to confront the false ideals of modern identity head-on.  In this session, Michael Keller will help us explore historical and contemporary values that form identity and help us understand how we can enable our students to find peace in a healthy understanding of who they are.

Michael Keller

Michael Keller has been a part of Redeemer life and ministry from its inception in 1989; with his wife Sara and daughters Lucy and Kate, they started Redeemer Lincoln Square in April 2017. He went to NYC public school for both elementary and middle school, The Stony Brook School for high school, and attended Vanderbilt University for his undergraduate work. After working at London City Mission and New Life Fellowship in Queens, he attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, receiving both an M.Div and a Th.M in Apologetics magna cum laude. He served as Pastor of Community Life at Citylife Presbyterian Church in Boston before returning to the city to start a new Reformed University Fellowship. His Ph.D. is from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in Computational Linguistics applied to Historical Theology.

Breakout Sessions

Heather Staker – How to create Higher Performing, Happier Classrooms in Seven Moves


Andrew Lazo – Lewis the Teacher: Practical Lessons from a Lifelong Educator


James Walker – The Digital Family


Perry Glanzer – Assessing What Counts: The Baylor Spirituality and Character Survey


Katie Wiens – The CESA Profile Tool: An Overview and Discussion


Jon Eckert – Networked School Improvement


Shonn Brown – Book Study: Uncommon Ground


Chuck Evans – Your Board’s A Bad Board (and it might be your fault…)


Chuck Evans – Knocking Down Board Hurdles: Why Board Members have the Toughest Job in Schools


Mark Dillon – Shepherding People of Wealth: For Their Good and for Yours


Kristen Paulson – Cultures of Generosity


Jennifer New – Cultures of Generosity


Mia Mbroh – Inspiring Change Through Conversation


Bill Mott – Healthy Boards – Successful Schools: Creating an Enlightened Governance and Leadership Culture for Christian Schools


Ron Blue – Developing a Culture of Stewardship and Generosity at your School

Perry Glanzer – Assessing What Counts: The Baylor Spirituality and Character Survey


Shonn Brown – Book Study: Uncommon Ground


Chuck Evans – Your Board’s A Bad Board (and it might be your fault…)


Chuck Evans – Knocking Down Board Hurdles: Why Board Members have the Toughest Job in Schools


Mia Mbroh – Inspiring Change Through Conversation


Ron Blue – Developing a Culture of Stewardship and Generosity at your School

Nuts & Bolts

What to expect from the CESA Symposium:

  • Inspiring, out-of-the-box keynotes
  • Substantive breakout sessions, some based upon empirical research, others based upon experiences and discussion of nagging issues
  • Ample time to connect with like-minded Christian school leaders
  • Time to build the team from your school in attendance
  • To leave with more questions than answers

CESA is dedicated to the highest quality Chrisitan school leadership.  Therefore school leaders, including Heads of School, board members, division heads, directors of Christian life, directors of diversity, directors of development, CFO’s will all benefit from attending.  Breakout sessions will be geared toward each of these groups.

Click here to make a hotel reservation at The Woodlands Resort.

Countdown to the CESA Symposium 2020

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