Short Courses

All of our short courses can be accessed anytime through June 30, 2021. Each short course was designed to engage your thinking as you watch the course, but the connection and community in Christ will come with the live discussions facilitated by the Short Course contributors.

Take a look at the scheduled discussion sessions and reserve that time in your calendar right away!

Aaron Howard

Aaron Howard

Organization: Franklin Road Academy
Title: Inclusivity: A Philosophical and Biblical Methodology

Most leaders and educators know that increasing stakeholder diversity is an important part of fulfilling a school’s Christian mission. Many, however, express ambivalence or opposition, even, when talking about inclusion. It’s secular connotations and ambiguity cause many to wonder whether a Christian school should embrace it. In this session, Aaron Howard demystifies and reclaims inclusion for the Christian school, providing an in depth philosophical and biblical exploration of the concept. Following this session, your school will be able to better understand and more confidently pursue diversity and inclusion.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates: 

  • Diversity – Wednesday, March 24 @ 1PM EST
  • Christian Life – Friday, March 26 @ 1PM EST

Bill Mott

Organization: Providence Christian Academy
Title: Healthy boards-Successful Schools: Creating an Enlightened Governance and Leadership Culture for Christian Schools

The stakes are high for the future of Christian education. The impact of governance and leadership on Christian schools is profound and yet schools are reluctant to understand the influence of innovation and best practices for a healthy board culture that reveal meaningful relationships. The purpose of this workshop is to define what a board can look like that has adopted healthy, best practices ways of working with Christian school leadership that ushers in a new era of governance and leadership excellence.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates:

  • Boards + Heads – Wednesday, February 10 @ 1PM EST
  • Aspiring/New Heads – Wednesday, February 17 @ 1PM EST
Bill Mott
Brian Jensen

Brian Jensen

Organization: Vanderbloemen
Title: Kingdom Collaboration: Developing Healthy Teams to Accomplish Your Mission

Many organizations can throw a group of people together and call it a team, and maybe even get most of them rowing in the same direction. What does it look like however, to have a truly collaborative team of people, who flourish in their work together, as they contribute to your school’s mission–and ultimately to advancing Christ’s Kingdom? Join us as we explore what a healthy organizational culture looks like, how healthy teams operate within that, and how your own team can develop into one that thrives for years to come.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates: 

  • Athletics – Tuesday, October 20 @ 11AM EST
  • CFO’s – Friday, October 23 @ 12PM EST
  • Admissions – Thursday, December 3 @ 1PM EST
  • Marketing + Communications – Monday, December 7 @ 1PM EST
  • Arts – Tuesday, December 8 @ 1PM EST

Jenny Brady & Joel Hazard

Organization: Prestonwood Christian Academy / Fort Bend Christian Academy
Title: Providing a Safe and Healthy Learning Environment

As our schools continue to become more diverse in many ways, how do we create environments where all students are inspired to see themselves as God created them? From lower school hallways to student clubs to the narratives taught, we will discuss what needs to be considered for healthy, inclusive and equitable schools that reflect God’s creation of diversity for His children.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates: 

  • Diversity – Wednesday, January 6 @ 12PM EST
  • Lower School – Friday January 8 @ 1PM EST
  • Middle School – Monday, January 11 @ 11AM EST
  • Upper School – Tuesday, January 12 @ 2PM EST
  • IT – Wednesday, January 13 @ 2PM EST,
  • Arts – Thursday, February 18 @ 1PM EST
  • Athletics – Monday, March 22 @ 1PM EST
Jenny Brady
Joel Hazard
Charles Evans

Charles Evans

Organization: Better Schools, LLC
Title: Knocking Down Board Hurdles: Why board members have the toughest job in schools

School boards get a lot of criticism–some of it deserved, but some not. Understanding why being a good board member is so hard, though, is the starting point for building a great board. This workshop analyzes the underlying difficulties and helps boards and heads of school identify and solve the right problems first. It’s a necessary set up for long-term, successful governance and board stability.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates: 

  • Boards – Thursday, November 19 @ 1PM EST

Heather Staker

Organization: The Clayton Christensen Institute
Title: How to Create Higher Performing, Happier Classrooms in Seven Moves

The best managers in America achieve top results while also scoring high on employee happiness and job satisfaction. They do it by empowering their teams, providing great coaching, and emphasizing accountability. During this session, educators will practice making seven moves to transform their classrooms into joyful, empowering environments that replicate the successful practices of managers in other top-performing organizations. The session features a Flex model of blended learning. Participants begin by learning to set mindset goals, gradually release control to their students, and nurture teams. Then they engage in a powerful self-directed learning experience in which they practice driving their own learning while working through seven challenging activities. Meanwhile, facilitators speed conference with each participant individually to coach them to success and model the importance of giving feedback. Participants leave with concrete, measurable skills that they can use in their own schools to improve their students’ happiness and performance at school, as well as their own joy as an educator.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates:

  • Lower School Heads – Wednesday, November 4 @ 3PM EST
  • Middle School Heads – Monday, November 9 @ 3PM EST
  • Upper School Heads – Thursday, November 12 @ 3PM EST
  • Academic Deans/Assistant Heads – Monday, November 16 @ 3PM EST
  • IT – Wednesday, November 18 @ 3PM EST
Heather Staker
Holly Tate

Holly Tate

Organization: Vanderbloemen
Title: Aligning Your Communication Strategy for Healthy Retention & Growth

The way we communicate with faculty, staff, students, and parents can build or erode trust. Communication strategy is more critical to school health than ever as plans are constantly changing in a time of uncertainty. But how can you proactively align your communication strategy in a time of uncertainty? In this session, Holly Tate, VP of Business Development & Marketing at Vanderbloemen, will give you a foundational framework for aligning your leadership team around a strategic communication framework that will help you retain current families and reach new families as you build a healthy future for your school.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates:

  • Marketing + Communications – Tuesday, February 9 @ 1PM EST

Jennifer New & Tim Connor

Organization: Mount Paran Christian School / Grace Community School
Title: The Great Debates of the Annual Fund

Seasoned professionals often duke it out over today’s major dilemmas in annual fundraising. Is it better to run your annual fund all year long or in a blitz-style intensive campaign? Should annual fund dollars be strictly undesignated general mission support or passion project driven? And should we even be “minding the gap” at all anymore? Or is it past time for tuition to cover the true cost? No punches will be thrown. But we will have a robust debate including a pros and cons analysis, as well as case studies of schools who have lived out the various approaches.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates: 

  • Development – Monday, February 1 @ 12PM EST
Jennifer New
Jenny Brady
David Robinson

Jenny Brady & David Robinson

Organization: Prestonwood Christian Academy / Grace Community School
Title: Attraction and Retention of a Diverse Student Body

Many schools are discussing their desire for a more diverse student body, but many struggle with how to accomplish this. During this session, we will offer practical and proven steps for creating a diverse and inclusive school, as well as introduce ideas to consider based on research.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates:

  • Admissions – Thursday, October 29 @ 1PM EST
  • Diversity – Friday, November 13 @ 1PM EST
  • CFO’s – Thursday, February 11 @ 1PM EST

Charles Evans

Organization: Better Schools, LLC
Title: Your Board’s A Bad Board (and it might be your fault…)

Partnership between school boards and heads of school is essential to quality governance and leadership. Often overlooked, however, is the crucial impact–both positive and negative–that a head and his or her leadership team can have on the board and its work. How can heads of school put their boards in the best position to govern well, and what should heads avoid doing that could undermine their boards’ effectiveness?

Affinity Discussion Group Dates:

  • Heads – Wednesday, December 2 @ 1PM EST
  • Aspiring/New Heads – Friday, December 4 @ 1PM EST
Charles Evans
Jeromy Flowers

Jeromy Flowers

Organization: Southwest Christian Academy
Title: What We Need to Know About Our Athletes of Color

Have you ever felt intimidated or struggled to relate to one of your black athletes? Or any athlete of color? You’ll be surprised to hear it’s not as hard as you think. There are a few simple yet effective solutions that we can put into practice to be successful when coaching any athlete, especially our athletes of color.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates:

  • Athletics – Thursday, December 10 @ 12PM EST

Jon Eckert & Katie Wiens

Organization: Baylor University / Council on Educational Standards and Accountability
Title: Learning at crisis-speed—schools are not only surviving but thriving together

The most efficient way to improve is to do good work with others. A number of CESA schools are realizing adaptive improvement by working together in sustained ways both within and across schools. They are fundamentally changing school culture, workflow, teacher evaluation, curriculum design, and learning environments. Through the collective leadership of administrators and teachers across schools, these leaders are fundamentally changing outcomes for students. Katie Wiens and Jon Eckert will share how CESA and Baylor University are coming alongside to catalyze the work these schools are doing. These schools are systematically collecting evidence and changing systems to become the schools they aspire to be. You will be able to interact with leaders from Mt. Paran Christian School, Second Baptist School, Grace Community School, The Woodlands Christian Academy, Prestonwood Christian Academy, and Charlotte Christian School.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates: 

  • Lower School – Thursday, March 25 @ 12PM EST
  • Middle School  – Thursday, March 25 @ 2PM EST
  • Upper School – Friday, March 26 @ 11 AM EST
  • Academic Deans/Assistant Heads – Friday, March 26 @ 3PM EST
Jon Eckert
wiens
Karen Dye
Anna Hutsell

Karen Dye & Anna Hutsell

Organization: Guardian PR + Events
Title: Crisis Communications Principles for Healthy Schools

Cancel culture, LGBTQ issues, active shooters, racial tensions, social media activism—today’s cultural landscape is rife with potential landmines for your school. Add to this the proliferation of media, the pace of social media and the ubiquity of smart phones, and everything is under a microscope with every real or perceived misstep broadcast and cataloged online for all the world to see, judge and replay. So, what is a Christian school to do when criticism and controversy increase, and civility seems to become a relic of the past? Anna and Karen will walk you through time-tested crisis principles to help you maintain a healthy reputation and brand.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates:

  • Marketing + Communications – Monday, October 26 @ 1PM EST

Kristen Paulson

Organization: Generis – Total Advancement Solutions
Title: Ready for Anything – A Culture of Generosity in Times of Turbulence

This session will start the conversation about how you operate your development program in the midst of an uncertain world (pandemics, racial injustice, economic downturn). It is not business as usual for schools, yet there is good news to share, and philanthropy is an important revenue source now more than ever. We will discuss how to engage your donors and volunteers with sensitivity to what is happening in our world, and how to create a message that is relevant and will survive the twists and turns. Giving fuels mission, and development programs need to be thinking about how to innovate their communication to motivate donors.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates: 

  • Development – Monday, October 19 @ 12PM EST
Kristen Paulson

Mark Dillon

Organization: Generis
Title: Shepherding people of wealth: For their good and for yours

If all or part of your responsibility is to develop authentic and lasting relationships with people of wealth, you are striving to partner in ways that benefit your school and the giver, alike. For many of us, that idea is daunting. After all, most of us are not what we would consider wealthy—so in that regard, the wealthy are not our peers. And, in Christian circles especially, there is not a little angst about how we relate to the wealthy. Are we showing them favor for what we can get from them? Are we preferring them to others of God’s people? Whether your giver universe is 50 or 5000, there is, without doubt, unrealized major gift potential right at hand, be it current parents/grandparents, alumni or friends of the school. Often the missing ingredient is not love for your mission or willingness to give. What’s missing is a compelling reason to give, coupled with a careful, winsome invitation to participate at a level that will stretch the giver and empower your ministry.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates:

  • Heads – Wednesday, January 13 @ 12PM EST
  • Development – Monday, January 11 @ 12PM EST

Mia Mbroh

Organization: Licensed Professional Counselor
Title: Courageous Conversations: We Can Do Hard Things

In light of the turmoil of the past several months and looking ahead to the 2020 Presidential election, we know that tension is and will be present in our schools and communities. The ability to create safe and loving spaces where voices may be heard and souls may be seen is not an easy task. Those desiring this outcome must cultivate a self-awareness and accountability that gives birth to the confidence needed to move through growth-inducing conversations. This session will rest in a dialogue about how we enter conversations that challenge us and prompt us towards better. We will examine where we get stuck on this journey and the tools that help us grow in our brave. We seek to have truth-filled, courageous conversations.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates: 

  • Heads of School – Wednesday, Oct 14 @ 12PM EST
  • Lower School Heads – Tuesday, Oct 13 @ 12PM EST
  • Middle School Heads – Tuesday, Oct 13 @ 2PM EST
  • Upper School Heads – Friday, Oct 16 @ 12PM EST
  • Academic Deans/Assistant Heads of School – Monday, Oct 19 @ 2PM EST
  • Arts – Tuesday, Oct 20 @ 1PM EST
  • Christian Life – Thursday, Oct 22 @ 12PM EST
  • Diversity – Monday, Oct 12 @ 12PM EST.
Mia Mbroh

Ron Blue

Organization: Ron Blue Institute
Title: Developing a Culture of Stewardship and Generosity at your School

This session will present and engage the participant in a biblical worldview of finances for individuals and institutions. Understanding and applying transcendent principles of financial decision-making provides the foundation for Healthy Schools, influencing school employees, students, families, and donors, leading to the development of a culture of financial stewardship and generosity. Ron Blue, author and national speaker, with 50 years of experience in the financial industry, will help to lead this session along with other team members from the Ron Blue Institute.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates: 

  • Boards + Heads – Wednesday, April 21 @ 1PM EST
  • Development – Monday, April 19 @ 1PM EST
  • CFO’s – Friday, April 23 @ 1PM EST

Steven Kyle

Organization: Mount Paran Christian School
Title: Christian/Spiritual Life Directors: Why we are needed now more than ever (And what to do about it!)

2020 has brought massive changes to our homes and schools. Engaging effectively with our students, staff, and families is facing brand new challenges. This session will address many of those challenges and how we can meet them.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates:

  • Christian Life/Guidance – Thursday, Jan 7 @ 12PM EST
Steve Kyle
William Vanderbloemen

William Vanderbloemen

Organization: Vanderbloemen
Title: Mission-fit hiring in a market flooded with candidates

Hiring and retaining the right staff members is critical to the long-term health of your school. With unemployment at an all-time high, how do you determine the right hire versus who just needs a job? In this session, William Vanderbloemen, CEO & Founder of Vanderbloemen – executive search firm for Christian organizations, will teach you how to find and interview the right candidates that match your school’s theology and culture fit.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates:

  • Heads of School – January
  • Lower School Heads/Assistant Heads – January
  • Middle School Heads/Assistant Heads – January
  • Upper School Heads/Assistant Heads – January
  • Academic Deans/Assistant Heads of School – January
  • Athletics – January

James Walker

Organization: Capistrano Valley Christian School
Title: The Digital Family

Now more than ever, our schools need to be a resource to families as they seek to create a healthy digital environment. Technology in the family can create tension, open families to external threats, and distract them from how they want to live. In this session we will discuss how we can support families in creating a technology plan to help them use technology to thrive and stay safe, all while building healthy relationships. When students learn to use technology well at home, they will use it well at school.

Affinity Discussion Group Dates:

  • IT Directors – Tuesday, March 23 @ 2PM EST

Schedule of Short Course Discussions by Affinity Group

Heads of School
  • Wednesday, Oct 14 @ 12PM EST – Mia Mbroh: Courageous Conversations: We Can Do Hard Things
  • Wednesday, December 2 @ 1PM EST – Charles Evans: Your Board’s A Bad Board (and it might be your fault…)
  • Wednesday, January 13 @ 12PM EST – Mark Dillon: Shepherding people of wealth: For their good and for yours
  • January – William Vanderbloemen: Mission-fit hiring in a market flooded with candidates
  • Wednesday, February 10 @ 1PM EST – Bill Mott: Healthy Boards-Successful Schools: Creating an Enlightened Governance and Leadership Culture for Christian Schools
  • Wednesday, April 21 @ 1PM EST – Ron Blue: Developing a Culture of Stewardship and Generosity at your School
Board Members
  • Thursday, November 19 @ 1PM EST – Charles Evans: Knocking Down Board Hurdles: Why board members have the toughest job in schools
  • Wednesday, February 10 @ 1PM EST – Bill Mott: Healthy Boards-Successful Schools: Creating an Enlightened Governance and Leadership Culture for Christian Schools
  • Wednesday, April 21 @ 1PM EST – Ron Blue: Developing a Culture of Stewardship and Generosity at your School
Lower School Heads/Assistant Heads
  • Tuesday, Oct 13 @ 12PM EST – Mia Mbroh: Courageous Conversations: We Can Do Hard Things
  • Wednesday, November 4 @ 3PM EST – Heather Staker: How to Create Higher Performing, Happier Classrooms in Seven Moves
  • Friday January 8 @ 1PM EST – Jenny Brady / Joel Hazard: Providing a Safe and Healthy Learning Environment
  • January – William Vanderbloemen: Mission-fit hiring in a market flooded with candidates
  • Thursday, March 25 @ 12PM EST – Jon Eckert / Katie Wiens: Learning at crisis-speed—schools are not only surviving, but thriving together
Middle School Heads/Assistant Heads
  • Tuesday, Oct 13 @ 2PM EST – Mia Mbroh: Courageous Conversations: We Can Do Hard Things
  • Monday, November 9 @ 3PM EST – Heather Staker: How to Create Higher Performing, Happier Classrooms in Seven Moves
  • Monday, January 11 @ 2PM EST – Jenny Brady / Joel Hazard: Providing a Safe and Healthy Learning Environment
  • January – William Vanderbloemen: Mission-fit hiring in a market flooded with candidates
  • Thursday, March 25 @ 2PM EST – Jon Eckert / Katie Wiens: Learning at crisis-speed—schools are not only surviving, but thriving together
Upper School Heads/Assistant Heads
  • Friday, Oct 16 @ 12PM EST – Mia Mbroh: Courageous Conversations: We Can Do Hard Things
  • Thursday, November 12 @ 3PM EST – Heather Staker: How to Create Higher Performing, Happier Classrooms in Seven Moves
  • Tuesday, January 12 @ 2PM EST – Jenny Brady / Joel Hazard: Providing a Safe and Healthy Learning Environment
  • January – William Vanderbloemen: Mission-fit hiring in a market flooded with candidates
  • Friday, March 26 @ 11AM EST – Jon Eckert / Katie Wiens: Learning at crisis-speed—schools are not only surviving, but thriving together
Academic Deans/Assistant Heads of School
  • Monday, Oct 19 @ 2PM EST – Mia Mbroh: Courageous Conversations: We Can Do Hard Things
  • Monday, November 16 @ 3PM EST – Heather Staker: How to Create Higher Performing, Happier Classrooms in Seven Moves
  • January – William Vanderbloemen: Mission-fit hiring in a market flooded with candidates
  • Friday, March 26 @ 3PM EST – Jon Eckert / Katie Wiens: Learning at crisis-speed—schools are not only surviving, but thriving together
Athletics
  • Tuesday, October 20 @ 11AM EST – Brian Jensen: Kingdom Collaboration: Developing Healthy Teams to Accomplish Your Mission
  • Thursday, December 10 @ 12PM EST – Jeromy Flowers: What We Need to Know About Our Athletes of Color
  • January – William Vanderbloemen: Mission-fit hiring in a market flooded with candidates
  • Monday, March 22 @ 1PM EST: Jenny Brady / Joel Hazard: Providing a Safe and Healthy Learning Environment
Arts
  • Tuesday, Oct 20 @ 1PM EST – Mia Mbroh: Courageous Conversations: We Can Do Hard Things
  • Tuesday, December 8 @ 1PM EST – Brian Jensen: Kingdom Collaboration: Developing Healthy Teams to Accomplish Your Mission
  • Thursday, February 18 @ 1PM EST – Jenny Brady / Joel Hazard: Providing a Safe and Healthy Learning Environment
Admissions
  • Thursday, October 29 @ 1PM EST – Jenny Brady / David Robinson: Attraction and Retention of a Diverse Student Body
  • Thursday, December 3 @ 1PM EST – Brian Jensen: Kingdom Collaboration: Developing Healthy Teams to Accomplish Your Mission
Development
  • Monday, October 19 @ 12PM EST – Kristen Paulson: Ready for Anything – A Culture of Generosity in Times of Turbulence
  • Monday, January 11 @ 12PM EST – Mark Dillon: Shepherding people of wealth: For their good and for yours
  • Monday, February 1 @ 12PM EST – Jennifer New: The Great Debates of the Annual Fund
  • Monday, April 19 @ 1PM EST – Ron Blue: Developing a Culture of Stewardship and Generosity at your School
Marketing/Communications
  • Monday, October 26 @ 1PM EST – Karen Dye / Anna Hutsell: Crisis Communications Principles for Healthy Schools
  • Monday, December 7 @ 1PM EST – Brian Jensen: Kingdom Collaboration: Developing Healthy Teams to Accomplish Your Mission
  • Tuesday, February 9 @ 1PM EST – Holly Tate: Aligning Your Communication Strategy for Healthy Retention & Growth
CFO’s
  • Friday, October 23 @ 12PM EST – Brian Jensen: Kingdom Collaboration: Developing Healthy Teams to Accomplish Your Mission
  • Thursday, February 11 @ 1PM EST – Jenny Brady / David Robinson: Attraction and Retention of a Diverse Student Body
  • Friday, April 23 @ 1PM EST – Ron Blue: Developing a Culture of Stewardship and Generosity at your School
Christian Life/Guidance Counselors
  • Thursday, Oct 22 @ 12PM EST – Mia Mbroh: Courageous Conversations: We Can Do Hard Things
  • Thursday, Jan 7 @ 12PM EST – Steven Kyle: Christian/Spiritual Life Directors: Why we are needed now more than ever (And what to do about it!)
  • Friday, March 26 @ 1PM EST – Aaron Howard: Inclusivity: A Philosophical and Biblical Methodology
Diversity Directors
  • Monday, Oct 12 @ 12PM EST – Mia Mbroh: Courageous Conversations: We Can Do Hard Things
  • Friday, November 13 @ 1PM EST – Jenny Brady / David Robinson: Attraction and Retention of a Diverse Student Body
  • Wednesday, January 6 @ 12PM EST – Jenny Brady / Joel Hazard: Providing a Safe and Healthy Learning Environment
  • Wednesday, March 24 @ 1PM EST – Aaron Howard: Inclusivity: A Philosophical and Biblical Methodology
IT Directors
  • Wednesday, November 18 @ 3PM EST – Heather Staker: How to Create Higher Performing, Happier Classrooms in Seven Moves
  • Wednesday, January 13 @ 2PM EST – Jenny Brady / Joel Hazard: Providing a Safe and Healthy Learning Environment
  • Tuesday, March 23 @ 2PM EST – James Walker: The Digital Family
Aspiring/New Heads
  • Friday, December 4 @ 1PM EST – Charles Evans: Your Board’s A Bad Board (and it might be your fault…)
  • Wednesday, February 17 @ 1PM EST – Bill Mott: Healthy Boards-Successful Schools: Creating an Enlightened Governance and Leadership Culture for Christian Schools
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