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Dordt College News

Dordt launches center to support Christian Ed

March 14, 2014

In early November, Dordt College announced a $1.375 million commitment from the Sid and Carol Verdoorn Foundation to create a new organization to support Christian schools throughout North America. The Center for Advancement of Christian Education (CACE) was announced at the opening session of the 2013 Andreas Center Conference at Dordt College on Thursday evening, October 31.

The new center aims to help innovate, improve, sustain, and promote Christian education at the primary, secondary, and college/university levels.

“CACE is designed to be a difference‑maker in the important work of educating the next generation of Christian young people,” said Dordt College President Dr. Erik Hoekstra. “The model is to become an information hub and provider of consulting expertise to Christian schools. The center will serve school boards, school leaders, teacher leaders, parents, and churches as a clearinghouse for Christian education innovation.”

Education Professor Dr. Tim Van Soelen will serve as half‑time appointment as director of the center, and five to seven Fellows will work on behalf of the center, visiting and helping Christian schools with their needs.

“It is an exciting time to be involved in Christian education,” Van Soelen says. “We are seeing a new generation of parents choosing Christian education for great reasons—discipleship, formation, academic excellence, and the common good.”

But, he says, there are also challenges: “We are seeing some Christian schools closing for reasons including declining enrollments, financial crises, and perceived or real academic issues. The Center for the Advancement of Christian Education could not come at a better time—there is much work to do!”

Dordt’s Provost Dr. Eric Forseth sees the launch of the center as a unique opportunity to advance the cause of Christian education.

“Good leaders matter,” Forseth said. “The best investment a school system can make is to recruit, develop, and retain the best school leaders and teacher leaders. One of the branches of the center will focus on sustainable mentoring programs that take advantage of our current educational leaders, partnering them with future educational leaders.”

Dordt’s network of Christian school leaders and innovators continues to expand from coast to coast, helping provide Fellows who can help meet the unique needs of Christian schools.


SONYA JONGSMA KNAUSS ('97)

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