Flourishing Schools Institute

ACSI presents
Flourishing Schools Institute

A new professional development opportunity for school leaders who want to transform their school culture to flourish.

April 13-15
Chicago, IL
June 16-18
Dallas, TX
Gain Perspective

The Institute will give you rich perspective on what flourishing truly looks like and will equip you with the expertise and processes to bring your entire team on the journey to flourishing.

Cultivate Community

The Institute is a place to meet brothers and sisters in Christ who are dedicated to creating flourishing Christian schools.

Transform Lives

Through the Institute, you will discover how to apply research-based principles in your everyday leadership and school activities to radically transform your school culture.

Cultivating Leaders To Transform Culture
Your School can Flourish

A flourishing Christian school is a community of students, educators, and families that glorifies Christ and excels in knowing Him and making Him known. Though such a community happens entirely by His grace, it does not happen at all by accident.

Click on the interactive model for more information.

"The Flourishing School Institute cultivates Christ-centered leaders to transform their school culture through Kingdom education. Please read my letter detailing the philosophy and research-rich foundation of this biblically distinctive new initiative.”

Dr. Larry Taylor, ACSI President


john stonestreet
John Stonestreet

John is a sought-after author and speaker on areas of Christian faith and culture, theology, worldview, education and apologetics. John is the daily voice of BreakPoint, the nationally syndicated commentary on the culture founded by the late Chuck Colson. He is also the voice of the Point, a daily one-minute feature on worldview, apologetics and cultural issues. Before joining the Colson Center, John served in various leadership capacities with Summit Ministries and was on the biblical studies faculty at Bryan College.

Domain: Purpose Construct: Questioning

dr. rob loe
Dr. Rob Loe

Dr. Robert Loe has worked in education for over eighteen years with a range of leadership roles in schools throughout Essex and Cambridgeshire. Relationships Foundation believes that a good society is built on good relationships, from family and community to public service and business Rob researches, writes, and speaks on the importance of fostering positive relationships between key stakeholders in schools. Rob was a featured speaker at the Global Christian School Leadership Summit, where he shared about Christian schools leading as relational schools.

Domain: Relationships Construct: Community Engagement

dr. althea penn
Dr. Althea Penn
Executive Director, The Shepard’s Academy Private Christian School

Dr. Althea Penn has over 30 years of experience in organization leadership and serves as an educational consultant and professional development specialist. Dr. Penn has earned two Master’s degrees in Education Administration, a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership, certification as an Early Childhood Educator, and the National Administrator Credential. She has served as a teacher, children’s ministry director, and principal. Dr. Penn has authored several books, including “Christian Education Mandate,”, “Firmly Rooted: Cultivating Faith Development in the Next Generation”, and “Equipping and Empowering Early Educators”.

Domain: Learning Orientation Construct: Outcomes Focused

peter greer
Peter Greer
President & CEO, HOPE International

HOPE International is a global, Christ-centered economic development organization serving several continents. Prior to joining HOPE, Peter worked internationally as a microfinance adviser in Cambodia and Zimbabwe and as managing director for Urwego Bank in Rwanda. He received a B.S. in international business from Messiah College and an MPP in political and economic development from Harvard's Kennedy School. As an advocate for the Church’s role in missions and alleviating extreme poverty, he has co-authored several books, including “Mission Drift”, “Rooting for Rivals”, and “Created to Flourish”.

Domain: Expertise & Resources Construct: Resource Constraints

rex miller
Rex Miller
Author, “Humanizing the Education Machine”

"Humanizing the Education Machine," tells the story of what great 21st-century learning looks like and how to bring that dynamic into schools. Rex's company, MindShift, works with organizations to help them adapt to the fast and unpredictable changes they face. Two of his books have won international awards for innovation and excellence. Rex graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s in Theology and Communications, and earned a Master’s in Strategic Foresight, Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship from Regent University. Rex's current project examines ways to create a healthy workplace in schools.

Domain: Well-Being Construct: Stress

“The FSi is organized around research-based linkages of constructs, or parts, of the school which contribute to the development of a flourishing school culture.”
Dr. Larry Taylor, ACSI President
Flourishing Schools Institute from ACSI
Research-based Learning

Dig deep into what flourishing in a Christian school means. Dynamic keynote speakers and breakout teachers will guide you through unpacking the ground-breaking, research-based Flourishing Christian School Model consisting of five domains: Purpose, Relationships, Learning Orientation, Expertise, and Resources along with Well-Being.

Interactive Experimentation & Application

Put your thinking into action with a collaborative time to process flourishing learnings with speakers and other educators. Together, we will brainstorm an action plan for your school culture. We hope you will enjoy the opportunity to network with other school leaders through the Institute.

Experiential, Exponential Growth

With in-person locations across the United States to consider, this unique, hands-on experience will be a rewarding investment professionally for you, your leadership team, and for the long-term health of your school culture and community. These destinations also provide the opportunity to explore and enjoy a different perspective.

The Flourishing Christian School Model offers a wide range of ways to engage. While you may choose to just attend the Institute, we strongly recommend bundling the Instrument and Institute together, which will provide you with a fuller experience. If your survey data is completed before arriving at the Institute, it will help you to know what to focus on and thereby allow you to make the most of this collaborative time.

Institute Attendance
Member Pricing
Non-Member Pricing
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Flourishing Bundle
Institute Attendance & Instrument
Member Pricing
Non-Member Pricing

* Build your vision to flourish by bringing your leadership team and emerging leaders at a discounted price. See pricing details at registration.

Chicago, IL
April 13-15, 2021
Dallas, TX
June 16-18, 2021
Yes, I want to learn more about the ACSI Flourishing Schools Institute!

We are excited to share more about our pilot year and program details being finalized with you. Let us know you’re interested in learning more and we will be in contact soon.

"The FSi's position on school culture is that the philosophy of Christian education, and more specifically Kingdom education, must be the first thing established by school leaders. A biblically based common philosophy is key to and essential for unity in heart, thought, and action when it comes to school flourishing”

Dr. Larry Taylor, ACSI President

Defining Well-Being

For both leaders and teachers at Christian schools, stress is a key factor that impacts flourishing; likewise, healthy living and developing resilience is predictive of student flourishing. This domain and related constructs demonstrate that the well-being of educators and students is not a secondary concern—but rather is predictively linked—to flourishing outcomes.

Well-Being FSCM Constructs

Stress – Constant feelings of stress and being overwhelmed accompany a lack of time to prepare for instruction (for teachers), or to focus on physical health (for leaders).

Healthy Living – Students are happy with their physical health, including sufficient exercise and a healthy diet.

Resilience – Students handle stress effectively and respond well to/ bounce back from difficult situations.

Defining Purpose

A commitment on the part of all school constituencies to the central purposes of Christian education—such as holistic teaching, integrated worldview, spiritual formation, discipleship, and family-school partnership—are strongly predictive of flourishing outcomes.

Purpose FSCM Constructs

Responsibility – Leaders, teachers, and support staff feel a sense of shared ownership for school mission, success, and improvement.

Holistic Teaching – Teaching involves helping students develop spiritually and emotionally (teaching the heart and soul, as well as the mind).

Integrated Worldview – Christian worldview changes how we educate; there is no such thing as a secular sphere.

God’s Story – Students believe they are a part of God’s bigger plan and can be used by him to “make a difference.”

Questioning – Students have doubts about their faith, lack time to pray or study the Bible, and feel that most Christians are too judgmental.

Partnership – Parents feel they are a part of the school’s mission, and that their child’s spiritual development requires their partnering with and being involved at the school.

Spiritual Formation – Alumni report that their Christian faith is stronger thanks to attending a Christian school, and they believe people can change with God’s help.

Defining Relationships

Trust-filled, supportive, and authentic relationships between all school constituencies, as well as with the surrounding community, are key to flourishing outcomes (e.g., between leaders and teachers, leaders and the board, parents and teachers, teachers and students, students and peers, school leadership and the community, and the school itself with the community).

Relationship FSCM Constructs

Supportive Leadership – Principals are trusted, teachers feel that leaders “have our backs,” and leaders empower teachers and staff to make decisions.

Leadership Interdependence – Diverse backgrounds, transparency about one’s weaknesses, and relying on others to offset those weaknesses is key.

Parent Relationships – Teachers “get to know” parents, and frequent and systemic communication facilitates positive relationships.

Community Engagement – The school engages with the surrounding community and regularly taps into community resources, including networking and resource-sharing with other schools.

Mentoring Students – Staff point out talent in each student, help students see how they fit in God’s bigger plan, and are aware of students’ struggles at school or home.

Insular Culture – The school shields students from the world’s brokenness, the school is independent from the surrounding community, and/or the student body lacks diversity.

Christlike Teachers – Teachers show Christlike love, kindness, and care to students. Students are cared about individually, including their spiritual development.

Prosocial Orientation – Students not only enjoy helping others, but also are known by others (e.g., peers) for showing love and care.

Caring Environment – From the perspective of school graduates, teachers were kind, students felt included in class, and students were protected from bullying.

Defining Expertise & Resources

Flourishing is connected to excellence in educational and school management practices. Educationally, this includes hiring qualified staff, providing effective and orderly classroom environments where students are deeply engaged in learning, and responding effectively to special needs. Sufficient school resources—as well as board-level strengths in resource planning—are predictive of school flourishing, as are (conversely) resource constraints that hinder schools from engaging in improvement processes.

Expertise & Resources FSCM Constructs

Best Practice Orientation – Keeping up with best practices in teaching is prioritized and resources for doing so can be identified.

Engaged Learning – Students engage in activities that nurture critical thinking, evaluating information, and problem solving.

Classroom Management – The classroom is orderly, and teachers are organized and consistent with discipline.

Responsiveness to Special Needs – Teaching staff works together to serve students with special needs, aided by processes for identifying and responding to those needs.

Qualified Staff – New teacher hires are credentialed (educationally and licensed/certified) and have classroom experience.

Resources – Materials and resources for teaching, including technology, are sufficient, and the school building is in good physical condition.

Resource Planning – A strategic financial plan and master facilities plan is in place, and financial planning is a strength of the board.

Resource Constraints – The school has financial resources to operate effectively; or a belief is held that the school could be more effective if not for fiscal constraints, and the school lacks the resources needed to make changes in the school.

Defining Learning Orientation

A school culture in which educators are committed to ongoing learning and improvement is predictive of flourishing not only for the school and educators, but also for students. For teachers, this includes best practices in feedback and collaboration, high quality professional development, and individualized instruction. For school leadership, this entails using systems thinking to develop a culture of improvement, which is both focused on student outcomes and is data driven.

Learning Orientation FSCM Constructs

Feedback – Feedback on teaching practice and classroom management is given regularly to facilitate adjustments in real-time.

Collaboration – Learning from and with other teachers drives and inspires better teaching.

Systems Thinking – When planning for change, the potential impact on the school, the classroom, students, and the overall system are considered.

Data-Driven Improvement – Data is used to gauge school results and effectiveness, determine goal attainment, and address problems the school faces.

Professional Development – PD is provided on-site and is subject- and role-specific.

Outcomes Focus – A strong belief is held that process doesn’t matter if it isn’t producing results, and change is distracting if it doesn’t lead to increases in student achievement.

Culture of Improvement – Guided by school leadership and focused on the future, the school is continually improving/makes necessary changes to improve

Individualized Instruction – Students are helped to figure out how they learn best and to identify their natural strengths.

Opening Evening

Opening Evening Schedule

Day One

Day One Schedule

Day Two

Day Two Schedule

*Please note this is a sample schedule and the final schedule can change per specific location. In Chicago, we will devote a special emphasis to schools outside of the U.S. and schools seeking to connect globally.