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Education as invitation

“If there is any concept worth restoring to its original depth and evocative potential, it is the concept of hospitality.”   – Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out, The Three Movements of Spiritual Life

“Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” – Hebrews 13:1-2

Christian hospitality is a powerful expression of the gospel. It demonstrates the tangible gifts of grace that are extended to us by God through others. Throughout the history of the West, the church has profoundly impacted the culture through simple practices like providing shelter and sharing meals. Christian communities, like classical Christian schools, are places where hospitable practices should be embodied and extended. In a deeply divided culture, hospitality is a sacred practice that carries life-affirming significance.

So how do we recover the sacred tradition of welcoming the stranger? What does hospitality have to do with classical Christian education? What does it mean for cultural renewal? Join us for a gathering of classical Christian educators from around the world as we consider what it means to build school communities and welcome the outside through biblical hospitality.

Over two days, we’ll explore:

  • the ancient and Biblical practice of hospitality
  • the history and large-scale demise of hospitality
  • how hospitality helps redeem human dignity
  • how hospitality can lead to cultural renewal
  • what this all means for you and your school


We welcome you to come join us for learning, connection, and inspiration at the 2024 SCL Summer Conference.

Plenary Speakers

Founder & CEO

Hospitality and the Gospel

Author, Consultant

Education as Hospitality & Healing

Founder & Leader

Sowing the Seeds of Cultural Renewal, Part I

Baroness, House of Lords

Sowing the Seeds of Cultural Renewal, Part II

Featured breakout Speakers

Cherie Harder


The Trinity Forum

David diener


Hillsdale College

Carolyn weber

Author & Professor

New College Franklin

Keith Mccurdy

Consultant & Therapist

Live Sturdy


Wednesday, June 12

Focused on helping you navigate the important issues in our world and in our schools, this in-depth day of learning features workshops that take a deep dive into a specific topic. With interactive discussion and teaching designed for teachers and administrators, you’ll leave equipped with the practical knowledge you need for day-to-day school life. A new schedule this year allows you to drive or fly in Wednesday morning if needed. Pre-conference sessions will run 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

Pre-conference ticket sold separately.


10 principles of classical pedagogy

**Sold Out**

Leadership & Governance

Collaborative Schools


– The conference schedule is listed in US Eastern Time (ET) –
– All scheduling in Whova will be in your local time zone –

College Fair - New to SC24!

College Fair - New to SC24!

We are inviting all colleges and universities to join us for our first annual College Fair at SC24 (25 colleges have already committed)! We will host colleges, bookstores, and curriculum providers in a dedicated hospitality space for our guests with coffee stations and more. Panelists will facilitate Q&A sessions throughout the days – a time we hope will foster information and connections among colleges and CCE educators, college advisors, and school leaders.
Bringing people together is what we do, and in a complex post-graduation landscape, we want to connect schools to the colleges and opportunities that will best nurture the whole human spirit of CCE students — intellectually, morally, and spiritually — into the future.
We hope this will be the beginning of a valuable annual tradition where we can facilitate the best opportunities for CCE students along their path of vocational discernment.
The fee to sponsor a table in the college fair room is $2750.
  • Table space
  • 2 in person conference tickets
  • 1 virtual ticket
  • Apply to speak on one of our 4 panels
  • Receive 3 months of marketing



Embark on a captivating journey with Civitas Tours through the heart of Washington D.C. Join experienced guides, David and Abbey Vogt, on a meticulously planned walking tour of iconic monuments and memorials. Explore the rich history of the National Mall, from the creation of D.C. to landmarks like the Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, MLK Jr. Memorial, and more. Capture the essence of each site with opportunities to read, explore, and photograph. As we stroll by Smithsonian buildings and the US Capitol, relish highlights and photo ops. Enjoy a provided lunch, ensure comfy shoes, and discover the capital’s gems from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. 

  •     Saturday, June 15, 2024, 9 AM – 6 PM
  •     Cost is $50 per person and includes lunch
  •     Tour starts and ends at the Smithsonian Metro on the National Mall.
  •     Lots of walking—wear comfortable shoes
  •     Bring your water bottle
  •     Lunch provided
  •     All ages welcome, capable of walking all day

KleerCard Special Discount

$100 off every SCL Summer Conference ticket purchased using a KleerCard! Sign up for KleerCard here. To take advantage of this fantastic offer, simply use your KleerCard to pay for your summer conference tickets. KleerCard will automatically apply the $100 credit (per ticket) to your KleerCard account.




  • Member Price with KleerCard: $79
  • Non-Member Price: $199
  • -------
  • Group Pricing (4+)
  • Member: $159
  • Non-Member: $179



  • Member Price with KleerCard: $369
  • Non-Member Price: $519
  • -------
  • Group Pricing (10+)
  • Member: $449
  • Non-Member: $499



  • Member Price with KleerCard: $0
  • Non-Member Price: $129

Password required for member registration. Members can find this password in their membership portal on the main SCL website.

Want to pay member prices and join the SCL community? Become a Member!

Monuments by Moonlight Tour

Monuments by Moonlight Tour

Sold Out!

Note: This tour has sold out! Click the button below to see other tours that are being offered at the conference!

This special guided tour will take place on Wednesday night (6/12), starting at the Gaylord National Harbor, from 7-10pm.



title partners

Platinum partners


In response to feedback and to maximize convenience, we’ve optimized this year’s schedule by reallocating Saturday breakout sessions to Thursday and Friday, and postponing the start of Pre-Conference, while introducing additional optional events on Wednesday and Saturday. This adjustment offers enhanced travel flexibility for schools, additional optional events, while ensuring access to the same comprehensive range of sessions (84+) with improved scheduling options.

Make the Most of It All
In addition to the Joshua Expedition tour Wednesday evening, Civitas Tours is offering an incredible opportunity to tour D.C. on Saturday for only $50 with lunch included. Bring your team or family and explore D.C. for the weekend. Or simply stay around Saturday morning and reserve space in one of our Gaylord rooms for a team gathering. Make the most of each day Wed-Sat!

Beat the Budget
We hope the new condensed schedule will allow you to stay as long or as little as you like, making this as affordable as possible to as many as possible. For the PreConference, drive or fly in Wednesday morning, without adding a night’s stay. For the Main Conference, fly or drive in Wednesday night and leave Friday night while still making all Main Stage & Breakout sessions. 

For questions related to group ticket purchases, contact Marissa Yanaga at

Submit this interest form and Lauren Key will connect with you.

Whova is our all-in-one conference app where you can access the following: full schedule, speaker and breakout info, virtual sessions, exhibitor booths, sponsor info, job boards, community chat, and more!

The Whova App is a must for both in-person and virtual attendees.

You can buy a ticket for each member of your team: faculty, administration, staff, and board.

All tickets (including in-person) have access to livestreams and recordings through the Whova app for 90 days following the conference.

Click here to become a member and qualify for our member discount for conference tickets!

This year the conference will be at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort & Convention. Reservations can be made through the online reservation link or directly with the hotel at (301) 965-4000.

Please contact Marissa Yanaga ( for assistance with payment plans.

  • The SCL summer conference livestream will include all plenary sessions and a minimum of 35 breakout sessions organized within the following categories: leadership and governance; upper school; lower school; CCE philosophy and culture.  Recordings for many sessions not included in the live stream will be available after the conference. 

You can receive a CEU by filling out our survey at the end of the conference!

 For registration and payment questions, contact Marissa Yanaga at For conference questions, contact Sarah Spencer at!

© 2024 The Society for Classical Learning. All Rights Reserved.

Aaron howard

Founder & CEO

Session: Hospitality and the Gospel

Session Abstract

Hospitality, in cultures around the world, is an esteemed and treasured virtue. The ancient Greeks viewed hospitality, called xenia in Greek, as a foundational part of their culture, and Zeus was sometimes called Zeus Xenios, or “protector of strangers.” The Center for Western Studies states, “all the problems in the Odyssey were caused by poor xenia.” Hospitality preserved the relationships and social cooperation necessary in a rapidly expanding society.

Similarly, ancient Jewish culture valued hospitality and considered it a divine imperative. From the inception of the Jewish nation in God’s covenant with Abraham, kindness and compassion toward strangers was of preeminent importance. In the New Testament, as the people of Israel begin to share the gospel with their neighbors, they are encouraged to remain hospitable. For example, Hebrews 13:2 encourages believers, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

In a culture that remains politically, religiously, culturally, and racially divided, what can classical education learn from the ancient Greek, Jewish, and Christian traditions? How can classical education demonstrate a model of hospitality that promotes the best of these traditions to disrupt and overcome the division that plagues our society? What are some themes, ideas, and practices we should keep in mind? 


Aaron Howard is Founder and CEO of As One Christian Diversity Staffing, a consulting and recruiting organization that provides biblical solutions to Christian schools, universities, and organizations pursuing kingdom diversity and belonging. He has over twenty-five years experience serving in leadership roles in diverse schools, organizations, and churches. He will begin serving this fall as Assistant Professor of Ethics, Reconciliation, and Worship at Lipscomb University. He currently serves as Director of Diversity, Community, and Inclusion at Franklin Road Academy, an independent Christian school in Nashville, TN.

Dr. Howard received his Ph.D. in Ethics and Society from Vanderbilt University, an MA in Theology, Biblical Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, an MA in Education from San Diego State University, and a BA in Anthropology from UCLA. He also completed a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.

Christopher perrin

author & consultant

Session: Education as hospitality and healing

Session Abstract

Mortimer Adler quipped that if a classical education was the best for a few then it is the best for all. If Adler is right, then a classical education is a human education that will bless and benefit any human being that receives it. Should Christians then seek to give this blessed education to all who seek it? The old monastic schools would often receive and educate “externs”–those who came to the monastery seeking an education but who were not planning to seek religious orders. Benedictine monasteries would receive the traveling stranger as Christ and offer hospitality; some extended this hospitality by offering an education. What greater gift can be offered? If progressive education has made us all weary travelers seeking rest, then are not all of us in need of the healing and hospitality that we can call classical Christian education? Can we offer it to all the tired families among us–those rich or poor, those in the church or external to it? In this presentation, we will survey the history of Christian, classical education and the way it was generously offered, and consider the ways we can welcome more weary travelers to the warmth inside. 


Dr. Christopher Perrin is an author, consultant, and speaker who specializes in classical education. He is committed to the renewal of the liberal arts tradition. He cofounded and serves full-time as the CEO/publisher at Classical Academic Press, a classical education curriculum, media, and consulting company. Christopher is also a consultant to charter, public, private, and Christian schools across the country. He is the director at the Alcuin Fellowship with the Institute for Classical Schools and the former board vice president of the Society for Classical Learning. He has published numerous articles and lectures that are widely used throughout the United States and the English-speaking world.

Christopher received his BA in history from the University of South Carolina and his MDiv and PhD in apologetics from Westminster Theological Seminary. 

He was also a special student in literature at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. He has taught at Messiah College and Chesapeake Theological Seminary, and served as the founding headmaster of a classical school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for ten years. He is the author of The Greek Alphabet Code Cracker and Greek for Children and the coauthor of the Latin for Children series, all published by Classical Academic Press.

Christopher has a passion for classical education and is a lover of goodness, truth, and beauty wherever it is found.  He is married to Christine Perrin, have children and live near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

David stroud

Founder & leader

Session: sowing the seeds of cultural renewal, part II

Session Abstract

What we can learn from forerunners of our classical liberal education tradition? Britain was transformed in the middle of the 19th century by a remarkable group of leaders who worked for renewal rights across society. At the heart of this movement was Thomas Arnold, the Headteacher of Rugby School, England. Arnold provided a fresh vision for educating his students, for the renewal of the educational system, and for how civilisation could be extended and the world changed as a result. Hospitality was at the heart of everything that Arnold did. What might Thomas Arnold’s life and legacy have to say to us today? As we educate our children now, we can do so in ways that sow the seeds for the renewal of culture in their generation.


Phillipa stroud

ceo & Baroness

Session: Sowing the seeds of cultural renewal, part 1

Session Abstract

Having served at the heart of the UK Government on major programmes of reform, I will share how a well-developed theory of change can lead to the renewal of our educational institutions and a fresh wave of educational excellence rooted in hospitality.

I will speak to the challenges of academic freedom, freedom of speech, and the free exchange of ideas and how vital these are for societal health and progress. Our tried and tested values are essential, and it is time to pass the best of our inheritance to the next generation.


Baroness Philippa Stroud is co-founder and CEO of the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship, co-founder of Forum, a Member of the House of Lords, and Chair of the Social Metrics Commission Prior to this, she was the CEO of the Legatum Institute and Co-Founder and Chief Executive of the Centre for Social Justice. She served as Special Adviser to the Rt. Hon. Iain Duncan Smith MP from 2010-15 and also to the Prime Minister from 2012.

Philippa’s early career was spent in the voluntary sector including spending time in Hong Kong and Macau working with heroin addicts and ex-members of triad gangs who were undergoing rehabilitation. On her return to the UK she founded and directed a four-stage project that enabled homeless people to move into independent living before she moved to Birmingham in 2000 and became Executive Director of the Bridge Project, a voluntary sector project that provided supported accommodation for homeless men and women.

Cherie Harder


The trinity forum

Session Abstract

These are divisive, distracted, politicized, and anxious times, and many people report feeling frustrated or confused about how to change them. Reading has always been a revolutionary act, and reading in community is a powerful way to get to know and love one’s neighbor. Engaging the great questions and great stories opens opportunities for hospitality, learning, and a growth in understanding of and care for others. By virtually every metric, reading is one of the most powerful and positive civic (as well as individual) activities one can engage in. In starting a reading group, one starts a small revolution. This seminar will explore the power and potential of reading groups, offer best practices on hosting and facilitating them, and perhaps inspire participants to start (or sustain) one of their own!


Cherie Harder serves as President of the Trinity Forum. Prior to joining the Trinity Forum in 2008, Ms. Harder served in the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Policy and Projects for First Lady Laura Bush.

Earlier in her career she served as Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, advising the Leader on domestic social issues and serving as liaison and outreach director to outside groups. From 2001 to 2005, she was Senior Counselor to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), where she helped the Chairman design and launch the We the People initiative to enhance the teaching, study, and understanding of American history. Prior to that Ms. Harder was the Policy Director for Senator Sam Brownback and also served as Deputy Policy Director at Empower America.

She holds an Honors B.A. (magna cum laude) in government from Harvard University and a post-graduate diploma in literature from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, where she was a Rotary Scholar. She is also a Senior Fellow at Cardus, an Editorial Board member of Comment magazine, a past board member of Gordon College and the C.S. Lewis Institute, a current board member of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution and Faith and Law, and an advisory board member of the National Museum of American Religion.

David Diener


Hillsdale College


Session 1: Throughout the liberal arts tradition, leadership is a recurrent theme that is treated in a manner consistent with the tradition’s understanding of human nature and purpose. Contemporary leadership scholarship and training, however, often are based on assumptions about the nature of human beings, organizations, and what it means to lead that are inconsistent with a liberal arts paradigm. This session attempts to restore leadership to the liberal arts tradition by exploring the historical and philosophical nature of leadership as a liberal art. Articulating a philosophical anthropology of leadership from within the liberal arts tradition provides a basis for leadership preparation, development, and evaluation that aligns with the foundational assumptions of classical Christian schools. This session will help current leaders, aspiring leaders, and thoughtful educators alike work toward such an alignment by rethinking what it means to be a leader within the liberal arts tradition.

Session 2: Over the centuries, one of the key questions of classical Christian education is how Christians should/shouldn’t teach and learn from pagan texts. This issue arose almost immediately in the first century AD, and throughout the history of classical education different answers have been offered. This session attempts to unpack this controversial issue by addressing both its historical roots and some of the key answers that have been given throughout the tradition. This issue is just as relevant today as ever, so understanding its nuances is of great benefit for all classical Christian educators as they articulate the purpose and value of teaching pagan texts.


Dr. David Diener works at Hillsdale College where he is an Assistant Professor of Education. Previously he spent fifteen years in K-12 private education, eleven of those in administration and eight as headmaster of classical Christian schools. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Society for Classical Learning and the Board of Academic Advisors for the Classic Learning Test. He is the Executive Director of the Alcuin Fellowship, a member of the National Council of Classical Educators, and regularly provides consulting services and teacher training to classical schools. He is the author of Plato: The Great Philosopher-Educator and has published articles on Plato, Kierkegaard, and various topics in philosophy of education. He also serves as the series editor for Classical Academic Press’ series Giants in the History of Education and is an associate editor for the journal Principia: a Journal of Classical Education. He holds a BA in Philosophy and Ancient Languages from Wheaton College as well as an MA in Philosophy, an MS in History and Philosophy of Education, and a dual PhD in Philosophy and Philosophy of Education from Indiana University.

Carolyn Weber

author & Professor

New college franklin

Session Abstract

C.S. Lewis is rightfully revered for his erudite yet accessible apologetics, his wide range of literary endeavors, and his own fascinating biography and conversion to faith. His relevance is only growing more profound for us in this century. How might we specifically appeal to Lewis in welcoming a pedagogy that involves spiritual formation as well as intellectual acumen? In this panel discussion, I would like to explore how Lewis’ life and works offer a rich combination of orthodoxy as well as orthopraxy in the teleological development of the whole person to the glory of God.


An award-winning author, popular professor and international speaker on the intersections of faith, literature and culture, Dr. Carolyn Weber, a Commonwealth Scholar, holds her B.A. Hon. from Huron University College, Canada and her M.Phil. and D.Phil. from Oxford University, England. She has taught students across continents, and now enjoys teaching at New College Franklin and working with the creative community in the Nashville, TN area. Her book Surprised by Oxford, which won the Grace Irwin Award, the largest prize for best Christian writing in Canada, was made into a feature film. She resides in the country with her husband, four spirited children, and animal menagerie. 

Keith mccurdy

Consultant & Therapist

Live sturdy

Session Abstract

CCE leaders and teachers – Who is our current audience? Where are they? They are anxious, depressed, and otherwise perplexed. You cannot affect culture in your school without connecting with your students. Understanding where they are gives us an entry point to helping them develop healthy perspectives on life.  Come learn how to move students from consumer to contributor.


Keith is a Family and Parenting Educator and Consultant, as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Virginia. He has worked with families, children, parents, and individuals for over 30 years in the field of mental health.

Davies Owens & Keith Mccurdy

School Culture & Parent Partnership

Session Abstract

Join Dr. Davies Owens and Keith McCurdy as they look at one of the most often discussed topics among administers and teachers: the partnership with modern parents.  While our form of education is largely unchanged as classical Christian educators, our “customers” are not the same as they were even a few years ago.   Today’s Millennial and Gen Z parents have a lot to offer as partners in raising the next generation.  But they also bring struggle at times knowing parenting best practices and home habits that reflect on the goals and vision of our school.   Now more than ever we need to help guide them to better understand classical Christian education and their Biblical role in the spiritual formation of their children.  The rise of digital distractions and a culture of therapeutic mindsets has only added to the challenges.   How can we form even healthier school cultures that are supported in our students homes? 

Join us for a day of digging deep into an understanding of our cultural moment and how can best partner with busy and often distracted parents in 2024 to ensure the goals of our schools.  This training will be valuable for classroom teachers, administrators and board members, anyone involved advancing our schools and the vital partnership we have with our parents. 

Session 1 – Our Cultural Moment 

  • What is going on in the world?
  • Impact on our hallways and classrooms
  • Culture in Schools 


Session 2 – The Problem Correctly Identified

  • Therapeutic Mindsets 
  • Shaping Perceptions
  • Technology in our Midst


Session 3 – Healthy Goals

  • Ensuring alignment of goals for students
  • Moving parents from consumers to contributors
  • Vocational discipleship -forming students to know who they are (Presentation with Tami Peterson Life Architects Coaching)


Session 4 – Better Parent Buy In

  • The right content delivered in the best way for busy parents 
  • Managing through struggles over the K-12 journey
  • Proven strategies for training healthy home habits


As a speaker, teacher, leader, and serial entrepreneur, Davies Owens has enjoyed the privilege of connecting with school leaders, parents, and students for more than three decades. 

His primary goal is to assist parents and schools in building confidence, clarity, and renewed enthusiasm as educators. Throughout his career, Davies has always been fascinated by the intersection of media, ministry, and education. With over two decades of experience in classical Christian school leadership, along with teaching and training leaders on a national scale, Davies has honed proven strategies and solutions to help them thrive.

He hosts the popular BaseCamp Live podcast, now in its 7th year, one of the most highly regarded and listened to podcasts in the Christian education movement. After serving as the Head of School at Heritage Preparatory in Atlanta for seven years, Davies assumed the roles of Dean of the Upper School and later Head of Vision and Advancement at The Ambrose School in Meridian, Idaho until 2020. Since then, he has been working in the national movement, focusing on strengthening the family’s partnership with our schools.

As a teacher and consultant with Ancient Future Education, Davies strives to make classical Christian education accessible to everyone. He frequently speaks at schools, inspiring parents and teachers alike. His presentations ignite conversations and inspire intentional engagement and action. His winsome presentation on “Ancient Future Education” at Q, a Ted talk environment, continues to be used by schools around the world. Davies’ journey has also included speaking engagements at various Christian school conferences, including the Society for Classical Learning (SCL), where he had the privilege of serving as their Executive Director.  

Additionally, he is also an adjunct professor and lecturer for Gordon College’s Master’s of Arts in Leadership program, teaching institutional advancement for classical school leaders.  He serves on the Board of Academic Advisors for the CLT (Classic Learning Test).  And he is currently developing a new organization called ZipCast that has created fresh and effective media platform and communication strategy to solve the challenges schools and organizations have with connecting and mentoring busy modern parents on the go, currently being used by schools around the country.   

Davies and his wife, Holly, are blessed with three incredible children, all of whom have benefited from a K-12 classical Christian education.  Davies earned his M.Div. at Duke Divinity School and a doctorate at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, focusing on online interaction to build interactive deep community.

Keith McCurdy is a Family and Parenting Educator and Consultant, as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Virginia. He has worked with families, children, parents, and individuals for over 30 years in the field of mental health.

Chris perrin & Carrie Eben

The Good Teacher: 10 Principles of Classical Pedagogy

Session Abstract

Join Christopher Perrin, Ph.D and Carrie Eben, MSEd as they reveal 10 timeless principles of classical pedagogy which characterize great teaching.  These basic principles from their upcoming book The Good Teacher: 10 Principles of Classical Pedagogy set the teacher free to know what to teach as well as when and how. These principles also direct teachers toward virtuous teaching and lead students toward virtuous learning. Filled with practical ideas, pithy anecdotes, and illuminating discussion, this offering is helpful for teachers new to classical education and for veteran teachers and administrators who want to grow in depth. 

Session 1 

Unveiling the Good: Orientation to Principles and Virtue

Appropriate Expectations: Festina Lente, Multum non Multa

Session 2

Posture of Rest: Wonder and Curiosity, Scholé and Contemplation

Session 3

Incarnating Knowledge: Repetitio Mater Memoriae, Songs, Chants, Jingles, Liturgical /Embodied Learning

Session 4

Other Good Teachers: Docendo DiscimusOptimus Magister Bonus Liber Est, Friendship and Conversation

Reflection: Assessment


Dr. Christopher Perrin is an author, consultant, and speaker who specializes in classical education. He is committed to the renewal of the liberal arts tradition. He cofounded and serves full-time as the CEO/publisher at Classical Academic Press, a classical education curriculum, media, and consulting company. Christopher is also a consultant to charter, public, private, and Christian schools across the country. He is the director at the Alcuin Fellowship with the Institute for Classical Schools and the former board vice president of the Society for Classical Learning. He has published numerous articles and lectures that are widely used throughout the United States and the English-speaking world.

Christopher received his BA in history from the University of South Carolina and his MDiv and PhD in apologetics from Westminster Theological Seminary. 

He was also a special student in literature at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. He has taught at Messiah College and Chesapeake Theological Seminary, and served as the founding headmaster of a classical school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for ten years. He is the author of The Greek Alphabet Code Cracker and Greek for Children and the coauthor of the Latin for Children series, all published by Classical Academic Press.

Christopher has a passion for classical education and is a lover of goodness, truth, and beauty wherever it is found.  He is married to Christine Perrin, have children and live near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

For over twenty-four years, Carrie Eben has championed classical education in both the private school classroom and homeschool arenas. She currently serves as founding board member at Sager Classical Academy in Siloam Springs, AR. Carrie passionately leads teachers and parents in the classical model of education. She develops and delivers customized workshops for administrators, teachers, and parents in both classical school and homeschool settings via Classical Eben Education Consulting ( Carrie holds a BSE in Intermediate Education from John Brown University and a MSEd in Curriculum and Instruction from Oklahoma State University. She is currently a PhD student in the Humanities program at Faulkner University and a CiRCE Institute Master Teacher.

William r. Mott, phd

author, consultant, head of school

leadership & Governance

Session Abstract

Session 1: One Board – One Voice

Working together for a shared vision should be the objective of the school’s board of trustees and the head of school. The recognition that our shared leadership has consequences on the school’s future should signal how important this relationship must be. Part of the key is for the board to acknowledge and live out fundamental responsibilities, including the critical concept of one board, one voice. Everything rises and falls on leadership.

Session 2: The Power of a Positive Culture

The idea of best practices suggests that the board should always be striving to improve. This translates into a healthy culture and a structure that allows the board to focus on the values at the core off their work. A well-structured board that has a culture that is positive and affirming, one defined by intentional actions, has the best chance for success.

Session 3: A Deep Dive Into the Role of the Committee on Trustees

Most boards have several standing committees. None of the committees is more important than the Committee on Trustees. Charged with identifying prospective new board members, this committee has the responsibility to get the best and the brightest. What is their role and how can all board members and the head of school support their work.

Session 4: Five Questions/Five Challenges Facing Heads and Trustees

Classical school governance faces many challenges and difficult questions arise when it comes to moving forward in a way that will lead to the best result for the board and ultimately the school. How do we navigate these issues and create a new way to address complicated problems?


Over the course of his thirty-year career, Dr. Mott has had the privilege of working with many independent and faith-based schools. In this, his third book on governance, Dr. Mott concentrates on the significant importance of unity, relationships, and building a culture for the head of school and the board of trustees to thrive. Healthy Boards – Successful Schools: The Impact of Governance and Leadership on Independent and Faith-Based Schools is a book that will resonant with heads and boards who strive to be a best-practices governing board.

Dr. Mott’s experience includes being the head of school at three different independent schools and a member of the board of trustees of several independent schools as well as other nonprofit organizations. In addition to the above experience, Dr. Mott is on the faculty of Vanderbilt University as an Adjunct Instructor. Dr. Mott received his Ph.D. in educational leadership from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College.

Starrla fowler & Ellen Schuknecht


Session Abstract

Session I: Fulfilling the Telos of Classical Christian Education in Our Schools and Our Homes

The aim, or telos, of classical Christian education within a collaborative school extends beyond the student to his/her family as well. Most parents who choose this particular model of schooling do so because of their desire to remain the primary influence in their childrens’ lives. Therefore, the aim of collaborative schools is not only cultivating wisdom and virtue in their students, but also enabling parents to create an immersive paideia of the Lord within their homes and family life. Exploring the telos of classical Christian collaborative (“CCC”) schools will occupy the first third of our time together and will involve much sharing by participants.

Session II: Equipping the Equippers — Supporting Parents as They Raise Their Children in the Paideia of the Lord

Given the biblical mandate for parents to train up their children in the paideia of the Lord (Eph 6:4, Deut 6:7), an intentional focus on building an effective family ministry function within a CCC school is critical for accomplishment of the school’s mission. This function typically includes such activities as parent/co-teacher training in curricula and pedagogy, practical parenting counsel, support/encouragement/community, etc. This ministry of “equipping the equippers” goes far beyond the typical parent partnership at five-day-a-week schools and will be the focus of the next third of our session. 

Session III:  Building a Thriving and Sustainable School of Rhetoric

As students mature and matriculate through a CCC school, they begin to be influenced by more teachers and peers—and for longer periods of time—at school than at home. Thus, the CCC school’s focus moves to the culture and environment experienced on campus, especially as students migrate through the School of Logic into the School of Rhetoric. Creating a rich, wholesome paideia in our upper schools with the intent of building a thriving and sustainable School of Rhetoric will be the focus of the last third of our time together. 

This pre-conference track is designed to be an interactive workshop. Participants are expected to share freely with others of their successes and failures in leading their schools towards the telos of a CCC.


In her role as the Director of Leadership Development and Collaborative School Initiatives for the Society for Classical Learning, Starrla Fowler is able to combine two big passions—developing leaders and expanding collaborative schools across the United States. Prior to joining SCL, Starrla  and her husband were co-founders of Veritas Academy in Austin, Texas, and over the course of 18 years Starrla served in various capacities including Academic Dean, Academic Team Chair, Grammar School Head, and School of Logic Head. She continues to serve on the Veritas Academy School Board and its Governance and Nominations committee.  

While at Veritas, Starrla developed curricula and academic programs, trained hundreds of teachers, served on accreditation teams for similar schools, and helped many classical, collaborative schools launch and grow. She is passionate about Kingdom building through the expansion of classical, Christian schools; and after receiving her Masters in Leadership through Gordon College, shifted her focus to developing programs for training future Christian school leaders. 

Starrla and her husband, Jef (the longtime Veritas HOS), are the parents of three adult children, all graduates of Veritas Academy. After living in the Texas Hill Country for nearly 30 years, Starrla and Jef now enjoy living close to their adult children in Memphis, Tennessee.

In 2005, Ellen Schuknecht was hired as the first administrator at Veritas Academy, a classical Christian, collaborative school. Since then she has served in various roles but has always been strategically involved in supporting and equipping parents. For the past 11 years, she has participated weekly in the school days at home with her own grandkids who are longtime Veritas Academy students. She has also authored several books including A Spiritual Heritage: Connecting Kids and Grandkids to God and Family, published by Kregel in 2017, and Every Parent’s Calling: to educate and disciple their child, published by Riverstone Group Publishing, a book designed to equip parents in collaborative school models. 

David Bailey

Founder & Chief Vision Officer - Arrabon

Session: The 5 Challenges to Being a Reconciling Community

Session Abstract

People form communities and communities form people. Christian communities ought to be reconciling communities, but unfortunately, too many Christian communities mirror the same practices as secular communities around conflict and division. In this breakout session, we’ll introduce the five practices leaders need to build a reconciling community within their organization.


David M. Bailey is a public theologian, culture maker, and catalyst focused on building reconciling communities. David is the founder and Chief Vision Officer of Arrabon, a spiritual formation ministry that equips the American Church to actively and creatively pursue racial healing in their communities. He is the co-author of the study series, A People, A Place, and A Just Society, and the executive producer of the documentary 11 am: Hope for America’s Most Segregated Hour and the Urban Doxology Project. David is rooted at East End Covenant Fellowship, serving on the preaching team, and his greatest honor is to be married to his wonderful wife, Joy.

Joseph Pearce

Best-Selling Author

Session: Wit, Wisdom, and Wonder: Life Lessons from G.K. Chesterton

Session Abstract

Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly whereas the devil takes himself far too seriously, falling by the force of his own gravity. So says G. K. Chesterton, the self-described “jolly journalist” who is worth taking seriously because he took himself so lightly. With wit, wisdom and eyes wide open with wonder, Chesterton shows us the way to paradise by way of paradox. Joseph Pearce, author of Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G. K. Chesterton, gives a guided tour of Chesterton’s life, work, wit, wisdom and legacy.


A native of England, Joseph Pearce is the internationally acclaimed author of many books, which include bestsellers such as The Quest for Shakespeare, Tolkien: Man and Myth, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church, Literary Converts, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton, Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile and Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc. His books have been published and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Croatian and Polish.
He has hosted two 13-part television series about Shakespeare on EWTN, and has also written and presented documentaries on EWTN on the Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. His verse drama, Death Comes for the War Poets, was performed off-Broadway to critical acclaim. He has participated and lectured at a wide variety of international and literary
events at major colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Europe, Africa and South America.
He is editor of the St. Austin Review (, series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions (, senior instructor with Homeschool Connections (, and senior contributor at the Imaginative Conservative and Crisis Magazine. In 2022, he was awarded the St. John Henry
Newman Visiting Chair of Catholic Studies at Thomas More College (Merrimack, NH). His personal website is

Kelly Kapic

Author & Professor - Covenant College

Session: Learning to Value Process: God Likes to Take His Time

Session Abstract

We know that God is perfect and complete, but we are not. In our time together we will consider how God loves process. While we often judge only according to finished products, God has always been comfortable with process, and learning to appreciate this truth about God can free us to more fully embrace the process of growth and learning. The implications of this for Christian education are enormous, as we see our work not merely in terms of a ‘final product,’ but in terms of the value of formation and growth.


Kelly M. Kapic (PhD, King’s College, University of London) is a professor of theological studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, where he has taught for twenty years. He is an award-winning author or editor of more than fifteen books, including You’re Only Human and Embodied Hope, which each won a Christianity Today Book Award. Kapic, a popular speaker, has been featured in Christianity Today and The Gospel Coalition, has worked on research teams funded by the John Templeton Foundation, and contributes to the Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care and various other journals.




Sandra McCracken will be leading worship from the main stage in the morning and afternoon of Friday, June 16, followed by her highly-anticipated concert at 6:00pm. See the conference schedule for further information!


Sandra McCracken is a singer-songwriter and hymn writer from Nashville, Tennessee. A prolific recording artist, McCracken has produced 14 solo albums over two decades. Her best selling release, Psalms (2015) received critical acclaim, followed by God’s Highway (2017) which made the top 50 on Billboard Heatseekers chart without a major label. She has had songs featured in TV, including ‘Ten Thousand Angels’ on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and has over 15 million streams. Blending the old and new, Sandra has also shown a unique ability to recast sacred scripture texts into theologically rich yet accessible songs. Her thoughtful lyrics and gospel melodies in songs like “We Will Feast In The House Of Zion,” “Steadfast” and “Thy Mercy My God” have become staple anthems in churches across the U.S. As a published writer, she contributes a regular column in Christianity Today and released her first book “Send Out Your Light” in September 2021.

Pano Kanelos

President - University of Austin

Session: Coming Soon

Session Abstract



Panayiotis (Pano) Kanelos is the founding president of the University of Austin.
From 2017 to 2021, Dr. Kanelos served as the 24th President of St. John’s College, Annapolis. After earning degrees from Northwestern University (B.A.), Boston University (M.A.), and the University of Chicago (Ph.D.), he taught at Stanford University, the University of San Diego, and Loyola University Chicago.

He served most recently as dean of Christ College, the Honors College of Valparaiso University. An outspoken advocate for liberal education, he oversaw the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, comprising a network of more than 100 colleges and universities. Among the earliest participants in the Teach for America program, President Kanelos is as passionate about teaching as he is about writing and scholarship. He founded the Cropper Center for Creative Writing at the University of San Diego and is a noted Shakespeare scholar, having served as the resident Shakespearean in the Old Globe MFA Program and the founding director of the Interdisciplinary Shakespeare Studies Program at Loyola University Chicago.

Beck A. Taylor

President - Samford University

Session: Coming Soon

Session Abstract



Beck A. Taylor comes to Samford University after serving as the 18th president of Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, since 2010. Prior to this appointment, Taylor served as dean and professor of economics for Samford’s Brock School of Business (2005-2010), and associate dean for research and faculty development for Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business (1997-2005).

Taylor’s tenure at Whitworth was highlighted by a renewed emphasis on community involvement; efforts to enhance academic programs and quality; the building of new campus infrastructure to facilitate the university’s academic, athletic, and student life programs; the creation of newly endowed faculty positions and centers; leading Whitworth’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign; and an emphasis on overall institutional effectiveness.

After earning his undergraduate degree from Baylor with majors in economics and finance, Taylor was employed as an analyst for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in Houston, Texas. He went on to earn his M.S. and Ph.D. in economics from Purdue University. After returning to the Baylor faculty, Taylor was named the first holder of the W.H. Smith Professorship in Economics. In 2002, he was appointed as a visiting scholar by Harvard University where he spent one year in residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

As dean of Samford’s Brock School of Business, Taylor led the rapid transformation of the business school, including its renaming to honor Harry B. Brock, Jr., founder of Compass Bank. Taylor led the Brock School of Business to establish eight new academic programs, as well as the school’s new honors program. The school’s entrepreneurship program was recognized in 2010 as the nation’s top emerging program by the U.S. Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship. In an effort to build bridges between students and the Birmingham business community, Taylor established the Samford Business Network, as well as a 45-member advisory board of the region’s top business leaders.

As a scholar, Taylor has published dozens of studies in economics journals such as Review of Economics and StatisticsJournal of Labor EconomicsJournal of Human Resources and Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking. Illustrating his diverse research interests and his connections to the social sciences, Taylor has also published groundbreaking research in public health and child developmental psychology. His research has been cited in testimony given before the U.S. Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, and the California State Assembly, and also has been referenced in publications such as The New York TimesThe Boston Globe, and The Christian Science Monitor.

Taylor is a member of numerous professional and academic organizations, and he has served as a strategic business consultant for dozens of organizations. Taylor and his wife of 28 years, Julie, have three children: Zachary, 25, a Nashville-based music recording artist, Lauren, 22, a recent Whitworth graduate, and Chloe, 14.

Savannah Kimberlin

Associate VP of Church Engagement - Barna Group

Session: Faith & Culture

Session Abstract

Barna Group has researched faith trends in the United States and around the world for more than 40 years, specializing in the study of generations and the intersection of faith and culture. Together, let’s explore a handful of key cultural shifts and their impact on and implications for our organizations.


Savannah serves as the Associate Vice President of Church Engagement at Barna. Savannah loves facilitating Barna’s mission to provide the Church with knowledge to navigate a changing world through consulting services, CoLab learning cohorts and research efforts. She is passionate about taking Barna’s research and synthesizing it into helpful, actionable insights for Christian leaders.
As a certified data miner and predictive modeler, Savannah specializes in advanced analytics. Prior to her time at Barna, she worked in the big data and software development spaces.
She earned her B.S. in Mathematics from Samford University and her M.S. in Decision Analytics from the University of Alabama. Savannah currently lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Josh and her daughter Zoe.