What in the World Is Classical Christian Education?

“Classical Christian Education” is one of the most difficult products to market. A simple and memorable definition eludes most people. We give an elaborate answer that includes Latin, uniforms, old books and the Trivium. The response back is often a look of curiosity… like being told that the best form of transportation is a covered wagon. Knowing who is asking the questions – parents, teachers, students, donors or college advisors – and how to tailor your response makes a difference, too. In this session, we will examine various definitions and how to explain it clearly, winsomely and accurately in the areas of marketing, parent education and retention.

W. Davies Owens

W. Davies Owens is the Head of Vision and Advancement at the Ambrose School in Boise, Idaho, where he also served as the Dean of the Upper School. Prior to moving west ve years ago, he served for 10 years as a board member, and later, as Head of School at Heritage Preparatory School, an ACCS member school in Atlanta, Georgia. Five years prior, he was the Executive Director of BlueSky Ministries, an innovation lab and consulting organization launched after his work for Christianity.com during the dot-com days of Silicon Valley. He is also an ordained Presbyterian minister who served as a local church pastor for 12 years in both suburban and urban congregations. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Furman University, a master’s degree in divinity from Duke Divinity School and a doctorate from Gordon Conwell Seminary in Boston. He has studied on a number of occasions at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland and England. He has a heart for international missions and has been leading teams from Ambrose to work with schools in Rwanda for the past four years. He is the host of the BaseCamp Live podcast, which is dedicated to helping promote classical Christian education nationally and equip parents and leaders involved in raising up the next generation. He and his wife, Holly, see the consistent fruit of classical Christian education in the lives of their three children, Hannah, 19, Liam, 16, and Bennett, 14.

Churches: For or Against Us?

Success for classical Christian schools is highly dependent on the engagement and health of the local Church. But despite many school’s efforts to require church attendance from families, all too often the students who show up on Monday morning lack basic Biblical and theological knowledge and are often struggling to find the practical role of their faith in daily life. Yet schools are not called to be surrogate churches, despite the expectations of many parents. Today’s pastors range from being highly supportive to passively critical about the presence of classical Christian schools in their community. Many have a host of misunderstandings, assumptions and fears about
the agenda of their local private Christian schools. Are there steps schools can take to encourage local pastors and move them toward becoming con dent advocates for your school? This workshop will explore current research from Barna on the state of the Church today, as well as surveys of pastors in communities with classical Christian schools. Practical and proven strategies will be presented about several initiatives that have brought the Church and schools into closer understanding and partnership.

W. Davies Owens

W. Davies Owens is the Head of Vision and Advancement at the Ambrose School in Boise, Idaho, where he also served as the Dean of the Upper School. Prior to moving west ve years ago, he served for 10 years as a board member, and later, as Head of School at Heritage Preparatory School, an ACCS member school in Atlanta, Georgia. Five years prior, he was the Executive Director of BlueSky Ministries, an innovation lab and consulting organization launched after his work for Christianity.com during the dot-com days of Silicon Valley. He is also an ordained Presbyterian minister who served as a local church pastor for 12 years in both suburban and urban congregations. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Furman University, a master’s degree in divinity from Duke Divinity School and a doctorate from Gordon Conwell Seminary in Boston. He has studied on a number of occasions at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland and England. He has a heart for international missions and has been leading teams from Ambrose to work with schools in Rwanda for the past four years. He is the host of the BaseCamp Live podcast, which is dedicated to helping promote classical Christian education nationally and equip parents and leaders involved in raising up the next generation. He and his wife, Holly, see the consistent fruit of classical Christian education in the lives of their three children, Hannah, 19, Liam, 16, and Bennett, 14.

90 Days, 90 Dads

As any school grows in age and numbers there is an increasing risk of parents having less understanding and appreciation for classical Christian education. Parents with a weak understanding of what differentiates a classical Christian school from other choices are more vulnerable to the larger culture and less prepared to create home environments that are commensurate with the vision of the school. They are also less involved and more likely to transition out to other schools. Learn how one school’s ambitious goal of meeting face to face with every parent resulted in a meaningful increase in the parent’s commitment in terms of greater contributions of their time, treasure and talents.

Davies Owens

W. Davies Owens is the Head of Vision and Advancement at the Ambrose School in Boise, Idaho, where he also served as the Dean of the Upper Schools. Prior to moving west three years ago, Davies served on the board, and later for seven years as Head of School, at Heritage Preparatory in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of BlueSky Ministries, an innovation lab and consulting organization. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister who served as a local church pastor for twelve years in North Carolina and Florida. Davies has a BA in Sociology from Furman University, an MDiv from Duke Divinity School, and a doctorate from Gordon Conwell Seminary in Boston. He and his wife, Holly, see the consistent fruit of classical Christian education in the lives of their three children: Hannah (16) , Liam (13), and Benne (11).