What Does the Kingdom of God Look Like? An Apology of Diversity in Classical Christian Schools.

Peter Vande Brake looks at some of the challenges of diversification and how to overcome them.

We all have “blindspots” in our lives, or things that we just can’t see. This isn’t because those things aren’t right in front of us, but because we don’t have eyes to see them. Having students from diverse backgrounds — racially, ethnically and socio-economically — helps us to eliminate the blindspots from our lives. Having a diverse school helps to prepare our students for life in the world in ways that a monolithic, monochromatic student body cannot. Students who have experience in a diverse student body are able to navigate cultural nuances, preferences and differences more ably than students who don’t have that kind of experience. Diversity in a student body better reflects the kingdom of God, encourages empathy, helps students see difficult issues from more than one perspective and allows students to experience life in a more abundant way. Achieving diversity is much easier to talk about than it is to do, but this seminar will look at some of the challenges of diversification and how to overcome them.

Peter Vande Brake

Peter Vande Brake grew up in the southern states of Georgia and Tennessee, but attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was a four-time, All- American decathlete. He went to seminary at Union Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, and then did his doctoral work at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, obtaining a doctorate in systematic theology in 2000. He was ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the PCUSA in 2001. Peter completed the Van Lunen Fellows Program for Executive Leadership in July of 2009. He taught, coached and administrated at North Hills Classical Academy from 1996 to 2010, and served as the Headmaster there beginning in 1998. He is a leadership consultant for the CiRCE Institute and works at The Potter’s House, an urban, Christ-centered school in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is married and has two daughters.

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