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Van Lunen Center Announces First Fellows
posted April 10, 2007

The Van Lunen Center for Executive Management in Christian Schools at Calvin College has announced its first fellows for summer 2007. The Center was established at Calvin this past January courtesy of a $2 million gift to the college from the Richard D. Van Lunen Foundation.

Shirley RoelsIts purpose is to provide world-class executive management education for senior leaders of schools based on the historic Christian faith (of which there are some 20,000 across the continent).

The Fellows program is a key part of that vision for Christian education. It is a selective one-year fellowship that, says Van Lunen Center director Shirley Roels, assists heads of Christian schools in refining the executive skills necessary for school management in the current competitive climate.

"Through case studies, reading, writing, interactive exercises, small group discussions, a school based project, and coaching," she says, "participants will deepen their own leadership, develop skills essential to the tasks of headship, and create deep relationships with peers and leaders."

See the Van Lunen Center website for the full list of 2007 fellows, including high-res JPGs

The Fellows program is designed for Christian school heads from the United States or Canada with two to 10 years experience in their position. For the Fellows class of 2007 all participant expenses will be covered, including cost of instruction, travel, lodging, meals, coaching and access to topic experts.

The program begins with five residential days in July 2007, continues again in January for three days, and ends with three days in July 2008. Between sessions, coaching and support is available via phone and on-line tools.

This summer a total of 21 new fellows will travel to Grand Rapids for some intensive training in such areas as: Christian visions for education from various theological traditions, linking vision to strategic plan, financing Christian education, mission-driven fund-raising, personal development, safety and much more.

The Fellows program is led by a team of experienced and respected faculty: successful heads of Christian schools from different networks.

Says Roels: "These wise leaders weave together themes and paradoxes, mentor Fellows through their school-based project, and offer instruction in their own areas of deep expertise. Their commitment throughout the program year ensures that each fellow learns executive skills through relationships, through real application, by building networks, and by continuing to be grounded in their faith."

The keynote speaker this summer will be C. William Pollard, CEO of the ServiceMaster Corporation from 1983 to 1993 and again in 1999-2000, and author of The Soul of the Firm.

Other members of the Van Lunen Fellows Faculty will be: Dr. David Hahn, Head of School, Long Island Lutheran Middle and High School; Dr. Bryle Kynerd, Chancellor, Briarwood Christian School; James C. Marsh, Jr., Head of School, Westminster Christian Academy; and Roels.

The Van Lunen Center was established to serve faith-based schools large and small across the U.S. and Canada with a big-tent philosophy, reaching out to schools from a wide-range of faith traditions, including Catholic, evangelical Protestant, Episcopal, independent Christian, Lutheran and Reformed Christian day schools.

The 21 fellows selected for summer 2007 represent a wide range of faith traditions, school sizes and geographic location.

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