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Calvin To Dedicate VanLunen Center
updated October 1, 2007

Calvin College will formally dedicate its new Van Lunen Center for Executive Management in Christian Schools on Wednesday, October 3 at 8 p.m. in the Prince Conference Center on campus.

Dr. Shirley Roels, executive director of the Center, will speak.

The Van Lunen Center was established at Calvin via a $2 million gift to the college from the Richard D. Van Lunen Foundation. The Center's 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).

Roels says her upcoming talk will focus on whether or not matters of Christian faith and the education of youth can be as neatly segregated as some might believe (or hope).

She believes that the solutions to developing thriving faith-based schools are not political or legal solutions. Nor are they a deeper reliance on the financial resources of the church.

"Voucher programs and tax credits are very limited in reach as are other sources of governmental support," says Roels. "Churches have multiple challenges and requests for resources to fulfill their missions. While they are essential partners, they cannot carry the core responsibility of sustaining the faith-based school."

Roels says it is instead essential that schools not only are "faith-full" in mission, but also that they are exceptionally well-managed organizations, that use the most effective knowledge and skills to implement their missions.

"We know that faith-based schools thrive when Christian faith is central, educational programs are strong, and their administrative leaders have appropriate managerial knowledge and skill," she says. "The Van Lunen Center is committed to the development of such well managed futures for Christian schools. Parents are attracted and eager to consider such schools for their children."

Roels' talk will be followed by a dessert reception. Both the talk and the reception are free and open to all.

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