Calvin College Van Lunen Center

The Van Lunen Center
Raybrook Office Suite 201
Calvin College
3201 Burton St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Phone: (616) 526-8300
Fax: (616) 526-8302

Mission-Directed Governance: Leading the Christian School with Vision, Unity, and Accountability

Mission-Directed Governance: Leading the Christian School with Vision, Unity, and Accountability, by Leonard Stob
Leonard Stob
Foreword by Shirley J. Roels and David I. Smith
Publication date:
August 2011


About the Author

Leonard Stob has served Christian schools throughout his adult life. With degrees from Calvin College (MI) and Concordia University–River Forest (IL), he has work as a teacher, principal, and superintendent in five states. He has 25 years of service as a head of school for communities in California, Florida and Indiana. From 2004 through 2011 Leonard Stob was head of school for Ontario Christian School in California. He frequently provides educational presentations, workshops and consultation on topics such as mission-directed governance, strategic planning, financial sustainability, mission-directed curriculum, Christian educational philosophy, educational leadership, school measurement, and school-head evaluation.

Learn more about Leonard Stob and Len Stob Consulting »


Christian school leaders need to reflect carefully on the leadership and governance processes that can best guide their schools. This book introduces a mission-directed governance system designed to define educational ideals, focus leadership energies, advance the school, create accountability, and measure results. While holding fast to essential positions of Christian faith and educational philosophy, these ideas can help leaders of Christian schools more effectively address purpose, priority, and organization through fresh approaches to governance.


"Mission-Directed Governance paints a complete and wise picture of how Christian schools should and could be operating for best results! I appreciate Stob's priority on putting in place structures and policies that keep first things first by promoting sound teaching, learning, and student discipleship. His keen insight and wisdom, gained from years of experience in working with boards and faculties, will prove to be very valuable for Christian education leaders. I heartily recommend this highly perceptive and helpful book to all Christian school administrators and boards!"
—Dan Beerens, DB Consulting for Christian Schools

"The model Leonard Stob proposes is spot-on for 21st-century Christian schools. I strongly believe that the old 'wineskin' of parent-run Christian schools and the new 'wineskin' Carver model do not serve Christian schools well. The mission-directed model enables board leadership to focus on the essentials of effective leadership: upholding and enhancing the school's vision and mission, ensuring the financial sustainability of the school, and providing for the school's strategic future. This is an important book for Christian school leaders."
—Jim Marsh, Head of School, Westminster Christian Academy, Missouri


Part One: Governance Is the Issue

1. Change Is Challenging Your School
2. What to Look For in a Governance System

Part Two: Existing Governance Options

3. Characteristics of the Traditional System of Governance
4. General Assessment of the Traditional System
5. Debilitating Consequences of the Traditional System
6. Characteristics of a Governance-by-Policy System
7. General Assessment of the Governance-by-Policy System
8. Organizational Characteristics of Christian Schools

Part Three: How the Mission-Directed Governance System Works

9. Characteristics of the Mission-Directed System
10. A School Makes the Change
11. The Constitution Defines the Essentials
12. The Board Is the Central Authority
13. The Role of the Head of School
14. The Effective Use of Committees
15. The Board Governs Itself
16. Selecting New Board Members

Part Four: Practical Tools to Implement the Mission-Directed Governance System

17. Tools to Preserve and Protect
18. Measuring What Is Important
19. Head-of-School Reports
20. Advancing the Mission
21. The Board Determines the Direction and Priorities of the School
22. Evaluating the Head of School
23. Summary of Board Responsibilities and Tools

Epilogue: Reflections, Decisions, and Directions

24. The Process of Change