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Developing our Leaders

I had a wonderful privilege 2 weeks ago to attend the annual CEN Developing Leaders Conference. I spent time with many enthusiastic, emerging, and existing, leaders who were completely immersed in a time of learning, growth, and reflection. We can be confident that God is preparing the leaders of Christian schools for tomorrow through avenues like the Developing Leaders Conference. The theme? Movers and Shapers; how very appropriate! Enjoy this newsletter with lots of ex citing news from the world of CEN.

NEW Institute Director

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr David Gray to the newly developed role of Director for the National Institute for Christian Education. David comes to us from Covenant Christian School in NSW as a well-regarded member of their leadership team. David has served at Covenant for the past 8 years and prior to that he had a most successful career in business. David is also an adjunct lecturer for the Institute and holds a Master of Education degree as well as a Business degree. We are confident that with his skills in strategic planning, awareness, and delivery of educational best practice, project management, marketing and business analysis, and a sound understanding of Christian education, David will be a great asset to the team and in particular to the growth and development of the National Institute for Christian Education.

David will commence this role at the beginning of term 4. As already communicated, Ken Dickens will continue on as the principal, retiring at the end of this year. Ken will continue to have much to contribute to the National Institute for many years to come on a casual, consultative basis.

Please pray for David as he prepares to serve the National Institute in this new role.

NEW Academic Dean

Further to the appointment of David Gray to the Director role, we are also delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Beth Beech to the role of academic dean for the Institute.  Beth will commence in this role at the beginning of next year for 2 days per week. She will also continue on as the registrar for the Institute. Beth’s name is not new to you as she has been serving as our registrar since the end of last year. Beth is a highly capable woman with a wonderful passion for Christian education and pathways to further study. If you have the slightest interest in one of our courses, get on the phone to Beth!

Michelle to Canada

Next month, Michelle will head to Canada to re-connect our organisation with some old CEN friends, including those from the Society of Christian Schools British Columbia (SCSBC) and from Christian Schools International. We are delighted that she is able to visit a number of schools, meet with principals, and attend a board meeting of SCSBC. The hospitality extended to her has been humbling. She will also be attending the Christian Schools Canada Leadership Conference. The synergy between our organisations and shared philosophy is inspiring. Michelle looks forward to reporting to the CEN community the work of Christian schools in this part of the world and seeing how we can learn from them.

S ave the Date

The CEN National Conference (and AGM) was a wonderful time of encouragement and inspiration this year. We are hoping that you can join us next year. We encourage you to save the proposed date now (20-21 May 2017). Why is this date not confirmed? Well, each year the CEN National Conference is held just prior to the Christian Schools Policy Forum. The Policy Forum is unable to confirm their date until the parliamentary sitting dates are announced . . . yep, we have to wait for the government before we can commit to our date. However, the trend over the past 4 years has been for that particular weekend and have no indication that will change.

New Venue

We are excited to announce that we have arranged for the 2017 National Conference (and AGM) to be held at a new location. As many of you would be aware, we were literally growing out of the Ibis at Eaglehawk and it was certainly getting a little ‘tired’. The 2017 conference will be held at the Mercure Hotel in Canberra (about 6km from the airport and 600m from the War Memorial). Known affectionately as ‘Olims’ or the Old Ainslee hotel, it was built in the 1920s as a boarding house for public servants. The hotel has the right amount of comfort and interesting quirks to make it an ideal location for our next conference.

Click here to check it out

Audio of Recent Keynotes

The National Institute will often place the audio of CEN conference keynotes on its podcasting service. The following audio has recently been uploaded:

The End of Education
Dr Ryan Messmore – CEN National Conference

Sharing Wisdom, Shaping Loves
Dr Ryan Messmore – CEN National Conference

Digital Discernment: Teaching our students ‘read’ technology
Chris Parker – Christian Librarians’ Conference

Strength-in-Weakness: Being human in response to the gospel of Christ
Dr Rod Thompson – NT CEPA Dinner

Formation as ‘Counter-Formation’ in our Place and Time
Dr Rod Thompson – NT Christian Schools Conference

Not Kansas: Identity, Idolatry and Integrity in Babylon
Steve McAlpine – Executives Conference

Building and Leading a Vibrant and Thriving Culture
Joe Combrink – Executives Conference

Mike Frost – Executives Conference

Recent Professional Development

July was another significant period this year for professional development and conferences for staff in our schools. Through state conferences and in-school training,1200 participants have engaged with National Institute certificate professional development. Training has been from one or more of the following array of workshops:

Certificate of Christian Education (1 day):

  • CCE (Foundations) – aka “CCE”
  • CCE (God’s Story)
  • CCE (Deliver)
  • CCE (Design)
  • CCE (Design II)

Certificate of Christian Practice (1 Day):

  • CCP New Teacher Induction
  • CCP Dealing with Bullying
  • CCP Technology and Effective Pedagogy
  • CCP Effective Reflective Classroom
  • CCP Teaching Mathematics | English | Science | History

Certificate of Collaboration (school-led over 8 staff meeting sessions)*

  • CC Biblical Foundations of Christian Education
  • CC Worldviews and Education
  • CC Effective Teaching
  • CC Ways of Learning

* There is the option (by way of clearly detailed additional reflection) of some teachers gaining postgraduate credit through this process.

The training this year has been at:

  • NT Christian Schools – CCE
  • Richmond Christian College – CCE
  • Wycliffe Christian School – CCE
  • Mountains Christian College – CCE (Deliver)
  • King’s College – CCE (Design)
  • Heritage Christian School – CCE (Deliver)
  • Strathalbyn Christian College – CCE (Design)
  • Christian Schools Tasmania – CCP (New Teacher Induction)
  • Torrens Valley Christian School – CCE (God’s Story)
  • Sutherland Shire Christian School – CCE
  • Covenant Christian School (VIC) – CCP (Teaching Mathematics)
  • National Office – CCP (New Teacher Induction)
  • Annandale Christian College – CCE
  • Nepean Christian School – CCE
  • Bayside Christian College – CCE
  • Carnarvon Christian School – CCE (Design)
  • Dubbo Christian School – CCE (Design II) NEW
  • Maitland Christian School – CCE (Design)
  • Covenant Christian School NSW (CEPA Conference) CCE (Design)
  • NT Christian Schools – CCE (Design)
  • Shire Christian School – CCE (Design)

Still to come:

  • St Phillip’s Christian College – CCE (Design)
  • Strathalbyn Christian College – CCE
  • Chairo Christian School – CCE (Design)
  • John Knox Christian School (Vancouver) CCE (Design)
  • Launceston Christian School CCE (Deliver)
  • Launceston Christian School CCE (Foundations)
  • Torrens Valley Christian School CCE (Foundations)


NEW Certificate: CCE (Design II)

We recently piloted a follow-up training session to the CCE (Design). This is for schools who have done the Transformation by Design training through the CCE (Design) and want to do two things:

  • evaluate how they have progressed using the model
  • explore the next stage of curriculum design (teaching activities, pedagogy, assessment) from a transformation philosophy and embracing backwards design

    We are thinking that schools would engage with this 12 – 24 months after the CCE (Design).

Board Chairs’ Conference

Please save the date for this year’s Godly Governance (board chairs) conference which will again be held in Melbourne on the 10th – 12th November. This year’s theme is ‘Risky Business’ and will include expert speakers on the importance of risk management in your school. Speakers include Catherine Brooks and Skye Rose from Moores Legal and Paul Campey from Resolve Consulting. The conference will be educational as well as practical and will once again be a fantastic opportunity for networking. Whilst this is primarily aimed at board chairs, all board members are warmly invited and encouraged to attend.

Click here to download the flyer

If you have any questions, please contact your State Executive Officer or Michelle Dempsey
0422 107 630 or

New Zealand Study Tour

Plans are well underway for this trip. Flights are bo oked, transport is sorted, and acc ommodation is being finalised. Thirteen people will be participating. Stay tuned for the report of this inaugural Study Tour.

Association Engagement Resources

Our Nurture magazine frequently publishes articles that have the aim of informing, inspiring, and inviting Christian parents to engage with your association. The CEN website has a page dedicated to these resources where they are all available in one spot and ready to download. We also remind you of the information video “Why We Have a School Association” on the CEN YouTube Channel.

Click here for the Nurture association resources

Click here for the information video

Click here to order customised copies of the information video

Resources on our eStore

CEN and the National Institute for Christian Education have published a number of helpful resources that are available through our eStore. We just wanted to remind you of this facility and also let you know that we also feature a handful of additional resources/publications that believe are brilliant resources for the task of Christian education. Some of the recent additions to this list are:

Click here to view these and others

Click here to order

Enrolments for Postgraduate Study

The second semester has now begun with record numbers of teachers engaging in postgraduate study with the National Institute for Christian Education. Have you participated in National Institute professional development? Found it inspiring? Energising? Is it time to now dive into postgraduate continuing education?

Enrol now:

Click here for more information and to make an enrolment enquiry

CEPA Update

As a result of an extensive review process, the Christian Educator’s Professional Association (CEPA) has recently undergone a number of changes, including the development of a new website. We also identified a number of goals to work towards for ensuring CEPA was meeting its vision.

Our vision:
The vision of CEPA is to provide an Association through which Christian educators can network and share, whilst also encouraging their growth through professional learning, discussion and resources. We long to see Christian educators working together, sharing the rich depth that exists within our schools for the glory of God’s kingdom and the benefit of Christian education.

What does CEPA offer?

Along with the changes listed below, CEPA offers:

  • Discussion forums for asking questions, seeking advice, and sharing ideas
  • Resource database of teaching programs, lesson ideas, policies, curriculum development samples and more
  • Event listing of upcoming events relevant to Christian educators
  • A job listing of currently advertised jobs in Christian schools
  • A free subscription to the Christian Teachers Journal and access to an e-version
  • Free trial memberships for one month

Some of the changes to CEPA include:

  • A new website designed to be easily accessible and to enable good discussion
    CEPA videos uploaded from recent conferences
  • A weekly blog post written by experienced Christian educators for encouragement and stimulus
  • Subject focus months where resources for a particular subject are uploaded regularly. The subjects we focus on will alternate so that the resource database is kept fresh and relevant.
  • Bulk subscriptions for schools.  

Coming soon:
We are also in the midst of writing an online professional learning course for all CEPA members. This course is designed to be easily accessible for teachers and about one hour in length. This will be arriving on the CEPA website in the near future and is focused upon how we use the Bible to shape practice in Christian education.

Visit to find out more about the association.

Gender and Sexuality Resource

Subscribers of the Christian Teachers Journal (a leading journal in Australia published by the National Institute for Christian Education) are about to receive the August edition. This edition is dedicated to the issues of gender and sexuality. The edition has articles that range from theoretical explorations, through curriculum ideas, to implications for schools at the community and policy level. It also contains book reviews of key resources in this area.

Keep an eye out for this special edition.

Click here for more information and to subscribe

CTJ Journals Index

Did you know there is an online index for the past editions of the Christian Teachers Journal. Looking for a relevant article for doing professional development with your staff, curriculum ideas, or for research?

Click here to access the index

Nurture contributions

We trust that you have been enjoying Nurture and that the families in your school have been encouraged by its content and inspiration to participate in the nurturing of their family with your school. You will have noticed that Nurture sometimes features articles written by parents (and by students). We suspect that you have potential authors in your community that could pen an article on parenting or a book review or …. It’s a great way of having your school featured and the article can then be used for your own school promotion (we will provide a high resolution PDF with all graphics).

Please make contact with Anne (the editor) at

Political Advocacy

Christian Education National schools are members of the Australian Association of Christian Schools (AACS) who represent us at the level of political advocacy. The monthly eNews from AACS is a highly informative resource for tracking what is happening as the government/policy level and how it might affect Christian schools.

Click here to view the recent (and past) AACS eNews and to subscribe

Time to Re-order WELCOME Brochures

Do you have end of year events that might have prospective parents attending? Any parent information nights or or open days? The Welcome to Christian Education Brochure is a wonderful addition to any information or promotional material that you might give out. Many schools are including them in their prospectus bundle.

Is it time to replenish your supply or to make an order for that special event?

Click here to view the brochure and to make an order

Christian Schools Vacancies

Don’t forget to check out the j ob vacancies listed on the CEN website. There are plenty of teaching and leadership opp ortunities in schools from the NT to down in Tassie.