When I attended the Global Christian School Leadership Summit (GCSLS) in 2019, I was still somewhat new in my role at Christian Schools International—and new to Christian education. I did not have a background in Christian education, and I didn’t attend a Christian school or college. So, walking into GCSLS, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Leaving GCSLS, a spark had ignited in me to learn more about how I could support Christian schools and their missions—all because of the people I learned from and met at GCSLS. I engaged in conversations with education leaders from across the globe about their challenges, successes, and why this conference was essential to attend as Christian educators. Two years later, I am excited to be a part of the planning team for this event and to specifically support with promoting Converge 2022.
The new event name, Converge, reveals our excitement to gather together in person. Since the global conference was held in San Antonio, Texas in 2019, a lot has changed in the world. Many challenges—including a global pandemic—have affected the Christian education community, which is why we are so eager to converge together next year and catch up with one another, learn from each other, and reflect together.
The Converge program planning team has been hard at work developing a program for attendees that is centered on the event theme of “Leading Courageously, Renewing Hope” and the theme description:
Amid global challenges, Christian educators from across the world will explore how schools can lead courageously—by bridging divides, embracing change, acting justly, and empowering students—to renew the hope of our communities, in and through Christ.
While the program is still being finalized, a few aspects of next year’s Converge will be different than the years prior, including:
- TED-Style Talks: If you’re not familiar with the TED Talk format, these “talks” are influential videos from expert speakers in education, business, science, technology, and creativity—and they usually don’t go beyond eighteen minutes. For Converge 2022, attendees will be offered TED-Style Talks to choose from over two days that will focus on confronting challenges that are the most urgent in our education communities. Following the TED-Style Talks will be facilitated discussions focused on three emphases of leading courageously, empowering students, and engaging community.
- Themed days: The Converge 2022 program will be broken into two subthemes: Bridging Divides and Embracing Change. Each theme will begin with scripture reflection and worship to activate your mind to dive into the theme, follow with related TED-Style Talks where you’ll explore the theme further, and conclude with a time of reflection through an engagement or networking activity.
- Student engagement: Students are the heart of Christian education. We are excited to share students will be a part of the program at Converge. Hearing stories, experiences, and encouragement from Christian students at Converge will empower you as you lead the next generation of Christ followers.
- Opportunities to engage with sponsors: The Converge sponsor team has been carefully selecting and connecting with a group of sponsors who are passionate about Christian education and engaging with education leaders and teachers and who they believe will support your school or organization. As a Converge attendee, you will have many opportunities during the conference to talk with sponsors and exhibitors, and we encourage you stop by their booths to explore what they have to offer.
- Outdoor activities: We hope you’re excited about the setting of Converge 2022: the beautiful city of San Diego, California! We’ll be taking advantage of the city’s warmer climate by utilizing the outdoor space for session activities and offering some sponsor outings where you’ll be able to explore the city.
With the Lord’s direction, the planning teams from our host organizations have worked hard to develop the Converge 2022 program that will be valuable to all attendees as you strive to lead courageously and renew hope in your schools and organizations. We look forward to converging together in San Diego with Christian educations leaders, teachers, and organizations on March 8–10, 2022. Until then, make sure you’re subscribed to our emails so you can stay up to date on Converge 2022 announcements and receive blog posts from leaders in education around the world.