Christian Educator Certificates

Christian Instructional Leader Certificate (CILC)

Christian School Administration Certificate (CSAC)

Certificate Overview

This certificate program is for Christian educators who want to explore their calling as leaders in education and build their skills to create meaningful learning communities. The courses offered for this certification align with our commitment to being:

  • Biblically informed and focused on the love embodied by Christ;

  • Deeply contextualized and relevant for educators;

  • Aligned with your own professional passion; and

  • Rooted in wisdom and a sound methodology.

The Christian Educator Certificate aligns with other Christian school teaching certificates. These certificates help students practice leadership that is intrinsically Christian and aligns with their own faith. Educators with this certification have been taught the skills needed to align their practice to the vision of one’s school such that a Christian Educators Certificate is a trustworthy standard by which Christian schools can evaluate.

Educators can choose one of two streams, the Instructional Leadership Stream or the School Administration Stream. Within each stream, educators can also choose one course from each of the four categories of study to complete their certification: 1) Foundational Studies, 2) Educational Communities of Grace, 3) Inquiry into Practice, and 4) Leadership in Education. This certification program can easily serve as a gateway into the ICS Master of Arts in Philosophy in Educational Leadership (MA-EL) program should you want to pursue your studies further.

Infographic showing the two certificate streams (Instructional Leadership & School Administration) leading into the four course categories (Foundations studies, Educational Communities of Grace, Inquiry into Practice, and Leadership in Education.

Courses & Categories of Study

Educators pursuing this certificate will choose a total of four (4) courses from the available options—that is, you will choose one of two possible courses from each of the four categories of study. Please note that within the Inquiry into Practice category, there are two sets of choices depending on which certificate stream you decide to pursue. Below, you can read more about what each of these courses has to offer.

Foundational Studies

Courses in this area of study provide an integrally Christian perspective and engage the learner in a deeper understanding of the Bible and Christian life:

Biblical Foundations: Narrative, Wisdom, and the Art of Interpretation

This course will explore the Bible as the ongoing story of and for God and creation, paying special attention to the way in which God's story is intertwined with that of humanity and the world. In asking whether and in what way the Bible is also our story, educators will attempt to identify which hermeneutical methods might help them discern its significance for present-day life, including the academic enterprise.

Leadership in Context (Reformational Philosophy Applied)

This course will present an understanding of schooling in terms of the Reformational tradition in philosophy. It will present a Reformational reading of and orientation to the modern world in which schooling presently takes place. In the process schooling will be examined and placed within today’s complex social and cultural environment. That human environment will in turn be placed within a cosmos-wide perspective. From this perspective the cosmos itself finds itself within the covenant by which creatures partner in love with the God who creates, upholds, and redeems the creation in the intricate dance of meaningful existence. Schooling will thereby manifest a distinct identity as an elemental building block of our contemporary socio-cultural arrangements. Its identity will relate to other societal institutions and practices to which it is connected by countless ties.

Educational Communities of Grace

Courses in this area consider school culture and the relationship between the daily behaviours of educational leaders and teachers and the cultures of schools within communities that are both local and global:

Finding Joy in Learning

This course will provide educators with a vocational vision of Christian educational innovation and leadership within the context of: 1) nurturing a personal understanding of their calling; 2) gaining an introductory understanding of how people make sense of their lives, finding their way in the world, and contributing to the cultures in which they participate, and in particular, to become critically familiar with the notions of world-viewing, practice, and culture-making; and 3) to begin cultivating personal competency in critical and constructive reflection on their professional practice.

Cultivating Learning Communities of Grace

This course will explore school and classroom culture, with particular attention to: 1) developing critical reflective skills about cultivating learning communities of grace, 2) gaining an understanding of how to be a leader of school culture, and 3) considering how learning can be linked to larger movements seeking to effect change in both local and international communities.

Inquiry into Practice

In this category, educators can consider a course in one of two streams, the Instructional Leadership Stream that focuses on leading within the context of the classroom and the School Administration Stream that focuses on leading within the context of administration.

Instructional Leadership Stream Courses (choose 1 of 2)

Designed for classroom teachers who desire to continue to develop their Christian worldview in the context of their teaching through the integration of faith and practice, are committed to meeting the needs of all learners, and who have a growth mindset and desire to practice student-led learning.

  • Transforming the World: The Role of a Christian Educator
    This is a course for instructional leaders as they consider their roles as Christian educators. We will consider our particular contexts as Christians as we are called to be transformers of society and culture by seeking justice and righteousness for those who are marginalized and disenfranchised. We will especially attend to constructivism (a dominant educational theory in the twenty-first century that informs student-centred pedagogies such as Project Based Learning) through the lens of Scripture, and investigate the assumptions that it makes and how it informs our practice. We will also explore our calling as Christian educators to transform culture in our schools, local communities, and the world.

  • Deeper Learning: From Wonder to Inquiry to Practice
    This course explores learning as a journey from wonder to inquiry to action. It seeks to help Christian educators develop Deeper Learning in the context of:

      1. A celebration of the learner - What does it mean to be created in God’s image?

      2. A mindfulness towards learning design - How does curriculum, instruction, and assessment inspire us to live out our lives as Kingdom Ambassadors who are intentional about character formation and loving our neighbours?

      3. A responsiveness to culture - How do we embody our mission in every aspect of school life and live it out in God’s world?

School Administration Stream Courses (choose 1 of 2)

Designed for new and aspiring administrators who would like to continue to develop their Christian worldview in the context of leading schools, who are committed to leadership marked by vision, character, and adaptivity; and who are committed to cultivating learning communities of grace.

  • How to Coach a Strong Team: Leading People, Building Instructional Capacity, and Securing Accountability
    This course provides frameworks and tools for setting directions, building relationships, developing people, developing a school culture and structures to support desired practices, and securing accountability. This course starts with attention to the character of the leader. It continues with an exploration of the processes necessary to gain competency in the cultivation of vision, the nurture of trust, the leading of change, the building of teams, professional coaching, and the supervision of professional development. It concludes with hiring practices, handling conflict, and terminations of service.

  • How to Finance a Vision: Setting Direction and Managing Change within Financial Limitations
    This course provides frameworks and tools for leadership in making the connections between the vision of a school, the budgeting process, and fundraising. The course starts with an introduction to Henri Nouwen’s spirituality of fundraising. It continues with an introduction to the basic financial documents that a principal should be able to read and to the Canadian Revenue Agency documents relevant to schools. It explores the art of communicating the story told by school budgets as a necessary element of fundraising. The course concludes with the processes necessary to gain competency in working with both school boards and staffs (with an emphasis on financial and advancement staff) on the financial aspects of school management.

Leadership in Education

Courses in this area will focus on our call to be leaders within the context of our professional practice as educators.

Lead From Where You Are: Making a Difference in the Face of Tough Problems, Big Questions, and Organizational Politics

Leadership is not about personality, authority, position, influence, or power as such. Leadership is an art, a craft, a practice, to which everyone is called sometime or other, in widely different situations. Leadership can be practiced with varying degrees of authority, from any position, at varying scales of influence, and with varying access to different sources of power. The kind of leadership that students will learn and practice in this course has to do with diagnosing and addressing the toughest problems experienced by organizations, communities, institutions, and societies. This kind of leadership demands political skill: the skill to discern the overt and covert concerns and interests, agendas, and alliances within the organizations, institutions, and societies we serve, and to give each their due while not failing to pursue the common good. Educators will learn a leadership language, try out a set of tools and frameworks, and workshop our fresh insights and skills.

The Observant Participant: Applying Research Craft to Professional Practice

In this course, educators draw on the critical reflective practices of other practitioners, equip themselves with the methodological tools of qualitative researchers, and cultivate an attitude of attentiveness informed by the approach to practice taken by phenomenologists—becoming philosophically skilful students of their own lived human experience. Doing this course together with other educators, they will become more observant participants in their lifeworlds and strengthen their capacity as reflective practitioners in their professions and in their scholarship.

Want to take the next step?

Email the Academic Registrar Elizabet Aras or MA-EL Director Dr. Edith van der Boom to apply or find out more.

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