Leaders of the International Alliance for Christian Education announced today that the organization would launch operations in January 2020, seeking to unite Christian educators in every global region around their mutual commitments to Christ-centeredness and confessional solidarity.
The IACE will seek to provide strong connections and collaborative opportunities for a growing list of Christian education programs on every continent.
IACE president David S. Dockery said the new alliance would not seek to compete with nor replace existing organizations doing similar work. But he said a network is needed to represent all sectors of Christian education, complementing and partnering with the existing organizations whenever possible.
“The IACE will be more focused than some other Christian education networks, in light of its exclusive confessional composition,” Dockery said.
The core criteria for membership include a Christ-centered mission and employment policies, cooperative and collaborative spirit, confessional commitments rooted in the truthfulness of Holy Scripture, and a cultural witness that reflects biblical orthodoxy and historic Christian teachings.
“For several years, our association’s board and senior leadership have been convinced God is calling us to seek to ally ourselves and actively collaborate with a larger circle of confessionally congruent fellow Christian educators from around the world,” said Ralph Enlow, IACE board chair and president of the Association for Biblical Higher Education. “That divine prompting has found expression and embrace in the emergence of IACE.”
Three membership categories will serve educational and academic organizations, degree-granting institutions, and partners who exhibit commitment to intellectual discipleship while encouraging the work of Christian education.
By the end of 2020, IACE leaders plan to form a fellowship group intended to connect the shared interests of confessional Christian colleges and universities, gap-year programs, and seminaries/divinity schools.
“We’re always encouraged by new initiatives that provide increased attention and conversation around the value and life-changing work of Christian higher education,” Council for Christian Colleges & Universities president Shirley Hoogstra said. “We look forward to opportunities to partner with IACE leadership to continue to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education.”
“A decade from now, I think we will all look back and see the significance of this organization and prophetic foresight and leadership exercised by David Dockery and others,” Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary provost Bruce Ashford said.
The IACE currently has commitments from 50 charter institutions and seven organizations, with more expected to join prior the January launch. Leaders are considering a separate affiliate membership status for institutions that meet some but not all of the criteria for full membership.
In addition to Dockery, other IACE officers include Enlow; Carl Zylstra (vice chair), past president, Dordt College and executive director, Association of Reformed Colleges and Universities; Gene Fant (treasurer), president, North Greenville University; and Barbara McMillin (secretary), president, Blue Mountain College. Other Board members include: Robert Sloan, president, Houston Baptist University, Mark Bailey, president, Dallas Theological Seminary, and Peter Teague, president, Lancaster Bible College/Capital Seminary, among others.
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Source: Baptist Press