Submitted by Alyssa Kiefer in Current Staff/Faculty News on August 09, 2017
What attracted you and your family to move from Merced Christian School to minister at Redwood Christian Schools (RCS)?
Merced Christian School was forced to close because of diminishing enrollment. We were looking for a ministry in Christian education in a Christian school that had a mission and vision that was in agreement with ACSI and our personal views. As we prayed for the Lord to direct us, we started checking the ACSI Job Listing for possible options. My sister-in-law, Joyce Richardson, notified us of a teaching position at RCS. I was familiar with the ministry of RCS and thought the fit was very possible.
Tell us about your family and how they are looking forward to this new opportunity.
My wife, Joanne, and I have been married for 45 years. Our (three adult) children are very supportive of the ministry in Christian education that Joanne and I have. Our children are products of a Christian school education and have grown up in the church. Joanne has been a significant partner in this ministry and together we seek to honor and serve our Lord and Savior.
How did God call you into teaching and what are your professional credentials?
All Christians are called to serve in a full-time capacity as a servant of Christ. However, not all of us are called to serve in a full-time vocation. Through numerous ways and experiences in my life, the Lord has affirmed my calling to serve in Christian education. I feel the Lord prompts us, through experiences and people, to consider the steps in the path of ministry that He has prepared for us. He simply asks us to be willing to take the simple steps of faith to allow Him to unfold His plan. I have always desired to heed His call and to take those steps of affirmation one at a time. Sometimes He opens doors and at times He closes them.
The ministry of Christian education is essential in preparing the next generation of church leaders. I have the opportunity and privilege to invest my life in the lives of young people and their parents. Through academics, modeling a life with a Christian worldview and the use of His Word I have the privilege to disciple young men and women for life now and for eternity. For me, there is no better use of my life.
In 1973, I started my ministry in Christian education. I hold life teaching and administrative credentials from ACSI and the state of California. I am credentialed to teach Mathematics and Physical Sciences and to administrate K-12 schools.
What have been your experiences in Christian education prior to coming to RCS?
I have served in various roles in education starting in 1973. I taught both junior high and high school math and science at Forest Lake Christian School in Auburn, CA, for seven years before I became the high school principal. I served as principal for six years and helped to build the program for the new high school complex.
In 1986, I began working with schools in more of a development capacity. I was an administrator and teacher at Grace Community School in Sun Valley, CA, where we transitioned from a K-12 program to a K-9 program. Then, I helped transition American Cooperative School in Paramaribo, Suriname, SA, from a mission school to an international Christian school. In 2000, I served as superintendent at Grace International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, while working alongside Wycliff Bible Translators as a missionary.
In 2003, I returned to Forest Lake as the Junior High Principal and also taught junior high math. From 2011 to 2017 I have served as an administrator and teacher at San Ramon Valley Christian Academy, Eugene Christian School, and Merced Christian School.
Why do you think a Christian education is important for families to consider?
The authority for education of their children is given by God to parents (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Ephesians 6:4, Proverbs 22:6). Parents are primarily responsible for teaching their children Christian values and skills necessary for a successful life. A Christian school, along with the church, can partner with the parents in providing this education. The Christian school desires to educate children of those parents concerned with their children’s spiritual growth and character formation as well as academic attainment.
We know it’s early but what do you love the most about RCS so far?
I totally support the mission and vision of RCS. I appreciate the desire for a family ministry atmosphere that RCS desires to maintain.
How do you hope to make a difference in the lives of RCS students?
As a Christian teacher in a Christian school, along with the church, I become a partner with parents in providing a Christian education based upon a Biblical worldview. I desire to educate children of parents concerned with their children’s spiritual growth and character formation as well as academic attainment. My desire is to help all of my students grow in all areas of their lives and possess a Biblical worldview.