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Renaissance Adventist Education Visits Chattanooga

Posted on November 14th, 2009

AAF hosted its second Renaissance Adventist Education summit in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nov. 14, bringing together over 200 guests to discuss critical concerns facing Adventist K-12 schools.

AAF recognizes that while church membership is growing, enrollment in Adventist schools is decreasing. The nonprofit organization has taken the initiative to find solutions to the challenges by calling on some of the most influential people in the Adventist community to join in the effort to revitalize Adventist schools. After receiving a groundswell of support at its first summit held in Riverside, California, AAF decided to host the event in key locations around North America.

Each event includes focus group discussions to discern and prioritize an agenda for awakening change in Adventist schools. These “thinktank” events convene the voice of concerned people who are passionate about seeing growth and excellence in Adventist education.

“This has been a great event,” said Shelly Litchfield, a teacher at Collegedale Academy in Collegedale, Tennessee. Litchfield said she believes AAF is a grassroots movement. “We can’t abdicate our responsibility and say the church will take care of it. We have to care and get involved.”

Among the visionary leaders in attendance at the Chattanooga summit were Southern Adventist University President Gordon Bietz, Union College President David Smith, Vice President for Education of the NAD Larry Blackmer, President of Fletcher Academy, Inc. Dale Twomley, and Executive Director of Philanthropic Services for Institutions of the NAD Lilya Wagner.

The summit was hosted in an outdoor pavilion at the home of Byron and Susan DeFoor, AAF board members.

“Our common heritage in Adventist schools connects you and me, and millions of individuals around the world,” said AAF Co-Chair Bob Summerour. “It is up to us – concerned parents, alumni, church workers, and lay church members – to take ownership over what has brought us together in the first place.”

AAF works in strategic partnership with organizations who also believe in the preservation and development of Adventist schools. Through these partnerships, AAF collaborates on initiatives to revitalize Adventist schools. Many of the innovative ideas discussed at the Renaissance Adventist Education summits are further explored through these partnerships. Various strategies are tested and discussed for feasibly, with the ultimate goal in mind of providing a business tool that will enable schools to become more healthy, sustainable and excellent.

Future destinations for the Renaissance Adventist Education summits will be Washington D.C. (February) and Orlando (April).

See Chattanooga photos
Listen to Pilot Light Podcast Coverage

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