This month’s podcast features Jake Becker, Head of School at The City School in Philadelphia. I talk with Jake about the what makes The City School unique, including the school’s history of multiple successful mergers, their emphasis on socioeconomic diversity, and their schoolwide focus on shalom as a unifying concept for an open admissions school.

Jake also shares insights on navigating the challenges facing today’s Christian schools with courage and a willingness to take risks, as well as what lies ahead for the next generation of Christian school leaders. Listen Now


Additional Resources:

  • Jake Becker’s blog post Getting Unstuck discusses the rationale for and importance of socioeconomic diversity and is one of a series of four posts that examine alternative funding models and approaches for Christian schools.

About the Host  

Dr. Lynn Swaner is the Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at ACSI, where she leads initiatives and develops strategies to address compelling questions and challenges facing Christian education. Prior to joining ACSI she served as a Christian school administrator and a graduate professor of education. A published scholar and conference speaker, she is the lead editor of the book PIVOT: New Directions for Christian Education, co-author of Bring It to Life: Christian Education and the Transformative Power of Service-Learning, and editor of the ACSI blog. She received her EdD from Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City. She can be reached via email at


About the Guest

Jake Becker - Head of SchoolJake Becker began serving as Head of School at The City School in 2011, where he first became involved as a parent. Jake Becker grew up as the son of a pastor and a teacher living and serving in the Olney neighborhood of Philadelphia. Jake earned both a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and a master’s degree in education at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as a Christian school teacher after college and earned his master’s degree in business administration at Eastern University shortly thereafter. Jake served at Esperanza Health Center, a Christian health care ministry in North Philadelphia for nearly six years, first as director of HIV/AIDS services, then as the Finance Director. In addition to serving currently at The City School, Jake is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania and Eastern University.  He can be reached via email at 

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