Today’s podcast features Joel Gaines, Head of School at The City School in Philadelphia. Joel talks with Lynn Swaner about the Flourishing Schools construct of Community Engagement, where “the school engages with the surrounding community and local churches, and regularly taps into community resources, including networking and resource- sharing with other schools.” Joel shares insights on how schools can be a light and a bringer of shalom to their communities and neighborhoods.
To go further in learning about this construct, check out these resources:
- The books Flourishing Together: A Christian Vision for Students, Educators, and Schools and MindShift: Catalyzing Change in Christian Education both feature The City School and the team’s work there as a case study.
- Blog post Marked Urgent: Unity within Diversity in our Christian Schools by Joel Gaines
To learn more about Flourishing Schools Research, check out the Flourishing Together book by Lynn Swaner and Andy Wolfe (Eerdmans 2021) and this video overview of the research. You can also find out about the related institute for leaders and instruments for schools here
About the Guest
Joel R. Gaines serves as Head of School at The City School in Philadelphia, Pa. He graduated from Philadelphia Biblical University (Cairn University) with a B.S. in Education and Biblical Studies, and an MEd. from Cabrini University. Joel is passionate about seeing students flourish academically, emotionally, and spiritually toward comprehensive shalom. He has 17 years of administrative experience spanning urban, suburban, public, and Christian schools.
About the Host
Dr. Lynn E. 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. Dr. Swaner serves as a Cardus Senior Fellow and is the co-author or editor of multiple books on Christian education, including Flourishing Together: A Christian Vision for Students, Educators, and Schools and MindShift: Catalyzing Change in Christian Education. Prior to joining ACSI, she served as a professor of education and a Christian school administrator in New York.